How to Get Rid of Cellulite: 13 Treatments that Work. - Old School Labs
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Home » OSL Blog » How to Get Rid of Cellulite: 13 Treatments that Work.

How to Get Rid of Cellulite: 13 Treatments that Work.

August 2, 2019

Key Takeaways

  1. Many people are affected by the appearance of cellulite, women much more than men.
  2. While there is not a way to cure cellulite once you have it, there are ways to make your problem areas less noticeable.
  3. Medical procedures, spa treatments, creams, and home remedies are ways that women have tried to reduce the look of cellulite.
  4. Medical interventions last longer but are more costly and results may vary.

Cellulite…a lot of people have it, and most people don’t talk about it. As much as 90 percent of women have this condition, some more severe than others. And yes, even men can get cellulite, though it’s much less common. 

We’re sure that most bodybuilders in the Golden Era didn’t have this problem to deal with. If they did, it wasn’t mentioned and certainly wasn’t a priority. As long as it didn’t interfere with their competition poses.

Vince Gironda
Golden Era bodybuilders, like Vince Gironda, rarely suffered from cellulite problems.

For some with this condition, it can be unsightly and they will do almost anything to get rid of cellulite. There are many things you can do but is there really a tried a true way to get rid of cellulite?

Today, that’s what we’re going to take a look at. What cellulite is, what causes it, and the best choices to get rid of it – if it’s even possible.

What is Cellulite?

First, let’s see exactly what cellulite is. Cellulite appears on the outside of the skin and has a lumpy or dimpled look to it. There are other names for it, including:

  • Orange peel skin
  • Mattress phenomenon
  • Hail damage
  • Cottage cheese skin

Cellulite happens post-puberty, and there is not one specific cause for it. Some women see this happen very young, while others don’t see it until they are older. 

Skin cellulite
Healthy skin compared to a skin with cellulite which a lumpy & dimpled look.

Cellulite is created through a chain reaction. The fibrous connective tissue tightens and expands, over time breaking down and sagging. Once this happens, the fat layer underneath pushes on the tissue, giving it the appearance of cellulite. 

Cellulite is mostly found on the

  • Thighs
  • Buttocks
  • Stomach
  • Hips
  • Upper arms

It is also more noticeable as you gain weight. The larger fat cells push harder through the connective tissue, increasing the appearance of cellulite.

However, cellulite’s appearance can differ from one person to the next. This is largely due to the number of factors that can cause this condition. Each person will have different factors affecting them, so their cellulite may appear differently.


There are many factors that can be linked to the cause of why one person has more cellulite than others:

  • High estrogen levels
  • Metabolism speed
  • Ethnicity
  • Level of circulation throughout the body
  • The way body fat is distributed
  • Insufficient lymphatic drainage
  • Genetics
  • Age
Genetics play an important role in affecting the other causes of cellulite like metabolism.

As women age, they typically produce less estrogen. This leads to thinner, less forgiving skin, which can cause the appearance of cellulite to increase. A reduction in circulation can also increase the appearance of cellulite by

  • Producing less oxygen
  • Lowering collagen production
  • Enlarging fat cells
Thigh cellulite
As women age, cellulite increases & becomes more noticeable.

All these factors increase the chance of cellulite over time. This is why most women notice cellulite or it gets worse as they age. Sad, but true.

There are also dietary factors as well to consider. If you eat too much fat, carbs, or sodium, it could increase cellulite. Eating too little fiber, not drinking enough water, and not exercising enough to promote blood flow are also factors.

Smokers and people who stand or sit in the same position for hours or end are also more susceptible to cellulite. This can also happen if you wear elastic underwear that is too tight around the glutes which restrict blood flow.

