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8 best cellulite massagers that actually reduce bumps and dimples

Cellulite is the medical term for lumpy, dimpled flesh that appears primarily on the thighs, buttocks, hips and stomach. Around 80 percent of women over 20-years-old will get cellulite. It happens when fat pushes through the connective tissue beneath the skin, causing a rippled appearance.

Women are more prone to cellulite because of the structure of their connective tissue; men’s connective tissue forms a crisscross pattern whereas women’s appears as vertical columns and, along with having thinner skin, these columns allow more space for fat to push through to the skin’s surface.

Unhealthy eating, smoking and drinking can promote cellulite, but it can also be down to factors beyond our control such as genetics or hormonal imbalances. Although there isn’t a permanent solution to banishing the orange peel effect, massagers can do wonders to improve it and there are many kinds, from electric to manual, depending on your preference and spending allowance.

Cosmetic physician Sarah Tonks, who runs The Lovely Clinic in Knightsbridge, said: “Massagers will speed up the circulation which will improve the appearance of the skin. They are fine to use but watch your underwear; if the underwear is too tight then it will slow the lymphatic drainage and make it appear worse.

Cellulite is not dangerous but it can be a sign of hormonal imbalance which could be potentially an issue; oestrogen dominance is a bad thing. To try and prevent cellulite I’d recommend an anti inflammatory diet, do HIIT exercise classes to boost testosterone, try dry brushing to enhance circulation, hormonal replacement therapy, mesotherapy (tiny injections of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids) or carboxytherapy (tiny injections of carbon dioxide).”

These massagers were tested on women aged between 20 and 60-years-old, and, alongside a regulated diet, showed a 50 per cent improvement in the overall texture of the skin. Pregnant women, people with heart conditions or who use blood thinners, or have any type of skin condition from varicose veins to eczema are not advised to use such massagers.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Assome! professional cellulite ultrasonic massager starter kit: £199, Assome!

Developed in the UK, at first glance this dainty contraption doesn’t have the same physical presence as some of the massagers on the market, but do not be fooled. After using the device three times a week for a month, there was a noticeable difference in the texture and tone. Assome! has three functions – ultrasonic technology for cellulite reduction, radiofrequency for firming and slimming and LED light for evening skin tone.

Apply one of the three supplied oils to your bum, add the ultrasonic absorption gel directly onto the massager, press the function you want and then glide over each buttock for five minutes (it turns itself off after that amount of time). Each of the three functions has a high and low setting. We would recommend starting low for a week before moving onto high, as there is a warming sensation inside your buttock after using the device that most people will find unusual, but it disappears after around 15 minutes. The shape slots neatly between the fingers, making it easy to use not just on the buttocks but on any part of the body.

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Sensica sensifirm cellulite reduction & body contouring device: £239, Current Body

Founded by leading experts in medical esthetics, this is Sensica’s one and only cellulite machine, using patented Lipotherm RF technology with manual massage. Using RF allows us to reach the collagen fibres in the dermis, as well as the hypodermis and subcutaneous fat. Recommended use before you see results is two months, but we used it with the base gel for 20 minutes on each area once a week for a month and saw a noticeable difference in elasticity, with the skin feeling tighter, plumper and slightly less dimpled.

There are three heat settings – we would test beforehand, but then use the highest one for best results. The device gently vibrates on contact with the area and after around the 10 minute mark the device begins to warm the skin, which feels pleasant. They also have inbuilt heat sensors to make sure skin isn’t burned. The only downside is it needs to be connected to a plug source, so let’s hope you have one near your sofa as 20 minutes plus is quite a while to be hanging around without something to watch on TV.

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Legology targeted leg detox kit: £60, Legology

Founded by former beauty editor Kate Shapland, Legology is a brand for anyone who wants to improve their legs the organic way. There are just two parts to the kit – the cellu-lite oil, a blend of 14 oils which has a calming aromatherapy scent and a circu-lite cup. The brand recommends using this any time you feel bloated, but for cellulite reduction, we’d advise using after showering every day for a month.

Massage the oil over the legs, then take the cup, squeeze together, place on the skin and then release so there is a suction. Pull the cup upwards, towards the heart in straight lines. It might look like just a little cup, but do not be deceived; you can feel the burn. The cup actually increases blood flow and stimulates lymphatic drainage – skin actually looked more vibrant in colour, felt tighter and slightly smoother after just a month of use.

This isn’t for everyone — people with extremely sensitive skin might find the sucking sensation too uncomfortable. It also isn’t for the lazier people among us, as it will require a bit of elbow grease to get results.

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NuBODY skin toning kit: £325.55, Current Body

Created in California by an aesthetician, this kit, which also comes in a stylish grey travel case, is one of the more expensive kits on the list, but it works with the efficiency you would expect from a product of this price. This is an FDA-cleared microcurrent body device with four metal spheres to get down into the layers of the skin and really smooth out those lumps and bumps.

The guide book indicates clearly the seven areas that can be treated, each for no more than five minutes. Once the device is charged and gel primer is applied, choose an intensity between one and three to begin. Glide the device in an upward motion until you hear a beep and start again from the bottom. The device, which is well-designed as a handle, can also be held on stubborn areas for 2 to 3 beeps.

Just make sure you’ve shaved the area you want to target beforehand, as the device reacts with hairs and creates quite an uncomfortable tingling sensation. It automatically turns off after five minutes, so no need to use a timer, and can be used five days a week. After a month there were signs of slimming and smoothing, particularly on stubborn, fatty leg pockets.

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Smooth cellulite massager: £19.97, Amazon

Smooth has created a great machine for anyone who needs some help battling cellulite without the hefty price tag. This slimming device comes with a suction cup for an added boost to the lymphatic drainage process. Slotting easily into your palm, this device is simple to use everywhere from legs to face, back and abdomen. There are only two intensity settings, so for the legs and buttocks the high intensity is manageable but for more sensitive areas, you may want to use the lower setting.

The device needs to be plugged into a power socket, which makes using a little bit tricker if you wanted to move around. It works even better if you apply a cellulite cream or oil before gliding over each problematic area for 10 to 20 minutes every day. Unlike the hi-tech options on the list, this machine will need to be used for longer for optimum results. But the advantage is, as it just uses mechanised rollers, there is no immediate dangers of overusing this device.

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Wellbox S slimming & anti-ageing device: £779, CurrentBody

Wellbox, made by French skin experts, provides the most expensive slimming device on the list, but the price tag reflects its versatility. It uses the same technology as the LPG endermologie treatment performed in salons, a market in which Wellbox is a leader. This product uses vacuum suction and rollers to knead the skin, without requiring the use of a cream.

