Beauty research: Can cellulite cream help me lose weight?

Heidi Has A Question…Can I lose weight by using an anti cellulite cream? If so, will it work on any fat or just on the parts of the body with cellulite?

The Right Brain Responds:

Heidi, I’m afraid that anti-cellulite creams are NOT an effective weight loss treatment. In fact, there’s no solid scientific evidence to show that they do much of anything at all.

What is cellulite?

Despite what you might be told at a spa, cellulite is not some special medical condition. Although its dimpled appearance (seen frequently on thighs and buttocks) is disturbing, cellulite is really just a type of body fat. For that reason, there has been little published in the peer reviewed medical journals.

Does anything really work?

But what about all the products marketed as cellulite reducers – do they really work? We quote the December, 2004 issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Laser Therapy (6(4):181-5):

“There are no truly effective treatments for cellulite.”

That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it? The FDA certainly seems to thinks so. They’ve stopped a number of companies from making unsupported anti-cellulite claims. These companies include Slender You, Inc., Nature’s Cleanser, Revlon, Inc, Synchronal Corp, Silueta Distributors, Inc., European Body Concepts, and many others.

Is there ANYTHING that the FDA has found to be effective against cellulite? Well, we thought you’d never ask. Actually, in 1998 they approved a massage tool used in a process called “Endermologie” for the claim that it “temporarily improves the appearance of cellulite.” But don’t get too excited. Despite FDA’s apparent endorsement, subsequent studies have shown that the treatment has some issues. We quote Quackwatch:

“In 1998, the FDA approved a high-powered, handheld massage tool that consists of a treatment head and two motorized rollers with a suction device that compresses the affected tissue between the two rollers. The manufacturer is permitted to promote it for “temporarily improving the appearance of cellulite.” The procedure — called Endermologie — usually takes 10 to 20 treatments to get the best results, and one or two maintenance treatments per month are required to maintain them. Without the maintenance, the benefits will soon be lost. The typical cost is $45 to $65 per session. A recently published study of 85 women between the ages of 21 to 61 found that 46 patients who completed seven sessions showed a mean index reduction in body circumference of 1.34 cm, while 39 patients who completed 14 sessions of treatments showed a mean index reduction in body circumference of 1.83 cm. However, another study, involving 52 women, found no objective difference in thigh girth (at two points) or thigh fat depth (measured by ultrasound).”

So in reality, it doesn’t look like Endermologie is a fast way to lose weight either!

The Beauty Brain’s Bottom Line

You can’t lose weight from anti-cellulite creams. And the Pink Patch doesn’t work either. Stick to diet and exercise. And by the way, for some great tips on those topics, check out