Cellulite is a skin condition that affects us all, and no matter how you feel towards it, it’s completely normal and harmless.
Most commonly appearing on thighs, bums and the abdomen, it’s the result of fatty deposits accumulating under the skin which results in puckered marks and dimples on the surface.
Factors that can accelerate cellulite development include hormonal changes, lack of exercise and loss of elasticity.
When it comes to reducing the appearance of cellulite, treatments are not for the faint-hearted, with all requiring daily use, if not twice weekly as a minimum, in order to see results. Consistency is key and without it, none of these tools or products will make much of a difference.
In order to properly treat it, the area requires blood flow to get things moving and to shift those fatty deposits as much as can be, which is why massaging tools are most common, and all of the products we’ve tried incorporate this.
Keep in mind too that you won’t see drastic changes overnight, and some not for weeks or months, it’s a slow process, but we can vouch that we saw changes with each of the tools we put to the test.
We’ve put them through their paces and have tried a variety of devices, from manual massages to slick electrical skin-tightening equipment to smoothing body creams and oils. We’ve also considered the budget too, so depending on how much you want to invest, there’s something for everyone in our in-depth guide, starting from just £12.
An important note to add before you try one, it’s not advised to use a cellulite treatment if you’re pregnant, diabetic, have a heart condition, use blood thinners or have varicose veins or eczema.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Elemis body brushing cellulite duo
Elemis boasts a beautiful range of body oils and this cellutox active body oil is another winner. Scented with lemon, juniper and formulated with actives, it’s luxurious but not gloopy and doesn’t leave skin feeling greasy. Whether you use it with the body brush or not, as recommended by the brand, it’s a decadent way to keep skin moisturised and feeling baby soft.
The body brush is designed for use on dry skin, morning and evening which was left feeling invigorated every time. We used sweeping movements starting from the feet and legs up to our arms, paying close attention to areas prone to cellulite, such as thighs and hips. Then we applied the body oil and massaged it into the whole body. After just one use, skin immediately felt softer but with continued use over a few weeks, we saw a reduction in the appearance of mild cellulite marks, especially on the sides of our legs.
Buy now £38.00, Elemis.com
Clarins body fit anti-cellulite contouring lotion, 200ml
Few beauty brands do body creams as luxurious and well-loved as Clarins and this cream is great if you’re keen to keep things simple and forgo any electrical devices when attempting to reduce cellulite. Unlike any cream or oil we tried, this creates a cold, tingly sensation when applied to skin and massaged in, which isn’t painful or irritating, but rather refreshing.
It does have a slightly medicinal scent, but it’s not off-putting and with one use, our skin felt much smoother. Rich in quince leaf, which helps reduce fat storage according to Clarins, we first saw a few dimples on the sides of our thighs after three weeks of daily use. It won’t get rid of cellulite completely, but an excellent moisturiser for areas of your body prone to cellulite and would be a great one to add to your body care routine.
Buy now £40.00, Johnlewis.com
Sarah Chapman the bodylift sculpting body massager
This is the body version of the sculpting tool originally designed for the face and is a manual massager. Requiring no cables, charging or plug, simply take it out the box to get going. To use, you need to apply quite a lot of pressure from the handle to slowly ease the 72 nodules around your upper arms, thighs, buttocks and calves, which can help tone, sculpt and drain toxins from your body, much in the way that a facial massage leaves your cheekbones and jaw looking more defined.
It’s great for post-exercise as it massages sore muscles, but you do need to be quite firm with and getting used to the sensation takes some time. One way we found that made it much easier was applying moisturiser first to help it glide over the skin.
Buy now £32.00, Cultbeauty.co.uk
NuFace nubody kit
Firstly, you’ll need to plan ahead when wanting to use this for the first time, as it requires 16 hours of charging. While it’s pretty lengthy, it did help us get into a routine of using it consistently.
The lightweight handle makes it easier than other electrical tools. We guided it over the skin and harder to reach areas, using low-level microcurrent technology for a speedy five-minute treatment which we used every day for six weeks. It comes in a sleek white case, along with a gel primer and power adapter, and feels like you’re getting your money’s worth.
It targets sagging skin and we found it worked best on our lower abdomen and back of the legs, leaving skin looking more plump and smooth after three weeks of use. It made a pleasantly noticeable difference to stretch marks too.
Buy now £265.00, Currentbody.com
Weleda birch cellulite oil, 100ml
If you’re looking to try something more budget-friendly and less complicated or time-consuming as an electric device, this body oil is hard to beat. Infused with birch leaf extract, rosemary, wheat germ and jojoba oils, along with grapefruit and cypress fragrance, it’s lightweight and fuss-free to use. The pump dispenser also ensures you never end up with a puddle of oil in your palm dripping onto the carpet.