With five nozzles and 26 functions, you can do everything from face-sculpting to knee-slimming, but for cellulite, use nozzle 3 on function 1 with a high power-setting (we recommend the highest setting if your skin isn’t sensitive) and glide the roller up and down thighs and buttocks. It doesn’t hurt, even on the highest setting.

After using this device for three minutes on each body part, every couple of days over two months, there was a thigh size reduction of 2cm and a textural difference when we pinched the skin, as many of the lumps had disappeared.

Operating the machine takes a little getting used to, especially as you work out the most efficient way to use the roller, but once you’ve found a rhythm there will be no stopping you.

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Silk’n silhouette body contouring device: £199.95, Le Luna

A global leader in aesthetic devices for home use, Silk’n is the brand behind the silhouette, which is great for anyone who isn’t a fan of the vacuum and roller suction mechanism – this one operates using heat.

Its USP is using HT (home tightening) technology: a combination of bipolar radio-frequency energy, to firm the deeper layers down to 10mm, and LED light energy to rejuvenate the skin and infrared heat technology to improve the texture. Apply the slider gel before using the device and use for 20 minutes on each affected area. The warming sensation is actually really relaxing and there are three settings: low, medium and high.

Opt for the one that you can stand the most. Don’t worry, the device is fitted with a thermal sensor so if it measures over 41 degrees, it will stop emitting heat.

We used it every day and, although there was no significant reduction in thigh or buttock size, we definitely noticed a smoother appearance within two months. The only downfall is you will run out of slider gel quite quickly, so be prepared to buy another after three weeks of use.

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Sarah Chapman bodylift: £31.99, Look Fantastic

For anyone who prefers doing things manually, and is on a budget, bodylift, by skincare expert Sarah Chapman, is the one for you.

This massager differs from other rollers on the market thanks to its specially designed 12 rolling heads and 72 massage nodules, which energise the lymphatic drainage system, helping to stop fat swelling and causing cellulite. Unlike some rollers, which can tire out the biceps, this clever push-and-pull rolling device slots around calves, thighs, arms and buttocks with very little effort.

The massaging nodules boost circulation while working to even out fatty bumps.

For the best results, use every day for at least half an hour on each leg and buttock (easy enough to do while watching a TV drama) for a couple of months. You can use with a cellulite cream but it is not imperative as it functions well by itself.

However, with a cream, you do notice a quicker improvement in texture, feeling lighter and more defined.

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The verdict: Cellulite massagers

For a device that is easy and enjoyable to use and won’t totally break the bank, Assome! is our favourite. With three functions you can choose exactly what concern you want to work on, yhe lingering warming sensation becomes quite comforting and the skin does improve in tone and texture. However if you’re looking for something much more affordable, compact and actually quite enjoyable once you get into the swing of it, the Legology leg detox kit is the one. The potent oil smells fantastic and leaves no sticky residue while the cup has a satisfying massage feeling, and gives an instant lift to the legs before a night out, too.

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Cellulites are uneven fat depositions in the skin. Everyone is predisposed to have cellulites because it is a normal skin composition. Cellulites become a cosmetic problem when there are too many uneven skins in the body.

Good thing, there are many things that you can do to tone your muscles so you will have an even distribution of the fats in the body. It is common misnomer to do away with cellulites because you cannot! Fats are important components of the skin, without it you will not have a normal skin tone.

What you Need to Know about Cellulite?

The cellulites appear because of the unevenness of the fat layer in the body. Human skin is composed of the superficial layer which is the epidermis, underneath is the dermis, and the subcutaneous layer. Then below it are the muscles and the bone.

The subcutaneous layer of the skin is composed mainly of fat cells. There are instances wherein the fat droplets or globular fats may tend to go upwards reaching the dermis. Thus, it will cause an uneven and bumpy skin.

You may usually observe this in a woman’s thigh and buttocks. These areas are prone to bulging of fat deposits. The unevenness occurs because the entire skin is interconnected with the muscles and attached to the bones through the fibrous bands. If these bands are not held in proper place it may cause some space to allow fat globules to go up and may eventually reach the dermis.

When the fibrous bands are not held in place, it may cause some sagging of the skin. The fibrous bands works by keeping the skin layer in its proper place and it also acts by creating a compartment. If you have cellulite, it means that the fats are able to protrude from this compartment.

If the normal arrangement of the skin is altered, the only possible way for the fat cells is to go upwards, thus cellulites appear. This phenomenon is common even in thin women. Woman with regular body type also have cellulites in some parts of their body.

Actually, you cannot do away with fat because it is a normal component of the skin. Your skin will not look good if you do not have fats in the subcutaneous layer. The problem lies when there is an uneven distribution of fat in the skin – it becomes now a cosmetic concern.

Some women who have cellulites may also experience sagging of the skin. This is true if you have recently given birth or you had a drastic weight loss. Some middle age or older women may also experience skin sagging as they grow older.

There are many ways on how you can prevent the appearance of cellulites. You can do exercise activities; eat a healthy diet, and many others. You may also try other dermatologic treatment to keep your skin well-toned and firm.

One of the new and popular treatments to do away with cellulites is dermarolling or microneedling treatment. It is one of the popular treatments used nowadays because of its effectiveness, ease of use, affordability and lesser side-effects.

How Dermarolling Treatment Help?

Dermarolling therapy or microneedling therapy is very easy to perform. It is usually done in the medical clinic or you may also buy a do it yourself dermarollers for mild skin conditions. Since, cellulites are usually found in the dermis, there is a need to used longer microneedles which can be safely done in the dermatologist clinic.

The dermarolling treatment uses a dermaroller device which is a handheld device composed of microneedles. These needles are used to penetrate the skin to create microinjury. The injury can stimulate the collagen and elastin production which are responsible for the repair process and for the formation of newer skin cells.

The procedure works by thickening the skin as the dermaroller reaches the dermis. The principle behind it is that thickening the dermis will make it harder for the fat globules to protrude. Or it may also prevent the skin to have dimpling.

Take note that it may take several sessions before you can see the result. One dermarolling treatment is not enough to reduce or remove the cellulites. Usually it may take few sessions before you can actually see the result.

You see, your skin cell grows gradually. When you have a wound, it takes days or weeks for it to heal completely. This is almost the same principle with dermarolling therapy. But after several sessions, you can see a more permanent and long-lasting effect.

Dermarolling plus Retinoid Cream: A perfect combo?

If you want to see a more fast and effective result you may combine dermarolling treatment with topical retinoid cream. Although, the dermarolling treatment per se is a stand-alone therapy, it is already effective even without creams. But if you want to keep increase the collagen production, you may use Vitamin A serums with skin needling.

Vitamin A works by increasing collagen production so there will be less skin dimpling and for a thicker dermis. A lot of studies have shown that Vitamin A helps improves the appearance of cellulites.

Take note that Retinoin is the most potent form of Vitamin A. The potential side effect is that it can cause skin irritation because it is acidic. Some who have used it reported a burning sensation in the skin.

