We hate to break it to you, but not only are there no OTC products that will get rid of your cellulite, but all those fancy laser treatments won’t erase those pesky marks completely either. While building up muscle underneath the fat will help to some degree, as will keeping areas prone to cellulite hydrated, it’s really genetics that makes the biggest difference here. To find out more I spoke with dermatologist Dr. Jennifer M. Segal. Takeaway: invest in good wrinkle prevention (namely an SPF) and skip the pricey cellulite creams and treatments! (or at the very least, lower your expectations…).
How do stretch marks happen exactly?
“Stretch marks are very common and are caused by the stretching of the skin during rapid periods of growth such as pregnancy, puberty, or weight gain. There is a strong genetic component, so prevention is difficult. Moisturizing with a gentle cleanser or oil which helps to nourish and condition the skin can sometimes be helpful, but does not guarantee stretch mark prevention.”
So are there any preventative measures women can take?
“If stretch marks are red or pink before they fade to flesh color laser treatments, which target the blood vessels, can reduce/remove the red or pink allowing the colored stretch marks to blend in more with the surrounding skin. There may be some collagen remodeling that goes along with this treatment, which helps to blend (but does not remove) the stretch marks.
Resurfacing lasers such as Fraxel and radiofrequency microneedling can also be effective at blending stretch marks into the surrounding skin by inducing collagen building and improving the overall quality and texture of the skin, but they can have some down time (especially on areas of the body that are slower to heal) and do not “remove” the stretch marks.”
What about topicals?
“There are currently no topical creams or medicines that have been proven to consistently remove stretch marks once they have occurred. Topical retinoids, which improve the overall quality and texture of the skin, can occasionally be of benefit for home use. Generous emollients and diligent sun protection are essential during and after any treatment of stretch marks.
As such, I always advise my patients that the expectation of any treatment should be to improve the appearance of stretch marks not to completely erase them. Any investment in products or devices should be with this truth in mind. If improvement rather than cure is acceptable, then patients tend to be more satisfied with any treatment for stretch marks.”