Does Cellulite Cream Really Work? An Evidence Based Guide

 Does Cellulite Cream Really Work? An Evidence Based Guide

Many ‘miracle creams’ are a big waste of money


Cellulite is an unfortunate symptom of underlying issues in your body.

For the majority of cases, it’s nothing serious and very common, so don’t panic.

However you’re probably in the majority of women who feel weighed down and embarrassed by the appearance of cellulite.

Over 80% of women experience cellulite and once it develops, it is very hard to shift.

It can effect your self esteem and choice of clothing and unfortunately many businesses and health and wellness figures tap into these insecurities to line their own pockets.

Claims of miracle creams and secret techniques to cure cellulite flood the internet and when you’re feeling helpless, that quite often leads to trying all sorts of things.

Does cellulite cream really work?

We strongly believe that knowledge is power when it comes to any sort of health concern.

The internet can be an amazing resource to educate yourself but it can take some time to weed through the fodder and find the right people, providing genuine information.

This should definitely include qualified opinions such as those of your doctor or dermatologist. We hope to be a safe and reliable resource when it comes to your concerns and search for information on cellulite online.

We also want to help you avoid wasting money.

There are so many creams, lotions and concoctions on the market claiming to cure and reduce to appearance of cellulite.

This article will raise your awareness on these and arm you with the right knowledge – giving you the power to make the right choice!

Before we move on it’s important to first understand what cellulite is.

What is cellulite?

cellulite causes
Cellulite occurs when fat pockets push through your connective tissue

Firstly, it is important to understand cellulite and why you have it on your body. You may have noticed it on your bum, the back and sides of your thighs and maybe your stomach and arms.

According to research, cellulite is a result of the fat pockets below your skins surface pushing upwards through your connective tissue.

We have three layers of skin; the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. The condition of all three impact the appearance of cellulite.

three layers of skin
Connective tissue that is not sufficiently toned fails to keep the fat cells at bay

Our top layer, the epidermis is where you see the effect of cellulite, but the cause of those unsightly dimples lies within the dermis and hypodermis.

Your hypodermis is home to your fat tissue which varies in size depending on your weight, level of activity and your diet.

While your dermis is home to your connective tissue and lies flat just below the surface of your skin.

As you can see in the diagram above, If your connective tissue isn’t as toned and taut as it should be, the fat tissue below pushes through and creates the appearance of cellulite.

This is where it’s really important to remember the reason why you have cellulite as it makes it easier to understand why so many claims to cure it aren’t logical.

We also urge you to remember that obesity or being overweight is not the cause of cellulite.

What effects the condition of connective tissue?

The condition of your connective tissue is dependent on a few major factors. Firstly, to prevent fat deposits pushing upwards, the tissue needs to be toned and tight.

The majority of women are never going to have perfectly tight skin and zero body fat.This expectation is unrealistic and disheartening.

Being active and eating well should be your priority as it’s in that case that your body has the strength and tools to care for itself.

Some of the major factors that effect the condition of your connective tissue are:

  • the natural (and uncontrollable) process of ageing as it slows down collagen growth and impacts skin elasticity;
  • hormonal imbalances such as thyroid conditions also impact collagen production;
  • an inactive lifestyle either due to health issues or lack of exercise which result in limited movement. This slows down blood flow to the buttocks and thighs, resulting in poor circulation and slowed collagen production;
  • diet as it is a major player when it comes to the impact it has on your weight as well as blood flow and circulation.

Keep in mind that scientific studies have proven that there is no cure for cellulite, but addressing any health concerns if relevant, should be your first step.

The second step and most important for maintaining your health is diet and exercise – more on that later.

The cellulite cure cream claim

If you’re in the market for a cellulite cream to either repair your cellulite or reduce its appearance, you will not be short of options.

Every cream claims to repair your cellulite and some of their prices are exorbitant.

You will find that most either have retinol or caffeine as a major ingredient.

Applying retinol to your skin is said to stimulate collagen production. Caffeine claims to stimulate your blood flow from the surface, penetrating below as well as breaking down fat cells.

Both of these ingredients are promoted as strong enough to sink deep into your body and work their magic.

These words are thrown around a lot in cellulite cream marketing.

Some of the online reviews that claim to have experienced positive results say that their skin felt smoother and hydrated. However very few of them stated that their cellulite was diminishing.

The secret ingredient

secret ingredient in cellulite creamThe ingredients in these creams can be very nourishing for skin due to their hydrating and natural properties.

However just because your skin feels smoother, does not mean that it’s curing the underlying problem.

The one result which we can understand is a diminished appearance of cellulite on a very temporary basis – thanks to an ingredient in cellulite creams called aminophylline.

This is a chemical-based product which dehydrates your skin in order to make it look tighter and toned and this is where temporary results play a factor.

Either way, we’re not rushing to dehydrate or traumatise our skin for a quick, temporary fix.

If anything, cellulite reduction can be naturally and healthily assisted by frequent water intake, not the opposite. Keep an eye on this ingredient if you are shopping around for a cream to try as it is quite commonly used.

The best cellulite creams

cellulite cream claims
Most creams falsely claim to cure cellulite

That brings us to the most popular creams on the market. They appear to be:

  • Body Merry Cellulite Defense – a retinol gel with natural properties including caffeine, claiming to firm the skin. Their unique value proposition is their secret blend of ingredients that no other company can match.
  • Clarins Body Fit – at $85 for 200mls, the Clarins Body Fit Contouring Expert lotion claims to tone and reshape your skin with their quince leaf ingredient.
  • Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream – this concoction has a cute name and appealing packaging but their promotion is the same; the unique guaraná ingredient has a high caffeine content to stimulate blood flow and reduce cellulite.
  • Perricone MD Cold Plasma – another pricey product costing $110 for 230mls, claims to firm, tone and tighten your skin;
  • And lastly, the Juice Beauty Green Apple Firming Moisturiser – an all organic mixture for firming every part of your body.

