I Tried All the Non-Surgical Cellulite Treatments I Could Find and Here's What Worked
From massage mats to Brazilian Bum Bum cream, I put them all to the test.
I have cellulite. You probably do, too. How do I know? Most estimates of how many women have cellulite are somewhere around the 90 percent mark. In my late teens and early twenties, I remember feeling super frustrated that no matter how hard I tried, diet and exercise just didn't make the cellulite on the backs of my legs go away. Sound familiar? I didn't realize that having cellulite has pretty much nothing to do with your weight, and that endless amounts of cardio would not make it go away. What's more, I was too young to understand that having cellulite really isn't a big deal. (Here, get the full story on five cellulite myths you should get out of your head.)
As I've gotten older and more into health and fitness, I've stopped caring. That's probably because many of the strongest, most badass women I know have it too. When you see other women (who are throwing around a barbell like it's NBD) proudly sporting short shorts in the gym with their cellulite on full display, it makes it a lot easier to not care about it. The body positivity movement definitely hasn't hurt, either. And while I've pretty much gotten over my cellulite qualms, I've noticed that there are a TON of products out there right now that claim to help either get rid of it or reduce its appearance. Skeptical, I decided to give them a go in the name of journalism.
When this product arrived in the mail, my first thought was that it looked like a torture device. And it felt like one too. I'm no stranger to painful foam rolling, but the FasciaBlaster ($89; fasciablaster.com) is on a totally different level. This device has several purposes, according to its creator, Ashley Black. First, as you can probably tell from the name, it works on your fascia, the layer of connective tissue that's under the surface of pretty much every part of your body. Second, it can be used to release muscle tension and soothe soreness after tough workouts (something I was exicted about as a fitness lover).
According to the product literature, the FasciaBlaster helps improve the appearance of cellulite by breaking up fascial adhesions, or little clumps of fascia that are stuck to the underlying muscle that lie underneath the skin. You use it on your bare skin after applying a layer of oil, and after 60 to 90 days, you'll see results. The site features success stories, but sadly, the FasciaBlaster was literally too uncomfortable for me to use consistently, even though I wasn't applying all that much pressure. And frankly, I don't care enough about getting rid of my cellulite to go through the whole process of oiling up every single day and enduring unbearable pain for the recommended 15 minutes. It also left me with bruises, which I think look *much* worse than cellulite. To be fair, the company says you'll stop bruising after a couple months of use. Maybe you'll find it worth it (pain = beauty?), but I'm just not about that life.
The positive here? It does actually help with muscle soreness.
Brazilian Bum Bum Cream
I actually loved this product. ($45; soldejaneiro.com) On the ingredients list is caffeine, which some evidence shows can help with the look of cellulite. I personally didn't notice a difference, but it smells amazing and is super hydrating. I ended up using it on my whole body instead of just my so-called "problem areas."
I've actually been dry brushing about three times a week for a year. The practice is touted as a method that aids in lymphatic drainage, helps rid your body of toxins (*eye roll*), and reduces the look of cellulite. I use the Mio Body Brush ($20; mioskincare.com), and I do it primarily for exfoliation. The idea here with regard to cellulite is that vigorous brushing of the skin actually helps to break it up. I've seen no evidence of this in my personal experience. (For more info, here's the dirt on dry brushing.)
Sweet Cheeks Massage Mat
Unlike the FasciaBlaster, this product ($119; sweetcheeksproducts.com) is supposed to provide instant results. You sit on the silicone mat, which has pyramid-like nodules that press into your skin, for 30 minutes, and an hour later the look of your cellulite is supposed to be reduced. Based on my own experimentation, I'd say that it does temporarily reduce the look of cellulite, which is really all the product claims to do. Would I take the time to sit on this thing for 30 minutes every time I plan to be in a bathing suit? No. That seems like overkill. But I do think I will continue to use this occasionally during the work day, because it feels really good after a tough workout. Aside from sitting on it, you can use the mat panels on your upper back, which is first, a great way to encourage yourself to sit up straight while at your desk, and second, an awesome massage for spots that are hard to hit with a foam roller.
Frank Body Coffee Scrubs
While these super Insta-popular body scrubs ($17; us.frankbody.com) are not explicitly advertised as being cellulite-fighters, I discovered while reading online reviews that many women swear by them for getting rid of it. After a little more digging, I found that Reddit's SkincareAddiction community had countless threads about the stuff. While I can safely say that I'm now addicted to these yummy-smelling scrubs and my skin is softer than ever, I definitely didn't notice any changes to my cellulite after using them. (For a homemade option, try out this skin-smoothing lavender coconut body scrub.)
The Bottom Line
As I mentioned before, most women have cellulite, which is pretty much the best proof ever that it's not a big deal. If having it does bother you (no judgment here!) there are many options with varying levels of time commitment out there that can help you feel more confident. Plus, most of them have other pleasant side effects that in some cases, make the products totally worth using outside of any cellulite-related promises.