An infrared sauna is a type of heat therapy that has been popularized as a way to treat things like depression and chronic pain. However, can it help with the appearance of cellulite?
Infrared saunas are effective at reducing cellulite by stimulating lipolysis, boosting the production of collagen and elastin, and improving blood circulation. The results are best when infrared light therapy is combined with massage and radiofrequency therapy. Consult your physician first to create the appropriate treatment program for you.
Keep reading to learn if an infrared sauna can reduce cellulite and tighten skin, has the ability to produce collagen, or can break down fat. Additionally, this article will cover other ways to treat cellulite!
Can the infrared sauna reduce cellulite?
There are so many health benefits associated with infrared saunas. Is reducing cellulite one of them?
Infrared saunas are able to penetrate subcutaneously and decrease cellulite by increasing circulation. This helps the body break down fat cells and release the components like water and carbon dioxide at temperatures exceeding 110°F. Additionally, infrared saunas help our bodies purge toxins like bisphenol A and heavy metals through sweat.
The fewer fat-soluble chemicals in our system, the fewer fat cells our body needs for storage. This process is important because the retention of certain harmful compounds can inhibit weight loss and further perpetuate cellulite.
Cellulite is a collection of fat deposits beneath the skin that look like puckered lumps. It’s most commonly found in the abdomen, thigh area, and buttocks of women.
Other ways to get rid of the appearance of cellulite include exercising, eating a healthy diet, and getting non-invasive or invasive medical treatments done.
Does infrared heat help cellulite?
The technology involved in an infrared sauna is especially powerful.
According to 2005 scientific literature, infrared light, when combined with radiofrequency and mechanical tissue manipulation, reduced the appearance of cellulite in 90% of post-pubertal women studied.
When infrared light is absorbed by the skin, it boosts blood flow to areas with poor circulation. The heat produced by infrared saunas also relaxes muscles and reduces cortisol production (which helps with fat loss and cellulite appearance).
Does the infrared sauna tighten skin?
Since infrared saunas are effective at reducing cellulite, can they also tighten your skin?
The red light of an infrared sauna works by boosting the production of collagen (type I and type III) and elastin. Elastin helps your skin reject gravity and preserve its elasticity, while collagen aids in skin cell turnover, keeping your skin firm and smooth.
Both are pivotal in helping to tighten the skin not only on your face but all over your body.
Other ways to preserve elastin and collagen include quitting smoking, blocking UV damage by the sun, and avoiding sugars and processed foods.
Does the infrared sauna produce collagen?
As we mentioned above, the infrared sauna does a great job of stimulating collagen production.
A 2006 study proved that a person’s total soluble collagen increases only two hours post infrared exposure. After 6 months of continuous infrared sauna use, most of the participants saw an average of 63% improvement in skin texture and roughness.
Furthermore, according to a 2017 study, an infrared sauna has the ability to penetrate up to 7.5 cm under the skin. This promotes detoxification and aids in the preservation of skin health.
Does infrared massage break down fat?
Massage is one of the key treatments that can help improve the appearance of cellulite.
While there aren’t any specific studies that identify infrared massage as a fat-burner, scientific research shows that fat cells expand when heated. This is a process called lipolysis and allows for the cells to release toxins and dislodge a small amount of fat.
Additionally, massage has the ability to work out cellulite dimples, smooth your skin tone, and help with circulation. Combining the two is an impactful remedy to shrink cellulite.
How to treat cellulite
Cellulite is a tricky topic. Some people are even more predisposed to it as a result of genetics or hormones.
It’s important to note that while trying to reduce the appearance of cellulite, there isn’t one simple solution. Successful treatment requires a combination of preventive measures (like diet and exercise) with skin-smoothing procedures (i.e., subcision and radiofrequency) involving both medical professionals and at-home remedies.
Below, we’ll talk about invasive and non-invasive techniques.
What procedure reduces cellulite?
There are several ways to reduce cellulite, although some are more intensive than others.
Non-invasive procedures or techniques to reduce cellulite include:
- Infrared light therapy
- Creams and lotions
Invasive procedures or techniques to reduce cellulite include:
- Vacuum-assisted precise tissue release
- Liposuction + laser treatment
Exercise is a great way to manage cellulite.
Working out helps to burn fat and increase circulation, resulting in a more toned appearance. It also strengthens the muscles, which is key. Muscle is metabolically more active and burns more calories while at rest than fat tissue.
If a person reduces their overall body fat percentage, they will see a decrease in the amount of cellulite beneath the skin.
Another great way to help reduce cellulite is by changing your diet.
Studies show that certain nutrients can help detoxify and boost collagen, which reduces the appearance of cellulite dimples and stretch marks. These include eggs, bone broth, cayenne pepper, salmon, and broccoli.
Ingesting more Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants helps to eliminate a number of harmful chemicals in our bodies, which is a huge factor in cellulite formation.
Massage is a great way to improve blood circulation and give your skin a smoother appearance.
In a 2006 study, ultrasound imaging showed that an electro-mechanical skin fold massage apparatus significantly smoothens the structure of the dermis-hypodermis interface, thus reducing the overall appearance of cellulite.
Regular massages also enhance lymphatic drainage, which reduces fluid retention and ensures toxins are removed from our cells.
Infrared light therapy
We touched on this above, but infrared light therapy is a great way to aid in the detoxification process.
Our body’s tissues absorb infrared light more readily than other parts of the spectrum, making saunas an effective tool for penetrating subcutaneous tissue, increasing fat cell depletion and improving the overall health of our skin.
Infrared light can also help fight wrinkles and fine lines.
Radiofrequency devices are used to deliver thermal energy to the dermal/subcutaneous layer using electrodes.
Collagen denaturation, remodeling, and neocollagenesis are stimulated by raising the tissue temperature in a certain area of the body. Lipolysis is also induced, as 70% of patients in a 2018 study showed a reduction in the circumference of their thighs after 4 weeks of RF treatment.
However, not all radiofrequency machines are created equally, and only some are intended to be used for cellulite.
Creams and lotions
There’s a wide variety of cellulite creams and lotions available on the market.
Most cellulite treatments contain caffeine or retinol, both of which help boost collagen production and reduce inflammation associated with cellulite. However, it’s important to note that using these products doesn’t guarantee results and they’re best combined with massage.
As with anything, it’s better to exercise caution when using products that you’re unsure of. Keep in mind that most professional treatments are only effective if used consistently for at least 6-8 weeks.
Vacuum-assisted precise tissue release
Vacuum-assisted precise tissue release happens to be one of the most effective invasive mechanisms used to reduce cellulite.
In vacuum-assisted precise tissue release, a machine is used to create negative pressure, which gently pulls the skin upwards and prevents it from sagging. The connective fibers are then cut in order to tighten the skin’s surface layer.
Results can last up to 3 years, although you must be willing to go under the knife.
Liposuction + laser treatment
Liposuction and laser treatments are particularly popular across the U.S.
Liposuction alone is not a great solution for cellulite and can even increase the look of lumps. However, when paired with a laser procedure, it can be a quite effective combo.
Liposuction is able to remove excess adipose tissue, while a laser can smooth out the skin’s surface afterward.
Last but not least, there’s subcision.
This procedure is minimally invasive and works by releasing adhesions that form between the dermis and hypodermis using a needle. It can only be applied to certain types of moderate or severe cellulite, though.
Some disadvantages include bruising, pain, and edema.
Overall, infrared saunas help improve the appearance of cellulite by stimulating collagen and elastin production and allowing for lipolysis.
Always consult with a physician before trying any at-home treatments to reduce your dimpled skin!