Do cellulite creams actually work?

Just like the abundance of creams available, the reviews are just as abundant.

Many beauty bloggers and women’s magazines claim that the above products work. You’ll find that these are some of the top options to appear in most reviews of quality cellulite creams.

Review writers range from ladies just like you and I, through to worldwide magazine brands who may have hidden agendas with their promotions.

The main thing to keep in mind when reading these reviews is that the majority do not say that cellulite was reduced or cured. They say that the cream smells good, absorbs well or tingles on application, so it must be working!

After this they most commonly go on to say that their skin felt smoother over time.

Once again, this is not addressing the problem and the company’s don’t have any visual evidence, nor do they provide scientific proof on the sites that sell these products.

What does the research say?

Now that you understand cellulite and its causes, consider how creams cannot repair your connective tissue.

There is proof from scientific experiments supporting the ineffectiveness of applying a cream to your skin and the claim that it will penetrate below and repair your cellulite.

It’s really disappointing to see known and respected magazines, websites and fitness figures pushing these creams with no proof of results. At times without any information on how they are supposed to work.

There are so many different types of lotions and creams sold to cure cellulite. From “body-smoothing” gels, “body-firming” creams and “mineral shapers,” to “firming and smoothing” serums, “redefining” body balms and “slimming” scrubs.

They all sound so amazing and have the right combination of packaging and keywords that aim to give you hope. We must give their marketing teams credit!

Ranging from $20 – $200 it is easy to be attracted to trying one of these products, especially when they finish them off with an intoxicating scent.

When investigating the effectiveness of cellulite creams, studies performed on human subjects in controlled conditions have done little for finding their benefits.

One recent study, conducted with the most common ingredients of cellulite creams such as retinol and caffeine was able to rule out claims to improve or cure cellulite after ongoing, daily applications.

It is studies such as these, conducted by scientists, experienced in their field, that give us the unbiased ruling on products like those listed above.

This is priceless information. The businesses marketing these creams aren’t providing any scientific evidence or other plausible proof that they can make a difference. In other words, proceed with caution.

Natural ways to fight the dimples

The reduction and improvement of cellulite has been linked to exercise and diet.

When it comes to educating yourself, investigate the ways that exercise and diet can target your cellulite by addressing its causes.

Blood flow, circulation and the condition of your connective tissue are three main factors to consider.

Not only is this the cheapest and most logical to work on your problem but it’s enforcing healthy habits that will aid you in other areas such as a healthy immune system, a balanced weight and a longer life span.

Factors such as a high sugar intake or a job where you spend thirty hours per week sitting down could be having more of an impact than you think.

What types of foods/exercise is best?

When it comes to exercise, resistance and strength training have been proven to strengthen your muscles, aid weight loss and tone your connective tissue.

These include simple exercises such as squats and weight lifting that you can perform in your home privately, at your own pace.

There are also foods high in Vitamin C, B3 or E that have been proven to boost your collagen growth and tighten skin.

These include turkey, red peppers, kale and brussel sprouts.

Need more help to get rid of cellulite?

It’s important lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise that can be tweaked every day to gain actual results on your body and a reduction in the appearance of cellulite.

If you are looking to commit to an all-round attack on your unsightly dimples, there are some much more realistic options for you to gain help and inspiration such as The Cellulite Factor Solution.

This is a program that promotes healthy eating and regular exercise.

The program was created by a doctor and passionate fitness ambassador, Dr Charles Livingston. He provides plenty of content for recipes and correct strengthening exercises.

I’m much more inclined to recommend something like this. It’s natural, healthy and teaches you positive practices to incorporate into your life regularly.


Overall, it’s important to look into things for yourself, especially when you are spending your hard earned money or putting a lotion onto your skin.

Furthermore, if you really do have your heart set on trying a cream, ensure that you’re not allergic to ingredients and try to aim for something natural; the less chemicals, the better.

Creams are only a short term solution at best. In order to achieve lasting results they must be used in conjunction with a cellulite targeting exercise regime and a nutritious diet.

When this is done you’re giving your body the best fighting chance to get rid of cellulite for good.

As always we recommend to consult your doctor or dietician before trying anything new.

[1]   Mathew M Avram, MD JD. 2005. Cellulite: a review of its physiology and treatment. J Cosmet Laser Ther 2005; 7: 1-5. 2 p.

[2]   Mathew M Avram, MD JD. 2005. Cellulite: a review of its physiology and treatment. J Cosmet Laser Ther 2005; 7: 1-5. 4 p.

[3]   Luebberding, Stefanie & Krueger, Nils & Sadick, Neil. (2015). Cellulite: An Evidence-Based Review. American journal of clinical dermatology. 16. . 10.1007/s40257-015-0129-5.

[4]     Westcott WL. 2012. Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health.  Curr Sports Med Rep Jul-Aug;11(4):209-16

[5]     Ruta Ganceviciene, Aikaterini I. Liakou, Athanasios Theodoridis, Evgenia Makrantonaki and Christos C. Zouboulis. 2012. Dermatoendocrinol. Jul 1; 4(3): 308–319.

5/5 - (86 votes)

Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!