Does Tanning Help Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite?

Between tanning salons, tanning towels, self-tanning products, tanning oil, and all of the other tan crazes, our society is currently obsessed with being bronzed and glowing.

The fashion icon Coco Chanel endorsed tanning as a new beauty standard back in the 1920s and it has yet to lose traction. While a tan has always come with a beautiful healthy-looking glow, many feel the need to be darker in order to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

There is much speculation around whether this is a placebo effect or actual fact but for decades, women and men have laid on the beach in hopes of looking a little smoother.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite, simply put, is just fat. It occurs when the collagen in your skin stretches and breaks down, and the fat beneath it begins to poke through to the skin’s surface. Cellulite is a big source of self-consciousness for many, though it is incredibly common – even among those who aren’t overweight. And while it is most often found in women, cellulite can affect men as well.

Cellulite can become a serious cosmetic concern for some, but fortunately, it isn’t health threatening.

Tanning and Cellulite


Tanning can help reduce the look of cellulite. There are many common misconceptions surrounding this, so let’s get one thing clear: tanning does not remove cellulite but rather, hides it. When an individual has cellulite, it shows up more clearly on pale skin.

The tanner complexion of your skin can mask cellulite and give the appearance that it is reducing this issue within your skin. While this is a quick and painless fix, it is, in fact, a double-edged sword.

Tanning in a bed or outside in the sunlight is not necessarily good for your skin. While tanning, you are exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. UV rays bring out the melanin in your skin cells, leading to a tan and attractive look. The radiation in the sun’s rays, however, can prove detrimental to your cells. Too much radiation can cause cells to die or divide too rapidly and continue to expand, eventually leading to what we know as skin cancer.

In addition to cancer, too much UV radiation can also damage your skin and speed up the breakdown of skin collagen. As the collagen is broken down, the underlying fat cells begin to poke through, which leads to more visible cellulite.

In short, the strategy of using tanning to hide cellulite may be initially successful, but will be worse for your body in the long run.

Cellulite Reduction Treatments

One common belief is that liposuction can help reduce the appearance of cellulite – unfortunately, the fibrous connective tissue found in cellulite creates roadblocks for the liposuction cannula. As such, liposuction isn’t a recommended approach to cellulite.

There are a variety of other methods to actually stop cellulite at the source instead of just covering it up like tanning does. Laser treatments, for instance, will stimulate the skin and help to revamp collagen production.

As mentioned earlier, the more collagen in your skin, the less cellulite will poke through and the less visible it will be overall.

Safe, Non-Invasive Alternatives

The good news is that there are plenty of other tanning methods besides the harmful exposure to the sun. There are many different tanning lotions, towels, and other products that can leave your skin looking a few shades darker in just one use. There are also spray tans, which are an affordable way to ensure an even, full body tan that will not damage your cells in any way.

There are also a variety of collagen powders and lotions that you can invest in, which also, help to restore the body’s collagen supply and to eliminate cellulite at the source.

If you don’t have the budget for laser treatments, there are less expensive options such as the Fascia Blaster. Originally the technology was used to help athletes loosen the Fascia muscle, however, it was soon discovered that it also helped reduce cellulite, too.

Overall, if you are searching for a tanning method to reduce cellulite in your body, it is time to explore other alternatives. Tanning cannot actually reduce cellulite at its core, but rather, reduces the cosmetic look of cellulite that people hate.

Remember: if you are using a tanning bed or laying out in the sun for long hours, you may actually be doing your skin a disservice.


  1. November 22, 2018 / 1:22 am

    That was such an informative post. Thanks for sharing. Keep Glittering love TGA by Misha 👍😘

    • Morgan Celeste
      November 22, 2018 / 4:25 am

      Thank you! Glad you liked it! ❤

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