Pregnancy and Cellulite

Cellulite is fat by another name. The lumpiness of cellulite is caused by clusters of fat deposits that push and distort the connective tissues beneath skin, giving the skin a bumpy dimpled look and feel. Cellulite typically appears in places where the body tends to store fat such as the thighs, buttocks, upper arms and belly.

A woman’s body experiences many changes during pregnancy and one such unfortunate change is the deposition of cellulite. Pregnancy is the perfect storm for cellulite formation since all of the formation mechanisms are working at the same time. These mechanisms are described below.

Hormones: Estrogen levels increase steadily during pregnancy and reach their peak in the third trimester. Estrogen's are the hormones responsible for the development of cellulite, as they are responsible for arranging the fatty tissue and are known to stimulate lipogenesis and inhibit the process of lipolysis. Lipogenesis is supporting the deposition of the fatty tissue, however lipolysis is a metabolic process which causes the decomposition of the stored-up fat. Excess production of estrogen in the body means that more fat will accumulate in areas that are prone to fat deposits, such as the stomach, hip and thigh areas. 

Fluid retention: During gestation, the uterus increases in size, pressing upon the lymph vessels and veins. This causes a reduction in lymph and blood drainage that triggers fluid retention in the tissues, and spurs the development of cellulite. 

Loosening connective tissue: Connective tissues (skin, ligaments, fascia) loosen in order to accommodate the extra volume in the stomach area and in the fat storage areas of the hips and thighs, and also to ease delivery. This increases the possibility of fat accumulating in these areas. 


While age, hereditary and weight are all factors, there are steps you can follow to minimize the formation of cellulite during pregnancy.

Eliminate cellulite-contributing foods. Cut fast and fried foods, fatty and processed meat, cheeses, carbonated drinks and high-calorie confectionery products from your diet. Exchange fatty meats for lean meats, poultry without the skin and fish. Also avoid foods that contain artificial flavourings and dyes.

Follow a balanced diet throughout pregnancy. Increase the intake of fibre-rich fruits and vegetables. They are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, water content, fibre and antioxidants and contain cellulose, which is important to cell structure and healthy skin.

Sticking to the recommended weight gain over the span of pregnancy reduces the chances of cellulite formation.

Increasing the intake of fluid, especially water, and keeping yourself well hydrated helps in reducing cellulite. More fluid consumption will decrease the chances of fluid retention, which in turn reduces the cellulite formation.

Practicing exercises permitted by your doctor (walking, swimming, light aerobics, and stretching exercises and prenatal yoga) helps to control cellulite formation.

Moisturizing the body twice a day will help to increase its elasticity, which will help in controlling the cellulite formation.

Massaging and exfoliation plays an important role in reducing the chances of cellulite formation. It is assumed that the mechanical stimulation of massage causes subcutaneous fat cells to break down, facilitating the transport of the fat into the lymphatic system. As these damaged fat cells heal, they rebuild with an improved distribution that evens skin contour. In addition to this, the stimulation of the skin through massage promotes lymphatic drainage, subcutaneous blood flow, new collagen deposition, and firms and tones the skin. Skin brushing and exfoliation are both effective methods to reduce and improve the appearance of cellulite.

Topical treatments.Numerous topical active ingredients, including caffeine, retinoids and botanical extracts have been reported to improve the appearance of cellulite. Studies have indicated that these ingredients are able to improve the stimulation of cutaneous microcirculation, promote lipolysis, and increase dermal collagen production. 

Click here for more information on the active ingredients that improve cellulite. 


Do you know of any methods to reduce cellulite during pregnancy that I have missed out?  Please let me know in the comments below.   

Our Toning Massage Oil has been scientifically designed to tone, firm and restore moisture to the skin during and after pregnancy. The concentrated blend of natural oils and active ingredients work synergistically to shape body contours, reduce the appearance of cellulite and improve microcirculation of waterlogged tissues. 

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or queries please feel free to leave a comment below. For more tips and advice on maternity skin care check out the Expert Advice section of the Natralogic website.

All the best

Lauren Lamont - Natralogic Founder
MSc Chemistry, Dip.Cos.Sci (SA)

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06 February, 2020


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