Section of Dermatology, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Topeliuksenkatu 41 aA, FIN-00250 Helsinki, Finland.
There is virtually no knowledge of the ingredients of cellulite creams in the dermatological literature. In the present study, the ingredients of cellulite creams, the frequency of their use and whether the ingredients have been reported to cause allergy were investigated. In the 32 products tested, 263 ingredients were used. On average each product contained 22 ingredients (range 4 to 31). Botanicals and emollients predominated; altogether 44 different botanicals and 39 different emollients were used in the 32 products. Caffeine, present in 14 products was the most common additive, apparently representing an "active" ingredient. In other respects the compositions of the products were similar to those of skin creams. All products contained fragrance. The creams were microbiologically pure. Concentrations of preservatives did not exceed limit values in the regulations. No formaldehyde was present (detection limit 10 ppm). The well-known allergens isothiazolinones or dibromoglutaronitril were declared only in a few products. In spite of the large number of substances used in cellulite creams, their safety seems acceptable for most users. Because, however, one fourth of the substances used have been shown to cause allergy, the risk of adverse effects should be taken into account when using cellulite creams.