But this effect may not happen to everyone. It is a case to case basis depending on how your skin will react. To prevent this from happening, you need to test it first in a small area of your skin and see if there is any irritation and other skin reaction like redness.

So make sure that you do not over apply Retinoin in your skin. Preferably, use only the recommended formulations to avoid any adverse reactions. If you are planning to get pregnant, or you are pregnant or lactating, use of Retinoin is contraindicated.

Bottomline

Dermarolling therapy is a very good alternative option if you want to do away with uneven cellulites. You can use it together with Vitamin A serum for faster results!

Alignment Expert Lauren Roxburgh Explains How Foam Rolling Can Help Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite

Lauren Roxburgh Collin Stark

We often associate foam rolling with stretching and injury prevention, but using a roller as part of your exercise routine can actually provide a number of other benefits.

“You can use a foam roller for a lot of the workout moves we do in Pilates to mimic moves that we do on the Pilates reformer,” alignment expert Lauren Roxburgh tells PEOPLE. “I also realized that a lot of the moves I was doing with my personal training clients with my hands could be mimicked on the roller. You get a double value — you get a workout, but you also get a self-massage and rehabilitation.”

Foam rolling can also help minimize the appearance of cellulite, Roxburgh says.

“Another thing people love is the lymphatic drainage benefits,” says Roxburgh, who has worked with Gwyneth Paltrow and Molly Sims. “It can help reduce cellulite and inflammation, and flush toxins. It’s like doing an internal juice cleanse when you roll out.”

The key to these benefits is the strengthening effect of foam rolling on the fascia, the connective tissue that covers the entire body. When the fascia is weak, fat protrudes through it which causes the lumpy appearance of cellulite.

“By addressing the connective tissue and bringing in fresh oxygenated blood every time you get on the roller, you’re bringing in circulation, you’re smoothing out that density and wringing out the toxins,” says Roxburgh. “Once you’ve gotten rid of the density and the thickness, the muscles are more activated underneath, and once those muscles come back to the surface, you see more of that beautiful tone.”

In order to see the cellulite-busting effects of rolling, Roxburgh says “consistency is key.” She also suggests combining foam rolling with dry brushing.

“When you dry brush it helps tremendously because you get rid of dry skin, but it also helps with the lymph system,” she explains. “I’ll dry brush and then I’ll roll out. If you keep doing that regularly you will totally see a difference.”

While foam rolling can reduce the appearance of cellulite, it won’t cure it completely, says Dr. Binh Ngo, Director of Cosmetic Dermatology at Keck Hospital of USC.

“Cellulite is one of those skin conditions that’s very, very difficult to treat,” Ngo tells PEOPLE. “There’s really no cure. Foam rolling can improve blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, but in terms of strengthening fibrous tissues, there’s no study that points to the efficacy of this. On the surface, it may look like it’s smoothing out, but it won’t be a fix or a cure.”

WATCH: Everything You Need to Know About Cellulite

To get the benefits of foam rolling, try Roxburgh’s foam roller moves at home:

Side Hip Roll

Benefit: Roxburgh says this move helps the body to expel fluid retention and flush toxins in the side of the hips. It also increases the flow of nutrient-rich blood to the hips and helps smooth out and regenerate the fascia in the hips where women tend to store more stress and congestion.

Image zoom Collin Stark

  1. Sit down, placing one hip on roller with your lower hand on the mat with the wrist directly under the shoulder.
  2. Bend your top leg and ground your foot down in front of the extended leg for support and leverage.
  3. Use your grounded hand and foot to slowly move the roller up and down the outer hip, staying on the 6-8 inch of area around the hip and upper outer thigh.

Spend 30 seconds to a minute on each hip rolling slow and with awareness.

Tush Roll

Benefit: This moves helps smoothing out, self-massage, hydrate and strengthen the connective tissue and also flush out toxins and even emotional energy that can get stuck in the tush and hips, Roxburgh says.

Image zoom Collin Stark

  1. Sit on the roller and reach your right arm behind you with your left palm placed on the mat for stability. Cross your right ankle over your left knee in a figure four position.
  2. Shift your weight slightly over to the right hip/glute area and roll back and fourth a few inches in each direction.
  3. Next, roll in circles to help increase circulation and blood flow and reduce congestion.

Spend about 30 seconds on each side.

Front of Hip Roll

Benefit: This move helps increase circulation and boast the lymphatic system to flush toxins. Plus, it helps bring in hydration to repair and regenerate the damaged, dense, thick, congested and toxic cells in the front of the hips and thighs where women tend to have more congestion, Roxburgh says.

Image zoom Collin Stark

  1. Lie down with your belly facing the mat, elbows placed directly under your shoulders, palms face down. Keeping your legs straight, place the roller just above the front of your knees.
  2. Engage your core to prop yourself up and protect your low back.
  3. Ground down through your forearms and bend your knees to lengthen the thigh muscles, thus breaking down the thickness and density around the thighs and increasing circulation.
  4. Using your arms and core, exhale as you roll the roller up the front of your thighs to your hipbones.
  5. Inhale as you roll the roller down to just above the front of your knees.

Spend 30 seconds to a minute on each hip rolling slow and with awareness.

Can you actually avoid liposuction, fat injections, crash diets, lotions n’ potions, extreme fitness regimens and get rid of cellulite in a more natural less drastic way?

Well you certainly can make vast improvements to the texture and tone of your skin. This can reduce the visible signs of cellulite and leave your skin in a much better, “healthier” condition. How is is done?

With a foam roller.

– Really, this can’t be possible, can it?

There is a layer of collagen infused connective tissue just below your skin known as the superficial fascia. This fibrous tissue is made up of multiple layers which surrounds your muscles, and blood vessels. It separates them so they can move independently, and if they clash it has a non-abrasive lubricated surface so no damage will occur.

Underneath the fascia membrane your body stores its subcutaneous fat (also known as subcutis) layers which insulate your body, kind of like your own central heating system. They also provide a layer of protection for your vital organs.

If your fascia is damaged or is in bad shape, pockets of fat can seep through from the subcutis and appear on the surface of your skin. These blobs of fat manifest as cellulite.

Genetics also play a pivotal role in cellulite production. Up to 90% of adolescent females are thought to be effected by cellulite. The figure is only 10% in men, who primarily get it above the hip region, with women its the reverse.

Some Scientists Question Whether Cellulite Actually Exists

In scientific terms cellulite is known under numerous technical terms: adiposis edematosa, dermopanniculosis deformans, gynoid lipodystrophy, and status protrusus cutis. You also probably know it as orange peel syndrome.

The undeniable fact is that fat is stored beneath your skin, and under your fibrous connective tissue, but scientists are split over whether cellulite is a specific fat, or just subcutaneous fat.

