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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.
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"Cellulite is currently considered to be â€œan endocrine metabolic microcirculatory disorder that causes interstitial matrix alterations and structural changes in subcutaneous adipose tissue," according to Distante et al.,3 who then go on to describe four competing theories for how that disorder originates: a circulatory defect, hypertrophy of the fat lobule, a physiological event, and numerous biochemical and metabolic alterations. The cause of cellulite is still a matter of debate.
Normally, the vascular supply to the adipose tissue is characterized by a fine and regular mesh of blood and lymph vessels that provides oxygen and the necessary nutrition and allows the removal of toxic substances. The onset of cellulite formation brings numerous histological changes, as described in the following stages.3,4
1. Even before any cosmetic problems are seen, capillary networks are lost in the dermal region as a result of a breakdown in blood vessel integrity (lipoedema), which swells the adipose tissue. Fluid retention (lipolymphoedema) and clumping of engorged fat cells occur in the subcutaneous tissue.
2. Minimal visual signs (i.e., slight skin surface lumpiness) appear on the thighs. Heterogeneity of blood vessels affects microcirculation. The aggregation of adipose cells and the growth of collagen fibrils hamper blood circulation, leading to circulatory stasis.
3. Pinching of the skin exacerbates the visual appearance of cellulite. Dermal metabolism is reduced due to vascular deterioration. Dermal thinning occurs in response to minimized protein synthesis and deterioration. Adipose cells isolated from nutrition and waste removal swell into micronodules surrounded by a stiff collagen layer (fibrosis).