This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

What is the best way to get rid of cellulite?

Cellulite is a common skin condition that impacts people of all sizes, shapes, genders, fitness levels and ages. It causes the skin to look bumpy, dimpled and lumpy. Even though it’s harmless and said to happen to 80-90% of women, it can bother those who have it because of its unflattering appearance. The desire to get rid of cellulite has led to the creation of various solutions such as products, treatments and lifestyle changes that claim to diminish and make cellulite less noticeable. Finding the best solution for you begins with understanding this bodily phenomenon and all the solutions that are available to you. 

What causes cellulite?

Contrary to common belief, cellulite is not caused by a build-up of toxins in the body but the result of the gradual buildup of fat underneath the skin  specifically, when the collagen fibers between the skin and muscle break up the underlying fat in the pockets. It becomes more visible as you age and your skin loses its elasticity and becomes thinner. This exposes the appearance of fat deposits and the rippled connective tissues underneath the skin.

Signs of cellulite

Cellulite has often been described as having an orange peel or cottage cheese texture. Mild cellulite can be seen if you pinch your skin in the place where you suspect you have it and you notice a pronounced dimply and bumpy look. Conditions that are severe can take on a rumpled appearance with areas of peaks and valleys. Cellulite is commonly found in the thigh and buttocks but can also form in the lower abdomen, breast and upper arms.

Factors that increase the risk of cellulite

The amount of cellulite that a person has is attributed to several factors. Some are linked to their genetic predisposition while others are related to lifestyle factors. All these elements have been shown to play into the likelihood that a person will develop cellulite:

  • Genetics
  • Weight and muscle tone
  • Gender (cellulite is more common in women than in men)
  • Age
  • Lifestyle factors (lack of physical activity, poor diet, etc.)
  • Weight gain
  • Rapid weight loss and weight fluctuations.
  • Pregnancy
  • Hormones 

What type of foods cause cellulite?

While there isn’t sufficient proof that certain foods increase the formation of cellulite, it seems to be more common among those who have diets that are high in refined carbohydrates and sugars and low in fiber. Weight gain, in general, contributes to the development of cellulite so your best bet is tossing these foods that are commonly known to increase it:

  • Processed foods: baked goods, sodas, chips, processed cheese, meat, and mixes.
  • Unhealthy carbs: carbs from sugary cereals, snacks, candy and pastries that retain fluid and increase toxins.
  • Salt
  • Alcohol
  • Sauces, spreads and dressings

Can you actually get rid of cellulite?

Cellulite cannot be removed completely but there are certain things that we can do to reduce its appearance. The effectiveness of the treatments and products we choose depends on the severity and the body part where the cellulite is found. At-home remedies that involve topical creams and lotions can temporarily tighten and smooth the bumps on your skin but for my lasting and visible results, it may be better to combine them with lifestyle changes and in-office therapies that penetrate the skin deeper. Consulting reputable health care providers will help you decide which options would bring you the best results.

How can cellulite be treated?

While we cannot completely get rid of cellulite there are a number of things that we can do to reduce its appearance for cosmetic concerns. For best results, incorporate a combination of these techniques and routines.

Regular exercise

Certain exercises that build stronger muscles and tighten the skin may reduce its appearance in specific areas. It can also help reduce total body fat that leads to a more toned and smooth appearance. Add both strength training and cardio to your workout routine to maximize results. Here are some exercises that you can try:

  • Cardio exercises that burn fat: Running, swimming, walking, cycling, hiking, dancing, elliptical training.
  • Strength training exercises: Squats, side and forward lunges, leg kick-backs, step-ups, mountain climbers, curtsy lunges, glute bridge, split squats, dumbbell rows and pushups.


There are certain foods that can help your skin appear smoother and promote a healthy weight. Foods that are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols such as leafy greens, dark chocolates, berries, citrus fruits and those with healthy fats such as fish, olive and coconut oil and nuts can fight inflammation that causes cellulite. Foods that are high in collagen such as chicken, egg whites and turkey and foods right in Vitamin C like oranges, kiwis and tomatoes can keep your skin tighter and help it appear smoother. Aim to drink plenty of water as it will flush out the toxins that can cause cellulite.