Cellulite was not originally even a medical term. It first surfaced in an article in Vogue in April 1968, before becoming a catchphrase, and before making it’s way into medical text books several years later, in the form “cellulite” as we know it today.

The word was logged in 1873 in a French medical dictionary but cellulite in 1873 had nothing to do with cottage cheese skin and more to do with skin infections and inflammation.

Treatments that tackle cellulite have been likened to fools gold akin to the charlatan Medicine Man plaguing the wild west with his fake pills, thrills, and topicals (and now in 2019- probiotics anyone?).

So How Does Foam Rolling Factor In The Fat Reducing Conundrum?

You can actually improve the condition of your fascia by using a foam roller. If you can restore the elasticity to this connective tissue and improve the flow of blood through your skin, your body will work faster to eliminate toxins. Toxins can be stored in fat cells.

A more supple fascia will also be harder to penetrate. Regular rolling exfoliates the connective tissue and improves it strength. Rolling areas of cellulite is similar to using a good scrub on your skin.

If you can keep blood moving to this area in a faster more effective manner toxins will flush out quicker and with regular exercise push the muscles closer to the skins surface. This will firm the skin which also reduces the appearance of cellulite.

The key to working against cellulite therefore with a roller is to work on the fascia tissue. The fascia surrounds every muscle and organ in your body. Regular foam rolling has the following benefits.

  • It can reduce the appearance of cellulite
  • Foam rolling can improve the texture and reduce the appearance of stretch marks
  • improves athletic performance in the gym and before sports activites by warming up the muscles
  • helps with recovery after workouts/running/sports/athletic activity
  • can reduce pain and inflammation
  • can improve flexibility and mobility when used in conjunction with stretching, gets muscles prepped for activity
  • warms up muscles and improves their range of motion- great if you are planning activities where the body will be stretched- mma-gymnastics-pilates-crossfit-running etc
  • can help reduce scar tissue left behind after injuries or surgery
  • can improve circulation which has too many health benefits to mention

How to Boost The Effectiveness of Foam Rolling

To improve the effectiveness of foam rolling cellulite, fat reduction is key. If you can lower your body fat cellulite will become less noticeable. As your body becomes more lean the content in your fat cells is reduced. As cellulite is a type of fat exercise and diet are key to it’s elimination.

Exercise is a great way to help you burn more calories than you eat. This is the key to reducing body fat. You don’t have to even join a gym because you can decimate calories doing any of the following:

  • fast walking
  • cycling
  • skating
  • swimming
  • dancing
  • skipping

Any aerobic activity that involves using the lower body can have the double effect of lowering your calorie surplus and tightening the lower body. Tightening the skin around the hips, thighs and buttocks will improve the texture of the skin and improve the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite. Getting a good nights sleep on a regular basis is also great for improving skin quality. If you have trouble sleeping try a futon mattress.

If you can amp up the speed during any of these activities it will make them more successful. Increasing the intensity of cardiovascular exercise (even fast walking falls into this category) causes the body to use more oxygen. As the body uses more oxygen it burns more fat. So there is some truth in the couch potato saying.

Running has been shown by a published government medical study to burn more fat than cycling. The closest thing to running is brisk walking. Brisk walking has been shown to be just if not more effective and safer then running.

Imagine what one hour of fast walking 3 times per week over the course of a year would do to your physique.

150 hours over a year of solid fat attacking. Not to mention how good you will feel as fresh oxygenated blood rushes through your body and increases your fitness and well being.

Even fast walking on a cheap treadmill if you are too busy to get outside. Even a manual treadmill if your budget is lower. Exercise and fat loss doesn’t need to be complicated.

Need Motivation To Cut Sugar From Your Diet?

Every day our senses and dopamine levels rise (and maybe our greed tendencies) as we are bombarded with hi-res images of calorie dense food and snacks, much of it with a high sugar content. At the same time we are also constantly reminded about the evils of sugar from the health world. Consuming more and more sugar is a vicious circle.

The more we eat the more we crave. The less “extra” sugar coated food we eat the less we crave. The application of the latter though is extremely tough. Here are some reasons to try and cut down on your sugar content.

Let them be the driving forces along with a bit of will power to fight back against sugar.

  • Sugars make up 17% of Adults daily consumption of calories and 14% of children in the United States
  • Why is this bad? High-sugar diets are linked with obesity, excessive fat storage and too many diseases to mention.

Why Diet Alone Is Not The Answer

A good diet, adequate hydration, cutting or eliminating smoking and alcohol, and cutting back on calories can reduce the amount of fat stored beneath the skin, which in turn can make cellulite less apparent. But there are more conditions at work that make this fight unfair.

In childhood a womans connective tissue is more supple and elastic. It can stretch and revert back to its shape without much fuss. This connective tissue starts to degenerate and firm during the aging process.

When hormones kick in after puberty fat cells start to accumulate in larger clumps, which penetrate weaknesses in the connective tissue and push towards the outer layer of skin.

Getting older is certainly a drag in more ways than one. Once the visible outer layer of skin starts to degenerate due to the aging process it starts to sag. Your skin is literally dragging towards the floor.

Womens connective tissue also runs vertically. This doubly enhances the effect of gravity – as the skin looks loose and fatty cellulite cells appear to look even worse.

And yes you probably guessed it – stress has also been shown to be a key proponent in the appearance of cellulite. It increases the bodies amount of catecholamines which have been linked to cellulite production.

Tightening The Skin Is A Win-Win Against Cellulite

The right exercise selection, and diet will triple the effect of foam rolling. Strengthening the areas of skin where cellulite is prone to- the thighs, hips, buttocks, belly, can also tighten the skin.

Women have thinner skin than men. This is one of the reasons women get cellulite below the waist, as opposed to above the waist as in the case of men. Cellulite attaches to loose portions of the skin. Toning and tightening this can help combat cellulite and potentially give it less of a chance to bed in.

Improving muscle mass will also reduce the appearance of cellulite. This can be achieved with a simple selection of exercises, done in or out of the gym. Add in some good quality protein in your diet and you will notice the results in 4 weeks or less.

Cellulite Is A Multifactorial “Condition” Which Commands A Multifaceted Approach

Several factors increase the formation of cellulite. There is no one size fits all, or exceptional single technique that will completely eliminate it. If so insanely rich celebrities would not have it. Go down the surgery route and it will return.

These are the current best ways to address it.

1. Reduce the size and number of fat cells

2. Live a healthy lifestyle – combined with diet and exercise this improves circulation which increases the bodies effectiveness at eliminating toxins and improving connective tissue

3. Foam rolling has been shown to improve blood flow to the applied area and massage connective tissue- restoration of this will improve collagen regeneration and improve the suppleness and elasticity of tissue, keeping fat cells from pushing through to the skin

4. Increase Muscle Mass – this will tone and improve the skin quality. Creating a denser muscle texture will reduce the appearance of sagging skin

Exercises To Tone & Tighten The Skin Where Cellulite Appears

Squats – body weight

bodyweight squat

or with a bar/dumbbells/household item

weighted squat

You can hold a medicine ball/household item in front of you or grab dumbbells by your sides. You can also place a bar behind your neck.

