I See You, Cellulite: Why You Have it and How to Say Goodbye

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

But, while cellulite is super common and nothing to worry about, lots of folks just don’t like having dimply skin. If you’re looking to ditch your cellulite, here are the best, proven ways to get rid of your cellulite, or at least diminish its appearance.

What is cellulite anyway?

Cellulite happens when fat in the skin pushes up against connective tissue. This creates that uneven, bumpy appearance we all know too well.

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Cellulite isn’t a one-size-fits-all vibe, it can appear different from one part of the body to the next. It even has its own severity grade ranking:

  • Grade 1 (mild). This appears like an orange peel’s texture and includes one to four superficial depressions. There’s not much draping or sagging on the skin.
  • Grade 2 (moderate). The skin appears moderately draped like cottage cheese. There are between five and nine medium-depth depressions.
  • Grade 3 (severe). Skin in this stage has 10 or more depressions. You might notice sagging too.

What causes cellulite?

Cellulite is more common in women than men. In fact, more than 85 percent of all women 21 years and older have it. It usually affects areas of the bod that have more fat, like the thighs or butt . Women tend to carry more fat in these areas naturally.

Cellulite is usually caused by a combo of factors, like:

    age
  • obesity
  • weight gain
  • collagen loss
  • family history
  • estrogen levels
  • poor circulation
  • tissue inflammation
  • poor lymphatic drainage
  • thinning outer layer of skin

Cellulite itself isn’t harmful to your health, but some of the causes can be.

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And, even though cellulite itself can’t hurt you, lots of folks don’t like the way cellulite looks or how it makes them feel. Thankfully, there are tons of proven ways to diminish its appearance.

Cellulite home remedies

There are, like, 498,505,349 products that swear to banish cellulite from your bod forever. Sadly, most of these gels, creams, and machines just don’t cut it. Here’s what might help.

Massage

Massages can get things moving. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery says massages can help with lymphatic drainage and stretch skin tissue to improve cellulite appearance.

The best massages to get for cellulite might be endermologie, lymphatic drainage massage, and connective tissue manipulation. In a 2010 study, all three of these techniques decreased fat and lowered the circumference of participant’s thighs.

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FYI: One trip to your local spa won’t do the trick. You need to massage it up on the reg to see real results.

While we’re having this massage moment, let’s talk cupping. Cupping promotes fluid, toxin, and chemical byproduct drainage that might improve the appearance of cellulite. A 2015 study found that participating women noticed a decrease in cellulite grade after 5 weeks of cupping.

Collagen peptides

Whether applied topically or ingested, collagen is the bomb. It can strengthen skin while boosting elasticity and hydration. It may also help you nip that cellulite on your butt in the bud.

A 2015 study found participants had an improvement in cellulite when they took bioactive collagen peptides for 6 months. Women with moderate weight saw the most improvements.

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TBH, other than this study, there’s not a lot of hardcore evidence that collagen helps with cellulite. But it’s worth a shot.

Drink more water

Slay your daily H2O flow. Staying hydrated promotes circulation and lymphatic health. This can aid in the reduction and appearance of cellulite. So drink up!

Weight loss

Shedding a few pounds can reduce cellulite and its appearance. But losing weight alone doesn’t always work. Plus, losing weight might not be a healthy option for you.

PSA: Always talk to your doctor before starting a new diet. They can give you great tips on how to keep it healthy.

Coconut oil
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Coconut oil isn’t a cellulite cure-all. But it can hydrate and smooth skin which might reduce its appearance.

One study reported that virgin coconut oil was as effective as mineral oil when used as a moisturizer. It’s also been found to have healing properties when applied on the skin.

Dry brushing

This Ayurvedic treatment involves sweeping a dry brush across the skin. Though it can exfoliate and stimulate circulation, there’s little to no scientific evidence to support claims it can curb cellulite. A vigorous session might get blood flowing and plump the skin, but the impacts are temporary.

Coffee scrub

Lots of peeps are coo-coo for coffee scrub, claiming it’s an effective cellulite treatment. While there’s no scientific evidence that it can get rid of cellulite, it might minimize the appearance.

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The idea is that coffee can dilate blood vessels and reduce the appearance of skin dimples. Meanwhile, the exfoliation factor scrubs away dead skin cells to reveal smoother skin.

Cellulite exercises

Firming up certain areas of the body and burning fat may reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Here are some great moves for your next sweat sesh.

Do 12 to 15 repetitions at a time. You can increase the weights or repetitions as you get stronger. Try to do 2 to 3 sessions per week.

Other cellulite treatments

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While a lot of cellulite options aren’t worth the hype, some medical-grade treatments really do work.

Medical treatments for cellulite

Dermatologists offer a variety of techniques that can be helpful to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests:

  • laser treatments
  • vacuum-assisted precise tissue release
  • carboxytherapy (carbon dioxide gas under the skin)
  • subcision or Cellfina (needles break up connective tissue bands)

Looking for something less invasive? You can try:

  • ultrasound (uses sound waves)
  • endermologie (deep massage with a vacuum device)
  • cryolipolysis or CoolSculpting (freezes fat cells underneath the skin)
Medications and creams for cellulite
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If a cellulite cream sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Very few cellulite products actually deliver on their promises. Still, some are a lot better than others. Look out for these ingredients:

Caffeine. It’s often put in cellulite creams because it bolsters blood flow. Caffeine can also work as a diuretic which helps flush fluids out of the body.

Retinol. Creams that include 0.3 percent retinol may reduce the appearance of cellulite because they thicken the outer layer of skin.

FYI: Experts say you’ll need to use retinol for 6 months or longer to see results.

tl;dr

Cellulite is totally normal and nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, cellulite can be beautiful… because it’s part of you !

But if you want to reduce the amount of cellulite you have, or at least minimize its appearance, there are plenty of ways to help reduce the appearance, and even treat it.

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