The new black

As someone who firmly believes in the existence of cellulite (well, lumpy legs at least) but equally firmly believes that the myriad creams on sale do diddly squat to alleviate the problem, I'm left in a tricky situation when asked for advice. Do I suggest the ostrich approach, otherwise known as "life's too short", or preach the no-fun diet-and-exercise lark?

Well, actually, neither. Of course, cutting down on caffeine, processed foods and other obvious toxins (alcohol, cigarettes, lard) does help, but as far as I'm concerned it's body brushing that makes a real difference. I know it's enough of a challenge to get out of the house on time in the morning, but a minute or two of body brushing a day (or every other day) really does help.

Body brushes can be bought from any major chemist for a fraction of the price of any cellulite cream. Brush the skin in swift, sweeping movements towards the heart, to aid circulation. Don't go overboard on the pressure - it's body brushing, not body scraping - and use your other hand to soothe the skin after each stroke. Start at your ankles, in short, swift strokes, and move up your body, paying extra attention to the thighs and buttocks. You can also brush around your stomach - people who know about such things say clockwise - then from your hand to shoulder (body brushing is also great for getting rid of pimples on the upper arm). Only ever brush dry skin, with a dry brush, avoiding delicate areas.

There are cellulite massagers on the market, but they don't seem to be as effective as a body brush. Besides, most people want to get rid of their cellulite, not treat the pesky stuff to a massage. And then, of course, there's the good old-fashioned loofah. It's great for sloughing off dead skin and boosting a sluggish circulation. Loofahs do tend to go mouldy, however, whereas body brushes don't because they never get wet. In fact, body brushes are the only thing I've found that improves the texture, look and feel of the skin, without making me feel like I'm punishing it. So now you know.

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