person massaging thighs person massaging thighs


For many women, the appearance of cellulite - dimpled, textured skin usually manifesting around your thighs, buttocks, and abdominal regions - can become a major cause of worry and concern.

Regardless of age, weight, fitness level, and gender, a lot of people deal with cellulite. In fact, ​some studies report that around 85% of women above the age of 20 go on to experience these changes in skin texture in their lifetime.

Of course, this doesn't mean that the effects of cellulite on one’s level of confidence and body satisfaction should be downplayed. Many women dislike the look of cellulite on their body. While there is no magical panacea that can eradicate cellulite completely, essential oils can offer a natural, alternative route to smoothen out and improve the appearance of cellulite-affected regions.




Extracted from plants in a way that retains their powerful properties and accompanying fragrances, essential oils have been used abundantly for centuries in alternative remedies and beauty routines. Used responsibly and with the right kind of quality oils, essential oils can provide an excellent alternative option for those looking to soften and moisturize their skin while reducing the appearance of scars and uneven texture associated with cellulite.

Before we delve into the eight essential oils that have been reputed to do just that, here are some simple tips to keep in mind for optimal results.



  • One of the most effective ways to reduce the appearance of cellulite is through regular massage. Massage is theorized to work for cellulite by boosting circulation, combatting fluid retention, and by stimulating the skin for healing and regeneration.

  • Taking the time to massage as well as hydrate the skin on a daily basis will go a long way in getting the results you seek.

  • Using essential oil blends in massages can be a great way to combine all the unique skin benefits of each individual oil.

  • Other techniques may also be combined with essential oil massages to boost results. Dry brushing, for example, can be an excellent addition to your beauty regimen to further help diminish the appearance of cellulite. Dry body brushing is believed to promote deep exfoliation, thereby improving blood flow to the skin and aid in the detoxification process.

With these tips in mind, let's move on to the eight best essential oils reputed to reduce the appearance of cellulite:



Lemons (and their essential oils) have a long history of being used in a wide range of traditional and alternative applications such as Ayurvedic treatments as well as home, bath, weight loss, haircare, and skincare remedies. Derived from natural lemon of the Citrus limon plant, its essential oil boasts a number of skincare benefits and has a beautiful, energizing fragrance.

Lemon essential oil is a particularly good aid for skin exfoliation. Coupled with its potent skin-protective, antioxidant, and cleansing properties, using this essential oil in massages is reputed to refresh, even out, and promote smoothness of the skin, helping to reduce the overall wrinkled and bumpy appearance of cellulite-ridden regions.

It is important to know that Lemon essential oil will heighten the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Avoid stepping outside into the sunlight and exposing massaged areas for at least 24 hours after application.

How to use: This essential oil can be used topically with a 0.5-1% dilution rate (do not exceed 2%). Mix 5 drops of Lemon essential oil in 20 mL (4 tsp) of carrier oil (you may use almond oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil). For an even milder concoction, add 1 drop of essential oil to 10 mL (2 tsp) of base oil. Apply the blend on any affected regions and massage well.



Hailing from the Juniperus communis plant, juniper berries have long been used for their potent antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Juniper Berry essential oil has a delightfully spicy and woody fragrance, and might remind you a little bit of balsamic vinegar. Beyond its use in alternative and folk medicine, this essential oil is a powerhouse when it comes to detoxifying and soothing irritated skin while reducing the appearance of uneven scars and skin, including cellulite.

Due to its stimulatory effects, this essential oil should not be used by pregnant women or individuals suffering from kidney problems.

How to use: For smoother and clearer-looking skin, Juniper Berry essential oil is best used topically. Dilute 10-12 drops of essential oil with 20 mL (4 tsp) of carrier oil such as argan oil, jojoba oil, or avocado oil. Massage well onto the thighs, buttocks, and any other regions affected by cellulite and leave on for maximum absorption.



The fragrant Salvia officinalis plant, also known as ‘True’ or ‘Common’ Sage, is the origin of the popular Sage essential oil (not to be confused with Clary Sage). Known by the Romans as a sacred and ritualistic herb, Sage essential oil is equally cherished worldwide and known for its impressive antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and stimulatory powers.

Sage essential oil has many properties that make it a useful ingredient in caring for textured skin including cellulite. It is used in many cosmetic formulations thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which help protect the skin from free radicals that cause internal damage, while also smoothing out discoloration and dimpled textures.

Due to the high percentage of thujone, Sage essential oil should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women, or by individuals suffering from epilepsy.

How to use: Dilute by mixing 9-10 drops of Sage essential oil with 30 mL (roughly 2 tbsp) of a carrier oil (olive oil, sweet almond oil, and jojoba oil are all good choices). Massage deeply to soothe the skin and leave on to allow the mixture to penetrate.



Commonly sourced from the wood of the Cedrus atlantica tree and extracted using steam distillation, Cedarwood essential oil is known for its beautifully sweet and woodsy fragrance along with its moderate astringent and toning properties. Widely used in aromatherapy, perfumes, skincare, and healthcare, this essential oil is reputed to have powerful anti-inflammatory effects as well. Coupled with regular massage, it can diminish the appearance of cellulite by deeply soothing and plumping the skin, helping it look more firm, supple, and even.

How to use: For plumper, younger-looking skin, dilute 5 drops of Cedarwood essential oil with 20 mL (4 tsp) of carrier oil. Alternatively, 1-2 drops of the oil may be added to a body moisturizer or lotion of your choice and massaged well into the skin.



