Cellulite can be an aesthetic nightmare if you want to flash flesh when you’re out and about in hot weather. It can oppress us into covering up with long sleeves and trousers or skirts instead of enjoying the much-needed breeze in shorts and tank tops. Over the last twenty years, there has been considerable social progress in accepting cellulite as physiological (part of the normal human female form) instead of assuming its existence as a pathological problem derived from an inactive lifestyle or a high-fat diet.
Fit, healthy and athletic women get cellulite too.
It’s a little reassuring to know that 9/10 women will suffer from cellulite once their puberty has come and gone. Safety in numbers can give you the confidence—daring to bare—because you’re not walking around with a rare or unique problem. Unfortunately, safety in numbers doesn’t always make you feel a great deal better when you’re forlornly staring at your thighs in the mirror.
The market for treatments and creams said to reduce cellulite is huge. Part of the treatment is massage. We’ve looked for the products which have made a real difference for the customers who’ve bought them, and picked our five favorites for you to compare and contrast.
Following that, we’ve written a brief explanation for how and where cellulite forms. it’s good to know your enemy. Finally, we’ve summarised a list of points to take into consideration when choosing which massager is best for you.
Best Anti Cellulite Massagers
OUR TOP PICK
We’re being brave by opening the list with the most expensive item. The Glo910+ is a popular socket-charged electric massager with a couple of unique features and generous accessories.
The Glo910+ seeks to strengthen collagen as a key means of reducing the appearance of cellulite, while tackling the uneven layer of fluid and fat cells beneath the skin.
It holds the patent for Infrared-LED sculpturing massage, which it calls ‘SLIM-tech’. Slim tech massage essentially harnesses red LED and Infrared rays to boost the skin’s natural collagen production. The marketing material cites research by NASA, showing a significant correlation between the use of the rays and improved skin suppleness and elasticity.
Surface improvements are further enhanced with the use of two of their interchangeable heads. The body-brush head is for dry exfoliation, which will improve the skin’s glow by getting rid of surface impurities. Supple skin looks more youthful. The lifting-clean foam roller tones wicks away surface dirt and carries out a gentle polishing action. It is gentle enough to use on the face and is excellent for encouraging an even skin tone.
Glo910+’s most assertive interchangeable head is the cellu-active teeth roller. It provides a sufficiently deep massage to knead and tone any tired muscle beneath the skin layers. Frequent use can contribute towards a smoother, leaner silhouette as your muscles become more toned and your metabolism speeds up to feed the muscle growth.
The cellu-detox rollers are used in more tender areas and used to support the process of lymphatic draining once the cellu-active massage has done its job. It can also be a good tool to drive topical pain relief gels into sore muscles or ligaments, bringing quick relief. This attachment is also a good palliative for pain from lactic acid which builds up during intense exercise.
This massager requires a committed investment, but customer feedback is highly favorable. Positive results are seen in weeks, it’s easy to use, and it has an appropriately robust motor for the purpose.
- Smooth skin, supple and toned skin
- Generous accessories
- Light and easy to maneuver
- Robustly made and durable
- No battery concerns
- The price
- It’s corded: you can’t use this in the bathroom
This is the first of our hand-powered anti-cellulite tools: no batteries, and no electrics, either. Think of a 16.5” rolling pin featuring three hard plastic spiked balls which can roll independently, and that is your massager. You can lie down on your back and apply force with both hands to your belly, and the fronts of your thighs and calves. Or you can stand or perch on the edge of a seat to do the backs of your thighs, shoulders and arms.
The idea is that sustained pressure to the skin’s surface, the ‘fascia-blasting’ element of the massage, breaks up the fat deposits lurking between the connective fibres which anchor the upper skin layer. The instructions that come with the blasting muscle-roller do warn that you’re likely to get bruises when you first use this product. This is a natural consequence of using any massage technique which requires you to apply intense pressure through a small surface area (the tips of the outer spines of the ball). Subjected to this, the capillaries running beneath the subcutaneous fat layer will break and bleed. This massage method may produce disconcerting results to begin with.
