How to Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite for Less Than $15

Updated on April 22, 2020

Having cellulite anywhere on your body does nothing to boost your self-esteem, especially if you happen to catch a glance at the latest model on the cover of a magazine. We women often think to ourselves, "Yeah, she can afford a personal trainer and has all the time in the world to work out three hours a day to look like that."

I've discovered there are ways to help reduce the appearance of cellulite on our bodies for less money than you would expect. You can feel better about your body even if you're not a model and don't have time to work out every day.

I'm listing the ways you can reduce visible cellulite according to how fast you need to see results. Whether it's for a party you'll be attending tonight, an unexpected date with an amazing guy, or a vacation next month, you can feel more confident in your looks by following any or all of my suggestions. The best part is that you don't need much money!

Cellulite dimples can resemble the texture of an orange peel.
Cellulite dimples can resemble the texture of an orange peel. | Source

What Is Cellulite?

According to the website Medical News Today, "Cellulite is a term used to describe the dimpled appearance of skin caused by fat deposits that are just below the surface of the skin." This dimply appearance of the skin is identified with the way an orange peel looks.

What separates cellulite from just plain ol' fat? The answer is in the fatty parts of cellulite; they are structured into different chambers by strands of linked tissue around them.

What Causes Cellulite?

It seems that the jury is still out as to the exact cause of cellulite. There are several factors that can contribute to the development of cellulite:

  • Hormones: Certain hormones such as estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, thyroid hormones, and prolactin play a role in the development of cellulite.
  • Genetics: Depending on what genes you have been blessed with, you may be predisposed to the development of cellulite. Genes also affect other contributing factors such as your metabolism, circulation, and even your race.
  • Diet: As can be expected, people who consume too much fat, carbohydrates, salt, and not enough fiber in their diet are more likely to develop cellulite, and to have more of it than others.
  • Lifestyle: Cellulite shows up more frequently in the bodies of smokers, people who do not exercise regularly, and people who stand or sit in one position for long periods of time.

Pantyhose can instantly hide dimples and blemishes on your legs.
Pantyhose can instantly hide dimples and blemishes on your legs. | Source

Temporary Ways to Make Cellulite Vanish Instantly

There are two methods you can use instantly reduce the appearance of cellulite if you need to look amazing now.

The Hairspray Method

I learned about this from my experience in beauty pageants (when I had to wear a bikini). All you need is a bottle of stiff aerosol hairspray. With bare legs, simply bend over as far as you can and keep your knees straight. Take the hairspray and generously spray the back of your thighs.

You don't want the hairspray dripping down your legs, but you do want to spray enough to coat the back of your thighs. Stay bent over for a few minutes until the hairspray dries. You're all set.


That's right, a good pair of ultra-sheer pantyhose will hide quite a lot of cellulite. This option may not be a great idea in the hot summer months when everyone else has bare legs, and you definitely can't wear pantyhose with a bikini. But if you have a dress or outfit that shows more leg than you're comfortable with, pantyhose work wonders.

The price difference between poor quality pantyhose and good quality is minimal. Always go with the sheerest pantyhose you can find so it's not obvious that you're wearing pantyhose. You can easily buy a good pair for less than $15. Spend the few extra dollars and get yourself a decent pair that is close to your skin color. Check the little sample booklets on the pantyhose stand to see how they look on your skin before buying them.

How to Reduce Visible Cellulite in 24 Hours

So, you've got 24 hours or less until the big party or the big date, and you want to look amazing. Unfortunately, you haven't been able to shed those pesky 10 lbs and there's no time left—where is Jack Bauer when you need him?

If you want to reduce the appearance of cellulite and you have less than 24 hours, I recommend using a sunless tanning lotion. With a tan, your skin will hide many imperfections, including cellulite.

Remember to shave your legs and exfoliate in the shower before using any tanning creams. Be sure to use gloves when applying sunless tanning creams, or remember to wash your hands every five minutes to avoid orange palms!