The Cellulite Severity Scale

When it comes to cellulite, there is a severity scale that grades how bad it is for each individual. Here is how the grading is broken down:

  • Grade 0 – there is no visibility while standing or pinching the area. This is the most desired grade of cellulite and is the rarest.
  • Grade I – there is no visibility while standing, but there is light dimpling when pinching the area. It has the appearance of an orange skin or mattress covering.
  • Grade II – there is visibility while standing but not when laying down. Contraction of the thigh or buttocks, along with pinching, shows an appearance of cellulite.
  • Grade III – there is visibility while standing and laying down. Contraction shows visibility and the pinch test may be painful and shows visibility.
progressive cellulite
Cellulite has different levels, and the one on the left is the highest grade.

Can You Get Rid of Cellulite Once You Have It?

We know you want us to answer this question with a really loud YES! 

Unfortunately, we can’t.

Once you have cellulite, you can’t get rid of it. You can, however, do things that can reduce the appearance of cellulite. You can certainly reduce the amount of fat in your body, which can help. But once you have those fat cells and weakened connective tissue, it’s there for life.

So if someone tells you, “I know how you can get rid of cellulite in 2 weeks!”, don’t believe their hype. The same for someone saying “Here’s a home remedy – how you can get rid of cellulite on your thighs overnight!”. Sorry, that’s just not going to happen.

Now, there are lots of methods that can help, but so far, no cure. We’re going to take a look at the medical interventions, as well as some creams and natural remedies. We’ll tell you what’s wishful thinking and what might actually help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Medical Intervention

There are always researchers and doctors who are working to try to eliminate cellulite for good. We don’t blame them, honestly. Can you imagine how much money they’d stand to make if they can make that claim – and back it up?

Here’s what is currently out there in the medical world for cellulite.

1. Subcision

This technique involves being seen by a dermatologist. The doctor will use a hypodermic needle to cut the bands of tissue restricting the fat cells. If needed, the fat will be redistributed to reduce the appearance of cellulite and provide a smoother surface.

Subcision is a process where the dermaologist uses a hypodermic needle to cut the bands of tissue restricting the fat cells.

To determine if subcision would improve the dimpling, various women were treated and reevaluated. The women had grade II and III severity and saw a great deal of improvement in their cellulite. The results were still positive for 90 percent of the patients a year later.

This type of surgery is minimally invasive and can be done in the doctor’s office with a local anesthetic. 

2. Liposuction

This method is done by a surgeon under general anesthesia. They insert a narrow tube through slits in your skin and suck out the fat cells.

This may reduce your overall mass, but it might not do anything for your cellulite. In fact, if not done right, it could actually make your cellulite worse

Liposuction is a surgical process where fat cells are withdrawn by a narrow tube.

Some doctors use lasers to assist the surgery which might help with tightening the skin. This can help create a smoother appearance.

Use caution and do plenty of research if you are thinking about using this method. It can be expensive and you want a doctor who has been able to consistently provide positive results. 

3. Acoustic Wave Therapy

Using this method is best to get rid of cellulite on the abdomen, bum, and thighs. It can be done right in the dermatologist’s office and is virtually painless.

Ultrasound waves are used to initiate collagen production, increase blood flow, and firm up sagging connective tissue. The result is tighter and plumper skin that shows a smooth appearance. This process actually shows a lot of promise in studies.

cellulite reduction
Acrostic wave therapy is known to lead to more lasting results compared to other treatments.

Women who receive acoustic wave therapy have more lasting results than other methods. It can also reduce body circumference in some women.

The downside is that it takes multiple procedures to be done over a short period of time. It is done right in the doctor’s office and could be expensive. However, the results seen may be a reason to consider it a viable option.

4. Minimally Invasive Laser

minimally invasive laser
Minimally invasive laser is done through a small skin incision and heating the tissues by laser.

This method is very similar to subcision. The doctor creates and small incision where a laser probe is inserted. The tissue under the surface is heated by the laser. Doing this achieves a few things:

  • Promotes the body to produce more collagen
  • Releases bound up fibrous tissue
  • May improve skin elasticity
  • Thickens the outside skin layer to reduce the appearance of cellulite

Results are positive for this procedure as well. Most patients typically only need one procedure and it can last up to a year. This method shows the best success to get rid of cellulite on the thighs and butt.