Home remedies

There are several home remedies that have been seen as effective in cellulite-busting. While there is no scientific evidence to back this up, incorporating these remedies in your toolbox along with other treatments can boost your chances of having smoother and lump-free skin.

  • Massage: Whether you get a massage at home or with a professional masseuse, the kneading along with the massage cream helps reduce cellulite by improving lymphatic draining and stretching out your skin tissue. 
  • Coffee grounds: Exfoliating your skin with coffee grounds tightens and smoothens the skin by removing dead cells and stimulating new cell growth and improving blood circulation and lymph flow. 
  • Apple cider vinegar: The consumption of this popular beverage has been shown to promote weight loss.  
  • Dry brushing: Dry brushing with a body brush or plant loofah can stimulate the nervous system and detoxify the body. It also promotes blood and lymph flow and stimulates new cell growth. 

Topical creams and lotions

Cellulite creams and lotions with 0.3% retinol and other formulas containing mostly caffeine can make cellulite less obvious. These creams firm and tighten the skin by reducing bloating of the tissue and smoothing out the outer layer of the skin. Topical creams and lotions are not permanent solutions to cellulite because it does not lead to long-term structural changes that are deep within the tissue. It’s also important to test the product on a small area of your body to ensure that you don’t have an allergic reaction to the ingredients.

Cellulite removal treatments

Home remedies, creams and lifestyle changes can help with cellulite but if you’re looking for a more intensive solution that provides long-lasting results, you might want to consider cellulite-removal treatments. Some of these have been shown to provide great results because of the device’s ability to reach the deeper layers of the skin.

  • Energy-based procedures: Acoustic wave therapy, radiofrequency, or laser treatments use thermal and light energy or soundwaves to reduce the appearance of cellulite. A few sessions of treatments like Cellulaze, Velashape, Cellfine have been shown to deliver good results.
  • Injectable treatments: You can also smoothen skin irregularities and bumps caused by going for injectable treatments. Dermal fillers like Radiesse and collagen enzymes are now widely used by those who want to improve the look of their skin.
  • Massage and suction treatments: Several sessions of massage and suction treatments like Lipomassage, which uses a rolling suction device and gathers and massages your skin, can be used to treat cellulite if it’s done on a regular basis. 

What you need to buy to get rid of cellulite

M3 Naturals Anti Cellulite Massage Oil Infused with Collagen and Stem Cell

M3 Naturals Anti Cellulite Massage Oil Infused with Collagen and Stem Cell

This moisturizing oil is made with natural ingredients that help break down unwanted fat cells in problem areas. The main ingredients, collagen and stem cells are known to make the skin supple and radiant and deliver anti-aging effects.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Paula's Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment

Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment

This non-greasy body cream contains retinol, a key ingredient for treating cellulite, to increase cell regeneration that leads to firmer and smoother skin. The Paula’s Choice formula also contains antioxidants that work to plump and refresh the skin.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

C.S.M. Body Brush for Wet or Dry Brushing

C.S.M. Body Brush for Wet or Dry Brushing

Scrubbing this soft-bristled brush against your skin will clear away dead skin giving it a radiant appearance. The movement stimulates circulation and encourages collagen growth which may temporarily lead to smoother-looking skin.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub

Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub

Massaging this caffeine-filled body scrub on the areas where you have cellulite can minimize its appearance. In addition to tightening the skin and stimulating lymphatic draining, caffeine dehydrates fat cells making cellulite look less visible.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Weleda Cellulite Body Oil

Weleda Cellulite Body Oil

A skin-softening oil that contains a combination of anti-inflammatory extracts from plants like rosemary, ruscus and birch leaves along with hydrating cypress, grapefruit and jojoba oils. Massaging into your skin will help reduce the appearance of cellulite and provide a relaxing experience.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Handheld-Cellulite Massager, Body Sculpting-Machine Full Body Massager Hand Held Back

Handheld-Cellulite Massager, Body Sculpting-Machine Full Body Massager Hand Held Back

A light weight electrical massager that can be used to shape any problem area on the body. It comes with four different massage heads and a button that controls the vibration speed. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Seline Shenoy writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.