Natural Sunless Tanning Solutions

There are some natural sunless tanning solutions, although I must admit I haven't tried any of them, so I don't know how effective they are. They are ideal for people who don't want to put unnecessary chemicals on their skin that sometimes come in the sunless tanning creams the stores sell.

The three most popular natural self-tanning solutions are black tea, cocoa powder, and coffee.

My advice is to test these solutions on your skin in an inconspicuous area first before using them anywhere else on your body to see if you have a reaction and to see how dark the results on your skin will be.

Black Tea

There are 2 methods out there on the web for using black tea. The first method is to boil 3/4 cup of filtered water and steep 3 bags of black tea for 10 minutes. Allow time to cool and then pour in a spray bottle. Spray the tea on your body and allow it to air dry. Repeat until desired darkness is reached.

The other method is to steep 3 bags of black tea in 3/4 cup of water like above, but then add 1/4 cup lanolin and 1/4 sesame oil and blend well before applying.

Cocoa Powder

Mix 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1 cup of white skin cream. Apply evenly to your skin.

Save your coffee grinds for self-tanning!
Save your coffee grinds for self-tanning! | Source


Brewed coffee can be sponged directly on to the skin and left on for 20-30 minutes. You can also apply used coffee grounds (fine ground works best) on your skin and leave them on for 30 minutes before rinsing.

Carrots and Turmeric Powder

This was a mixture I used on my face to give it a glow, and it helped with my acne. I'm sure that it could be used elsewhere on the body. I used grated carrots, some water, and turmeric powder.

You would probably need 2-3 medium- to large-sized carrots, and grate them on the finest setting. Put the grated carrot in a bowl and add approximately one teaspoon of water and 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Rub the mixture evenly all over your skin and leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing.

Best Tanning Cream for Cellulite

Fake Bake Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid | Streak-Free, Long-Lasting Sunless Natural Glow For All Skin Tones | Black Coconut Scent | Includes Professional Tanning Mitt For Easy Application | 6 oz
Fake Bake Flawless Self-Tanning Liquid | Streak-Free, Long-Lasting Sunless Natural Glow For All Skin Tones | Black Coconut Scent | Includes Professional Tanning Mitt For Easy Application | 6 oz
I love this product because of what you get for the price! A tanning mitt is a must if you want to evenly apply self-tanning lotion and to avoid orange palms. This product has a bronzer in it so you can instantly see where you are applying it and start glowing as soon as you're done. The formula dries fast and has no preservatives or parabens.
Eat potassium-rich foods to reduce water retention.
Eat potassium-rich foods to reduce water retention. | Source

Combat Cellulite in 48 Hours

If you have 48 hours before the big day, whether it's your wedding, a date, or a party, you can reduce the appearance of cellulite on your body by making a few diet modifications to help you lose any water you might be retaining. When your body retains water you look puffy and bloated, and this can accentuate the appearance of cellulite on your body.

Eat Potassium-Rich Foods

The first thing you will need to do is drastically cut your intake of salt and sugar and increase your intake of foods rich in potassium. Potassium helps your body stay hydrated and reduces the swelling of tissues in your body.

Warning: If you are on any kind of medication, be sure to contact your doctor or pharmacist before modifying your diet. Many medications cannot be mixed with foods high in potassium.

Foods to Avoid for Less Water Retention:

  • Soda pop
  • Potato chips or other snacks high in salt
  • Processed meats such as wieners, ham, deli meats, etc.
  • Canned vegetables and tomato juice
  • Excessive amounts of carbohydrates such as bread and pasta
  • Foods high in sugar (that includes high fructose corn syrup, etc.,) such as candy, chocolate bars, etc.

It has come to my attention that eating cheese and also green peas have been linked to women with cellulite. See the video below for more information about the role diet has on cellulite. (The website Nutrition Facts is independent, does not take money from any corporations, and does not allows advertisement on their website.)

