All Puckered Out: What Really Works (and Doesn't) to Get Rid of Cellulite
If you read cellulite treatment claims closely, you'll notice that reputable ones tend not to say that their cream, laser or massage therapy will get rid of cellulite. The ugly truth is that because cellulite is most likely a structural problem, it's going to return like the proverbial bad penny if the structure is unchanged. "You cannot cure it," Dr. Sadick says. "But you can help make it look significantly better."
That's the good news: There are ways to temporarily minimize your lumps and bumps. At least two of those techniques -- working out and dropping pounds -- have other health benefits as well.
Hit the weight room. Exercise is crucial. While there is -- shockingly -- no specific research on how working out affects cellulite, a toning routine can tighten up the whole package. "Women need to start lifting weights two to three times a week. I'm a big proponent of this," Dr. Farris says. "Resistance exercise acts like fillers for your skin. If your muscles are more defined, your skin will look smoother." Dr. Wanner agrees: "If you lose weight and replace it with muscle, you're going to have a fat layer that's not as thick, and your cellulite is going to improve."
Scale back. Getting to a healthy weight can help reduce cellulite. Yet just ditching pounds without firming up is not always the no-brainer cellulite-reduction move you would think it is. When you lose weight, "your skin may be more lax, pulling on the septae, and cellulite may become more visible," Dr. Wanner says. The younger you are and the better your skin elasticity is, the smoother the results. For the rest of us, strength training is the number-one way to keep things as taut as possible.
Make your skin stronger. Want to do even more to de-lumpify your derriere? Topical treatments that may build collagen in the skin, like Retin-A or creams with retinol or vitamin C, couldn't hurt and may help, Dr. Sadick says.
Don't get sucked into trying lipo. A lot of doctors still suggest it, but it doesn't work and can actually make skin look more dimpled by removing too much fat, Dr. Wanner says.
The bottom line is that the same things you would do to keep your body fit and healthy are your best weapons against cellulite. In the meantime, take it from me: Self-tanner, which can help camouflage the cottage cheese, is a lumpy butt's best friend.
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