We Asked the Derms: Can Lotions and Scrubs *Actually* Help with Cellulite?

coffee scrub cellulite

Did you know that women surveyed in a recent study believe that the top three causes of cellulite are either: weight gain, lack of exercise or an unhealthy diet?

The truth? None of those are correct. While eating a balanced diet and keeping up with workouts like running and jumping rope can help keep fat cells at bay, which in turn may reduce the appearance of dimply skin, “it will not get rid of it,” says Dr. Carolyn Jacob, M.D., founder and director of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology.

But what about these lotions and scrubs that people swear by—can those help?

We’ll start this answer with a little anatomy lesson. Cellulite is caused by three biological factors: your fibrous bands, skin laxity and your fat cells (we all have them). All of these live below the epidermis (the visible layer of your skin) and the dermis (the second layer). Lotions and scrubs can only affect the two outer layers. In other words: While there are loads of creams and scrubs promising to magically whisk away cellulite, their effects are superficial and temporary, at best. (Hear that, coffee scrub?)

“You really have to do something to cut, interrupt, or alter that fibrous band to improve cellulite,” says Melanie Palm, MD, Dermatologist Solana Beach, CA. However, even then, surgical procedures can be, well, surgery and most involve downtime. Thankfully, scientists continue to explore treatments that target the real cause of cellulite in minimally invasive ways. Curious to learn more? Stay in the loop by following @reallycellulite on Instagram.

angela pares

VP, Design + Branded Content

Angela Pares is the VP of Design + Branded Content at Gallery Media Group, where she oversees the ideation and execution of sponsored content campaigns across PureWow, ONE37pm and...