Potassium-Rich Foods to Add to Your Diet:

  • Tea (especially green tea)
  • Coffee
  • Water
  • Celery
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Watermelon
  • Cucumbers

You are not restricted to only eat the foods listed that are rich in potassium, but substitute them for snacks or foods you would normally eat that are high in salt, such as canned vegetables or chips.

Many have said that dry skin brushing is their secret to glowing, beautiful skin.
Many have said that dry skin brushing is their secret to glowing, beautiful skin. | Source

Ways to Decrease Cellulite in 30 Days

If you have 30 days or longer and you want to reduce the appearance of cellulite, there are 4 things you can do to achieve your goal.

Skin Brushing

One of the most effective and inexpensive solutions for reducing the look of cellulite, and eliminating it altogether, is skin brushing.

There is a long list of benefits to dry skin brushing, including:

  • Aiding in the removal of dead skin cells, which can help improve skin texture and cell renewal.
  • Increasing circulation, helping your body to eliminate toxins through lymphatic drainage of the entire body.
  • Helping to tighten the skin because it increases the flow of blood. Increasing the circulation to the skin can also help lessen the appearance of cellulite.
  • Helping with muscle tone and more even distribution of fat deposits.
  • Rejuvenating the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin.
  • Helping your skin to absorb nutrients by unclogging pores.

Brush your skin for 5 minutes every day, paying particular attention to your thigh area. Brush upwards toward the center of your body (where your heart is) in long sweeping strokes. Be sure to brush before showering, and always brush skin that is nice and dry.

Note: A skin brush should have natural bristles, not synthetic.

Switch to an Alkaline-Based Diet

There seems to be significant evidence that if your diet is rich in foods that cause your body to become acidic (foods like red meat, dairy, eggs, etc.,) you will most likely develop cellulite, among other not-so-pleasant dietary side effects.

Alkaline-rich foods, on the other hand, help your body to eliminate waste better, flush toxins out of your body, and are naturally the pH balance your body strives to have regularly. Many health benefits come from an alkaline-based diet.

Acidic Foods to Cut Back On:

  • Red meat or animal protein and fat (including certain fish)
  • Corn
  • Dairy products of any kind
  • Certain bread or grain products
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Oils and fats (both animal and vegetable)
  • Alcohol
  • Over-the-counter medication such as aspirin
  • Sweeteners such as sugar, honey, molasses, etc.

For the full list of what is acidic and what is alkaline, check out the alkaline foods chart.

Stretching elongates connective tissues, helping to separate fat cells and allow for proper lymphatic drainage.
Stretching elongates connective tissues, helping to separate fat cells and allow for proper lymphatic drainage. | Source

Stretches for the Backs of Your Legs

Stretching is important in reducing the appearance of cellulite. When you stretch, the connective tissues must stretch and become elongated, thereby helping to separate fat cells and allow for proper lymphatic drainage.

There are three different hamstring stretches that can really help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

  1. Sit on the floor with both your legs either flat on the floor directly in front of you. (You can also stretch one leg at a time.) Slowly bend forward from the waist towards your toes. Once you have reached forward as far as you can without causing pain in the back of your legs, gently hold the stretch for at least 40 seconds or longer.
  2. The second is the same stretch, but have one leg up on a high surface such as the kitchen counter or the back of a sofa as if it were a ballet barre. Keep the leg that you are standing on slightly bent, and bend forward from the waist. Hold the stretch for 40 seconds or more.
  3. Lie flat on the floor on your back, legs straight out in front of you. Gently bring your right leg up towards your chest and place both hands around the side of your knee and bring your leg in towards your chest. Hold for 40 seconds or longer. Repeat with your left leg.

Applying creams and masks can improve skin health and appearance.
Applying creams and masks can improve skin health and appearance. | Source

Creams, Masks, and Exfoliants

The use of creams, masks and exfoliants on your skin, particularly on the thigh area, improves your skin's elasticity, tone, and texture. No cellulite cream out there can actually eliminate cellulite from your legs. But by improving the condition of your skin, you can reduce the appearance of cellulite.

