Caffeine is an ingredient often found in cellulite medications and topical treatments. The same ingredient that can give you a boost of energy just might also increase blood flow, remove unwanted fluid in skin cells and decrease fat -- at least that's what some folks think.
Caffeine temporarily speeds up blood flow by increasing the size of blood vessels. It also speeds up metabolism, which helps you burn fat [source: Bouchez]. You could also try using your leftover coffee grounds to combat cellulite. Some women -- including some celebrities -- swear by mixing warm coffee grounds with a bit of olive oil and wrapping the mixture around their legs with plastic wrap. There aren't any scientific studies to determine coffee grounds' effectiveness, but it's an inexpensive alternative you may want to try if you can't find relief otherwise.
In the past, caffeine was thought to be so effective that some companies developed caffeine tights -- panty hose that contained caffeine. Developers believed that when women wore the caffeine tights over their legs, caffeine could be absorbed into the skin and the blood stream. Unfortunately, the effect was temporary and women only lost a few calories per day [source: Sample].
Remember, there is no cure for cellulite. Massage, caffeinated creams and even surgical procedures will only temporarily treat the appearance of cellulite. An ideal treatment would affect all underlying factors, from connective tissues and white blood cells to fat and blood vessels. Unfortunately, such a treatment does not yet exist. Until then, women should remember that almost every woman on Earth has cellulite.
Use the links and sources below to find more information about cellulite research and possible treatments.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Cellulite." 2009. (8/8/09) http://www.aad.org/dermaz/Default.aspx
- American Council on Exercise. "Exercise and Cellulite." 2006. (8/8/09) http://www.acefitness.org/fitfacts/fitfacts_display.aspx?itemid=356
- American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. "A Possible Cure for Unsightly Cellulite?"
- Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 1/21/09. (8/8/09)http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/136075.php
- Avram, Mathew M., MD, JD. "Cellulite: A Review of Its Physiology and Treatment." Journal of Cosmetic Laser Therapy. 2004. (8/8/09)http://www.elos.fi/files/178/7166.pdf
- Bouchez, Colette. "Can You Beat Cellulite?" WebMD. 2009. (8/8/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/can-you-beat-cellulite
- Crosta, Peter, MA. "What Is Cellulite? What Causes Cellulite?" Medical News Today. 5/10/09. (8/8/09)http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/149465.php
- Doheny, Kathleen. "Bye-Bye Cellulite." WebMD. 2009. (8/8/09) http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/bye-bye-cellulite
- Dowshen, Steven, MD. "What Is Cellulite?" Nemours. 5/09. (8/8/09)http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_body/beautiful/cellulite.html
- Mayo Clinic. "Cellulite." 6/23/09. (8/8/09)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cellulite/DS00891
- Mayo Clinic. "Fitness." 6/23/09. (8/8/09)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/AN01713
- Medical News Today. "Do Anti-Cellulite Creams Work?" 6/30/03. (8/8/09)http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/3859.php
- Nordqvist, Christian. "Fat Melting Laser May Treat Cellulite, Heart Disease and Acne." Medical News Today. 4/10/06. (8/8/09)http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/41335.php
- Saint Louis, Catherine. "Treating Cellulite? It's Still There." New York Times. 6/24/09. (8/8/09)http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/25/fashion/25skinintro.htm
- Sample, Ian. "Do Coffee Tights Get Rid of Cellulite?" The Guardian. 3/11/04. (8/8/09)http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2004/mar/11/thisweekssciencequestions3
- State of Victoria. "Androgen Deficiency in Men." 5/09. (8/8/09)http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Androgen_deficiency
- Wanner, Molly A., MD, and Mathew M. Avram, MD, JD. "An Evidence-Based Assessment of Treatments for Cellulite." Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. 4/09. (8/8/09)http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0PDG/is_4_7/ai_n25432507/
- WebMD and Cleveland Clinic. "Your Skin and Stretch Marks." 4/1/05. (8/8/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/stretch-marks