Every few months, there’s a new cellulite-reducing trend. Drainage massages! Lasers! Weird fat-blasting creams! But a prevailing rumor over the past few years claims that caffeine helps decrease fat lumps under the skin, which are actually caused by the way connective tissue interacts with subcutaneous fat (which all women have and need). Even very thin, fit people have cellulite, and some overweight people don’t. It’s mostly genetic. Anyway, no one’s been able to prove that rubbing caffeine into your skin has any effect, but it sure sounds promising. Everyone knows that caffeine makes you feel more energized, right? So maybe your fat cells will get hopped up enough to burn themselves away?
A few years ago, wishful thinking and a few sketchy experiments led to a bunch of companies putting caffeine in lotions, serums, and even clothing. One of those companies was lingerie brand Maidenform, who manufactures a line of “anti-cellulite” shapewear that claims the following:
• Anti-cellulite firm control thigh slimmer
• Slims tummy, hips, thighs and rear
• Novarel Slim® nylon microfibers with microcapsules
• Releases ingredients into your skin while you move
• Fat-burning caffeine reduces appearance of cellulite
• Ceramides restore and maintain skin’s smoothness
• Retinol increases the firmness of skin
And there’s a shill-y video ad to boot:
We should note that Retinol has been shown to reduce the appearance of cellulite over six months, but only when applied via prescription-level creams, not “microcapsules” embedded in one’s underwear.
Anyway, Maidenform’s undergarments may very well help reduce the look of cellulite while you’re wearing them, but there are no carry-over effects once you take them off. Enter Christine Caramore and Michelle Martin, two New York women who bought Maidenform underwear, still have the same amount of cellulite they did before, and are PISSED about it.
According to the Daily News, Caramore and Martin have filed a class-action lawsuit against Maidenform in Brooklyn Federal Court, complaining about false advertising. This is not unlike the Skechers Shape-Ups debacle of 2012, when Skechers was sued by the FTC because their “leg-toning” footwear didn’t actually do anything of the sort. Skechers had to pay a $40 million settlement and issue a massive recall for its shoes.
Perhaps this lawsuit will help women save money on worthless anti-cellulite treatments. The bad news: Cellulite just can’t be beaten that easily, if at all.