Lunges – weighted or bodyweight only

Squats and lunges will help firm up loose or lumpy skin on the quads, bum and hamstrings when combined with a fat reducing diet.

If all else fails, adopt a Kim Kardashian West approach and embrace the lumps!

(Last Updated On: April 11, 2019)

Cottage cheese is good for you – but not when it’s on your thighs! If you have it, you’re in good company. Cellulite is a reality 80 to 90% of women over the age of 20 – and, yes, even thin women who exercise can have it. Unfortunately, you can’t exercise away cellulite as it’s more of a problem with connective tissue than it is body fat. What we need are simple solutions to help fight the lumps and dimples that people with cellulite deal with. You may have heard that foam rolling can improve the appearance of cellulite – is there any truth to this idea?

Cellulite is No Fun!

You might wonder why those dimples and lumps of cellulite appear in the first place. What exactly is it? First, consider your anatomy. Underneath the surface of your skin, you have a layer of fat. Underneath the fat lies muscle tissue. But, tethering the fat to the muscle is thick, cords made of connective tissue. The cords compress the fat. In some cases, this creates an uneven surface that makes the skin above appear dimpled. That’s what you see with cellulite, the uneven surface created by the cords compressing fat.

You might ask why women are more prone to cellulite than men. As unfair as it sounds, only about 10% of men develop cellulite – but why? The thick, connective tissue bands that hold the fat in place are constructed differently in men. In men, the fibrous bands are cross-linked while in women the fibrous bands are arranged more like a picket fence. The picket fence arrangement is weaker than a cross-linked arrangement so the fat can push through more easily.

Cellulite also becomes more visible with aging. That’s partially because the connective tissue bands that hold in fat weaken with age so that the fat can poke out easier. One reason the connective tissue bands weaken is due related to the drop in estrogen after menopause. Estrogen helps preserve collagen tissue, including collagen that makes up the connective tissue bands. As you lose estrogen after menopause, the connective tissue bands weaken due to disruption of healthy collagen. Therefore, cellulite becomes more of a problem later in life, although women as young as their teens can have it as well. As with most things, genetics are a factor too. Weight gain plays a role too. If you put on body fat, there’s more fat underneath the fibrous cords to poke through the gaps and look dimply. Plus, having a lot of body fat can further push up on the cords and weaken them.

Foam Rolling and Cellulite

It would be nice to have a simple way to improve the appearance of cellulite and one such treatment you sometimes hear about it foam rolling, a procedure also called self-myofascial release. You’ve probably seen or used a foam roller yourself. It’s popular as a way to loosen tight muscles but is also gaining popularity as a quick fix for cellulite – but does it work?

Unfortunately, foam rolling won’t repair the underlying problem – the way the connective tissue bands are constructed. It can’t rearrange those or make them stronger. However, foam rolling increases blood flow to the surface of the skin. This causes slight swelling that can temporarily make cellulite look less obvious – but it’s not a cure. In fact, there really isn’t a “cure” for cellulite, although there are modalities that manipulate the skin and underlying fat by vacuuming or rolling it. This increases circulation and creates mild swelling that makes cellulite look better but it’s not a permanent fix. Some spas, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons offer these non-invasive procedures.

Are there other options? If you’re willing to spend more money and go through a little more discomfort, there are other treatments that help the problem long term. One procedure called Cellfina uses tiny needles to release the connective tissue bands that are pulling down on the fat and causing the dimpling. It’s not a cure since you ultimately form more of these bands but you will likely note an improvement that lasts several months up to two years.

Another procedure called vacuum-assisted tissue release cuts the connective tissue bands using a special, vacuum device. This, too, has a good track record of success and the improvement in cellulite can last several years. A more invasive procedure called Cellulaze uses a laser to break up the fibrous bands and improve the appearance of cellulite.

One procedure that doesn’t have a good track record is endermologie, a treatment offered by some spas. This procedure deeply massages the skin and underlying fat while pulling on the skin using a vacuum device. You’ll need more than one treatment and improvements are subtle. You may see some temporary smoothing of the skin but it’s not a permanent fix and some people experience little or no improvement.

What about Topical Treatments To Improve The Appearance Of Cellulite?

You’ve probably seen cellulite creams advertised. Most of these creams, lotions, and potions have no benefit. It’s possible you might notice a slight, temporary improvement due to pressure of massaging the cream in. If it creates slight swelling, the cellulite might temporarily look better, but long-term benefits? Not likely. One type of topical that might offer benefits, according to dermatologists, are creams containing retinol, a vitamin A derivative. Retinoids are a higher-powered version of retinol and is available in prescription skin products used to treat acne and skin aging. They ramp up collagen production. By stimulating collagen production, retinoids may thicken the dermal layer of the skin and improve the appearance of cellulite, although this hasn’t been well researched. It’s also questionable whether retinol, a less high-powered version of retinoids, has enough impact to make a difference.

The Bottom Line

There really isn’t a cure for cellulite, although dermatologists and plastic surgeons can do procedures that may temporarily improve the appearance of cellulite. Lifting weights won’t cure it either, but building up muscle can make cellulite less obvious. Don’t fret too much about cellulite. It’s common! Control your weight by eating a healthy, whole food diet and stay physically active, including strength training. People will be so busy noticing how in shape you are that they won’t see the cellulite.

Related Articles By Cathe:

What is Fascia and How Does It Impact Your Fitness Training?

Is Cellulite Caused by Fat?

Why Does Cellulite Form on Thighs and Buttocks Rather Than Other Areas?

5 Myths About Cellulite You Shouldn’t Believe

Does Foam Rolling Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness?

Sept. 27, 2013— — intro: Got cellulite? You’re not alone: The cosmetic condition affects nearly 90% of women at some point during their lives, even women who are otherwise slender and fit.

As common as cellulite is, there’s also an awful lot of misinformation out there about what it is, what causes it, and how to get rid of it. So before placing blame, scheduling a cosmetic procedure, or spending a fortune on over-the-counter products, read up on the real story behind cellulite.

How to Get Rid of Annoying Body Problems

quicklist: 1 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Cellulite is caused by toxins in your body: Myth url: text: Some over-the-counter cellulite products may claim to help remove impurities and toxins from the body. But neither their efficacy nor their claims about what causes cellulite are supported by science. Rather, cellulite occurs when underlying fat deposits begin to push through layers of collagen fibers, or connective tissue, under the skin (often in the buttocks and thigh areas, but also on arms, stomachs, and other common trouble spots, as well).

