Wait, QQ: Do All Those Cellulite Creams Really Do Anything?

NGL, cellulite creams are probably one of the beauty products my friends ask me about most. And, like, I get it—the thought of smoothing out all of your dimples with a quick, simple lotion is pretty effing appealing to someone who isn’t super into their cellulite. But I gotta hit you with some hard truth: There’s no magic formula that’ll smooth and firm your cellulite overnight—at least not permanently. That doesn’t mean you don’t have options when it comes to treating cellulite at home; it just means you just need to go into the process with some realistic expectations (which, DW, is what I’m here for).

It’s worth repeating though: Cellulite is 100 percent normal and natural—and whether you choose to embrace it or try to get rid of it is totally up to you. According to Yunyoung Claire Chang, MD, a dermatologist in NYC, an estimated 90 percent of all women have cellulite, and it comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and severities. So if you fall into the camp of people looking to minimize it, keep reading for everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cellulite creams (including, yup, how to spot the formulas that actually work).

Is there a cellulite cream that really works?

Welp, that depends on what you’re trying to achieve with a cellulite cream—and it’s helpful to have an understanding of what cellulite even is before you treat it. “Cellulite—aka skin dimpling that forms when tiny fat pockets bulge out against your connective tissue—is due to hormones, genetics, and poor blood circulation,” says Marnie Nussbaum, MD, dermatologist in NYC, meaning it’s not even necessarily something you can control.

“Many of the creams on the market temporarily decrease bloating of the tissue and smooth the outer layer of the skin, but nothing topically has been shown to permanently reduce the appearance of these fat pockets since they’re caused by structural changes deep within the tissue,” she adds.

There are, however, formulas that can help minimize the appearance of cellulite using ingredients that help temporarily smooth, tighten, and firm your skin. “Look for creams containing caffeine, which causes the blood vessels to constrict and the fat cells to temporarily shrink,” says Dr. Nussbaum, adding that peptides and amino acids are also great ingredients for increasing elasticity and firming the skin. And since no one wants to read through those teeny-tiny ingredients lists, I did the hard work for you by rounding up the 17 best cellulite creams—all of which will help smooth and soften your skin fast, ahead.


Best Body Butter for Cellulite

BeautyBio The Sculptor Skin-Firming Body Cream

Not only does this cellulite body cream leave your skin soft (I’m talking, like, super velvety and smooth), but it also works to minimize the appearance of cellulite with caffeine and antioxidants. Smooth it over clean dry skin once a day and the formula will get to work ASAP.


Best Cellulite Body Whip

Coco & Eve Glow Figure Body Moisture Whip

Looking for a cellulite cream that’ll moisturize your dry, winter skin? This pick from Coco & Eve is formulated with coffee seed extract (to smooth cellulite) and coconut oil (to deeply hydrate), so don’t be afraid to really layer it on. Pro tip: Massage this bb into your skin right after you jump out of the shower for the ultimate hydration.


Best Lightweight Cellulite Cream

Nivea Skin Firming & Toning Body Gel-Cream

My favorite thing about this cellulite cream? Well, other than the fact that it’s legit $7 (!), it’s also incredibly lightweight. The gel-like texture doesn’t feel greasy or heavy on the skin and it dries down fast. TL;DR: This one is a great pick for warmer weather, and the formula’s cellulite-minimizing technology will leave your skin smoother in two-ish weeks.


Best Cellulite Cream Mask

Truly Anti Cellulite Body Mask

K, so this pick isn’t technically a cream—it’s a leave-on body mask that blasts your skin with retinol (to firm and smooth cellulite) and coconut and grapeseed oils (to moisturize). Use it in place of your regular body lotion a couple times a week and you’ll notice your skin feels way soft and glowy.


Best Thick Cellulite Cream

Eminence Organic Skin Care Stone Crop Contouring Body Cream

The best thing about this cellulite-minimizing cream is that it’s very rich. But unlike those thick, globby creams that leave your skin heavy and greasy, this one feels surprisingly lightweight when you massage it in. And with ingredients like hydrating shea butter and skin-plumping caffeine, it legit works too.


