Thursday, June 24, 2010

Do Cellulite Creams Work?

Interesting Question

In a word: NO....That was easy! Of course if you would like to know why they don't work...please feel free to read further.

What Is Cellulite?

It is spongy, dimply, cottage cheese-looking skin that seems to cause angst and frustration to so many women.

Cellulite is a normal function of our bodies and is more than likely the product of genetics and hormones. Cellulite is a storage pattern of superficial fat! So basically, instead of fat being stored diffusely, it is stored in little pockets separated by fibrous strands.

Many articles promoting cellulite creams make claims that cellulite is the result of toxins, poor circulation or clogged lymphatics. Whereby, using a cream designed for cellulite can correct these issues within the skin. When in fact, comparing cellulite fat to other fat, there is no biochemical differences.

Three Main Components Typically Found In Cellulite Creams

Caffeine ~ this is in almost every cellulite reducing product that shows any benefit, because it helps blood flow to the skin and acts like a diuretic. So essentially by removing moisture from the skin, it firms it, but note this is only temporarily.

Retinol ~ As seen in many anti-aging creams, it is supposed to work by being able to penetrate the skin, exfoliate it, and increase collagen production, which makes skin thicker and hides the dimpling fat. However, the amount which would be needed to have such an effect would be at levels such as in Retin A which is used for scarring, sun damage and acne, whereby, this could have similar effects such as causing skin to redden, then peel.

DMAE ~ this is an antioxidant derived from fish that when combined with amino acids which has been shown to stimulate the muscles to contract and become firmer. There are some cellulite creams that promote through the use of this ingredient, but again how well does it work in the levels used, and on areas where skin and subcutaneous fat are thicker unlike on our faces.

Why Do Some Women Feel They Work?

Due in part out of a desperation to have them work and to also see an improved appearance to a degree.

But the question remains: is it the physical kneading of the body part, or the diuretic effect of caffeine? Which to the latter part of caffeine, a question.... why would anyone want to deliberately pull moisture from the skin, especially as we age?

Moisture retention helps reduce the signs of aging, so to help remove it for all in the name of smoothing a fat cell, is the other harm we are causing our delicate skin. Plus, when you think about it...fat cells have nothing to do with water being stored in the body. Loss of water weight does not equate with loss of fat weight.

Diet and exercise will do more good for reducing cellulite structure...when our body loses weight, fat cells shrink, leaving us with a slimmer version of ourselves. But an important thing to remember, is even thin women struggle with cellulite, making the argument of genetics and body composition all the more sustainable. And on the other side of this, I have seen heavy women with perfectly smooth thighs. It is all how we disperse the fat throughout our bodies.

These skin creams may reduce the appearance of cellulite which is only temporary. Plus, the daily attention one would have to pay to this tireless ritual would become an addiction in and of itself, ...and despite ones' best efforts, they will not get rid of cellulite by mechanical means.

Research Does Not Support The Claims

One 1999 published study showed no improvement in cellulite for 56 women who had tried a tissue-kneading machine or aminophylline cream, one of the ingredients in current anti-cellulite creams.

Let's look at the science: When something is applied topically, what concentration would we need to have it penetrate through multiple layers of skin and into the subcutaneous fat? With this we would now be entering an area of science related to nano technology, and to date I could not find any studies reflecting this type of research, or if it had been proven, and whether or not topical application could perform such a feat.

Furthermore, there is also no standardized means of measuring cellulite, making it difficult to gauge whether improvement has indeed taken place. Both caffeine and aminophylline which are main ingredients found in these creams, are simply dehydrating agents.

Reduction in water may make us look less puffy, but for thickening the skin which has only been proven to work with the use of Retin A, there is little these creams will actually do for cellulite.

More data available through research and these are located here: Cellulite Removers. Some of these practices may effectively work at reducing the appearance, but it can take hundreds to thousands of dollars and a life time of maintenance to keep, if any, the results.

Federal Trade Commission Also Says "NO"!

The FTC went after QVC for making claims about many products including vitamins, weight loss and of course Cellulite Creams. They were postulating that a cream named "Lipofactor Target Cellulite Lotion" would reduce or eliminate cellulite based on measurable differences on the areas of the body most prevalent with cellulite! This is in direct contradiction of what 1999 study showed.....The case was settled last year! The Original Complaint in District Court.

They were ordered to pay fines and compensatory damages to consumers who bought the cream based on bogus claims. QVC to Pay $7.5 Million to Settle Charges that It Aired Deceptive Claims

In doing a search for this lotion, I come up blank, literally...all hypertext to this product are replaced with other personal care products or a blank page shows. So I presume this product has been removed from the market.

Save Your Money

Buying these types of snake oils only fuel our insecurities of our bodies with a desperation that accompanies lowered self esteem over something by which we have no control over.

I have learned over the years, and now that I am much wiser and savvy, when looking at all the research, it is easier to accept what I have been given and to do the best with what I have, and focus on being a better human being as a whole instead of being defined by a body part.

I never used to be caught dead out in shorts or a swim suit without a tan since it helped to hide my little imperfections including bumps and am strutting my stuff, baby. I am me, and I don't worry so much about what others think of my shape, because I am more than a body, but a soul, and with this I have peace.

My Mantra and my slogan for my company, and one I truly take to heart: Always "Celebrate Your Natural Beauty"!


Have a great weekend...hopefully summer will finally settle in for the duration...needing my heat please!

And now off to do some cellulite reduction exercises....


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