Cellulite, also known as orange-peel skin, is primarily a cosmetic problem, that affects about 85% of all women over the age of 20. It occurs mainly on the thighs, buttocks, and abdomen and is characterized by its bumpy, dimpled appearance on the skin’s surface, at varying levels of severity.

Cellulite involves multiple underlying factors which are also influenced by genetic predisposition, gender, hormones, age, physical activity, and diet. Cellulite results from subcutaneous adipose tissue lobes which penetrate into the dermis, leading to congestion of the lymph. Cellulite particularly develops in weak and less dense connective tissue and is exacerbated by overweight.

Source of figure: Frank Geisler (MediDesign)

Clinical Studies

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the efficacy of Bioactive Collagen Peptides on cellulite was investigated over six weeks. The study included 105 women between the age of 24 and 53, with moderate cellulite on the thighs. Every day, 53 women received 2.5 g Bioactive Collagen Peptides while the 52 women in the control group received 2.5 g maltodextrin as the placebo [Schunk et al. 2015]. At the beginning of the study and three and six months after the intervention, the grade of cellulite, profile of the skin surface, density of the dermis, and the length of the borderline between dermis and subcutis were determined. The results were also evaluated for women with normal weight (BMI < 25) and excess weight (BMI > 25). The authors demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in the grade of cellulite compared to the placebo after three and six months, with a significantly stronger effect in participants with normal weight. For the normal weight group, the improvement of the skin profile and the density of the dermis were statistically significant compared to the placebo group after six months. The length of borderline between the dermis and subcutis showed a statistically significant decrease compared to baseline values, but not compared to placebo. The overall appearance of skin areas affected by cellulite had improved, especially in women with normal weight. A positive trend could also be detected among overweight women; however, the authors speculated that a treatment of six months may have been too short to demonstrate statistically significant results in these women as well.

Last update: May 2022