First, the bummer news: Despite late-night infomercials and social media ads that claim otherwise, there are no nifty gadgets, creams, or supplements that can “blast away” cellulite for good.
Now, the good news: There are a few ways to minimize its appearance.
“While it’s tough to completely get rid of cellulite, you can reduce its appearance by losing body fat,” says Trevor Thieme, C.S.C.S., Beachbody’s director of fitness and nutrition content. “The leaner you are, the less obvious your cellulite will be.”
What Is Cellulite?
Fibrous cords of connective tissue attach your skin to the muscle below, with a fat layer between them.
When fat cells accumulate and push against the skin, which is being held back by the cords, an uneven, dimpled “orange peel” or “cottage cheese” appearance can result.
Hormones, genetics, gender, and weight all play a role in cellulite, which is more common in women, and tends to appear around the buttocks and thighs, but can also appear on the belly, breasts, and arms.
In men, it most commonly shows up in the abdomen.
Up to 90 percent of women have some cellulite.
If you’re one of them, and you’re wondering how to get rid of it, here are a few ways to help your skin appear smoother.
1. Dial-In Your Nutrition
Nutrition is the most important component of weight loss and weight maintenance, Thieme says, so it should play a central role in your efforts to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Managing what you eat can help with overall fat loss, says dermatologist Adam Mamelak, M.D.
Focus on gradual and consistent weight loss, which “will help minimize the stress on fibrous compartments, which are what make the skin look like cobblestones,” Mamelak adds.
Staying at a gradual pace of one to two pounds per week can often help the skin and the cords beneath it to adjust to the weight loss.
Lily Adelzadeh, M.D., F.A.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Pleasanton, California, recommends a diet that’s low in sodium and includes plenty of fiber.
This can help to minimize water retention, which can make cellulite more visible.
Staying hydrated is also key, Adelzadeh adds, because dehydration can worsen the appearance of cellulite.
Bottom line: No specific food alone will magically lower your chances of getting cellulite. It’s natural to get some as you age.
But overall weight loss may help reduce the appearance of cellulite — and a balanced diet that focuses on whole foods like fruits and veggies, lean protein sources, and healthy fats is always a good idea.
2. Exercise Regularly
Combined with proper nutrition, exercise can help you lose fat, and that can assist with minimizing the appearance of cellulite, says Thieme.
Research suggests exercise can also improve body composition and decrease the severity of cellulite by bringing better blood flow to fat tissue.
Pro tip: Beachbody On Demand has hundreds of workouts to choose from. Find the program that’s right for you.
3. Get a Massage
Need a good excuse to book a massage?
It’s important to note that research on the connection between massage and cellulite is limited and inconclusive.
But there are plenty of other, proven benefits of massage — like easing muscle tension and enhancing exercise recovery — so there’s no downside to giving it a try.
4. Try Skincare Products With Caffeine
No topical product holds the secret to getting rid of cellulite overnight, but over-the-counter creams that contain caffeine can potentially help reduce its appearance, Adelzadeh says, because caffeine prevents excessive accumulation of fat in cells.
“Caffeine works by temporarily constricting the blood vessels, which leads to fat cells shrinking,” she adds. “This can improve the look of an area — but keep in mind they’re not long-term solutions.”
5. Talk to Your Doctor
If the DIY approach isn’t helping, there are a few dermatological procedures that may help to get rid of cellulite.
For example, cryolipolysis can destroy subcutaneous fat cells by freezing them.
There’s also a surgical procedure called subcision that severs the fibrous connective bands that give cellulite its dimpled texture.
Before going under the knife or trying the deep freeze, though, it’s helpful to try some lifestyle shifts first — particularly nutrition and exercise.