Cellulite: Everyone’s got it, most of us—except Chrissy Teigen—are yet to accept it. it’s why brands and aestheticians rake in billions each year on products that claim to help your “problem areas.” The promise behind these cellulite treatments is simple: Massage a cream into your thighs/stomach/arms each night after showering, and watch those pesky fat stores smooth out. That’s how life would play out in a beauty commercial, but the reality is considerably more disappointing.
In all my years working as a writer and editor in the fashion and beauty space, I’m yet to find a single magical fix that can banish cellulite overnight. Not that it’s stopped me from looking. I’m pretty now sure such a thing doesn’t exist—and if it does, I probably couldn’t afford it. However, there are a couple of at-home and professional solutions I’ve tried that—while they didn’t turn me into Gisele Budchen—did help smooth out the appearance of cellulite on my legs. To read about those and more cellulite treatments, read on!
Keep scrolling to see what cellulite treatments worked—and what really didn’t.
Cost: Under $15.
I’ve been using coffee scrubs—both home-made and store-bought versions—for about two years now. Over that time I have noticed some slight improvement in the appearance of cellulite at the top of my thighs. Obviously, this isn’t exactly a scientific appraisal of the product—my results could easily be caused by lifestyle or diet changes—but there’s some logic to back up my experience. By rubbing ground coffee beans in a circular motion over cellulite-dimpled body parts, you’re increasing the circulation both via the massage technique and from the caffeine in the beans. Coffee scrubs are the most natural way I’ve found to target cellulite, and also exfoliate and soften your skin in the process. It’s a little messy, but worth it.
Timeframe: Three weeks.
Dry brushing, before it become 2017’s buzz word du jour, first began as an Ayurvedic tradition. It basically involves using a dry brush to massage and exfoliate the body, beginning at the feet and progressing up towards the heart. Trying this felt weird—you can’t use any water, so I was essentially standing in the shower, nude, rubbing my body with wooden, bristled brush. Like I said; weird.
I can’t really say that I noticed a huge difference to cellulite after dry brushing—I tried it for about three weeks without any noticeable results and then grew bored of the habit. However, there are other benefits to the practice that make it worthwhile, including improving circulation, exfoliating the skin.
Cost: $300 per treatment.
Timeframe: Multiple 15-minute sessions.
Venus Freeze was by far the most effective treatment I tested, but also the most painful. Touted as a “revolutionary” way to not just banish cellulite, but also tighten the skin and drop inches from your body, Venus Freeze has to be administered by a professional aesthetician and will cost around $300 per session—and you may need up to eight sessions, although I tried just three.
During the treatment I was instructed to strip down to my underwear, and glycerin was applied to my thighs and hips (hello, problem zones). A device that looks a lot like an ultrasound steam then massaged over the gel for about 15 minutes, feeling like a relaxing hot stone massage for the first five and then progressively becoming more and more painful. This I was told, was the “multi-polar radio frequency and Pulsed Magnetic fields” at work, heating up my skin to stimulate collagen growth and reduce cellulite. Whatever though, this hurts.
I definitely noticed a small difference after the first session, and in three sessions over two weeks my thighs were visibly smoother; although my boyfriend and bestie both swear they couldn’t tell a difference. Months have passed since my treatment now and unfortunately the results have basically disappeared—but it was nice while it lasted.
Don’t believe everything you read on the internet folks. After researching online and discovering dozens of health blogs and forums obsessing over the benefits of topical honey applied to cellulite, I decided to try for myself. So I took a bottle of golden honey from the pantry and into the shower, squeezed a generous amount onto my thighs, and massaged it in a circular motion. Within seconds my legs, shower, hair, and basically entire bathroom became a sticky, gilded mess. The honey didn’t glide smoothly as I had imagined, but clumped together, pulling at the hairs on my legs. It took nearly an hour and a lot of hot water to clean myself, and my shower. Shockingly, my cellulite was not diminished by the messy exercise. Do not try this at home.