Next, we need to establish exactly what cellulite is. Cellulite is a condition of subcutaneous fat that causes a dimpling effect under the skin. Under men's skin, the connective tissue is criss-crossed, ensuring that cellulite (probably) does not bulge out. For women, the tissue is organized into a column shape, allowing for cellulite to appear. Combine that with a tendency towards thinner skin and a higher percentage of body fat, and it's hardly surprising that women are more likely to show cellulite than men are. As a result, an estimated 90% of women experience cellulite post-adolescence. It's so ubiquitous among ladyfolk that some doctors have even proposed that cellulite qualifies as a secondary sex characteristic, right up there with breasts, hips, and pubic hair.
Although various treatment methods have been proposed for treating cellulite, a solution to the supposed problem is remarkably elusive (even liposuction is unable to address this issue, as one's connective tissue and skin thickness aren't changed by the procedure).
So, why the claim that caffeine will fix your cellulite woes?
|CAFFEINE WILL FUCK YOU UP.|
The theory behind the claim has to do with another key feature of adenosine action: adenosine increases blood flow through the A2A and A2B receptors on the vascular smooth muscle. As a result, caffeine can sometimes cause blood vessels to constrict.
Unlike many, many topical treatments for various ailments of unsexiness, caffeine is absorbed into the skin at low levels, with a rate of about 2.24+/-1.43 micrograms per centimeter squared per hour. Fat Girl Slim uses a technology called QuSomes to deliver caffeine to your skin. A QuSome is basically a cheapo version of a liposome. Liposomes are are synthetic vesicles comprised of a lipid bilayer, just like your cell membranes. (Since I recently wrote about micelles-- don't confuse them! Micelles are a monolayer.) Liposomes are most empirically supported for cancer treatments, although there is some evidence of their efficacy for topical drug dispersal as well. Although I am not certain whether the concentration of QuSomes in Fat Girl Slim will facilitate a meaningful effect on blood vessel constriction, there is nothing suspicious about this dispersal method prima facie. (It is worth noting, though, that Fat Girl Slim is calling liposomes "molecules"-- liposomes are many molecules. That is not what a molecule is.)
Another proposed hypothesis for caffeine's supposed cellulite-murdering effects is caffeine's ability to stimulate lipolysis. Lipolysis is the body's way of breaking down triglycerides (fat) into smaller hunks, such as diglycerides, monoglycerides, glycerol, and free fatty acids. Caffeine has the potential to start a signaling cascade that ends in lipolysis. Unfortunately, the only thing that's clear in the scientific literature is that caffeine will cause you to lose a little bit of water. That isn't a fix.
If you have any beauty claims you want researched in future Beauty Bullshit blogs, feel free to leave them in the comments below.