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  • Writer's pictureLaurenWallace

How to Get Rid of Cellulite — 6 Natural Treatments

By Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CN

June 7, 2022

Original article and page source found here.

Cellulite removal treatments are growing in popularity as more and more people struggle to maintain a healthy weight and look for ways on how to get rid of cellulite.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), in 2019 over 2.6 million cosmetic surgery procedures were carried out in the U.S. alone — including over 265,000 liposuction procedures, many of which were performed to remove cellulite.

Although they might sound like the perfect quick fixes, liposuction and laser cellulite treatments are not simple means of going from a size 16 to size 6 overnight. The ASPS itself even states, “Liposuction is not an effective treatment for cellulite — the dimpled skin that typically appears on the thighs, hips, and buttocks — or loose saggy skin.”

How can you get rid of cellulite? Nothing can substitute for eating an anti-inflammatory diet and getting enough exercise. Just as with other signs of aging, if you want to reduce cellulite, first and foremost focus on maintaining a healthy weight throughout your adult life.

Then, certain topical treatments may help dimply skin become less noticeable and improve skin’s overall appearance.

What Is Cellulite?

Cellulite is the appearance of lumpy or dimpled “cottage cheese skin,” which predominantly develops on the legs (especially the thighs), butt, stomach and the back of the arms. Some also refer to it as “orange peel skin” because it looks like the tiny bumps that form on the outside of citrus fruits.

Basically, cellulite forms when globules of fat develop under the skin and push up against the connective tissue, forming an uneven, “mottled” look to the skin.

There are three types cellulite with different severities, ranging from mild to severe.

Some of the factors that contribute to this condition are a lack of exercise (a sedentary lifestyle), hormone changes and — you guessed it — a poor-quality diet.

It’s possible to develop cellulite at any age, but it tends to get worse as someone gets older due to increased fatty deposits (and often a higher body weight).

This condition is more common in women than men, with about 90% of women having some measure of cellulite, particularly as they age and the skin loses its elasticity. However, even teenagers dealing with weight and hormonal changes can deal with this skin concern.

Cellulite is not serious or harmful, and therefore many choose to just simply leave it alone. Meanwhile, others become very bothered by unsightly cellulite, especially following life circumstances such as weight gain/loss or pregnancy — or in the summer when it’s common to reveal more skin.


What is the main cause of cellulite? Several primary factors contribute to the development of cellulite, including:

  • Weak collagen structure of the skin, which leads to skin thinning and loss of elasticity

  • Genetic factors

  • Poor diet

  • Fluid retention

  • Dehydration

  • Lack of circulation (blood flow)

  • Being overweight

  • Hormonal changes, including in estrogen and cortisol

  • Lack of physical activity

Some other factors that can cause skin changes, such as cellulite, sagginess, wrinkles and formation of dark spots, include:

  • hormonal imbalances

  • high amounts of stress

  • existing medical conditions, like autoimmune disease or diabetes

  • allergies

  • smoking

  • too much sun exposure

  • other causes of toxicity

While the connection between dealing with stress and developing cellulite may seem far-fetched, science has shown that all of the factors above increase inflammation and contribute to signs of aging.

For example, according to a research study published in the Journal of European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, cellulite can be caused by increased levels of catecholamines due to high stress and raised cortisol levels.

Things like stress and a poor diet also cause your body to slow down production of collagen, which is crucial to keep skin looking young.

In fact, it’s now believed that collagen (a type of structural protein that forms skin’s layers) plays a big role in regulating cellulite. Dysfunction of collagen-rich fibers called fibrous septae seem to form cellulite dimples, so these are now the target of most professional cellulite treatments.

How to Get Rid of Cellulite

Can you get rid of cellulite once you have it? Unfortunately, it seems that the answer is not completely.

As one 2019 review explains, “Despite multiple therapeutic approaches that attempt to treat cellulite, no procedures have been proven successful long term.”

Considering all the lifestyle factors that affect the appearance and health of your skin, it’s understandable why intensive cellulite treatments — including noninvasive devices, such as massage or radio/acoustic frequency, laser and light-based treatments, liposuction, topical creams, injections, and carboxy therapy — are popular options.

Unfortunately, these are not long-term solutions for keeping skin looking healthy.

In order for some of these cellulite treatments to work — such as submission, vibrational therapy, wave therapy or lasers — ongoing treatments might be needed for many months on end or else results can diminish within six months to one year.