Grapefruit essential oil is a citrusy, refreshingly scented oil extracted from the Citrus paradisi plant. An essential oil widely touted for its skin benefits, it is abundantly featured in soaps, massage blends, aromatherapy, and skincare formulations. When applied topically, it is thought that Grapefruit essential oil can promote healthy-looking skin and reduce the look of cellulite over time.

This essential oil is phototoxic and will increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so avoid sunlight on applied skin for 24 hours. It can also cause skin irritations, so it is wise to do a skin patch test prior to use.

How to use: A 1-2% dilution rate is recommended. Mix 5-6 drops of Grapefruit essential oil with 4 tsp (20 mL) of a carrier oil such as coconut oil, almond oil, or olive oil. Apply generously onto cellulite-affected regions and massage thoroughly.



Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) is a popular spice used for cooking, and it has also been a valuable ingredient used in eastern and traditional medicinal practices for hundreds of years. The digestive benefits of black pepper and its essential oil main constituents are well known, but this cherished oil also contains potent antioxidant and detoxifying properties that can help those afflicted with skin conditions such as fine lines, wrinkles, and cellulite.

The major constituent of Black Pepper - β-Caryophyllene (at 24%) – is reputed to be wonderful for inflammation, contributing to the maintenance of healthy-looking skin while reducing the appearance of scars.

Black Pepper essential oil should not be used by pregnant women or individuals suffering from kidney problems. Those with sensitive skin must do a skin patch test before use.

How to use: Combine 4-5 drops of Black Pepper essential oil with 30 mL (2 tbsp) of a carrier oil. Massage the regions affected by cellulite to reveal beautiful, younger-looking skin.



Commonly steam distilled from Sweet Fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgare), Sweet Fennel essential oil is a mildly spicy but sweet-smelling volatile oil that is incorporated for various medicinal and cosmetic uses all over the world. Its potent antioxidant effects have been well-researched; these properties can help prevent and fight the signs of aging along with the skin laxity associated with it. This makes the oil an excellent choice to include in massage blends for scars and cellulite.

This essential oil should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women. It should also not be used by individuals suffering from diabetes or epilepsy. As it can cause skin irritations, it is wise to conduct a skin patch test before use.

How to use: To activate the effects of Sweet Fennel essential oil, simply add 7-8 drops to 30 mL (2 tbsp) of carrier oil (or the same amount of a moisturizer or body butter of your choice). Massage thoroughly, or use on the body after showering.



Litsea Cubeba essential oil – also known as May Chang – is a citrusy, energizing oil that works perfectly in massage oil blends. This little-known oil is sourced from the berries of the Litsea trees native to East Asia, and has a number of skin-protective factors that make it ideal to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Because of its reputed anti-inflammatory and astringent effects, this essential oil has become a valued ingredient in home remedies for various skin conditions such as acne, oily skin, eczema, and other inflammatory skin issues, as well as stretch marks and cellulite.

Litsea Cubeba is also wonderful at soothing and hydrating the skin from the inside-out. For this reason, it is popularly used to relieve tense muscles and pain from soreness.

This essential oil should be used with caution for those with sensitive skin. It should also not be used by individuals suffering from diabetes.

How to use: To benefit from the skin-cleansing and harmonizing properties of Litsea Cubeba, a 0.5% dilution or less is recommended. Combine 2-3 drops of Litsea oil with 30 mL (2 tbsp) of carrier oil such as jojoba oil. A mild, daily massage is all you need to experience the calming sensations of using this oil, all while gaining its beauty benefits as well.




Although largely a cosmetic concern, cellulite can and does affect the self-confidence of many women. For those unhappy with the appearance of their cellulite, the topical application of essential oils can provide a natural, alternative option to promote firmer-looking skin and improve skin elasticity. Lemon, Juniper Berry, Sage, Cedarwood, Grapefruit, Black Pepper, Sweet Fennel, and Litesea Cubeba (May Chang) essential oils have all been reputed to decrease the look of cellulite.

These essential oils may be used diluted, or they may be formulated within a blend for optimal results. Incorporating them into a regular massage routine, along with other skincare methods such as dry brushing, can also be helpful in further diminishing the look of uneven skin, sagging skin, and cellulite.




It is important to enjoy the cosmetic benefits of these essential oils while using them safely and responsibly. This includes never using them undiluted, performing a skin patch test prior to use, being knowledgeable about the sun’s effects after use, and sourcing them from an ethical brand known for quality and purity.

With these factors in mind, you can begin to experience the luxurious effects of these oils in contributing to the appearance of smoother, more rejuvenated skin.

External use only

As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, essential oils are for external use only. Essential oils must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using these oils for therapeutic purposes.

Pregnancy and other health conditions

Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use essential oils without the medical advice of a physician.

Those with the following health conditions are especially recommended to consult the advice of a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders or allergies, hormone-related ailments, or epilepsy.

Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.

Children and safety

These oils should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of seven.

How to conduct a skin patch test

Prior to using any essential oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of the essential oil in 4 drops of carrier oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of non-sensitive skin.




Potential side effects of essential oils include redness, rash, hives, burning, bleeding disorders, decreased speed of healing, low blood pressure, dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, convulsions, and rapid heartbeat. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the products and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

IMPORTANT: All New Directions Aromatics (NDA) products are for external use only unless otherwise indicated. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and it should not be used by anyone who is pregnant or under the care of a medical practitioner. Please refer to our policies for further details, and our disclaimer below.

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