To get the most from it, we used it twice a day, massaging it in circular motions over our thighs and hips and after four weeks, skin felt more supple and looked visibly smoother. It also reduced the appearance of stretch marks on the top of our thighs too, so it’s well with trying if you’re looking for a great all-rounder.
Buy now £25.95, Hollandandbarrett.com
Beurer cellulite massager
This ergonomic device comes with a thick strap to slide your hand over and rests on your knuckle, which helps you guide it over skin for a massaging effect with the rollers. There’s two levels of intensity and needs to be plugged into the mains to be operated but it’s a seamless process.
The motor delivers quite a firm, kneading massage which encourages blood circulation and improves lymphatic build-up, and its purpose is to replicate a hand-given massage you’d receive in a spa or clinic. With daily use we saw an improvement of skin tone and firmness, just be warned it’s not the quietest of tools and can be quite loud.
Buy now £40.99, Amazon.co.uk
Sensica sensifirm cellulite reduction
This is the easiest electrical tool we used. While it’s quite a chunky device and you do need it to be plugged in at all times, it needs no charging time. The kit comes with the device and its cable plug, a base gel that’s designed to be applied onto the skin first and a drawstring cloth bag to keep it neatly stored together when you’re not using it.
On the device, there are four electrodes that vibrate and heat up when in contact with the skin. It lights up green when there’s full contact with your skin and it has three different levels of intensity as it vibrates and heats up. As recommended we moved the device in small circular motions, and it cleverly turns off itself if it’s not touching skin. It’s not for the lazy, requiring 15–20 minutes on each treatment area, i.e. the buttocks, thigh, waist, abdomen and arms.
We especially liked how clear and brief the instruction pamphlet was and made a complicated-looking device a fuss-free experience. It never got too hot or felt uncomfortable and we found it easy to stick on Netflix and use it with ease. While a little time-consuming, after five weeks we began to see improvement in the appearance of cellulite and skin felt baby smooth.
Buy now £209.00, Currentbody.com
Hayo’u jade body comb
Hayo’u is known for its facial massaging tools but has also branched out into body care too. This palm-size comb is smaller than we expected but is designed to be used on the scalp too, and is perfect for travel or bringing to the gym.
It takes inspiration from the gua sha tool, which originates from Chinese medicine to improve blood circulation and for lymphatic drainage. It’s the most relaxing product we tried and feels more like a pampering session than a treatment. Simply run it over the skin, applying pressure, in long sweeping motions, you can pinpoint it to areas such as your hips down to your ankles or use it all over in the shower to help it glide easier.
Buy now £38.00, Hayoumethod.com
Legology circu-lite squeeze therapy for legs
We can’t lie, when we first opened this up, it looked eerily like a giant, solid menstrual cup, but alas it is a manual massaging treatment. It creates a suction vacuum to improve uneven skin and loss of elasticity and is designed to be used by squeezing it over your skin and then releasing it. This motion promises to increase blood circulation and smooth out fatty, uneven areas, but it’s a bit of an odd sensation to get used to, so don’t dismiss it on the first try.
We used it with the brand’s cellulite body oil (£62.50, Legology.co.uk) but it also works with any body oil too. It took a bit of practice for us but found success when squeezing it as you place it onto skin, then dragging upwards to encourage lymphatic drainage before releasing it with a quiet pop sound.
Buy now £12.00, Net-a-porter.com
TriPollar pose body skin renewal device
This slick electrical tool is made for those keen to invest. The kit comes with the device, plug cable and gel. It uses radio frequency technology, typically only seen in salons, but is safe to use at home. It has four silver spheres which heat up fat cells and encourage the production of collagen which makes skin feel firmer.
There are three heat settings, so it’s best to start slow and build your way up until you’re comfortable, and you simply need to move it in small, slow, circular motions after applying the base gel first over the areas you’ll be using it on. If you stop moving for just a second, it becomes uncomfortably hot, so if you want to take a break, make sure it’s not in contact with the skin. Once the light turns red, move onto the next area.
This isn’t a tool for commitment-phobes, you’ll need to use this two to three times a week for eight–12 weeks to get the best results, but we saw the biggest difference on the back of our arms and thighs using this. It’s a very lightweight tool and easy to get to grips with so if you have the budget, it’s worth splashing out.
Buy now £325.00, Mytripollar.com
The verdict: Cellulite treatments and massagers
After using a variety of tools and treatments, we loved the Elemis body brushing cellulite duo for its relaxing feel and how easy it was to use and incorporate into our daily routine. It feels less like a to-do task and more something to look forward to after showering.
The oil leaves skin supple and with regular use with the body brush, we saw small but noticeable changes. It’s a duo we’ll be continuing to use, especially as we head into summer and want the skin to feel as smooth and soft as possible.
For more skin saviours, try working from the inside out with our round up of the best collagen supplements to rejuvenate your skin and nails