It’s recommended that this massager is used daily for 5-10 minutes at a time on problem spots. Customer feedback about results is generally positive, many reporting a clear difference after the first couple of weeks.
A design this simple has its upsides. It’s very light (10oz) and easy to maneuver. You can also use it in the shower, making the most of limited me-time, or with massage creams or oils to hydrate the skin.
You can buy this product with 5 balls, which can spread the pressure across broader areas such as the backs of your shoulders or the small of your back.
- Good customer feedback
- Easy to use
- Hard to apply proper pressure to awkward areas one-handed (for example the backs of the arms)
- Moderate bruising is expected initially
Here’s another product with no electrics involved. The dry brush is 3.6” in diameter and straps onto your hand as a natural extension of your arm as you stroke the brush across your skin. The brush surface is made of boar bristle, interspaced with softer nodules for a slightly deeper massage. It’s a light brush—just 3.2ozes—and its compact form makes it easy to use in those awkward places.
It can of course be used in the shower as part of your exfoliating routine, or before the shower with a massage cream.
Dry brushing in this way improves the circulation without applying significant pressure. You’re very unlikely to experience bruising or significant discomfort using this method and it’s a good way of clearing out pores and preventing the additional trouble of in-growing hairs. Brushing evens the tone of your skin, which can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Rosena provides advice on good techniques for dry brushing and is said to provide great customer service.
This budget option does require you to do all the massage work yourself. However, very little can go wrong with a massage device with no moving parts and customer feedback on the results of daily massage is very promising.
- Very little pain and no bruising reported
- Good for awkward areas
- Very helpful for good skin tone
- Not suitable for people whose skin breaks easily
- Labor-intensive for those who have sore joints
This is our second electric massage device. It does not come with as many attachments as the Glo910+ but it does have the advantages of being waterproof to IPX7 standards and therefore bathroom friendly. It’s powered by a micro-USB at the charging end, and a USB outlet connector. You must plug it in as soon as you get it and charge it for three hours before first use, even after the red signal light comes on. It’s a 2600milli-amp hour lithium battery, enabling you to get extensive use with it between charges.
Voyor haven’t provided a rubberized handle (which would be helpful if you’ve been using oil), but it’s otherwise an ergonomic fit in the palm and a lightweight 1.5lb. It’s very convenient to use.
It’s not just convenient, but versatile, too. You can set the massager to speed and make the heads change direction. There are three interchangeable heads provided. The slim massager rolls discs perpendicular to your arm, easing muscles. A gray, textured disc sends vibrations through the upper layers of the skin, and is gentle enough to use on your face. The same can be said for the soft bristle brush, which you can use as part of your exfoliation routine.
If you have sore joints, then this is possibly one of the best products you can use. All that’s required is that you hold it in place while it does its work. No repetitive motions required.
The battery is reported to have a very respectable, long-lasting performance between charges and the massage heads have held up well to repeated use.
- Very little pain experienced, even on the strongest massage setting
- Low effort required
- Inexpensive for an electrical device
- It can be rather slippery
- It’s not particularly powerful
This final product is a little kit which comes with two suction cups, a massage brush, a little storage bag and written instructions for how to get the best out of your vacuum therapy. The whole kit weighs in at a feather-like 8oz, making it good to travel with.
To use them, you oil your skin across the affected area, apply the rim of the cup and squeeze, creating the suction. You then slide the cup around the affected area, using the recommended figure-of-eight motion, for a couple of minutes. Without the oil, the cup will not move. You will end up with a circular suction bruise which may lead to unwanted questioning from your nearest and dearest.
Carrying out this massage frequently appears to have brought about visible and reassuring results for those who have bought this product. Improvements have been seen both to the outer skin and more uniform surface of the underlying layer.
Though clearly effective, it can be somewhat painful. New Body Life is confident in the product, but is clearly aware that this product won’t be for everyone. They offer a lifetime guarantee and free product return system with no hassles.
