Cosmetic Cellulite Treatment

Formulation choice

Although it is logical to think that the efficacy of an anti-cellulite cosmetic is mainly linked to the mechanical action of the massage of the affected areas, among the requisites required for the latest generation anti-cellulite is the speed of absorption.

This is the reason why the most widespread cosmetic form on the market today is represented by water-based gels. The consumer also appreciates emulsions, milks or creams, which have the advantage of being able to carry both hydro and liposoluble active ingredients.

In addition to the classic cosmetic preparations, it is also possible to find patches, prolonged release active transdermal patches, and sludge, aqueous suspensions with a high content of clays.

Anti-Cellulite Active Ingredients

The topical treatment of cellulite uses the properties of a series of functional substances, many of which are of vegetable origin, which act both at the level of the microcirculation and at the level of the subcutaneous tissues.

However, it should be said that the cosmetic treatment cannot solve the problem of cellulite, but can only intervene on the imperfections related to the phenomenon, favoring the restoration of the correct balance of water exchanges and superficial lipid metabolism.

To achieve a formulation that meets the declared efficacy requirements, it is necessary to combine different active ingredients to implement a strategy of synergistic effects.

The most used substances can be grouped as follows:

1) vasotonic and anti-edema substances, able to improve the vascular tone, decrease the permeability of the vessel walls, and promote resorption and veno-lymphatic return;

2) lipolytic substances, able to enhance the metabolism of adipose tissue;

3) re-epithelializing substances, able to stimulate the regeneration of the subcutaneous components (collagen, hyaluronic acid), restoring an acceptable dermal structure.

Reinforce the Microcirculation

As for the plant derivatives with vasotonic and anti-edema activity, we find the triterpene saponins, such as escin1 and ederine, active ingredients present respectively in the seeds of horse chestnut ( Aesculus hippocastanum ) and in the leaves of ivy ( Hedera helix ). These substances have a marked anti-edema activity and have a positive effect on fragility and capillary permeability.

Their action takes place on three fronts:

  • increased vessel resistance and improved circulation;
  • increased removal and elimination of liquids stagnating in tissues;
  • anti-inflammatory and anti-congestive effect.

Among the other extracts of plant origin with similar action we find:

  • the ruscus ( Ruscus aculeatus ), whose rhizomes contain sterol saponins, such as ruscogenin, able to stimulate the contraction of the vascular musculature with an increase in venous return; the
  • centella ( Centella asiatica ), whose triterpene fraction has proved effective in anti-cellulite treatments, since it is able to stimulate a particular adhesive protein, fibronectin, which helps to maintain the integrity of the endothelium of the vessels;
  • the witch hazel ( Hamamelis Virginiana ), with a venous vasoconstrictor action;
  • Ginkgo biloba2, from whose leaves is extracted a phytocomplex very rich in bioflavonoids with beneficial properties on the circulatory system. The effects of ginkgo on the circulation manifest themselves with the protection of the vascular endothelium and the stabilization of capillary permeability;
  • the red vine (Vitis vinifera), whose extract, rich in anthocyanosides, is very useful in the treatment of venous insufficiency of the lower limbs and its complications;
  • birch ( Betulla alba ), whose extract has diuretic activity.
  • Finally, there are substances that induce vasodilation and local vasoconstriction, with a tonic effect on the vessel walls, such as menthol and derivatives, and nicotinates.

Burn fat

Among the molecules used for the lipolytic action we find the methylxanthines, in particular caffeine, and the vegetable extracts that contain it: kola nut, coffee seeds and leaves, tea leaves, cocoa beans ( Cola acuminata, Coffea arabica, Camelia sinensis, Theobroma cacao ).

These extracts cause an increase in lipolysis, with positive effects on adipocyte reduction. Caffeine, due to its poor solubility in water, is preferably pre-solubilized in alcohol, before being introduced into the aqueous phase of cosmetic preparations.

For the lipolytic activity are also used extracts of some algae, such as marine oak ( Fucus vesiculosus ), since they contain iodine both in inorganic and protein bound form; iodine concentrates in the thyroid, where it is incorporated into thyroid hormones, which in turn stimulate the basal metabolism causing the body to eliminate excess fats. Thanks to their intrinsic characteristics, algae are also osmo-hydro regulatory agents: they improve the vitality and firming of the skin, they cover it with a natural protective film and participate in its drainage, helping to eliminate toxins and metabolic waste.

Still with a lipolytic mechanism, other plant derivatives act, such as Coleus forskohlii, from whose roots forskolin is obtained, or glaucine, an alkaloid capable of inhibiting the transformation of pre-adipocytes into adipocytes.

Redensify the skin

Among the re-epithelizing substances we find equisetum ( Equisetum arvense ), a plant belonging to the Esquisetaceae family, from which an extract rich in substances such as malic acid is obtained, which stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, with consequent improvement of the skin elasticity.

Within an anti-cellulite formulation, ingredients with a moisturizing activity are generally included, such as panthenol or hyaluronic acid, antioxidants (flavonoids) and surface smoothing molecules, such as alpha-hydroxy acids, whose action makes the skin surface more smooth and more uniform skin texture.

List of anti-cellulite cosmetics reviewed on the site:


PRO FORMA Model-cell

Guam Mud Cream


Collistar - Crio anti-cellulite gel

Body Cream - Cellulite

Good-bye cellulite serum 10 days

Good-bye cellulite gel

Birch cellulite oil