Best Cult-Favorite Cellulite Cream

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

There’s a reason this body cream has thousands of five-star reviews on Sephora—the formula is spiked with hydrating coconut oil, moisture-locking cupuaçu butter, and caffeine-rich guarana to help stimulate circulation. The result? Smooth, tight, and super-hydrated skin


Best Body Oil for Cellulite

Weleda Cellulite Body Oil

Anti-inflammatory plant extracts (think: birch leaves, rosemary, and ruscus) are combined with hydrating jojoba, grapefruit, and cypress oils in this lightweight body oil for cellulite. Massage it onto your skin for a super-relaxing (and skin-softening) experience


Best Cellulite Cream for Legs and Thighs

Clarins Body Fit Anti-Cellulite Contouring Expert

The best thing about this cellulite cream is the smooth, velvety finish it leaves on your skin—smooth it over your legs and thighs post-shower and the formula’s eight plant extracts (including cellulite-minimizing quince leaf) work to soothe and soften.


Best Cellulite Cream With Retinol

Paula’s Choice Retinol Skin-Smoothing Body Treatment

Yup, retinol is probably one of the best ingredients you can treat cellulite with. Think about it: Thanks to its ability to increase cell turnover, the vitamin A derivative helps promote firmer skin and a smoother, more even texture. This formula from Paula’s Choice is also stacked with antioxidants and emollients to keep your skin super soft.


Best Drugstore Cellulite Cream

Soap & Glory Sit Tight 4-D

The coolest thing about this drugstore cellulite cream is the applicator—pop open the lid and you’ll find a little massage roller that helps you evenly distribute the formula (which, BTW, combines super-moisturizing ingredients like sweet almond oil, glycerin, and olive oil).


Best Cooling Cellulite Cream

Dr. Brandt Skincare Cellusculpt Body Shaper & Cellulite Smoothing Cream

Packed with a super-impressive blend of caffeine and green coffee (and a massage applicator), this cellulite-stimulating cream helps hydrate and smooth your skin all day long. Massage it along your thighs, hips, arms, butt, stomach, and waist and let the cooling formula do its thing. 


Best Cellulite Cream on Amazon

Medix 5.5 Argan Oil Cream With 24kt Gold

Don’t be fooled by the lower price point—this cellulite cream is a force to be reckoned with. Formulated with hydrators like argan oil and aloe vera, as well as coffee bean extract for a quick caffeine boost, a couple pumps of this cream will help smooth, firm, and moisturize your skin


Best Cellulite Cream With Coconut Oil

Honeydew Coconut Cellulite Cream With Caffeine

Caffeine gives this body cream its anti-aging and cellulite-firming abilities—and when coupled with a powerful hydrator like coconut oil, it turns into a pretty impressive moisturizer. Prepare for your skin to feel way softer with this one.


Best Cellulite Cream Kit

Ahava Body Firming Duo Kit Cellulite Control

Look, your skin needs two things when you’re trying to minimize the appearance of cellulite—stimulation and hydration—which is why Ahava made this convenient little duo. It comes with a massage roller applicator to help distribute the gel-like formula and a firming body cream. Use ’em in tandem for the ultimate experience.


Best Expensive Cellulite Cream

Sisley Paris Cellulinov Intensive Anti-Cellulite Body Care

Yes, this cellulite cream is v expensive, and, yes, it’s actually worth the splurge. Powered with plant-based active ingredients and essential oils, this luxe formula from Sisley Paris helps tackle the appearance of cellulite every time you use it, leaving your skin soft as all hell.


Bliss Fabgirl Firm Body Cream

Working as an all over body-firming treatment, this cellulite cream is designed to tone, tighten and contour the skin. BTW, it’s supercharged with caffeine and botanicals that help improve the tone and texture of your skin


Best AM and PM Cellulite Cream

Dermadoctor Shrinking Beauty Body Beautiful Lotion

A firming treatment at heart, this formula features a blend of exotic botanicals (think: bayberry and artichoke extracts) that help smooth and tighten the skin. Load up on this one morning and night for the smoothest results possible.

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