Sure, dimples are cute…unless they’re on your thighs. Cellulite’s unsightly lumps and bumps affect more than 90 percent of women, regardless of your shape or size. The cause? Thinning and weakened collagen fibers in connective tissue that allow fat cells to poke through the skin and create that dreaded orange peel look. Unfortunately, the amount of cellulite you have is largely dependent on genetics and hormones—two factors you have little control over.
The good news? There are some pretty effective (and affordable) ways to diminish dimpling. From cutting edge massage tools to a surprisingly speedy workout, we uncovered four cellulite fighters that promise real results.
The Cellulite Fighter: Cellu-Cup
Why It Works: European women swear by this silicone massage tool that uses the “skin pinch and roll” method—a technique used in traditional Chinese cupping treatments—to break up fat clusters that cause skin puckering on arms, legs, your butt and stomach. (Massage is one of the few things that has been proven to diminish the appearance of cellulite by stimulating lymphatic drainage.)
How to Get Results: Apply Cellu-Cup’s Slimming Oil, soapy water or lotion to your skin, then squeeze the cup to release the air inside it and place on the area you want to treat. When you let go, that portion of skin will be sucked into the Cellu-cup (it pinches a little!) Slide the cup up and down, massaging the area for about 8 minutes. Repeat on a regular basis to see results.
The Cellulite Fighter: Caffeine-Infused Scrubs
Why It works: “The caffeine in coffee beans helps your body break down fat and dehydrates fat cells, shrinking them to make them appear smaller,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Translation: Less visible cellulite. Even better, the java grounds in a product like nyakio Kenyan Coffee Scrub will exfoliate dead skin cells, making the skin look more supple, and minimizing the ripples.
How to Get Results: Twice a week, massage the scrub onto damp skin in a circular motion then rinse.
The Cellulite Fighter: Flaxseed
Why It Works: Think of flaxseed as the food equivalent of Spanx. Integrating the nutritional powerhouse into your diet has been shown to improve skin hydration and elasticity, while reducing inflammation and the damage caused by UV light, according to Dr. Zeichner. That improvement in skin quality and thickness helps hold fat in, decreasing the appearance of cellulite.
How to Get Results: Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds over salads, soups and yogurt daily to get the desired effect of tighter skin.
The Cellulite Fighter: Strength + Cardio HIIT Workouts
Why It Works: “High intensity interval training (short bursts of intense activity followed by less-intense recovery periods) burns more fat in less time, while strength training firms muscles underneath the cellulite and makes skin look smoother,” says Ariane Hundt, founder of the Brooklyn Bridge Bootcamp and a clinical nutritionist. Even better? Both HIIT and strength training have been shown to increase metabolism, so you’ll continue to burn calories and fat even after your workout is over.
How to Get Results: Twice a week, mix up your morning runs with Hundt’s quickie 15-minute cellulite-fighting HIIT routine:
Minutes 1-3: Run slowly for 3 minutes
Minute 3-4: Perform walking lunges for 1 minute (hand on your hips, chest open)
Minute 4-5: Run for 1-minute at a moderate pace
Minute 5-6: Step up with your right leg onto a bench 20 times. Repeat on left leg.
Minute 6-7: Run at moderate pace for 1 minute.
Minute 7-8: Hold a wall squat against a tree or wall for 1 minute. Knees above ankles in 90-degree angle.
Minutes 8-9: Run fast for 1 minute using your arms for power.
Minutes 9-11: Run fast 20 seconds and recover for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Minute 11-12: Run in place for 1 minute, pulling your knees up as high as possible and push to your max.
Minutes 12-15: Run at moderate pace for 3 minutes.