From cellulite cream to dry brushes to foam rollers, there are a lot of products out there that claim to quickly eliminate those dimples on your thighs and butt. Here's the truth about cellulite treatments.
Thanks to the body positive movement, more and more women are proudly embracing so-called "imperfections," including stretch marks, scars, and cellulite—the dimpled, cottage cheese-like texture that can crop up on your thighs, butt, and stomach. Influencers from Anna Victoria to Ashley Graham are using their social media platforms to show how common cellulite is and to encourage followers to own theirs rather than cover it up.
We're all for embracing our bodies just the way they are and don't think anyone should feel pressured to eliminate their cellulite. But we also understand that some women are still bothered by these bumps. There's a lot of incorrect information floating around when it comes to cellulite, though—so if you decide you'd like to minimize yours, which strategies *actually* work?
What causes cellulite?
Got cellulite? You're in good company: About 90% of women develop it at some point in their lives. Even though it's incredibly common, there are many persistent myths about cellulite. Despite what you may read, cellulite is not caused by toxins in your body; it's also not necessarily a sign that you're out of shape. The truth is that you can be a supermodel or super-toned spin instructor and still have little dimples on your thighs.
Also true: Cellulite may be partly genetic. "If your mom and other women in your family have cellulite, you will probably also get cellulite," says New York City-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD. It's also far more likely to affect women than men. Not only do we tend to carry more fat in cellulite-prone areas like the hips and thighs, but we have less supportive connective tissue, called fascia, that keeps skin looking taut.
"[When] fat cells become too large, the compartments that hold the fat bulge and form uneven fat layers," Howard Sobel, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist, tells Health. "In women, the fibrous strands pull down on the skin, creating uneven, bumpy layers of fat—a.k.a. cellulite."
How to get rid of cellulite
It's definitely not a sexy, quick fix, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle in general can be helpful in making cellulite less noticeable. That includes not smoking, eating a well-balanced diet, regularly exercising, and drinking plenty of water. "When you're dehydrated, cellulite will be more pronounced," explains Dr. Jaliman.
If lifestyle changes aren't helping, consult a dermatologist. Dr. Sobel often recommends lasers such as Sculpsure and Vanquish to his patients ("They can liquefy fat cells and decrease the buildup of fatty tissue that causes cellulite," he says), as well as manual lymphatic drainage and body wraps. Dr. Jaliman is also a fan of non-invasive procedures such as lasers, radio frequency, and massage techniques. The caveat: "They do work, but the results are short-term," she says.
Prefer to try home remedies? Below are creams and home treatments that might help make your cellulite less noticeable, according to dermatologists.