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Effets de la caféine sur la cellulite.

Cellulite: What Is the Effect of Caffeine on Cellulite?

Cellulite affects many people. It is characterized by a swelling of the fat cells in the subcutaneous tissue and is generally considered unsightly. To alleviate cellulite, various draining and invigorating treatments have been developed, often based on caffeine. In this article, learn how caffeine influences cellulite and why it is so commonly used.

Published February 29, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 7 min read

What Is Cellulite?

Cellulite is also called orange peel skin and is the result of an accumulation of fat (adipose cellulite) or water (watery cellulite) in the hypodermis.

As a reminder, the skin is composed of three main layers: the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis, each with its own role and characteristics. The epidermis is the uppermost part of the skin. It is covered by a hydrolipidic film, protects the skin from external aggressions (bacteria, wind, rain...) and keeps it from losing moisture. The thick, elastic dermis also helps protect the skin because it is thick and contains sebaceous glands. The sebaceous glands produce sebum, which forms part of the hydrolipidic film. The hypodermis is the deepest layer of the skin. It consists mainly of fat cells, serves as an energy reserve and has a heat insulating function. The fat cells are held together by collagen fibers.

As a result of the accumulation of fat or water, the cells of the subcutaneous layer swell, forming dimples on the surface of the skin, which give it a bumpy appearance. The areas of the body where it occurs are often the thighs, buttocks, abdomen and arms. However, depending on your body type, it can occur in other areas as well. Cellulite occurs mainly in women and is associated with a loss of skin tone and elasticity.

Cellulite can be caused by a hormonal surge during puberty, after pregnancy or during menopause. The increase in estrogen levels is accompanied by a stimulation of adipogenesis, the formation of fat cells, which promotes the development of adipose cellulite. An unbalanced diet, lack of exercise, stress or smoking are other factors that promote the development of cellulite.

Caffeine as a Lipolytic Agent Against Cellulite

Caffeine is associated with an energizing effect, especially in beverages. However, it is also an important ingredient in skin care products. It is mainly used in invigorating and draining products. It is of plant origin and extracted from coffee, tea, guarana, mate or the kola nut.

Caffeine is an ingredient with interesting properties to fight cellulite. It has a stimulating effect and promotes lipolysis, the natural breakdown of lipids in the body. Due to the small size of caffeine (MG = 194 g/mol), it can enter deep into the skin. It has an inhibitory effect on phosphodiesterases, enzymes specialized in the breakdown of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). This leads to an increase in cAMP levels in fat cells. In particular, this molecule controls the phosphorylation of certain lipases, i.e. their activation. Lipases are enzymes that catalyze the reaction of lipolysis. Thus, caffeine triggers a cascade of reactions that result in the breakdown of fat in adipocytes.

In addition, caffeine has a decongestant and draining effect, improving blood and lymphatic circulation. This effect is directly related to caffeine's ability to break down fats and toxins. When these accumulate in the blood, this can be responsible for a loss of efficiency of the microcirculation and promote the development of cellulite. Several studies have highlighted these properties and their benefits in alleviating certain circulation problems, such as dark circles or cellulite.

How Is Caffeine Incorporated Into a Cellulite Skin Care?

Many cellulite care products contain caffeine. In order to exert its effect, it must be diluted. The recommended dosage is between 3 and 10%. At a higher concentration, the skin becomes saturated, and the caffeine becomes ineffective.

To take advantage of all its benefits, we at Typology have developed an energizing body cream that tightens skin tissue and limits the development of cellulite. The cream contains caffeine and guarana extract (INCI name: Paullinia Cupana Seed Extract) and reduces the appearance of cellulite.

To complement its effect, we also offer you a revitalizing body scrub made of green coffee macerate and Java lemongrass essential oil (INCI name: Cymbopogon Winterianus Herb Oil). The green coffee macerate (INCI name: Coffea Arabica Seed Extract) is enriched with caffeine and helps to smooth and tone the skin.

However, we would like to note that a balanced diet and regular physical activity is the best way to prevent the development of cellulite.

Sources :

  • HERMAN A. & al. Caffeine's mechanisms of action and its cosmetic use. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology (2013). 

  • KAMINER M. & al. Insights into the pathophysiology of cellulite: a review. Dermatologic Surgery (2020).


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