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Let's Chat About Cellulite

It’s time to have a frank conversation about cellulite, the dreaded lumps and bumps and dimples on the back of our thighs.  Why you have it and how to make it go away, or at least, be less noticeable.

There’s a misconception in our society that cellulite is something to be ashamed of having.  But the truth is, I’ve never met a woman over the age of 18 that didn’t have cellulite.  It’s an unavoidable scourge like grey hair or the cast of Real Housewives.  So if you have cellulite, whether you have a little or a lot, stop feeling bad about it.

There are many things that cause cellulite: fat deposits, a lack of muscle tone, an improper diet, poor hydration, sitting for too long, genetics, etc.  And no woman can avoid all of those triggers, but there are ways to minimize cellulite in preparation for the dare-to-bare summer months.

First off, skip the fancy lotions and potions.  Most of them don’t do a damn thing and they’re really expensive.  For my money, the best thing that you can buy to help rid yourself of cellulite is a dry brush.  

That’s right a brush.  The Bliss Fat Girl Brush ($22), to be exact.

To lessen the look of cellulite, you need to get fluid moving through the lymphatic system and blood circulating through the veins.  You need to clear out those toxins, and eliminate fluid retention.  Dry brushing helps get things moving again.

Before I get into the shower, I grab my dry brush and brush the soles of my feet, my heels and the tops of my feet.  Then, in an upward motion, I brush from my ankles to my knees.

Next, the thighs, from the knee to the tush.  Then, I like to brush the backs of my thighs once more holding the brush at a 45-degree angle.  This is just to get the fluid good and loosened up.  And then I brush in an upwards motion one last time.

I dry brush twice per week, and it makes it difference not only in my cellulite, but in the soreness I feel in my legs.  I would do it more, but I find it can be tough on the skin, even when it’s done gently.  And don’t forget to a) do it before you shower (it is a dry process, after all) and b) apply lotion afterward (your skin will need it).

If you still need more help, the only skincare product that I have ever found that made a difference in the tone and firmness of my legs is Shiseido Body Creator Gel ($58).  

First off, it smells amazing, like grapefruit and orange.  Second, it tingles like someone poured Listerine in your veins (make sure to wash your hands after applying).  And third, it really seems to improve circulation and smooth things out a bit over time.  

Like I said, most cellulite creams are little more than fancy lotions with high price tags.   But the Shiseido Body Creator does help, it just doesn’t classify as a miracle cure.

We all have cellulite.  We all hate cellulite.  So stop hiding your thighs away and do something about it.  Cut some fat from your diet, drink more water and buy a dry brush.  It helps.

P.S. If you want to find a cheaper brush, just make sure to choose one with natural fibers.  They’re much more forgiving than a synthetic would be on delicate skin.  This vegetable brush is only $8.



  1. helixy says:

    Thanks, as always, for the good info. In high school, I ran track and cross country; the side effect was awesome legs. Even in off seasons, I enjoyed good legs because I was just one of those people who was lucky in the build department.

    A few years later, here as an early twenty-something, I work long days in an office and so forth. My office is equipped with a gym which I usually visit 2-4 times a week. I am still slender (my metabolism hasn't quite caught up with me; but I know it will, someday) but my thighs have cellulite. I secretly fret about this (because I know my friends will laugh at me, “Yeah right, you're thin!” and my fiance wouldn't understand) but it is possible to be slender and have cellulite. So I tried a few lotions, nothing too expensive, to no avail.

    I use a synthetic brush to dry brush (although I didn't know there was actually a technique!) to dry-exfoliate once per week; I usually do it before shaving my legs. I never really thought much of it, but they do look and feel better after that. I am pretty excited about this advice and cannot wait to get a better brush and incorporate it as a slightly more frequent part of my self-care regimen. Woo! This made my day.

    May 8, 2012/Reply
  2. Sam says:

    Really appreciate this post. I've been working out like a mad-woman over the last few months in order to prep for a bikini-clad vacation. The work outs have helped me lose inches in my thighs (no complaints there), but the cellulite will not go away. My trainer yesterday recommended using a roller (many gyms have soft roller) and rubbing it all over the legs in order to loosen up fatty deposits. So far it has definitely helped the soreness I usually experience from leg-focused workouts. I''ll definitely be adding the dry brush routine. Can't hurt!

    May 8, 2012/Reply
  3. Belle says:

    Sam: I think the rollers penetrate too deep. The cellulite is really close to the surface, so maybe you'll have better luck with a brush. It really helps me.

    May 8, 2012/Reply
  4. Margaret says:

    Can the dry brush be used for stretch marks? If not, what do you recommend?

    May 8, 2012/Reply
  5. Belle says:

    Margaret: Sadly, I've never found anything to help with stretchmarks. I grew 10 inches in 9th grade, so I have bad ones. Some people have good luck with Strivectin and Trilastin. I haven't tried either just due to cost.

    May 8, 2012/Reply
  6. TMH says:

    Re: stretch marks. My dermatologist recommended Retin-A and I've noticed a difference. You can still see them but they aren't nearly as noticable as they were.

    May 8, 2012/Reply
  7. rose says:

    Bliss' fat girl slim cream also works great-and its not too pricey!

    May 8, 2012/Reply
  8. Ali says:

    for stretch marks and acne scars, RETIN-A is a god sent!

    May 8, 2012/Reply
  9. N says:

    Talking about cellulite, would you consider doing a post on how to prevent corns on feet?

    May 8, 2012/Reply
  10. KS says:

    Hi Belle, thanks for the interesting information. I'm curious, if a dry brush works, then why not just rub my legs? I'm willing to do whatever it takes – but I wonder why I can't do this with my hands!

    May 9, 2012/Reply
  11. Belle says:

    KS: From what I understand from the spa professional at Bliss who was the first to introduce me to this, when you rub, you work on the muscle. You want to focus only on the dermis and epidermis, the brush only stimulates the surface.

    May 9, 2012/Reply
  12. Christine says:

    I'm uncomfortable with this being called the “fat girl” brush. Thanks, Bliss?

    May 9, 2012/Reply
  13. helixy says:

    @Christine – Agreed! Whether or not you are, I'm not keen on buying a product like that with a rude name. You don't want to be insulted while trying to treat some things that many women are shy/embarrassed about. I don't care for their marketing.

    May 9, 2012/Reply
  14. Belle says:

    Christine: Their whole product line is called “FatGirlSlim” I think that might be the actual name of the brush and that this vendor might have it listed wrong.

    May 9, 2012/Reply
  15. e says:

    Ahem, 30 here and no cellulite. My main exercise (biking, running, skating) has always involved my legs, so maybe that helps?

    But if it makes you feel better, I do have flabby arms.

    May 9, 2012/Reply