Orange peel, cottage cheese—call it what you will, but cute descriptors alone don’t sugar coat the fact that the vast majority of women (almost 90 percent) have some degree of jiggle in the thighs and hindquarters. Yes, we’re talking about cellulite, that corporeal scourge that affects women — not men, jerks — and all the evidence you need to prove that the fairer sex is the butt (literally) of one big cosmic joke. Both lean and full-figured ladies exhibit the trademark lumps and bumps, which is your first clue that diet alone doesn’t determine the amount of dimpling you’ll get. No, that honor goes to your mother and genetic destiny.
“Cellulite affects so many women, you can almost say it’s normal,” says Neil Schultz, a Manhattan dermatologist and the creator and host of DermTV. The cause of all the puckering: the fat that pokes through the connective bands (called fibrous septae) that run between the skin and muscles. Think of the buttons on a chesterfield; the fibrous septae are the anchors, while the stuffing (fat cells) push through any open apertures.
So, now to the bad news: Despite all the marketing hoopla, there is no permanent cure for cellulite — yet. But there are plenty of temporary fixes that (briefly) improve its appearance. The results may be modest and the changes minimal, but for many of us, we’ll take what we can get. Before investing in any gizmos, gunk, or procedures, take the time to ferret out the regimen proven to deliver the biggest dent to your dimples. Fortunately for you, we've done the hard part for you and scored all the deets on the latest skin-smoothing treatments. From a handheld body buffer to an in-office machine all the derms are raving about, read on to learn what works and what's just a waste of money.