Connective tissue can be weakened by hormones, lack of exercise and muscle tone, excess fat, and poor circulation, says New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Cheryl Karcher. But the condition is not caused by “toxins.”

Want to Detox? This Cleanse is Good For You

quicklist: 2 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Women get more cellulite than men: Fact url: text: Women tend to carry more fat around their hips and thighs. We also have less supportive connective tissue to keep it all in place.

“If you think of a scaffolding outside a building that has those X crosses on them, that is sort of what men’s fat chambers have,” says Dr. David McDaniel, director of the Institute for Anti-Aging and assistant professor of clinical dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School. It is estimated, however, that about 10% of men suffer from cellulite, as well.

18 Moves to Tone Your Butt, Thighs, and Legs

quicklist: 2 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Cellulite gets worse with age: Fact url: text: Hormones also seem to play a role in the appearance of cellulite: As women age, their bodies produce less estrogen—a hormone that helps keep blood vessels flowing smoothly. Less estrogen can mean poorer circulation, which can also mean a decrease in new collagen production and the breakdown of older connective tissue.

The Best Anti-Aging Secrets

quicklist: 3 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Cellulite may be in your genes: Fact url: text: It’s true that cellulite runs in families; if your mother and grandmother had cellulite, you have a better chance of also developing it. In fact, there’s even a genetic test on the market that can tell you whether you have a gene variant that puts you at higher risk for moderate to severe cellulite—but, considering that most women will develop cellulite in their lifetimes (and the fact that you’ll know it when you see it), it’s not exactly worth its hefty price tag.

If you’re not one of the lucky ones with smooth-skinned relatives, take heart: Genetics is only one small part of the cellulite puzzle; factors like diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight also play a role.

What Your Looks Say About Your Health

quicklist: 4 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Cellulite only happens to out-of-shape people: Myth url: text: Being overweight does make the appearance of cellulite more noticeable; the more fat you have underneath your skin, the more it’s likely to put stress on your connective tissue and bulge out of its weak spots. But cellulite also happens to women of all shapes and sizes, says Shira Ein-Dor, owner of the American Cellulite Reduction Center in New York City.

“I even treat Victoria’s Secret models,” she says. “They’re very lean, they work out and eat well, they do everything right but they still have cellulite.”

Lose 15 Pounds in 5 Weeks with This Workout

quicklist: 5 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Exercise can reduce the appearance of cellulite: Fact url: text: A regular exercise practice cannot cure cellulite—but in many cases it can help prevent or reduce its appearance. Cellulite occurs when connective fibers underneath the skin become weak or lose their elasticity, but stretching and strengthening those areas (in addition to burning away excess fat overall) can help.

“Firming and toning those muscles will in turn tighten the skin, giving the illusion that cellulite is less noticeable,” says McDaniel. Yoga routines that target the butt and thighs can help, as well as strength-training moves that build muscle and boost circulation.

How to Become an Exercise Addict

quicklist: 6 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Cardio is best for reducing all-over jiggle: Myth url: text: Running or other forms of cardio can help keep weight off, which may reduce the appearance of dimples and dents. But to really smooth out your skin, you’ve got to strength train.

One study by researchers at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, found that adults who did three 30-minute aerobic workouts each week for eight weeks lost four pounds, but gained no muscle—and only slightly improved body composition. When they paired 15 minutes of aerobic activity with 15 minutes of strength training three times a week, however, they lost 10 pounds of fat, added two pounds of muscle, and saw a greater overall improvement in body composition. In other words, they looked better and lost some of the wiggle!

The Best Strength Moves for Weight Loss

quicklist: 7 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Skin-firming creams can cure cellulite: Myth url: text: Despite what you might read on their labels, no topical creams—prescription or over-the-counter—have been shown to permanently reduce the appearance of cellulite. Studies have found, however, that products containing retinoids (labeled as retinol over-the-counter) may provide some temporary effects by creating a thicker skin cover that can help camouflage bumps.

There is limited evidence that creams or scrubs with stimulant ingredients, like caffeine, ginger, and green or black tea, may also help by improving circulation and breaking down fat-cell stores, but they are less proven.

“Mostly I think if these topical creams work—and I think most probably do little or nothing—they are more likely to help with slimming and body contouring, which is not the same as cellulite,” says McDaniel.

Sag-Proof Your Skin Naturally

quicklist: 8 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Skin fillers can even out dimply skin: Fact url: text: Injectable dermal fillers like Restylane and Radiesse, used primarily to plump up sagging cheekbones and remove facial wrinkles, have also shown to be beneficial—at least temporarily—for cellulite-plagued sections of skin.

“It’s like putting icing on a lumpy cake to make it look better,” says Karcher. “Especially if someone is really skinny and they have a few really deep divots, a filler can plump that up and even it out really well.”

However, the procedure can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars per leg, she adds, and the results tend to only last a few months.

Moves to Get Legs Like a Ballet Dancer

quicklist: 9 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Non-invasive procedures for cellulite really do work: Fact url: text: Laser, radio-frequency, and massage techniques have been used for several years to reduce the appearance of cellulite—and while their results are not permanent, they are effective in the short-term, says Karcher. “These are going to work better than some drug-store cream, and they can be worth it if you have the time and the money to spend on them.”

Some (like TriActiv and VelaSmooth laser treatments) require 10 to 15 sessions to significantly improve appearance, and require monthly maintenance appointments. Others (like the radio-frequency treatment Thermage CL) are more expensive but results seem to last six months to a year.

16 Ways to Lose Weight Fast

quicklist: 10 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Liposuction will make your legs (or arms, or tummy) look better: Myth url: text: If cellulite is your problem, liposuction should not be your solution, says McDaniel. In fact, the cosmetic procedure could even make fat distribution more uneven, making its outward appearance even worse.

Another vacuum-like (but non-surgical) procedure, however, known as Endermologie, has been shown to help: During Endermologie, a technician runs a suctioning device surrounded by rollers over a patient’s skin, pulling and squeezing trouble spots for about 30 minutes. Results are visible after about 10 visits (two per week), which can cost between $80 and $150 each.

6 Anti-Aging Doctors to Avoid

quicklist: 11 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Certain foods can help fight cellulite: Fact url: text: Your diet alone can’t determine whether you will or will not get cellulite, but eating a well-balanced, plant-heavy diet can reduce inflammation throughout your body and help you maintain a healthy weight, says McDaniel. Staying hydrated—both by drinking water and by eating plenty of foods with high water content—will also keep your connective tissue strong and supple, and may even help you lose weight. Aim to eat more cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, and bell peppers, which (along with many other fruits and veggies) are all more than 90 percent water.

