Vitamin B12 and Cellulite – Can it help?
How can Vitamin B12 reduce and treat cellulite?
Cellulite is one of nature’s most unfair tricks – only women seem to experience it, and it doesn’t discriminate.
Women of all shapes, sizes, and body fat levels can have cellulite, and losing weight won’t always have an impact.
So what is cellulite and – more importantly – are there any new and promising treatments to minimize your chances of having it or reduce its appearance?
This article will look at Vitamin B12 cellulite treatments.
LAST UPDATED: March 2019 by Ben.
Author: Nicola Joyce is a fitness writer which has seen her written work published in globally renowned magazines.
There are cited references available for this article.
- Research for treatments
- B12 and cellulite
Why Do We Get Cellulite?
You already know what cellulite looks like (dimply, “orange-peel” areas of skin, usually on the bum and backs of the thighs) and how it makes you feel.
But why exactly does it occur?
According to the 2006 paper “Cellulite and its treatment” published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, cellulite is a:
“…complex problem involving the microcirculatory system and lymphatics, the extracellular matrix and the presence of excess subcutaneous fat that bulges into the dermis.” 
In other words, your circulation and lymphatic system can both be factors.
But essentially the appearance of cellulite comes from body fat under the skin which is bulging through the cellular structure of the skin itself.
The paper goes on to say that cellulite;
“…has been described as a normal condition that maximizes subcutaneous fat retention to ensure adequate caloric availability for pregnancy and lactation…”
So it is completely natural, and exists for healthy biological reasons.
But that’s little comfort when you’re the one with it on the back of your legs.
The same paper examines a few treatments.
- Massage (“which decreases tissue oedema but it is also likely to have its effects at the cellular level”)
- Weight loss loss (“reported to improve the cellulite severity by surface topography measures although in obese subject’s skin dimpling does not seem to change appreciably”)
- Skin creams (of which “xanthines, botanicals, fragrances and ligands for the retinoid and peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptors appear to be giving some benefit”).
It concludes by suggesting that a dual approach of oral treatments and topical treatments may be the best way to reduce the signs of cellulite.
Research On Cellulite Treatments
A 2015 literature review in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology set out to take an in-depth look at cellulite treatments, looking at 73 clinical studies.
The treatments ranged from the following:
- topical agents
- shock-wave therapy
- radio frequency
- laser therapy
- oral therapy
- manual massage therapy
- carbon dioxide therapy
- compressive therapy
- infrared therapy
But even so, this large literature review concluded that is it;
“…still difficult to indicate an exclusive and effective single treatment for this condition”. 
So what is the best way to try and reduce your chances of getting cellulite, or of treating it once it appears?
Let’s look at one of the most interesting emerging treatments for cellulite: Vitamin B12.
Vitamins & Cellulite
There are several vitamins which can affect cellulite.
- Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin which can increase the body’s production of collagen (a protein which strengthens the structure of the skin).
2. Vitamin C also has a key role in collagen production and can help repair red blood cells (remember that your circulatory system is a factor in your chances of having visible cellulite).
Vitamin C is also a natural antioxidant, which can help keep your skin looking smoother and stronger.
3. Vitamin E is well-known to be useful for skin conditions, and can help transport oxygen to the skin where it may assist in the clearing of fat deposits.
4. Vitamin B12 is what we are really interested in here.
The B-complex vitamins are 10 separate vitamins and acids which work together to promote healthy skin and blood cells and tissue activity.
As a supplement, Vitamin B12 is often used for anaemia, tiredness, anxiety and weight gain.
It has been found to reduce the severity of vitiligo, shingles pain, and even eczema according to the British Journal of Dermatology.
But what about using it as a treatment for cellulite?
Vitamin B12 For Cellulite
Vitamin B12 (or the man-made form, known as cyancobalamine) is essential for lots of processes in the cells.
A deficiency of B12 can have a big effect on how the skin cells divide and regenerate.
This vitamin plays a large role in the creation and maintenance of red blood cells, it helps strengthen the capillaries, and can keep ski looking younger.
B12 also helps maintain a good healthy metabolic rate, which can help you stay at a normal weight (reducing the chances of having excess body fat around the bum, hips, and thighs).
This is all sounding promising for battling the appearance of cellulite. 
How To Use Vitamin B12 For Treating Cellulite
Vitamin B12 cellulite treatments are still quite new, but an interesting area of development.
There are currently five ways to top up your Vitamin B12 in a bid to treat cellulite:
Vitamin B12 supplements
A daily supplement containing B12 can be taken – either alone, or as part of a B-complex supplement which will cover all your B-Vitamin bases.
These vitamin B supplements are easy to take, cost effective, and have a wealth of benefits aside from potentially helping to treat cellulite.
Remember, as a B vitamin they cannot be stored by the body, therefore you need to top up regularly.
Oral B12 sprays
Using an oral Vitamin B12 spray is a convenient and quick way to take your daily dose of supplemental Vitamin B12.
It will be absorbed quickly through the skin of the mouth – which is why this is the preferred method of many people for supplementing against vitamin deficiency.
Vitamin B12 skin creams
Some topical skin creams contain Vitamin B12 so your body can absorb the vitamin transdermally.
You can apply the Vitamin B12 cream directly to the areas you want to treat, and of course the massaging effect of rubbing the cream in may help too
This action will increase blood flow to the area and helping the skin to become stronger and firmer.
Vitamin B12 injectons
Injections of Vitamin B12 can come in the form of cyanocobalamin or hydroxocobalamin (which stays in the body for longer).
You would need to seek medical advice if you wanted to consider Vitamin B12 injections as a treatment.
Vitamin B12 patches
Using skin patches is a convenient way of getting a high dose of supplemental B12.
Simply stick the patch to clear skin (usually inside your wrist or behind your ear) and wear it for 24 hours (be sure to always follow the instructions).
Research on the effectiveness of Vitamin B12 to treat cellulite is limited and very new, but it’s certainly worth a try if you hate your cellulite.
Combine is with all the common-sense every day healthy habits (a balanced diet, regular exercise, plenty of water, and trying to maintain a healthy weight) and you will be doing everything in your power to combat cellulite.
 Cellulite treatment: a comprehensive literature review. Zerini I, Sisti A, Cuomo R, Ciappi S, Russo F, Brandi C, D’Aniello C, Nisi G. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015 Sep;14(3):224-40. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12154. Epub 2015 Jul 6. Review.
 Topical vitamin B12–a new therapeutic approach in atopic dermatitis-evaluation of efficacy and tolerability in a randomized placebo-controlled multicentre clinical trial. Stücker M, Pieck C, Stoerb C, Niedner R, Hartung J, Altmeyer P. Br J Dermatol. 2004 May;150(5):977-83.
Nicola Joyce (aka “the fit writer”) is a fitness industry copywriter who has been writing for and about sport and fitness since 2004. Nicola is a competitive drug-free bodybuilder (with two World titles at amateur level) and has also competed in powerlifting and a couple of strongman comps. Prior to her strength training days, Nicola was an endurance athlete and has even swum the English Channel twice. She can be found on all social media at: thefitwriter.
Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. It explores the many avenues of fitness and uses supporting scientific evidence for any reviews or analysis of products.
Ben himself has been interested in fitness from an early age. He started playing rugby at the age of 6 for his town, county and school where he gained his full colors while also being in the Army Cadets. After graduating from university in 2005 with a BA(Hons) Ben moved to London and nurtured his love for weightlifting to support his rugby, he also became heavily involved with cycling. Ben also started skiing and recently joined the Army Reserve to further develop his capabilities.