How should you tackle cellulite then? As one study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science puts it, “Reducing adipogenesis (fat storage) and increasing thermogenesis (burning fat through body heat) appear to be primary routes, while also improving the microcirculation and collagen synthesis.”

Here are the top six all-natural ways to help reduce the appearance of cellulite:

1. Eat a Healthy Diet

Can cellulite on your legs go away? Losing weight and then maintaining a healthy body fat percentage may help reduce the appearance of cellulite on your legs or elsewhere.

Some of the top foods for decreasing or preventing cellulite are:

  • Flaxseeds — Flax is great for skin health and general health as it modulates estrogen levels and may also increase collagen production. You can sprinkle flaxseed on your breakfast, in your smoothies or simply eat the seeds by themselves.

  • Hydrating foods — Because dehydration can lead to bloating and dry skin, try to eat more naturally hydrating foods. These include fresh veggies and fruit, especially melon, berries, cucumber, celery, citrus fruits and fresh herbs. Making Cellulite Slim Down Juice at home is a great way to consume a bunch of these at once.

  • High-fiber foods — These include vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries. Fiber helps cleanse the colon, curb hunger, support your metabolism and balance hormones. High-fiber foods containing lots of antioxidants, such as leafy greens or berries, are also beneficial because of their ability to decrease free radical damage (which ages skin).

  • Clean protein sources — High-quality protein foods, like grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, pastured eggs, wild-caught fish and organic protein powder, can support a healthy metabolism and aid in cellulite reduction. Ideally, aim to consume at least three to four ounces with every meal.

  • Potassium-rich foods — Flushing excess fluids and waste out of cells can help reduce cellulite. Green leafy vegetables, avocados, bananas, coconut water and cultured dairy are all high in potassium.

  • Healthy fats — Coconut and wild-caught fish contain fatty acids that promote healthy tissue. Consume one tablespoon daily of extra virgin coconut oil and one serving of wild-caught fish (or 1,000 milligrams of fish oil) daily for the best results.

  • Kelp — Kelp contains a compound called “fucoxanthin,” which is found in chlorophyll-bearing green plants and supports metabolic and skin health. Try sprinkling a small amount onto your savory meals.

  • Water — Wondering if drinking lots of water is really that important for reducing cellulite? Yes! Water keeps skin hydrated and helps flush out toxic compounds. Aim to drink eight to 10 glasses of fresh water daily. Well-hydrated skin looks more even, with less of a lumpy, dry or aged look.

Try to avoid or reduce these foods, which may cause or worsen cellulite:

  • Sugar and salt — If you think your diet has no effect on cellulite, think again! Here’s why: Sugar causes fluid retention, inflammation and storage of body fat — all of which can increase the appearance of cellulite. Read labels, and aim to reduce or remove added sugar. Limit your sodium intake as well, because salt is one of the main causes of water retention. Stick to a healing diet for best results, which is low in both sugar and salt.

  • Refined flour and refined grain products — These break down quickly into sugar and are high in calories.

  • Food allergens — Foods like gluten, A1 casein found in most dairy, shellfish and peanuts can cause allergies or inflammation in some. These have negative effects on skin health, like potentially decreasing circulation and interfering with normal nutrient absorption.

  • Trans and hydrogenated fats — These are generally unhealthy and found in processed foods.

2. Consume More Collagen

Connective tissue – including the layers of the skin – is composed of collagen. When the skin is strong, cellulite appearance is diminished.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and needed for skin’s elasticity, youthful texture and strength. One of the best ways to get more collagen is from consuming bone broth, which also has amino acids like glutamine.

Bone broth contains the amino acids called proline and glycine that make up collagen, along with important trace minerals and even antioxidant compounds. The collagen in bone broth can strengthen skin tissue and help reverse the underlying the causes of cellulite.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that patients taking 2.5 grams of bioactive collagen peptides (BCP) experienced “significant decrease in the degree of cellulite and a reduced skin waviness on thighs … regular ingestion of BCP over a period of 6 months led to a clear improvement of the skin appearance in women suffering from moderate cellulite.”

As expected, the results were most impressive in women who were overweight.

3. Take Anti-Cellulite Supplements

Certain supplements and nutrients can help keep your skin in tip-top shape:

  • Bromelain and proteolytic enzymes — These systemic enzymes have been use