Best Superfoods for Weight Loss

quicklist: 12 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Only a dermatologist should perform cellulite treatments: Myth url: text: A skin doc is a good place to start, and many dermatologists do perform treatments in their clinics. But cellulite is not a medical condition, says Ein-Dor, and a medical professional is not required to treat it.

“I am not a doctor, but because I focus only on cellulite, I can provide many more options in my center than most doctors can provide in their offices,” she says.

Medi-spas can also perform treatments such as Endermologie and non-invasive laser procedures—but Ein-Dor cautions that you make sure your technician is licensed and has received proper training on whatever device you choose. (If you want a surgical procedure like Cellulaze, however, you’ll need to see a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon.)

How to Fix Top Skin Problems

quicklist: 13 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: The clothing you wear can make an impact: Myth url: text: Yes, wearing compression-style leggings while you exercise can reduce thigh jiggle as you move—but it’s only a temporary effect, says Karcher, and you’re unlikely to see any change after you strip down post-workout.

“For any clothing that claims to actually have lasting results, it’s just a marketing gimmick and it’s not true,” she adds. In fact, for some tight clothes, the opposite may be true: Elastic bands on underwear, for example, can actually contribute to the appearance of cellulite if they cut off circulation and limit blood flow.

quicklist: 14 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Smoking can affect the appearance of cellulite: Fact url: text: Cigarette smoke has been shown to reduce blood vessel flow and to weaken and disrupt the formation of collagen, allowing for the connective tissue to become stretched and damaged more easily and for underlying fat to show through. Plus, smoking can make you look bad (literally) in lots of other ways, as well: It causes premature wrinkles and aging, leave skin dry and discolored and can contribute to stretch marks, to name a few.

15 Ways Smoking Ruins Your Looks

quicklist: 15 category: Myths and Facts About Cellulite title: Smoking can affect the appearance of cellulite: Fact url: text: This one’s not exactly true or false, but scientists do seem to be getting better and better at finding long-term solutions for treating trouble spots. The most recent and promising procedure is a surgery called Cellulaze, approved by the FDA in 2012, in which an optic laser melts fat, breaks up fibrous connective tissue and stimulates the growth of new collagen, all through a pinhole-sized incision in the skin.

“It’s great because it works on both those fibers that are pulling down your skin and on the fat globules that are popping through,” says Karcher. Recovery is quick, too: “You might be a little bit sore afterward, but you can have it done on a Friday and be back to work by Monday.” The treatment starts at about $3,500 per leg, but results seem to last at least a year or two.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

7 Best Exercises to Reduce Cellulite

The first time you see cellulite on your body is akin to seeing that first gray hair: it catches you off guard. It usually happens in the dressing room, where overhead fluorescent lights become capable of illuminating every last wrinkle and dimple on your body. And then you spot it…usually near your derrière: cellulite.

You don’t have to be overweight or a certain age to get cellulite; in fact, it’s something 93% of women have. While you may not be able to completely rid yourself of cellulite, there are things you can do to get rid of it. (Spoiler alert: strength training is the chepeatest cellulite treatment out there!)

So before you have a panic attack in the H&M dressing room, sit back, breathe deep, and get ready to learn the seven best exercises to reduce cellulite naturally plus a few facts about cellulite.

7 Best Exercises To Reduce Cellulite

These seven strength training exercises focus on the most cellulite-prone areas of your lower body, including the glutes and thighs. Try these exercises 2-3 times per week for best results. You will need a long resistance band for two of the exercises. Perform each move 8-12 times then move to the next one. Go through the sequence two times for best results.

1. Plié Squat

Plié squats tone your inner thighs and glute muscles to create a firmer, more lifted butt.

  1. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart and toes turned out. Bend knees, lowering torso and keeping your back straight and abs tight. Tuck your tailbone.
  2. Squeeze your glutes and come to standing position.

2. Pistol Squat

Pistol squats are an effective lower body exercise that strengthen your glutes, quads and core while training your body for better balance and ankle stability.

  1. Stand with feet hip-distance apart and extend one leg long in front of the body.
  2. Bring hands to hips or the front of your body for balance. Sit back into a squat with the weight in the heel of the foot, then slowly stand back up using your glute and hamstring muscles. Repeat for desired number of reps and switch sides.

3. Side Lunge

Side lunges strengthen the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings while targeting both the inner and outer thighs.

  1. Start standing with legs slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart and toes pointed forward.
  2. Shift your bodyweight to one leg, bending the knee until it reaches a 90-degree angle and the other leg is straight. Glutes are pressing back behind you. Return to center and switch sides.

4. Elevated Lunge

Elevated lunges are a version of the traditional lunge that focuses on strengthening your glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves.

  1. Begin by standing a few feet in front of a step and reach your left foot back so toes are on the bench and heels lifted.
  2. Bend the right knee, lowering your body toward the floor until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. If your right knee extends in front of your ankle when you lower, move your right foot farther forward.
  3. Squeeze the glute as you press yourself back to start, keeping the weight in your right leg. Continue moving down and up for desired number of reps and switch sides.

5. Resistance Band Alternating Glute Squeeze

Resistance band glute squeezes use the band to target the outer thighs and the glutes, helping to tone and shape your lower body.

  1. Hold handles next to hips with elbows bent and place both feet on the band, hip-width apart.
  2. Lift right foot and press the band back at an angle squeezing your glute. Keep leg straight. Release and switch sides.

6. Resistance Band Butt Blaster

The resistance band butt blaster uses the resistance of the band’s pressure to strengthen the glute muscles.

  1. Kneel on floor and wrap band under right foot, placing hands down under shoulders while holding handles against the floor.
  2. Lift right knee off the floor slightly and push right foot back to extend leg straight against the band, squeezing your glute.
  3. Release slowly, bringing knee back in to a bent position. Continue for desired reps and switch feet.

7. Single Leg Hamstring Bridge

Single leg hamstring bridges are a great exercise that strengthen the hamstrings, glutes, core and lower back.

  1. Lie on back with bent knees hip distance apart, and feet flat on mat stacked under the knees. Extend one leg long towards the ceiling.
  2. Squeeze glutes and lift hips off the mat into a bridge. Lower and lift the hips for desired number of reps, then repeat on other side.

Great job completing one round! Get a drink of water, go back to the top of the list and go through the entire set one more time.

Cellulite 101: Interesting Facts About Cellulite

Now that you have the moves to target cellulite at the source, check out a few fast facts about this very common type of fat:

What is Cellulite?

In short, cellulite is a type of fat. However, its unique, dimply appearance is because this particular type of subcutaneous fat is stuck between the muscle and the fibrous cords that connect the skin to the muscle. The more fat cells that accumulate, the more they push against the skin and cause those cords to pull down. This creates the “cottage cheese” appearance you love to hate. And the looser the muscle fibers are in any part of your body, the easier it is for the fat to push through like little pillows.

