Topical botanical improves skin hydration, firmness, and elasticity in subjects with cellulite, study finds

Sep 24, 2018

A new study1 on subjects with mild to severe cellulite found that a topical botanical blend called UP1307 (produced by Unigen, based in Tacoma, WA) significantly improved skin hydration, firmness, and elasticity, as well as cellulite appearance.

In the single-blind, randomized, active comparator–controlled trial, 44 women between the ages of 18 and 59 were randomized to apply a botanical cream containing either UP1307 or an active comparator (a commercial cellulite cosmetic product) for eight weeks. The topical blend consists of sugar apple (Annona squamosa), Hercules’ club (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis), and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). Subjects were instructed to apply the cream to the target cellulite area in gentle, circular motions twice daily.  Researchers examined subjects at baseline, week 2, week 4, and week 8. Subjects were evaluated for skin hydration by Cortometer testing and skin elasticity/firmness by Cutometer testing, and researchers compared the efficacy of the botanical treatment versus the commercial cellulite cosmetic product.

The researchers analyzed skin hydration. Statistically significant improvement in skin hydration compared to baseline in the UP1307 group was seen at week 2 and week 4, with 72.2% and 77.8% improvement, respectively. The group using the commercial cellulite cosmetic product saw a significantly greater improvement in skin hydration throughout the trial, with 95%, 94.1%, and 75% improvement compared to baseline at week 2, week 4, and week 8, respectively.

Measure of skin firmness were more equal between groups. Statistically significant rates of improvement in skin firmness of 82.2%, 100%, and 100% were seen in the UP1307 group at week 2, week 4, and week 8, respectively, with no significant difference in the commercial cellulite product group.

The UP1307 group also saw improvement in skin elasticity throughout the trial, but improvement did not reach statistical significance until week 8, at 94.4%. The commercial cellulite product group, on the other hand, had a worsening in skin elasticity at week 2 and week 4, though eventually subjects saw a significant improvement at week 8 of 95.2%. There was no statistically significant difference in improvement between these groups.

Subjective questionnaires showed that most subjects in both groups also reported improvement in skin hydration/moisture, skin texture/smoothness, and firmness and elasticity, though reports of cellulite appearance favored the commercial cellulite product. Overall, however, comparative analysis showed that there was no statistically significant difference in efficacy between the two products used in the trial. These are positive results for Unigen, whose product has yet to hit the market.

References: 

1. Yimam M et al. “A randomized, active comparator-controlled clinical trial of a topical botanical cream for skin hydration, elasticity, firmness, and cellulite.” Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, vol. 11, no 8 (2018):51-57