Home Remedies Used to Break Down Cellulite

Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Cellulite is the bane of many women's existence, making thighs, hips and rears look like the skin of an orange peel. North Dallas Dermatology says more than 80 percent of women over 20 have cellulite. Fat cells grouped together and separated with fibrous strands cause cellulite's bumpy appearance, which worsens with weight gain because the gaps between the cell groups expand, causing the telltale dimpling. Many cellulite remedies exist, from surgery to diet to home treatments. Consult a doctor before trying any home remedies not approved by the FDA.

Apple Cider Vinegar

HomeRemediesWeb says the female hormones estrogen and progesterone are responsible for the accumulation of fat cells and resulting cellulite in women. They also report stress, pregnancy, hard massages, lack of exercise, genetics, weight gain and fluid retention as contributors of cellulite.

Apple cider vinegar contains components that some say reduce cellulite's appearance. Drink 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces water each morning, or mix three parts apple cider vinegar and one part massage oil and knead it into your skin twice a day. HomeRemediesWeb also suggests adding a healthy diet and exercise.

Coffee Sugar Scrub

Another home remedy, this one mentioned by Dr. Mehmet Oz from the "Dr. Oz Show," supposedly reduces cellulite's appearance by enhancing fat metabolism and removing fat and liquid from your skin. Mix the the scrub with 1/2 cup coffee grounds and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Rub olive oil into cellulite trouble spots and then massage the scrub into the same areas, moving your hands in circular motions. Rinse the solution off.

Herbal Treatments

Chemist and nutritional supplement formulator Robert Rister, writing for SteadyHealth.com, recommends draining the fluid from the cellulite fat cells by using gotu kola, also called Centella asiatica. This herb's active ingredient, forskolin, supposedly breaks down substances that cause fat cells to be held in place.

Rister also cites an Obesity Research journal report that says women who took forskolin, combined with a caffeine-like substance known as aminophylline, lost up to an inch of loose skin. However, available lotions that contain both of these ingredients are expensive, although they probably cost less than surgery would.

More Home Remedies

The Home Remedies website lists several other home treatments they claim will "reduce cellulite" by breaking it up from within and attacking its appearance from the outside.

Rub baby oil into your cellulite areas and use a hand vacuum to "suck" the area four to five times a week. A cup of shave grass tea, brewed and drunk three times a day, will "attack cellulite from within," says Home Remedies.

For reduction of orange-peel skin appearance, try one of these remedies suggested by the website. Massage 6 tbs. coconut oil, 2 tbsp. line oil and 1 tbsp. grapefruit juice into your skin while wearing a hairskin glove. Boil 4 tbsp. dried ivy leaves in a liter of water, let it stand one-half hour and then drain. Pour it into your tub and soak for 15 minutes; when you get out, massage your cellulite spots with orange or lemon essential oil.

Surgery Warning

If home remedies fail to reduce or eliminate your cellulite, you might be considering surgical options. However, says Robert Rister, surgical removal of cellulite may cause scarring, and if the skin later swells for any reason--such as weight gain or fluid retention--the scar will look worse. He says surgeons won't perform cellulite reduction on patients who smoke, and surgery is not a good option for anyone who does not want scars, has poor lymphatic circulation or has had past varicose vein surgery.