Do anti-cellulite creams work?

They say death and taxes are the only things certain in life, but we’d like to add cellulite to that list, too. It’s estimated that upwards of 90% of women have it (as compared to only about 10% of men, more on why that is in a minute). While yes, fat is a factor, cellulite plagues women of all shapes and sizes—even the thinnest of supermodels aren’t immune.

Before we get to how to treat it, let’s talk about what causes it via a quick anatomy lesson. There are fibrous bands that run from the skin to your muscles; when they start to pull downward, the fat cells in between start to bulge up, creating a dimpled appearance. As the skin’s elasticity and collagen weakens, the fat can also start to protrude, adds Dr. Manish Shah, a board-certified plastic surgeon and anti-aging skin expert. Hence why cellulite often becomes more noticeable with age. Estrogen also plays a role (to our point about this being a largely female-centric issue), because the hormone creates fat. This is also why cellulite most often pops up in areas where we have more fat reserves, such as the hips, thighs, butt, and stomach

Is there a cellulite cream that really works?

Welp, that depends on what you’re trying to achieve with a cellulite cream. “Many of the creams on the market temporarily decrease bloating of the tissue and smooth the outer layer of the skin, but nothing topically has been shown to permanently reduce the appearance of these fat pockets since they’re caused by structural changes deep within the tissue,” says Dr. Nussbaum.

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There are, however, formulas that can help minimize the appearance of cellulite using ingredients that help temporarily smooth, tighten, and firm your skin. “Look for creams containing caffeine, which causes the blood vessels to constrict and the fat cells to temporarily shrink,” says Dr. Nussbaum, adding that peptides and amino acids are also great ingredients for increasing elasticity and firming the skin. And since no one wants to read through those teeny-tiny ingredients lists, I did the hard work for you by rounding up the 13 best cellulite creams—all of which will help smooth and soften your skin fast, ahead.

Cellulite is a cosmetic skin condition in which the skin on the thighs, hips, abdomen, or other parts of the body has a dimpled, lumpy appearance. It is caused by a buildup of fat underneath the skin and it’s often the result of hormones, pregnancy, genetics, weight gain, poor diet, and/or an unhealthy lifestyle. While cellulite can affect men, it is far more common in women as it affects 80% to 90% of them.

There are a number of creams on the market that aim to minimize the appearance of cellulite. Regardless of whether you are bothered by the cellulite on your thighs, hips, abdomen, buttocks, or another part of your body, our list of the best cellulite creams may help you out.

Most of these products contain ingredients such as caffeine, retinol, vitamin C, fistein, peptides, and l-carnitine that have all been proven to assist with cellulite reduction.

We have researched hundreds of shopper and expert reviews and tested the best cellulite creams on the market to come up with best of the best. It’s important to note that not every cream will work for everyone, and your results may vary. Your dermatologist might also have helpful recommendations on which cream to pick for your skin.

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Ayhan Fletcher

"Subtly charming zombie nerd. Infuriatingly humble thinker. Twitter enthusiast. Hardcore web junkie."

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