How to get rid of cellulite: is it actually possible?

get rid of cellulite

Although there's absolutely nothing wrong with it, most women want to know how to get rid of cellulite. And as much as we'd like to tell you that all it takes is the best cellulite creams, there's a little more to it than that.

We've been culturally conditioned to view dimples on our thighs and bum as something we should be ashamed of. But here's the thing: cellulite is completely natural so don't let it dent your confidence.

It’s estimated that about 90% of women will experience cellulite at some stage in their lives. As for how to get rid of it? That's not so easy.

But cellulite can be kept in check if we avoid cutting corners where diet, exercise and a solid body care routine is involved.

Ways To Reduce The Appearance of Cellulite

First Understand What Cellulite Is

Cellulite is fat that is sandwiched between your skin and muscles. It’s thought that this fat pushes on the tissue bands that connects your skin to your muscles, making the skin dimple.

‘Hormones play a part, in particular oestrogen, the primary female sex hormone, although we don’t yet know why,’ says aesthetic doctor, Dr Sophie Shotter.

One theory is that oestrogen can encourage your body to produce more fat. So an imbalance between oestrogen and testosterone levels often causes cellulite.

Taking the pill also increases your chances of getting it.

The reason more women get cellulite than men is the structure of our collagen.

‘In women the connective tissue bands are arranged vertically, allowing for fat to become compartmentalized in the pockets in between. In men they follow a criss cross pattern, which makes this less likely,’ says Shotter.

Your vulnerability to cellulite may be partly inherited, too. ‘This can come from genetic factors linked to speed of metabolism, distribution of fat under the skin and ethnicity,’ she adds.

Exercise To Improve Cellulite On Legs

While exercise can't get rid of cellulite entirely, firming the muscles underneath will help smooth the skin's appearance, says celebrity personal trainer, Dalton Wong.

‘Dead lifts, squats, lunges and step ups are great for increasing your lean muscle mass. These all use your leg muscles, which burns off cellulite. I also suggest using mini bands and gliders to help improve the results.’

how to get rid of cellulite

(Image credit: REX/Shutterstock)

What Foods Cause Cellulite?

Watch your sodium intake, as salt encourages your fat cells to swell.‘Excess amounts can lead to bloating and water retention,’ explains Wong.

‘Additionally, avoid foods that your body doesn’t digest well,’ says Wong.

'This prevents your body from getting the nutrients it needs to build lean muscle mass. Make sure you have adequate amounts of protein and that each meal includes a variety of colourful vegetables and/or fruits for fibre, vitamins and minerals.’

Wong also stresses the need to eat foods rich in essential fatty acids.

Those like avocados, and cold-water fish help reduce inflammation while complex carbohydrates including quinoa and lentils give you energy to train.

Above all, don’t forget to stay hydrated. Drinking water helps to flush out toxins.

Help Get Rid of Cellulite By Body Brushing 

Use a body brush at least three times a week and then rub a body cream that targets cellulite into your skin afterwards.

‘Dry brushing can help to boost circulation and collagen production,’ says Shotter. And the thicker and firmer skin is, the less dimples will show through.

It can also help to improve lymphatic drainage. Toxins, which can build up in your layers of fat, and excess fluid, are then eliminated in your waste.

ELEMIS Body Detox Skin Brush, Feelunique

how to get rid of cellulite body brush Elemis

This sturdy brush made from natural cactus bristles not only helps improve your circulation but it also exfoliates your skin. Start from your feet and work upwards using long strokes and medium pressure.

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Wear Sunscreen

Between the age of 28 and 54, skin firmness decreases by 27 per cent, mainly affecting the arms, stomach and bum. All areas where cellulite takes hold.

Seeing as UV rays accelerate this process, wear the best SPF moisturisers to avoid depleting your skin’s collagen reserves.

Vichy Idéal Soleil Solar Protective Water SPF30 Hydrating, Feelunique

how to get rid of cellulite, Vichy Idéal Soleil Solar Protective Water SPF30 Hydrating, £19, Feelunique

Not only does this offer broad spectrum protection but it's like spritzing yourself from top to toe with a cooling face mist. Containing 40 per cent mineral water and hyaluronic acid, it's lightweight, refreshing and hydrating.

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Massage In The Best Cellulite Creams

When you apply your cellulite cream, be sure to massage it in to increase circulation and reduce excessive amounts of fluid in areas that contain cellulite.

Another theory: by rubbing the skin, you cause it to temporarily swell so it looks smoother.

Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, Cult Beauty

how to get rid of cellulite, Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, £44, Cult Beauty

This tropical-smelling cream is powered by guarana, a native Amazonian plant that is one of the most potent forms of caffeine on the planet. Why is that important? Caffeine increases circulation to the affected area and helps the body shed fat cells.

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Stick to these lifestyle tweaks and you'll start to reap the benefits from your morning hustle.

So even if you can't get rid of cellulite, you'll sock it a seriously smooth punch.


Fiona Embleton

Fiona Embleton has been a beauty editor for over 10 years, writing and editing beauty copy and testing over 10,000 products. She has previously worked for magazines like Marie Claire, Stylist, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health. Beauty journalism allowed her to marry up her first class degree in English Literature and Language (she’s a stickler for grammar and a self-confessed ingredients geek) with a passion for make-up and skincare, photography and catwalk trends.