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Anticellulite Products: Ingredients and Efficacy Testing
By: Bud Brewster, Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine
Posted: December 23, 2008, from the January 2009 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
In August of last year, the Wall Street Journal Health Blog reported that there was "not much high-quality evidence" for the effectiveness of cellulite treatments;1 for example, massage treatments produce swelling that reduces dimpling, but the dimpling reduction is only temporary. In addition, lasers or energy sources that are claimed to affect the fat cells under the skin have not been proven to have any long-term effect, according to the report. "There's nothing that has been shown in any objective way to create improvement for cellulite," Robert A. Weiss, then president-elect of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, told the Wall Street Journal.
What was he thinking? Where was the discussion of the huge range2 of anticellulite products and professional methods available to treat cellulite--from topical products and oral regimens, to garments? How could he ignore the body of technical knowledge generated by the suppliers of anticellulite ingredients, and the manufacturers of anticellulite products?
Nevertheless, Weiss gets some support from Enzo Berardesca at the San Gallicano Dermatological Institute in Rome. In 2006, Berardesca admitted that the efficacy of cellulite treatments is often debated. He wrote, "The evaluation of cellulite is based principally on clinical observation, thigh circumference measurements, body mass index and thermography, but for testing anticellulite products, more objective and noninvasive methods of evaluation are requested."2
Both Weiss and Berardesca are asking for objective proof that anticellulite products work. This "Bench & Beyond" column examines selected patents, journal articles, product promotion pieces and one dissertation--all from the last six years--for signs indicating that objective proof is on the way.