Editor’s note: Some technologies to treat cellulite, such as those described here, impart physical effects but for cosmetic benefits. Product developers are reminded that the US Food and Drug Administration reviews claims made on labels to determine whether products require drug registration and testing. While the treatments named here may blur the line between cosmetics and drugs, topical formulas that provide visible results are in high demand and a formulating reality.
According to some dermatologists, 85% of women in Western regions have cellulite—and the remaining 15% who do not have it think they do. The cosmetics industry in Europe and North America, much less so in Asia, has increased efforts to research this phenomenon and to market products that help alleviate the symptoms. As the underlying causes and structures are understood in more detail, product developers are better armed to develop topical treatments to reduce the appearance of cellulite, or what is often called orange peel skin (see Figure 1).