An aesthetician rubs cellulite cream on a woman’s upper thigh

Do Cellulite Creams Actually Work?

Cellulite doesn’t just affect full-figured women; it can be concerning for thin, young, athletic women and even teenagers. Much time and money go into finding cellulite treatments to dissolve the lumpy nodules that cause the skin to look spongy and loose. One of the more popular is topical treatments; but do cellulite creams work?

How Is Cellulite Formed?

Cellulite affects approximately 90% of women and 20% of men. Cellulite develops over time; estrogen decreases as women age and inhibits circulation in blood vessels. The reduced blood flow causes less oxygen and nutrition to reach the vessels, inhibiting collagen production. 

Because of the decreased collagen production, fat cells have more space to become larger and protrude through the remaining collagen. This process causes bumpy fat under the skin called cellulite. Most women form cellulite around their knees, thighs, buttocks, and stomach because they have three layers of fat instead of one in these areas. Men aren’t as susceptible to developing cellulite but often find cellulite in the same places as women once they gain weight or decrease exercise. Men can also find cellulite on their upper arms and back.

two smiling women in bras and underwear who have stretch marks and cellulite

What Are Cellulite Creams Made From?

Cellulite isn’t harmful to your health, but it’s a condition many people would like to see disappear. Anti-cellulite creams are readily available treatments for cellulite and are applied directly to the skin.

Below is a list of ingredients typically found in anti-cellulite creams:

  • Methylxanthines – A group of stimulating compounds like caffeine also containing anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • Retinol – This derivative of vitamin D is known to have fat cell shrinking abilities.
  • Alpha-tocopherol – Also known as fat-soluble vitamin E, is an antioxidant that helps get more oxygen to the layers of skin, which flushes fat cells from the body. 
  • Ascorbic-acid – Vitamin C is used to reduce cellulite because of its ability to produce collagen and repair red blood cells. 
  • Aminophylline – Although a prescription drug used to treat asthma, aminophylline is touted to dissolve fat and smooth skin.
  • Botanical extracts – Ginkgo, Centella, pineapple, quinoa, and yuzu have anti-inflammatory properties and aid skin elasticity.

So, Do Cellulite Creams Actually Work?

Several studies found cellulite creams can actually reduce the appearance of lumpiness and dimples. A 2018 study among 44 women who applied anti-cellulite cream twice a day for eight weeks found improved skin firmness, elasticity, and hydration. They also reported smoother skin.

Cellulite occurs deep beneath the skin; deeper than surface creams can reach. Although these creams may improve the appearance of the skin, they can not eliminate cellulite. The benefits of cellulite creams are minimal and temporary and need to be applied twice daily for at least three months to see any improvement.

Our skin needs to have a regular level of the active ingredients in the cream to make a difference, and stopping their use will reverse any progress. 

Cellulite creams only affect the surface of the skin and won’t reduce fat cells or improve collagen production. However, cellulite treatments with medical-grade retinol produce better results, improving the skin’s appearance, but still only as a temporary fix.

a woman receives a skin tightening cellulite treatment on her knees

Effective Options for Cellulite Treatment

In the past, cellulite has been difficult to treat. However, there are several options that effectively improve the bumps from cellulite. One option is skin tightening, a non-invasive treatment that causes the body to regenerate collagen. The results are naturally smoother skin and a reduced appearance of cellulite, noticeable after each treatment. 

Harmony Med Spa utilizes superior, FDA-approved laser equipment that works by using energy from radio frequency (RF) that’s targeted to the areas of the body with cellulite. These treatments cause the body to produce extra collagen, thus reducing cellulite. These treatments may also reduce fat under the skin and produce tighter, smoother, and more even-textured skin.

Contact Harmony Med Spa To Learn About Cellulite Treatments

Visit Harmony Med Spa’s website and fill out our contact form to set up a complimentary consultation for cellulite treatment.

Let our trained professionals assess your skin and create a custom treatment plan that works for you. Our beauty professionals will help you reach your goals for more youthful skin, increasing your confidence and self-esteem—all in our relaxing, resort-like medical aesthetics clinic.