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Here's proof that life, no matter how beautiful, can also be inherently unfair: it's possible to kill yourself with mega workouts and insane diets and still 'struggle' with cellulite. We put it in quotes because, well, there are far worse fates than a few dimples on your thighs, yea? But still — annoying AF. While we're working on self-acceptance as sort of a back-to-school practice, we must admit a smooth swath of skin below our hipster bikini bottoms is still something we strive for, and we're always on the hunt for hacks to tone it down. 

To deal with cellulite, you first need to understand what it is. Contrary to popular belief, it's not just fat — cellulite is actually caused by connective tissues that pull at the fascia, which lies under your skin, through layers of fat. This pulling effect is what causes the dimpling of cellulite. And yea, women have more visible dimpling than men (we told you life was unfair!) because of the structure of our connective tissues and differing hormone levels. "The skin and the underlying connective tissue is thinner in women compared to men. However, their fat layer under the skin is thicker, which means the fat cells can protrude out more in women, giving that dimpled appearance," says New York City dermatologist Dr. Sajel Shah. Truly altering the state of the tissue is difficult, but you can work at the surface level to prep the skin and tone the tissue to give the skin a smooth, taut appearance. The product market is packed with potions that promise to erase the condition completely, but we know better than to expect a miracle. These five treatments rise above the rest in making a difference. 

In Fiore Firmante 

Formulated with a high concentration of silica, which is a collagen-building mineral, this cocktail of botanicals encourages lymphatic flow and circulation. Regular use can leave skin firmer and more supple, with a smoother appearance. 

 

Cheeky Physique Contour Cups

This at-home cupping treatment, inspired by the age-old technique that Gwyneth Paltrow made famous, uses intense suction to draw blood flow to the surface of the skin and lifts the connective tissue to the surface, smoothing out dimples and cellulite. It hurts, but it works. 

 

LoRox Aligned Roller

A textured surface makes this dense foam roller ideal for softening the fascia and connective tissue of the outer hips and thighs, reducing the fat that can push through the connective tissue. To target this specific area, lie with your bottom leg extended and top leg crossed over with foot flat on the ground with the roller under bottom hip, perpendicular to the legs. Roll down toward the knee and back up toward the hip on both sides for full massage effect on the tight muscles that surround the hips and butt. 

 

Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Cellulite Body Brush

Dry-brushing gets rave reviews for a reason: it changes the way your skin looks and can seriously visibly reduce the appearance of cellulite bumps. Vigorous brushing exfoliates the skin surface and stimulates the lymph and circulatory systems, plumping up the skin below the surface and smoothing out (albeit temporarily) dimply pockets. 

 

Down With The Thickness

Will you have to lay down on your tummy while this mask dries? Yes. Is it worth it? We think so. Boosted with collagen, it smoothes and soothes the skin on the bum and thighs to smooth things over and leave skin feeling — and looking — taut and fresh.