You know what cellulite looks like: dimpled skin, usually around your hips, thighs, stomach and buttocks. But what is it, exactly?

There’s a network of collagen fibers connecting the fat right underneath your skin to the skin itself. When these fibers stretch or break down, the fat cells can squeeze through, pushing into the reticular dermis—that lower layer of skin. The adipose cells form little hills and valleys, creating that bumpy effect known as cellulite. Lovely.

Unfortunately, once you have cellulite (80-90 percent of women do), it’s hard to treat. But to prevent more of it: stay hydrated, exercise regularly, avoid smoking and eat a diet packed with fruits, vegetables and fiber.

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