Can Coffee Cause Cellulite?

Coffee Scrub

Coffee has long faced debate about its pros and cons. Is it healthy for you? Will it dehydrate you? Is caffeine even safe to drink?

One of the more recent debates surrounding coffee is whether it can actually cause cellulite. We will explore the answer in this article, as well as how this idea came to be.

Well, Can it?

The very short answer to this is no, coffee can not cause cellulite. Cellulite is often caused by fat, sodium, and carbohydrates which coffee simply does not have any significant amount of. In fact, coffee and caffeine are even believed to help reduce the appearance of cellulite. This begs the question though, why are people suggesting that coffee can cause cellulite?

Before we explore how this rumor came to be or the reasoning behind it, it would help to understand what exactly cellulite is.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is a condition where the skin appears bumpy or dimpled. Only so much is known about what exactly causes cellulite, but it is known that fat accumulating between the skin and muscles plays a significant part in it.

It is harmless, but some may not find it aesthetically pleasing. Some compare the look of cellulite to cottage cheese, and when looking at it from that perspective, I wouldn’t be thrilled about having it either. While treatment is not necessary some people will be inclined to do something about it.

Cellulite tends to affect women more than men. The reason for that is unknown, but some theories suggest that estrogen may play a part in producing it. Other theories suggest that cellulite is more prominent in women because it is most commonly found in places where women’s bodies store fat.

There are several treatments that exist to treat cellulite. While I am not a doctor and can not suggest what may or may not work, I bring this up because one of the common treatments is rubbing lotion onto an affected area that contains caffeine or coffee.

Why Do People Think Coffee Causes Cellulite?

The reasoning behind why people think coffee causes cellulite isn’t actually that absurd. What people believe is that too much coffee will dehydrate you. As a result, your body will attempt to store extra water to compensate. That extra water would allegedly be held in fat cells, causing them to swell and exacerbating the appearance of cellulite.

While we do know that coffee can cause dehydration, a few cups a day is not enough to significantly dehydrate you. It is estimated that it would take up to 10 cups of coffee daily for there to even be a chance of water retention happening and the average coffee drinker just drinks nowhere near that much.

There are many things that can cause cellulite, water retention is just one thing that can factor into it. Having a poor diet is a much bigger factor. Consuming too much sugar and fat are significant contributing factors to developing cellulite. Another important factor is how active you are. A person who does not get a lot of exercise is much more likely to develop cellulite than an active person.

Can Coffee Actually Help Treat Cellulite?

In an interesting turn of events, it is suggested that coffee can actually help treat cellulite. There are a few different treatments that involve coffee, both in drinkable form and lotion or cream form.

Coffee and caffeine are commonly added to lotions that are applied directly to affected areas of the skin. The idea behind this method of treatment is that the coffee in the lotion will help to dilate blood vessels and tighten skin by helping to eliminate excess water. Any evidence of coffee scrubs actually working has been anecdotal up to this point, though if the anecdotal evidence is to be believed this could be a promising form of treatment.

Coffee has been found to be a good source of antioxidants. They assist with a lot of different bodily functions, but in regards to cellulite, antioxidants help with circulation. The belief is that healthy circulation will help break up deep tissue fat that is behind cellulite. Antioxidants also have an anti-inflammatory effect which is beneficial for cellulite.

Regardless of these treatments, coffee on its own will never be effective at treating cellulite. It certainly has the potential to help, but it takes a well-rounded approach to effectively combat cellulite. Living a healthy lifestyle is the number one thing you can do to help avoid and treat cellulite.

A healthy lifestyle involves several things, not just diet. Being active and exercising also plays its part. Staying hydrated is also very important, as is avoiding things like cigarettes and the overconsumption of alcohol.


We can confidently say that caffeine does not contribute to cellulite. Based on what we know about cellulite, it is unlikely that any of the nutrients in coffee contribute to the creation of fat or the storage of it. The fact that coffee is a good source of antioxidants also supports the idea that coffee is not the culprit when it comes to cellulite.

Several different forms of treatment for cellulite even include coffee and caffeine as key ingredients. Creams and lotions that use coffee for topical treatments are very common and popular. There is not a lot of clinical data for them, but people have reported promising results.

Unfortunately, these coffee scrubs and lotions do not seem to have long-lasting effects and would need to be reapplied frequently. That being said they certainly do not make cellulite any worse.

While the effectiveness of coffee scrubs lacks firm clinical data, anecdotal data supports their use. At a minimum, they are not dangerous to use. Besides, what could be better than smelling like coffee all day?