How to Get Rid of Cellulite?

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This article is medically reviewed on August 12, 2021 by:

Picture of Sarah Cannon M.D., F.A.A.D.

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Do cellulite creams actually work?

How to really get rid of cellulite?

There are billions of products for reducing cellulite on the market. Have you tried any? The results are rarely as advertised… The skin may become softer, but the orange-peel- texture doesn’t simply disappear.

In most cases, anti-cellulite creams don’t work for either removing or preventing cellulite. These products promise results that are just scientifically impossible to achieve!

In this article, you will learn why! But what is more important, you will find out 5 methods that can help you to improve the appearance of cellulite.

The degree of efficiency of the methods mentioned in this article depends on the severity of the cellulite. In order to choose the best anti-cellulite therapy that might work for you, it’s important to visit a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who can provide tailored advice and support in your journey towards cellulite-free skin.

Let’s get started!

cellulite massage with cream

Do cellulite creams actually work?

According to the AAD, while most anti-cellulite creams have no effect on the visibility of cellulite, some cosmetic products containing retinol/retinoids and caffeine might help with improving “orange-peel skin.” [1]

However, the advertisement that these creams can remove cellulite is impossible. Let’s see why this “claim” is scientifically false.

The fat cells that press into the skin and cause cellulite are located in the deepest layer of the skin (hypodermis). [2] However, when you apply a product to your skin, a large percentage of ingredients penetrate the epidermis (the most superficial layer), but only few ingredient molecules go further and enter the dermal layer (where collagen is produced).

Think about it! It is challenging to treat aging skin with skincare products because the aging process affects both superficial and deeper layers of the skin. With that in mind, treating cellulite in the hypodermis is very challenging.

Find out more: Cellulite: Why it Appears What are the Causes

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How to really get rid of cellulite?

The advice from Dr. Cannon (Board-Certified Dermatologist):

Cellulite treatments continue to evolve with the creation of more targeted minimally-invasive procedures. However, there is yet to be a gold standard treatment for cellulite that is highly effective in all patients.

When deciding on a treatment, choose a physician who can guide you through the expected outcome of each procedure and be sure to have realistic expectations.

Topical treatment

Caffeine and retinoids may improve the appearance of cellulite (to a certain extent) however they don’t aim to impact the hypodermis.

Instead, retinoids can stimulate the production of collagen and elastin in the dermis and make the skin thicker. This simply reduces the visibility of cellulite.

Caffeine is used in cellulite creams as a “slimming ingredient.” When applied topically, it may prevent excessive accumulation of fat in the cells and dehydrate the [3] However, this result is temporary, and daily application of the product is required to maintain some effect.

Laser treatment

Cellulaze is an FDA approved laser that aims to target multiple causes of cellulite. It should be performed by a specialist, as a tiny laser fiber is inserted beneath the skin to heat the tissue.

According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, this treatment stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, reduces the thickness of fat cells below the skin, and targets fibrous septae creating the dimpling of cellulite. [4] As a result, Cellulase may make a difference in the appearance of your skin after several treatment sessions.

cellulite laser treatment

Radio-frequency treatment

Therapies utilizing radio-frequency heat the subcutaneous tissue layer (the hypodermis) and help to reduce the visibility of cellulite after several treatments.

Even though most FDA approved radio-frequency treatments are non-invasive, keep in mind that they can be quite uncomfortable. [5]

Vacuum-assisted treatment

Anti-cellulite treatments using vacuum-assisted technology are shown to contribute to long-term effects in reducing orange-peel skin. [6]

In this procedure, the tissue is suctioned and lifted toward the surface of the skin. A blade is inserted beneath the skin and used to cut the fibrous bands that cause the dimpling of cellulite. Using this vacuum-assisted precise tissue release, the appearance of cellulite can be improved for multiple years.

Injectable treatment

The newest cellulite treatment to hit the market is an injectable medication that utilizes collagenases (enzymes that break down collagen). It is proposed that this injectable releases fibrous bands, redistributes fat cells, and stimulates the growth of collagen.

Don’t miss out: 4 Skin Benefits of Dry Brushing [ You Didn’t Know About ]

cellulite removing therapy

Lifestyle changes

Exercise and healthy eating will help reduce fat and circulating fat storage hormones but in the end will not be able to spot treat cellulite.

In addition, according to the AAD, if you develop loose skin when you are losing weight, cellulite may become even more visible than before as the fibrous bands of cellulite are still intact. [7]

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