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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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4. Thigh skin appearance is very heterogeneous. Hard fat nodules in the dermal region are located upon palpation. Micronodules agglomerate into macronodules.
These stages illustrate the variety of circulatory and structural changes that would need to be addressed by treatment approaches.
The Ingredients and Products
In her 2005 University of Cincinnati dissertation on quantitative models for the investigation of cellulite,4 Smalls described numerous treatment approaches: weight loss; surgical procedures; carbon dioxide therapy; mechanical massage; and pharmacological agents, both oral and topical. Her Internet search on the term cellulite treatment early that year revealed 223,000 reports. Her survey of the claims and contents of four affordably priced topical treatments then available, and recapped here, illustrates the range of ingredients and possible mechanisms already employed in marketed anticellulite products.
- Avon's Cellu-Sculpt Anticellulite Slimming Treatment contains caffeine and botanical extracts with anti-inflammatory effects (Ginkgo biloba leaf extract, Panax ginseng extract, Bupleurum falcatum extract (hareâ€™s ear), Lagerstremia indica extract, and Malva sylvestris (mallow) extract.
- Jergens Skin Firming Moisturizer contains a Fucus vesiculosis (seaweed) extract that has anticoagulant properties, may enhance skin fibroblast expression of integrins, and reportedly increases skin firmness and reduces skin thickness (in the cheek). The product also contains Centella asiatica extract that has been reported to induce lypolysis when taken orally.
- Neutrogena Anti-Cellulite Treatment contains retinol, an unspecified seaweed extract and caffeine.
- RoC Retinol ActifPur Anti-Cellulite Treatment uses retinol, ruscus and caffeine to make the skin "appear" smoother and firmer.
New active ingredients and mechanisms are introduced every year. One recent example is a sulfo-carrabioses solutiona from BASF Beauty Care Solutions. This red seaweed hydrolyzate contains a new molecule--called k-carrageenan or, more precisely, sulfo-carrabiose--that is capable of capturing two polyamines--spermine and spermidine--that trigger fat accumulation. The ingredient is a simple and natural sugar trap with the claimed ability to hinder the bioavailability of these two pro-cellulite polyamines, reportedly resulting in a significant reduction of the appearance of cellulite when used with caffeine and compared to caffeine used alone (See Supporting Claims for Sulfo-carrabioses Solution).5