Every year women spent millions of dollars on various products and treatments to get rid of cellulite. According to a study, around 90% of women who are above the age of 30 years tend to have struggled with this problem at some point of time. Amongst these products, anti-cellulite creams offered by almost all leading cosmetic brands are the most popular. However, before addressing the question of whether or not these creams are truly effective, it is important to learn what cellulite is and how it affects the body.
What Is Cellulite?
Cellulite is not actually a medical disease, but rather a condition which makes the skin look bumpy and dimpled and gives it the appearance of an orange peel. The condition results when the mesh like connective tissue located just beneath the skin is no longer able to contain the fat deposits. These fat deposits then burst out causing the skin dimpling and sagging.
The condition is more prominent in females than males due to the difference in the structuring of the fibrous tissue. Moreover, the condition generally effects only the lower body parts, primarily the buttocks, thighs, hips and waist of the females.
Factors That Affect Cellulite Development
Researchers are yet to understand that reason as to why some people develop cellulite while others do not. However, the following factors might be in some way responsible for the development of this mostly harmless body condition.
- Genetics: Specific genes that are responsible for the body functions such as metabolism, circulation, fat distribution, and hormone levels are likely to make individuals more prone to the development of cellulite.
- Age: As the skin ages, it loses its flexibility and elasticity and this can enhance the development of cellulite due to skin sagging.
- Hormones: In some cases the manner and quantity in which hormones such as estrogen, insulin, thyroid hormones, prolactin, and norepinephrine are released and balanced within the body may also enhance cellulite development.
- Diet: Improper and unbalanced diet is known to be a major cause of various health issues, with cellulite being one of them as it can enhance the amount of fat deposits under the skin.
- Lifestyle: Poor lifestyle, with lack of regular exercise and unusual weight gain can worsen the development of cellulite. Many people who exercise regularly also develop cellulite due to inadequate liquid intake, high levels of stress and smoking or alcoholism.
Do Anti-cellulite Creams Prove Effective
As mentioned before, anti-cellulite creams are the most common method use by females to get rid of or at least minimize the effects of this condition. These creams generally contain one or more of the following as their active ingredients and are assumed to be helpful in treating cellulite.
- Methylxanthines: Chemicals such as caffeine, aminophylline, and theophylline are all different types of methylxanthines, used commonly in anti-cellulite creams. While caffeine helps in enhancing fat metabolism, aminophylline and theophylline are known to help muscles relax and break down fatty deposits to make the skin smooth.
- Retinol: This derivative of Vitamin A helps improve blood flow to the skin and also enhances its strength and thickness
- Botanical derivatives: Derivatives such as Gingko biloba, Centella asiatica, and horse chestnut help in slowing down the fat formation, breaking it down and reducing inflammation.
Most anti-cellulite creams combine the above components with other ingredients to create a complex mixture to supposedly help reduce cellulite. However, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, the chances of such creams proving effective for improving the condition are extremely low. In fact, the researchers concluded that there was little evidence to support the claim that the application of anti-cellulite creams tropically can affect the appearance of cellulite in a significant manner.