Cellulite, scientifically called adiposis edematosa, affects around 90% of women. It also occurs in some men, around 10%, but the way the connective tissue, fat deposits, and muscles are structured in men means they are much less likely to develop cellulite compared to women. Cellulite usually occurs in the thighs and buttocks, but can also occur in the stomach, arms, and breast areas too.
Cellulite occurs when the fibrous bands that connect the skin to the muscles start to shorten. Fat then pushes through causing that dimpled look in the skin. Cellulite severity ranges from mild where you can only see it if you sit down or pinch the skin to severe where you can see a lot of dimpling whether standing or sitting down (1).
The exact cause of cellulite is not known but the research points to hormonal changes, obesity, aging, a diet high in processed foods, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor circulation. Another big cause may be genetics. This is likely why some women get cellulite and others don’t. Teenagers and older women, thin women and overweight women, even fit women can all get cellulite.
While no one should feel embarrassed about having cellulite, it is normal after all, most people who have cellulite do feel bad about it. Making improvements in your lifestyle and diet, however, benefits everyone and can help to lessen the appearance of cellulite. You can also use essential oil for cellulite. Essential oils have benefits for your skin beyond cellulite and smell good too.
The Best Essential Oils for Cellulite
Cedarwood: Cedarwood essential oil helps to tighten the skin, helps with the mobilization of fat cells, and acts as a diuretic, all of which helps for cellulite. It also decreases irritation and inflammation and has antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Lime: Lime essential oil contains vitamin C which boosts the production of collagen in the body helping to firm the skin. It also has antimicrobial properties and is helpful for oily skin as it has astringent properties.
Lemon: Lemon essential oil has many of the same properties as lime essential oil. It also contains vitamin C, is antibacterial, has astringent properties, and can be used to treat wounds.
Grapefruit: Grapefruit essential oil, like the other citrus essential oils, contains vitamin C. It’s also helpful for stretch marks and can moisturize dry skin while clearing up excess oil from oily skin. It has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and can help to break down fat.
Mandarin: Mandarin essential oil contains vitamin C, is helpful for oily skin and helps to heal wounds.
Cypress: Cypress essential oil improves blood circulation which reduces the appearance of cellulite. It also lowers inflammation, helps to unblock pores, remove excess oil, and can help with conditions like excessive sweating and rosacea.
Lemongrass: Lemongrass essential oil tightens the skin and decreases the dimpling effect. It also helps to unblock clogged pores and tighten pores, has astringent properties, and is antifungal and antibacterial.
Fennel: Fennel essential oil helps to decrease the appearance of cellulite as well as wrinkles. It has antibacterial properties and can help for greasy skin too.
Juniper: Juniper essential oil tightens the skin and increases blood circulation. It can also help with eczema and psoriasis and assists in the healing of wounds. It’s great for oily skin and helps to unblock pores.
Lavender: Lavender essential oil helps for cellulite, has anti-inflammatory properties, reduces stress, treats wounds, is antimicrobial, and helps for oily skin.
Geranium: Geranium essential oil smooths the skin and reduces the appearance of cellulite by improving circulation. It helps to minimize wrinkles and helps combination skin. It has antimicrobial properties.
Rosemary: Rosemary essential oil benefits the health of your skin by improving its elasticity and improving the texture which helps to reduce cellulite. It’s antibacterial, can help conditions like eczema and dandruff and is great for both oily and combination skin.
Sage: Sage has many of the same benefits as rosemary but also helps to prevent the formation of cellulite as well as helping with fat mobilization.
Using Essential Oils to Get Rid of Cellulite
Use one or a combination of these remedies twice a day to see the best results. Be consistent and remember that it can take time. Most people see results within a month to two months.
1. Essential Oils and Carrier Oil
Essential oils are potent and using them without diluting them in a carrier oil can cause skin irritations.
Dilute your essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, or grapeseed oil in a ratio of 2-20 drops per ounce.
You can use one or multiple essential oils.
Massage it into the affected area in circular or sweeping motions towards your heart.
This is most effective after a shower.
Wait for 15 to 20 minutes before putting on your clothing to prevent the oil from soaking into your clothes.
2. Essential Oils in the Bath
You can put 10-50 drops of essential oil in your bathwater or you can add some of your carrier and essential oil blend. This is moisturizing for the skin, smells great, and very relaxing. You’ll also be able to reap the benefits this way. Just be careful, the bath will be slippery.
You may find dry brushing before bathing works best. Use a dry brush with natural bristles and brush it over your dry skin using the same motions as the massage method mentioned above. Do this for 5-10 minutes.
3. Dry Brushing with Essential Oils
Take a shower or bath and then dry your skin off.
Put on the essential oil mixture.
Instead then in the same way as you would massage the oil into your skin, use a dry brush with natural bristles.
Don’t push too hard as it can scratch your skin.
4. Coffee and Essential Oil Scrub
Coffee, or rather the caffeine in it has been shown to reduce cellulite. You can make this scrub using fresh coffee grounds or the grounds used to brew your coffee:
Add roughly ¼ cup of coffee grounds to 3 tablespoons of carrier oil.
You can add 3 tablespoons of sugar if you would like to increase exfoliation.
Add 2-20 drops of essential oil.
Scrub the affected area and leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it off.
Do this 3 times a week.
Note: Rosehip is the perfect carrier oil for this remedy as it contains vitamin A which works synergistically with caffeine to get rid of cellulite (4).
Tips and Precautions
Essential oils have compounds that can irritate sensitive skin so do a patch test first.
Always speak to your doctor if you are on any medication or have a health condition. Essential oils can affect your hormones, blood pressure, thin your blood, and interact with medication. In healthy people, essential oils are usually fine to use, but always use them with care, natural things can be harmful to when misused.
Not all essential oils are okay to use during pregnancy. Speak to your doctor before using them.
Pets can also be affected by essential oils, so research your chosen essential oil thoroughly before using it (5).
Use your favorite remedy once a day to maintain the results once your cellulite has been reduced with the exception of the coffee scrub which can be done once or twice a week.
Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. This will ensure that you get all the nutrients that are good for your skin. Keep dairy, alcohol, and meat to a minimum as they cause hormone imbalances. Avoid processed foods and soft drinks.
Stay well hydrated by drinking 6-8 glasses of water and herbal tea every day. You may need more on really hot days.
Please let us know if you found these remedies helpful and which are your favorite essential oils. You can also try these cellulite remedies. Have you tried using apple cider vinegar as a home remedy for cellulite? Let us know in the comments below!
Jane Scott grew up on a farm in California and is a crossover between a country girl and an evangelist for healthier living. She’s a nutritionist who preaches that healthy living need not be complicated.
She believes that by exercising regularly, eating mostly non-processed foods (with plenty of vegetables), and using home remedies for the small things and doctor’s advice for the big things, almost anybody can feel great and live a happier and healthier life. She’s excited to share her knowledge of natural remedies and healthier living on HRFL.
In her spare time, Jane enjoys cooking and watching bad rom-coms. She also loves nuts, and is a bit of a nut herself when it comes to Yoga, which she’s a little too obsessed with in the opinion of her friends and family.