At What Age Do You Get Cellulite?

After puberty, pretty much anyone can get cellulite, regardless of their weight. Young girls can have it, but it actually becomes more visible in older women simply because their skin is thinner. In addition, women and men alike tend to gain fat and lose muscle with age, both of which contribute to having cellulite.

Where Does Cellulite Usually Show Up?

Cellulite can show up anywhere that fat accumulates, but it’s most commonly found on the butt and thighs. These areas carry the most fat, so they naturally have more of a chance of accumulating cellulite.

Is Cellulite Genetic?

Yes, cellulite tends to be passed on through families. (Thanks, Mom!) But as you saw in the beginning of this article, there are specific strength training exercises that can help reduce the appearance of cellulite on your lower body.

Do Skinny People Get Cellulite?

Yes! Having cellulite doesn’t mean you are overweight. Thin people have it. Even models have it. (They just have professional air-brushing and spray-tanning!) However, if you do happen to be overweight, losing weight can reduce cellulite.

Related: How To Get A Butt You Will Love

Can I Get Rid of Cellulite if I Lose Enough Weight?

You may reduce the appearance of cellulite if you’re currently overweight. Losing weight will shrink your fat cells and reduce your body fat. However, as we’ve pointed out, thin people get cellulite too. So shed any extra weight that may be exacerbating your cellulite, but then focus on practical solutions like the strength training exercises in this article that will firm you up head-to-toe.

Do Creams or Other Treatments Reduce Cellulite?

Probably not. According to the Mayo Clinic, cellulite treatments are mostly ineffective: “Cellulite treatments, including massages or cellulite creams, advertise remarkable results. But most of these treatments don’t live up to their claims.” In fact, most doctors agree that even the extreme surgeries like liposuction may not reduce your cellulite. Save your money and spend it on home gym equipment!

So… Is Getting Rid of Cellulite Impossible?

We love the phrase “progress, not perfection.” The truth is, getting completely cellulite-free skin may not be attainable. The models you see in the magazines have been spray-tanned and photo-shopped so many times, any hint of cellulite they possess is not going to show up on the glossy pages of your magazine. However, if you try the seven exercises listed above, you can tighten and tone your body and reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Strength training is the best way to reduce the appearance of cellulite, and it costs nothing. When you build nice, firm muscle underneath your skin, it will fill the space with solid structure and create a smoother surface. Basically the webbing of muscle fibers tighten up and they won’t allow the fat to push through. Plus, the more muscle means the more fat burn, and more fat burn means less fat to produce cellulite! Boom!

Want to download these exercises or print them out? Click below!

Can Foam Rolling Really Reduce Cellulite?

Photo:

Ah, cellulite. Pretty much everyone’s got it. “Approximately 80 to 90 percent of women will develop cellulite at some point after puberty,” says Sonia Batra, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and regular co-host on The Doctors. In other words, it’s extremely common and normal. And though most women have it, countless hours are spent trying to figure out how to get rid of it. While we’re all for *not* caring about having cellulite, we also get that many women want to try to eliminate it.

One of the most popular natural treatments out there these days? Foam rolling. Yes, self-myofascial release is more of a recovery technique than an aesthetic solution, but it does keep your fascia healthy, which in theory could help reduce cellulite. But does it actually work? Turns out, experts say foam rolling can have an effect on cellulite, but probably not in the way you think. (Related: I Tried All the Non-Surgical Cellulite Treatments I Could Find and Here’s What Worked)

First, it’s important to understand what cellulite is and what causes it. “Cellulite is caused structurally by fibrous tethers that course through fat and create dimples, fluid and toxin accumulation, and the breakdown of collagen and elastin,” says Dr. Batra. In the simplest terms, cellulite is a product of the way your fat is structured (thank your female genes for that one), fluid, and aging. #wompwomp. Those fibrous tethers that cause the puckered appearance of cellulite are attached to your fascia-the “secret organ” that Gwyneth Paltrow is always going on about-so it makes sense that people would look to foam rolling, a practice known to keep your fascia in good shape, to help solve it.

But don’t expect immediate results. “Since our bodies are constantly changing, there’s some ongoing maintenance involved, meaning you can’t foam roll once and expect to never have cellulite again,” explains Tiffany Cruikshank, L.Ac., R.Y.T., a licensed acupuncturist and founder of Yoga Medicine. “In my experience, there’s a recovery phase that is different from person to person but generally speaking, needs to be anywhere from five to 20 minutes a day until the areas with cellulite have transitioned.” Once you’ve achieved the results you’re looking for, rolling a few times a week will be enough to maintain, she says. Cruikshank does acknowledge, though, that if you want to reduce the actual amount of cellulite you have rather than just reduce its appearance, the appropriate diet and exercise modifications must also be made to minimize body fat overall.

Here’s why that “maintenance” phase is so important. “Foam rolling may cause some swelling, which can give the illusion of a smoother appearance on the skin, but it does not actually change the fibrous bands that cause the pockets of fat to bulge,” explains Constance M. Chen, M.D., a plastic surgeon based in New York. So once the swelling goes down, your cellulite will reveal itself again, making the whole upkeep thing a necessity. Foam rolling can also promote lymphatic drainage and decrease fluid accumulation in areas where you have cellulite, which might make it appear smoother, Dr. Batra says, but again-this is temporary.

In terms of long-term results, there’s only one (and it’s a maybe): “Since the fibrous tethers that create the dimpled look of cellulite are attached to underlying fascia, if foam rolling strengthens the fascia, the skin may appear more firm,” Dr. Batra explains. There’s no guarantee that will happen, though, even if you foam roll every day.

And FWIW, not all experts agree on this topic. While many believe that it’s possible to reduce the look of cellulite through foam rolling, some say it might actually have the opposite effect. “Foam rolling causes excess force and tension on skin, which stretches it and creates more loose skin, which can subsequently cause deeper tethering,” says Douglas Steinbrech, M.D., a plastic surgeon based in NYC and L.A. “I don’t think that this would be helpful at all and actually may be making the situation worse.”

So what’s the bottom line? Instead of actually getting rid of cellulite, foam rolling has the potential to make it less noticeable-if you’re committed to it. If you already incorporate foam rolling into your routine, you might enjoy the benefits of a temporary reduction in appearance, but don’t expect these results to last beyond a few days.

For something more permanent, Dr. Chen says that non-surgical options are limited. “Cellulite is largely genetic, although age and body type can influence it as well. Thus, a woman who is genetically predisposed to cellulite may not be able to get rid of it completely.” That being said, minimizing body fat, exercising, and not smoking can all improve its appearance, she says. Another option? Take a cue from this woman who calls her cellulite “fancy fat” and think of it as a “natural, healthy, built-in decoration.”

Foam rolling and cellulite

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