To say that cellulite, or fat deposits under the skin that cause a rippling, dimpled appearance, is a common nuisance would be an understatement. Experts estimate that this pesky condition occurs in 98 percent of women.
Solutions to the problem, which range from expensive laser treatments to dry brushing, vary, and there is much debate over how effective cellulite creams and treatments actually are. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), certain ingredients and techniques have been deemed more likely to yield more significant results than other. Keep reading to find out the best cellulite creams and treatments for maximum results.
What Is Cellulite?
In order to know how to reduce the appearance of cellulite, you’ll first need to know what cellulite is. New Jersey-based dermatologist Asma Ahmed told Man Repeller in 2018 that “Cellulite is caused by fibrous bands that run from skin to muscle through the fat, and when they pull downward on the skin, the fat pushes upward.” He added: “This creates an orange peel appearance with dimpled skin, which is what we know as cellulite.”
Cellulite tends to get worse as we age due to a natural decrease in estrogen, which in turn decreases circulation and collagen production. At the same time, our fat cells are getting larger, allowing them to protrude through our collagen as cellulite.
How to Reduce Cellulite
Though there have been many claims to the contrary, there is no magic cure-all for cellulite — at least that’s supported by research.
Eating a nutritious diet and exercising can help to prevent the formation of increased cellulite, but even the most dedicated of fitness junkies won’t be able to eradicate it completely. As The Cellulite Cure author and osteopathic physician Lionel Bissoon explained to The Scientific American in 2009, “There is some connection between cellulite, diet and exercise, but not a direct one. Although a healthier lifestyle can reduce the appearance of cellulite, it’s not a real or effective treatment.”
While you’ll be hard-pressed to eradicate cellulite completely, the AAD points out several studies which have shown promise in reducing the appearance of cellulite and making it less noticeable.
Many such treatments involve trips to a doctors’ office for pricey procedures, including Cellulaze, a laser-based treatment that can net results of one year or longer, or subcision (aka Cellfina), in which a needle is inserted just under the skin to break up tough bands beneath. A few at-home treatments have also shown results when it comes to reducing the appearance of cottage cheese-like skin, including creams and lotions.
According to the AAD, “products containing caffeine may dehydrate cells, which can make cellulite less obvious,” though it must be applied daily to keep up with results.
Products with at least 0.3 percent of retinol may also have an effect on your skin’s dimpled appearance, as it can help to thicken the skin — subsequently reducing the amount of visible cellulite on your thighs, rear, and more. These should be used for at least six months to determine effective results.
As the first cellulite treatment to be approved by the FDA, endermologie, or the process of deep message with a hand-held roller that also lifts problem areas, has shown varying results in studies, per the AAD. Again, however, treatments must be continued for effective results, as cellulite can “return” within a month after stopping.
Other methods of cellulite reduction, including supplementation of caffeine, gingko biloba, and grade seed extract, cryolipolysis (a process in which unwanted fat is targeted through freezing techniques), and mesotherapy, in which patients are injected with caffeine, hormones, enzymes, and herbal extracts, have shown little evidence in being effective.
Armed with this info, FIRST for Women has sorted through tons of products and marketing gimmicks to determine which ones that will most effectively zap your skin into tip-top shape — or at least give it a smoother appearance. Keep reading for FIRST’s picks for the best cellulite creams and treatments on the market today.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.