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Cellulite is a tough subject. Nearly all of us have it — 93% of women, in fact — but we often feel too embarrassed to talk about it or let it peek out of our clothing. There is certainly no shame in having it, but there’s also no shame in wanting to get rid of it.
While cellulite is said to be physically harmless, it can be mentally taxing if you feel insecure about it. Diet and exercise could potentially help, but it’s not just about body fat. Cellulite tends to be pretty stubborn, so kicking it to the curb can require some research — and some top-tier products.
What Is Cellulite?
Dr. Dendy Engelman explained this succinctly to The Healthy: “Cellulite is enlarged packets of body fat deep beneath the skin pushed against the vertical connective tissue that surrounds fat cells.”
What Is the Cause of Cellulite?
Think about stuffing a pillow with cotton. When there’s too much cotton or it’s not evenly distributed, the outside of the pillow can look lumpy or uneven. Cellulite is similar. “When the fat cells expand,” Dr. Engelman explained, “it limits the space under the skin and puts pressure on the connective tissue. The pressure forces the fat against the top layers and creates the dimpled look.” This doesn’t happen because you gained weight necessarily. Cellulite can actually be genetic, so women of any size can get it!
Where Does Cellulite Form?
According to Healthline, the most common parts of the body that get cellulite are the hips, thighs, abdomen, buttocks and breasts. Men can get it too, but it’s much more common on women.
What Are the Risk Factors for Developing Cellulite?
Again, genetics and hormones play a big role here, as does age — so you’re not necessarily doing anything wrong if you start to develop cellulite. In general, however, an unhealthy diet, slow metabolism, a lack of physical activity and dehydration could be risk factors too, according to WebMD.
What Should You Look for in Cellulite Treatments?
Not all cellulite-reducing products are as miraculous as they seem. Great ingredients to look for include caffeine, aminophylline, theophylline and retinol, also according to WebMD.
How We Found the Best Cellulite Treatments
Having done our research on the causes of cellulite and certain ingredients to look for, we searched the web for products that we knew weren’t making scientifically-false claims. We also checked for user reviews and any dermatologist approvals or study results. We even used our own experiences!
Best Overall: Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream
This caffeine-rich cream is famous for its delicious scent and skin-smoothing properties. Remember to take some time to rub it in, massaging the skin and creating heat for better absorption!
- Loved by celebrities including Hailey Bieber and Hilary Duff
- Absorbs quickly
- Some find the scent to be a little too strong
Best for Dimples: Kopari Pink Soufflé Body Mask
This detoxifying body mask is a wash-off treatment, so within just 10 minutes your cellulite dimples could appear diminished. The brightening effect could make them less visible too!
- May also clear up acne and fine lines
- Clean and cruelty-free
- Not everyone likes the effect of coconut oil on their skin
Best Splurge: Augustinus Bader The Body Cream
You’ll find Augustinus Bader in so many celebrities’ skincare stashes, and for good reason. This cream actually uses stem cell technology to rejuvenate the skin!
- Free of parabens, fragrance, mineral oil, and sulfates
- Numerous top-notch ingredients in its Trigger Factor Complex
Best for Firming: Medix 5.5 Argan Oil 24KT Gold Age Rewind Cream
You’d think this gold-infused cream would be off-the-charts expensive, but it’s unbelievably affordable — especially considering its amazing reviews!
- Neutral 5.5 pH level may help balance skin
- Lotus extract, aloe vera and coffee bean may target sagging and dimpled skin all at once
- Bottle design makes it difficult to get all of the product out
Best for Newly-Formed Cellulite: C.S.M. Body Brush
If you’re noticing new cellulite, we recommend grabbing a body brush. This one even has massaging nodules for even more potential benefits!
- Can be used wet or dry
- May help flush the lymphatic system for quick results
- Takes a little time to get used to; may be uncomfortable at first
Best for Legs: R.D. Alchemy Firming Cellulite & Vein Support Body Lotion
If you’re dealing with cellulite on your thighs along with varicose or spider veins, then a multi-tasker like this lotion could be your holy grail!
- Targets numerous skin concerns on the legs
- Walnut shell exfoliates dull, dry skin
- Not too many reviews yet
Get the R.D. Alchemy Firming Cellulite & Vein Support Body Lotion for just $34 at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, June 1, 2021, but are subject to change.
Best for Stomach: Rodial SUPER FIT Tummy Tuck
This stomach-toning gel claims that it can tighten, tone and even reduce fat up to one inch within eight weeks!
- May tone without zapping away moisture
- Clear gel is less messy than many lotions and oils
- A bit expensive
Best for Butt: Honeydew Luxury Butt Nourishing Cream
Luxury butt cream? At a low price? We’re obviously all about this find. Peach booty, here we come!
- Specifically made for the buttocks
- Anti-aging properties
- Recommended for use on warm, wet skin twice a day, while many shower just once
Best Natural Product: Weleda Cellulite Body Oil
This certified natural body oil comes from Weleda, one of our favorite affordable skincare brands that’s caught the attention of so many celebrities!
- Showed a 22% increase in tightness and a 21% increase in smoothness after one month of testing
- Oil may be more uncomfortable to apply all over than lotion
Best Device: NuFACE NuBODY Skin Toning Device
You’ve probably heard of NuFACE’s facial toning devices, but there’s a body version available too that you can use on your arms, abs, butt and thighs!
- Suitable for all skin types
- Uses microcurrent technology
- Must be used with primer
Best Budget Product: Murara Hot Slim Cream
For just $9 — and free shipping if you’re an Amazon Prime member — it’s hard to go wrong with this popular firming cream!
- Super low price
- May also relax muscles and alleviate aches
- 30-40 minute process includes using plastic wrap on top
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