Cellulite Creams

Cellulite Creams; At A Glance

  • Best ResultsAre marginal
  • Treatment RecoveryNA
  • Procedure TimeNA
  • Skin SpecialistNA
  • Duration of ResultsVariable
  • AnaestheticNA
  • Back to WorkNA
  • Cost$

Asian Skin Rejuvenation

Cellulite creams can be used as adjunctive therapy. There are many conflicting reports in the scientific literature regarding their true efficacy. At best they can be used as placebo treatments. More research is required to determine their true value.

FactsFacts on Cellulite Creams

  • Retinol & retinoids can strengthen the dermal layer of skin
  • Caffeine topically & orally has lipolytic (fat metabolising) effects
  • Caffeine also has an effect on the microcirculation in cellulite areas
  • Botanicals including green tea, marine algae, ginger & papaya can modulate microcirculation & marginally improve cellulite
  • Creams are best utilised as adjunctive management
  • Deep tissue massage coupled with topicals are better than topicals alone
  • Procedures including subcision, dermal fillers, electromagnetic energy & radiofrequency work best

Do cellulite creams really work?

In short, despite the high number of treatments for cellulite reduction available on the market, only a few scientific investigations on the efficacy of these treatments have been published. To date the greatest evidence rests on retinoids & methylxanthines (caffeine, aminophylline, theophylline). 

Note: It is difficult to identify the efficacy of a specific active agent, since the majority of creams contain caffeine, alone or in a more complex formulation, and therefore impossible to distinguish the role of each component. Read the rest of this page if you would like to know more about the fluffy side of cellulite creams. 

What causes cellulite?

Although excessive weight gain increases the risk of cellulite, it can appear in young women with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI). 

Other factors that contribute to cellulite include-

  • Gender. Females >> Males
  • Genetics
  • Hormones – especially estrogen.
  • Dietary & the role of nutrition.
  • Lifestyle- lack of exercise.

What is the most effective ingredient in cellulite creams?

To date the most studied ingredient found in cellulite & anti-aging creams are retinoids. These are vitamin A derived topicals. The most common form is retinol (over the counter), prescription formulations include tretinoin, retinoic acid, tazarotene & adapalene.

Retinoids can increase collagen synthesis & strengthen the dermal layer.  This can potentially offer more resistance to the extrusion forces of the hypodermis, in turn reducing the look of cellulite. Retinoids can also increase angiogenesis & hence modulate vascular supply in cellulite prone areas. Look for formulations containing 0.5 to 1.0% retinol.

The next group of ingredients include methylxanthines & then botanical extracts.

What are methylxanthines & how do they reduce cellulite?

Methylxanthines consisting of aminophylline, theophylline, and caffeine have been the most extensively evaluated ingredients used in topical formulations for cellulite.

Methylxanthines are hypothesized to improve cellulite by stimulating lipolysis and inhibiting the enzyme phosphodiesterase, which increases the concentration of cyclic adenosine monophosphate.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Cellulite Creams

There are many white papers in the literature outlining the benefits of cellulite creams however placebo controlled double blinded studies are lacking.

Whilst there is evidence that caffeine can modulate adipose tissue metabolism, the majority of topical contain a plethora of other active ingredients including niacinamide, green tea, botanical extracts including marine algae, papaya, & ginkgo.

Retinol & retinoids can improve dermal thickness, namely increasing collagen production. With the event of powerful & cost effective topicals, this may be a sensible starting point. For a powerful DIY brew, mix with OTC cellulite creams, apply with adjunctive deep tissue massage 3 to 4 times a week.

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