In this study, 20 patients showed results still after the two-year mark. This was more likely in grade II than in women with grade III severity.

5. Vacuum-Assisted Precise Tissue Release

Vacuum assisted tissue release
Vacuum assisted tissue release is applied in clinics & results last for a year.

A device is used in this method to cut the tension between the bands of fibrous tissue. The tissue is then released and moves upward, filling in the appearance of cellulite.

The tissue release can be done in one office visit. While this is a relatively new procedure, women seem to be very happy with their results. In this study, 94 percent of women were still satisfied a year after their procedure.

Most of these medical methods show good to great results for women wanting to get rid of their cellulite. Let’s take a look at creams, treatments, and natural remedies to see if they fair any better.

6. FasciaBlaster

This product is a medical device approved by the FDA to be used to help with fascia release. There are several different tools to choose from, based on the location and type of problem you need help with.

The FasciaBlaster products have been endorsed by celebrities as well as some doctors. It can be used to help the look of cellulite and for other medical conditions.

A study done with 33 women monitored over 12 weeks showed

  • An increase in collagen production
  • A decrease in subcutaneous fat thickness and thigh circumference
  • The ability for connective tissue to remodel
  • An improvement in the appearance of cellulite for all the women

The study likens the after effects to having liposuction done on the thighs. 

As with most products, you’ll have to use the product to continue seeing results. If you stop using this product, then there is a chance that the cellulite could look worse once stopped.

Creams, Treatments, and Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Cellulite

1. Retinol

Cream treatment
Creams containing retinol reduce the visibility of cellulite.

A cream containing at least 0.3 percent retinol can have a positive effect on the appearance of cellulite.

The retinol helps to thicken the outer layer of skin, reducing the visibility of cellulite. It has also been known to increase collagen production and blood flow to the areas treated.

cream testing
It always helps to test the cream for sensitivity issues on a small skin area.

Before using anything topically, you should always check on a small area of skin first. This way you can find out if you have a negative reaction to something in the cream or lotion. 

Of course, this method only works on the area that is treated. And results will only last while you continue to use the product. Once you stop, the cellulite will reappear as it was before you used the retinol cream.

2. Caffeine

If you’re looking to get rid of cellulite on the upper arms, front, and back of legs, caffeine might be your answer.

Caffeine scrubs have proven to lead to the same results as retinol.

It won’t work if you just drink it every day, but putting it on your skin has some of the same effects of retinol:

  • Tightens surface skin
  • Increase elasticity
  • Improves moisture

This study showed marked improvement for women who used caffeine and xanthene cream topically. They also noted a reduction in body circumference in their upper arms and thighs.

Try It At Home

If you want to see if you can achieve results with coffee, you can try a scrub at home. Mix unused, caffeinated coffee grinds with hot water to make a paste. Rub the mixture onto your cellulite and massage into the surface of your skin. 

coffee scrub
Use coffee grind & water to form a paste & apply on the desired area.

Spend a few minutes massaging the area before you rinse off the coffee scrub. You should start to see results within a few minutes. Of course, they won’t last long before you’d have to repeat the scrub. 

You’d have to use it several times a week over the course of a few months to see any kind of lasting results. And those results would disappear once you stopped using the scrub.

3. Thai Herbal Compress

Thai herbal compress
Thai herbal compress can be applied at home for thigh cellulite.

This method can be used on the thighs as a home remedy to get rid of cellulite. Putting together the right blend of herbs and spices to make a compress shows promising results.

In this study, 21 women were divided up and given either a traditional compress or the Thai herbal compress. Of the women in the latter group, participants noticed a reduction in inflammation, firmer skin, and reduction in thigh circumference.

If you want to use this method, be sure that you review ingredients and compare. Not all compresses will work, results will be a short time and only in the area you used the compress.

4. Massage

Massaging cellulite areas increases blood flow & reduces cellulite.

