Slimming creams promise what consumers want to hear as summer draws near: they’ll burn off fat and the kilos in record time. However, no scientific studies support their effectiveness. In the USA, some reducing cream brands have received heavy fines for misleading advertising.
In 2002, a well-known firm presented a cream that claimed to slim by stimulating the sympathetic nervous system through smell. The cream flew off the shelves. And not because of its price. Six months after international launch, the company had already sold a million units. Slimming creams sell. Especially if presented with tempting promises and with literature that people cannot interpret.
The truth is that science still has produced no evidence of any rapid improvement in the figure promised by such products. Basically because the creams (or lotions or sprays) are cosmetic products and, as such, have limited effects and barely penetrate beyond the epidermis.
They usually contain caffeine, green tea or ginger extract (which have a drainage action), Centella asiatica (which helps reduce inflammation) or psyllium (a reconstructing and fortifying plant extract). But these ingredients alone will not get rid of fat. They can help improve the appearance of the skin – at a price – but nothing more.
In January, the US Federal Trade Commission sued various brands for false advertising and obliged them to return money to affected consumers. The centimeters won’t magically disappear. The use of reducing cream should be accompanied by good eating habits and at least 15 minutes of exercise a day.