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 set from Anese contains a body scrub and a firming mask that will make your butt look positively cellulite-free. The scrub contains blue poppy seeds, rice powder and jojoba pearls that leave your butt (or your entire body) feeling smooth. The Internet Famous mask takes the word "smooth" to a whole new level thanks to invigorating peppermint and grapefruit oil.
Aveeno can do no wrong in my book. This Positively Ageless Anti-Aging Firming Body Lotion comes in a pack of two from Amazon and fights cellulite with a shiitake mushroom complex and wheat protein that leaves skin looking smooth and instantly firmed.
This unscented formula is made with caffeine and niacinamide to improve skin texture and tone. It's a rich cream that somehow feels weightless once you apply it. Read: It's the best of both worlds.
Reviewers say that this Hot Cream from Honeydew actually makes them feel sweaty (in a good way!) and leaves them with smoother-feeling skin as a result. Slather it on before a workout for maximum results—some even said it helps with lightening up their dark spots!
This cream from Mio Skincare is just a new and improved version of the brand's Shrink To Fit cellulite smoother so if you loved that, you'll become obsessed with this new formulation. It contains a brand=new Smooth Booster Complex and is clinically proven to reduce the look of cellulite over time.
Dry brushing has long been used to help skin look its best, but Elemis takes the practice to a whole new level thanks to the inclusion of their Targeted Toning Body Moisturiser. The brush helps to remove dead skin, and the cream helps to reduce the appearance of pesky dimpling.
This firming treatment works overnight to keep up the appearance of firm-looking skin thanks to combines two forms of Vitamin A (we're talking a retinol and a retinal). They gently exfoliate as you leave it on.
This heavenly Moisture Whip from Coco & Eve promises to leave skin glowing from hydration—and it delivers. It's rich in antioxidants and is 100 percent vegan. Even better, it absorbs into the skin super quickly despite the rich texture.
This stimulating formula from Bliss is powered by caffeine and a blend of botanicals like spearmint leaf extract and green tea leaf extract give you visibly tighter skin. The inclusion of shitake mushroom extract also helps to maintain the look of firmer skin over time.
For skin that looks just as smooth as it does firm, try this body cream from BeautyBio. Certified organic green tea seed oil makes dry and damaged skin feel soothed in an instant, while the inclusion of LipoCare works with the body's natural process that breaks down fatty acids.
Use this contour cream from Clarins on your stomach, legs, or arms for a visibly defined look. It's formulated to be free of harmful parabens and, according to reviewers, has completely gotten rid of the look of cellulite.
This Vinosculpt Lift & Firm Body Cream from Caudalie is created with dry skin in mind. It contains grape seed oil to nourish the skin, shea butter for a boost of hydration, and a blend of both grape polyphenols and iris extract to keep skin looking firm. The longer you use it, the better it works!
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.
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 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.
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.