  1. Exfoliate once a week with a gentle product. You can accomplish this in the shower. Exfoliating helps bring the blood to the surface of your skin, encouraging cell renewal.
  2. Apply a firming mask once a week. This will help your skin regain its firmness and elasticity.
  3. Moisturize your skin every day with a good firming lotion. When applying any cream to your body, always use upward strokes towards the center of your body.

Tips for Getting Rid of Cellulite Permanently

By making an effort to change your eating habits and increasing the amount of time you exercise, not only can you reduce the appearance of cellulite on your body, but you can also help to eliminate it for good. Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, consuming less caffeine, sugar, sodium, and saturated fats will have a positive effect on your body.

Cellulite is still fat, after all, so the less you have on your body, the less likely you will be to have cellulite. Remember, factors such as genetics play a role in whether we are prone to having cellulite, and that is something beyond our control. What we do have control over is what we put in our bodies and what we do to improve our well-being.

How Have You Tried to Get Rid of Cellulite?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Carolyn Dahl

Share Your Thoughts!

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Cool thx

    • profile image

      Edrian Rouch 

      3 years ago

      I have used dermalmd cellulite cream for one week, and I am very pleased with it. It applies smoothly and evenly, dries very quickly and it leaves skin silky soft and tight. The improvement in the appearance of the skin is immediately visible.

    • torrilynn profile image


      5 years ago

      A cheap and effective way to reduce cellulite is always wanted and needed. thanks for this hub. voted up.

    • marion langley profile image

      marion langley 

      6 years ago from The Study

      I had never heard of skin brushing or the hair spray trick...I feel so clued in now. Voting up! Thanks for writing. :-)

    • renegadetory profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolyn Dahl 

      6 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario

      Not only does it help, but it is relaxing and feels great!

    • my_girl_sara profile image

      Cynthia Lyerly 

      6 years ago from Georgia

      I'll admit that the dry brushing thing has thrown me. Never heard of that one before. I need to try some of these things. I look at my legs and swear they belong to some older woman. Thanks for the info!

    • profile image

      Marc Edmond 

      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks for sharing this great information about cellulite. Thumbs up!

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 

      7 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      I had no idea there was so much to say about cellulite! Excellent comprehensive hub. Voted up, useful, interesting and shared with my followers

    • renegadetory profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolyn Dahl 

      7 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario

      Good for you bydojo for making an effort to improve your health from the inside out! I think that is the best an longest lasting affect you can have on getting rid of cellulite!

    • bydojo profile image

      Ramona Jar 

      7 years ago from New York

      I have some cellulite on the back of my legs (butt area), but it's not too disturbing. I am not that worried with it to spray or tan the area (though the tips for a quick fix are indeed great and useful), but I have started working out more and will try have less salt/sugar in my diet (I kinda like both :D). We're already making efforts to eat healthier (my man is hypertensive and we reduced his blood pressure a lot just by having a healthier nutrition), so I'm on the right track. Have discontinued the pill (we're trying to have a baby) so I presume any hormonal imbalance is getting fixed now.

      Really great advice though, thanks for taking the time to present such an in-depth advice.

    • nomorecellulite profile image


      8 years ago from Carmel, Indiana

      I'll admit: I laughed at the hair spray idea. The mental picture is hysterical.

      I'm also eager to try the black tea sunless tanner. Then I can hide my cellulite AND have a beach-ready tan.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I had no idea there were so many ways to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Great information here. Thanks.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Right! And it is a good bargain.

    • renegadetory profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolyn Dahl 

      8 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario

      You're welcome cindy, I like to let women know there are many ways to help reduce the appearance of ccellulite.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very informative! Thanks for the useful info.

    • profile image

      nivea cellulite cream 

      9 years ago

      It is always good to find a way to solve problems around your bugget very creative

    • Ingenira profile image


      9 years ago

      Excellent writeup. Very comprehensive. Rated up and awesome !


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