Before we start, two facts: 1) Ninety percent of women have cellulite, and 2) Every aspect of our bodies, cellulite included, deserves to be celebrated. That said, it's completely okay if you like to use products to feel your best. The world of beauty gives us choices galore, and there are a multitude of anti-cellulite creams, diets, exercises, and gadgets out there that promise to prevent and permanently remove cellulite.
What causes cellulite?
But first, it's important to understand what cellulite actually is: "The causes of cellulite are not well understood, but there are several theories that have been put forth as explanations such as hormonal factors, genetics, a diet high in fat and carbohydrates, and other lifestyle factors," explains New York City dermatologist Dendy Engelman.
How can you get rid of cellulite?
While there are costly in-office laser procedures that can rapidly reduce the appearance of cellulite, there's no cure-all for banishing cellulite completely. "Thankfully, in recent years, there have been many exciting new advances in the treatment of cellulite," explains Dr. Tiffany Libby, assistant professor of dermatology at Brown University. "There are some creams that help to improve the appearance of cellulite but all require consistent use for an extended period before results can be realized."
What should you look for in a cellulite cream?
"Most of the products used to treat cellulite contain ingredients such as caffeine, retinol, vitamin C, gluthahione, peptides, and l-carnitine, which have all been proven to assist with cellulite reduction appearance," adds Dr. Marina Peredo, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skinfluence. To get your hands on the best of the best, read on for expert-recommended cellulite creams for firm, smooth and happy skin.
This beloved cream also has a dermatologist's stamp of approval: "I would recommend Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Cream since it contains guarana, which is rich in caffeine, supports natural circulation, boosts energy and smoothes the skin," explains Dr. Peredo.
Collagen, elastin, and green tea infusions work to cinch up skin in seven days flat, but the artful dose of sunless tanner also does wonders for making wiggly/jiggly zones appear firm and smooth.
This cellulite cream is praised for its skin-slimming powers. If you have dimples or love handles you'd prefer to look more contoured, consistently apply this cream to those areas for more sculpted skin.
This firming cream not only reduces the appearance of cellulite, but also soothes and hydrates the skin with its alcohol-free formula for those with sensitive skin. Even better: It comes with a massaging applicator attached to the product to sculpt and soothe your skin.
Behold: the drugstore favorite! This gel-cream is formulated with Q10 and l-carnitine to tone and reduce the appearance of cellulite without you having to break the bank.
This two-step cellulite fighting kit is comprised of a body gel and body cream. Start by massaging the liquid gel into the skin with the attached stimulating applicator. After completing the contouring step, finish off with the hydrating firming cream.
This body cream comes highly recommended from Dr. Peredo for its fat-banishing capabilities. "The TransFORM body treatment is amazing because it uses a special technology to target the fat layers of the skin to help the body produce new collagen to fix the skin’s texture," explains Dr. Peredo.
Here's luxury in a bottle and the perfect match for dry, tired skin. "Body Fit contains caffeine and absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving an oily residue," explains Dr. Peredo.
Marine actives—a blend of micronutrients derived from algae, fish, and kelp—ethically harvested off the shores of Bermuda are said to mimic the effects of endurance training. That is, after a month or so of use, the cellular energy output should be boosted to enhance muscle definition, shape and tone.
A trio of caffeine, tiger grass and boldo is said to kickstart the lymphatic system and ultimately burn fat. The silky serum texture means it absorbs on impact, so you can get on with your day rather than waiting for a gloopy lotion to dry.
What you're getting in this pretty little vial is actually quite special. A vitamin E oil base infused with retinol, plus a cornucopia of botanical actives and antioxidants—witch hazel, honeysuckle, turmeric, to name a few—all of which team up to optimize skin and minimize cellulite.
This is a good find for firming up loose skin. "Topical caffeine is thought to work by dehydrating the fat cells to minimize appearance of cellulite and also works to improve vascular and lymphatic flow," Dr. Libby notes. "This product incorporates caffeine and peptides with a hydrating moisturizer to help enhance the skin’s firmness and elasticity to minimize the appearance of cellulite."
Give your skin a lift with this super-sculptor. "BodiFirm contains a blend of peptides, antioxidants, botanical extracts and a prebiotic to help support the body’s natural production of dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ) proteins, collagen and elastin," Dr. Engelman shares. "In addition, it contains caffeine and glucosamine to help with your skin's texture."
This spendy Body Cream is worth it for its nutrient-packed formula. "It contains a complex of natural amino acids, medical-grade vitamins and synthesized molecules naturally found in skin, which guides key nutrients and powerful natural ingredients to cells, creating an optimal environment for regeneration," explains Dr. Engelman. "Bisabolol and shea butter, which are rich in vitamins A and E, soothes the skin so it feels smoother and softer."
Retinol is typically used on the face and loved for reducing fine lines and evening out the skin tone, but there are also skin-strengthening benefits for the body. "Retinols have demonstrated efficacy in targeting cellulite as they work to increase collagen and elastin, and improve overall skin firmness and thickness, which both make cellulite less noticeable," explains Dr. Libby. "This body treatment uses retinol and a blend of antioxidants to help strengthen and transform skin."
Shea butter is known for being incredibly soothing and for diminishing the appearance of stretch marks and discoloration overtime. For long-term results, remain consistent with applying this butter.
Have you tried vitamin C for your body? We often tend to work diligently to fade discoloration on our face and neglect the dark spots and sun damage on our bodies. Luckily, this firming moisturizer works to rejuvenate the skin to reveal a smooth and even complexion all over.
If you've opted for an in-office sculpting treatment, follow it up with this product to sustain the best results. It offers a cooling sensation upon application and is formulated with skin-firming ingredients, like tripeptide, yeast extract and hydrolyzed rice protein, for firm and youthful skin.
If you're looking for a clean beauty option, turn to this cellulite cream formulated with plant extracts and essential oils. Its triple-digit price tag may startle you, but its cellulite-fading results will be priceless.