With time, the epidermis becomes thinner; elastin and collagen fibers become looser and rarer; and the hypodermis becomes thicker. All of these changes favor the “orange peel” aspect of the skin. Moreover, women and men are not equally confronted with this problem.
First, fat tissue volume in women represents 20-30% of the body weight compared to 15-20% in men. In women, fat below the belt represents stored – i.e. hardly mobilized – fat that depends on female hormones and provides the energy needed for reproduction.
Next, the connective tissue in women is more stretchable than in men. Consequently, the adipocytes move more easily between fibers, thus distorting the connective tissue and giving the skin a padded aspect.
Thirdly, fat distribution is more important in the gluteofemoral area in women (gynoid distribution) and in the abdominal area in men (android distribution). Gynoid distribution is linked to the fact that in women, the activity of lipoprotein lipase, the key enzyme for lipid storage in adipocytes, is higher in gluteal than in abdominal fat. Further factors enhance the formation of orange peel skin, such as a too rich food, a bad venous and lymphatic circulation, the lack of physical activity and heredity.
Different treatments against orange peel skin are available, such as manual and electromechanical massage, manual lymphatic drainage, sequential pneumatic compression, electrolipolysis, mesotherapy and topical applications of dermatocosmetic products. The main purpose of topical slimming products is to influence the metabolism of adipocytes. This article gives an overall view of adipose tissue, lipolysis, lipogenesis, topical treatment of orange peel skin and suitable test methods.