- Good results reported
- Neat storage and easy to transport
- Can be used with any oil (baby oil included)
- The ‘OW’ factor
Best Anti Cellulite Massagers Buying Guide
What exactly is cellulite?
Beneath the dermis (the thicker, secondary layer of skin), we have the hypodermis, which is 2-3 times deeper, and which harbors fluid and naturally occurring fat cells. It is in the hypodermis where excess fluid can gather, overfeeding and expanding the fat cells. Think of a field of balloons being inflated beneath a sheet which is anchored 1-yard intervals. The anchors are the interconnective tissue which run through the hypodermis.
As the balloons get larger, the anchors remain in place while the surface bulges between them. The dips in the surface, where the anchors remain in place, are equivalent to the dips associated with the pitted appearance of cellulite.
Men do not experience cellulite as much as women for a couple of reasons. Firstly, their skin has a higher collagen density from the outset. Secondly, their interconnective fibers are greater in number and more tightly meshed. This not only suppresses the appearance of fat cells beneath the skin, but also reduces the opportunity for fat cells to expand at all. Men are vulnerable to cellulite if they carry a very large amount of excess weight, or if they have poor collagen production.
Rather unfairly, subcutaneous fat is more fibrous than normal fat, making it hard to break down. The most effective treatments are those which:
- physically dissolve or remove the fibrous subcutaneous fat. These are the treatment options which last two or three years, but which can cost north of $3,000 for a single treatment.
- replenish the skin’s collagen supply
- improve the circulation and support the body’s natural lymphatic system (removing waste from cells)
What to think about when you’re picking a product:
Budget: If you’re searching for an electric massager not featured in our top five, then you could expect to pay between $40-$120 for a product with 1-3 interchangeable massage heads. If you’re happy to do all the massaging work yourself, given the right tools, then most of the manual massagers are between $9 and $40.
Mobility: Are you sharing a house? Do you need to move around a lot with your massager for privacy? If so, it is worth going cordless. As seen with the Voyor, the convenience of the rechargeable battery need not be prohibitively expensive.
Pain threshold: Honestly, we’re not being facetious. Tackling your cellulite should feel like it’s part of your pampering routine. Agony is not part of the pampering process. If a highly efficient pain signaling system is your particular cross to bear, then perhaps look at gentler massage motors and steer clear of suction therapy.
Inherent mobility issues: If you’re unable to walk around easily, or if you have joint or nerve pain, then investment in the gentle vibration that comes with electric massagers may benefit you.
Skin strength: if your skin is prone to breakage, then go for softer heads and avoid electric bristle attachments.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are cellulite creams meant to do?
Caffeine-based creams dehydrate the cells, making them appear less visible. It’s good in terms of aesthetics, but it doesn’t address the root problem. It needs to be applied daily to sustain the appearance of lesser cellulite. Creams containing retinol thicken the dermis and epidermis, again reducing the pitted or lumpy appearance of the skin. Retinol can induce tachycardia (a racing heart) in some people, however. It’s best to sample this cautiously to ensure that you’re not affected in this way.
Does cellulite massage only work if it’s painful?
Individual pain thresholds will greatly influence the experience of massage in the long term, but it’s safe to say that it will be uncomfortable to begin with because you’re effectively subjecting your nervous system to an unprecedented assault. When you first start using any massager which applies a consistent pressure that you’re not used to, then the initial pain can be off-putting. However, there is a stronger relationship between massage and the natural reduction of the appearance of cellulite than there is for the following forms of more expensive treatments of mesotherapy, carboxy therapy, laser-assisted treatment, or liposuction.
Will cellulite massagers help me to lose weight?
Alas, the direct effect of vigorous massage is purely temporary, and arises from redistribution or reduction of standing fluid in the cells. It’s hard to retain water after a vigorous massage. Cellulite nearly always comes as an extra problem with excess weight, but excess weight isn’t in itself the root cause of cellulite.