Massaging the target area to get rid of cellulite could provide positive results for some people. The key is to use vigorous massaging methods. This will do a few things:

  • Increase blood flow
  • Remove excess fluid from the problem areas
  • Promote lymphatic drainage by flushing toxins from the area

This can reduce the appearance of cellulite over time. It wouldn’t work after just one massage session, and results would increase over time.

deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage can reduce the appearance of cellulite over time.

Endermologie® involves using a vacuum device during deep tissue massage to lift the outer layer of skin. The device used is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

However, you’d need several treatments before any results could be seen. And once you stopped, you’d start seeing cellulite again after about a month.

5. Self-Tanner

self tanner
Self tanning is an aesthetic solution where cellulite is less noticeable with darker skin.

This method can be used anywhere on the skin and is relatively inexpensive. Using self-tanner will darken the skin tone. With the darkened skin, cellulite is less noticeable.

To achieve the best results, you’ll want to exfoliate the area before applying. Make sure you follow the directions so that you don’t end up with streaks or uneven tone. 

That could actually call attention to your cellulite if you aren’t careful!

6. Bioactive Collagen Peptides

Bioactive Collagen peptides support the increase in collagen production & reduce cellulite.

We’re no strangers to taking supplements to help supply our bodies what it needs to stay healthy and active. So, it makes sense that a supplement might be able to help with cellulite.

Bioactive collagen peptides do more than just increase collagen production in women taking them. This study of 21 women took supplements over six months to get rid of cellulite on the thighs. 

Compared to the placebo group, women noticed increased skin density and a reduction in waviness. With this method, results would go away if the supplements were no longer taken. 

7. Weight Loss

We already mentioned this briefly, but one way to reduce the appearance of cellulite is to lose weight. Of course, this method really only works if you are overweight or obese. Someone who only has a few pounds to lose likely won’t see any visible difference in their cellulite.

Unfortunately, while cellulite involves fat cells, they aren’t the kind you use to burn calories. So while this method won’t actually change the cellulite, it can reduce it visually. This happens because the fat cells you can burn are smaller, so it doesn’t push as much on the connective tissue.

When it comes to the question of how to get rid of cellulite, this might be the least expensive and most beneficial way. Sure, you won’t completely get rid of it and it might not be the best method to get rid of cellulite. But the health benefits that come along with weight loss will increase your overall appearance.

You will also feel better about yourself, and it can help with your body image and perception of yourself. Accepting your body for what it is, is truly the best thing you can do for yourself.

How to Lose Weight

Not sure what’s the best way to lose weight and keep it off? Well, you’re definitely in the right place. We’ve reviewed and gone in depth on quite a few different ways of eating. And of course, we have lots of different exercise routines you can try.

Working out & adopting a healthy diet supports weight loss & cellulite reduction.

Here are just a few we suggest you take a look at and see what might work best for you:

There are also many more. Make sure you check out our blog section, which shows all our food and exercise articles. Find what might work for you and get started! Check out the comments section for tips and encouragement while you’re at it!

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, there is no perfect cure for getting rid of cellulite. The best approach could be to do more than one of the methods discussed today. Of course, knowing that almost every woman has at least some cellulite might make you reconsider.

While the appearance of cellulite can be hard to look at, trying to minimize it can be costly and time-consuming.

Have you tried any of these methods to reduce the look of cellulite? Is there one that you’ve had success with but isn’t listed here? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: None of the individuals and/or companies mentioned necessarily endorse Old School Labs or COSIDLA Inc. products or the contents of this article. Any programs provided for illustration purposes only. Always consult with your personal trainer, nutritionist and physician before changing or starting any new exercise, nutrition, or supplementation program.
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Old School Labs™ is the maker of premium supplements that carry on the fitness values of the “Golden Era” of bodybuilding. Old School Labs™ products do not hide behind proprietary blends, contain no artificial sweeteners or artificial flavors, and are manufactured using only high-quality ingredients.

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