'Anti-cellulite' knickers are pants, say Which?
Marks & Spencer and other retailers have come under fire from a leading watchdog for selling anti-cellulite pants that make unproven claims.
These so-called "magic pants" have become very popular over the last year, with Marks & Spencer saying it is stocking them in as three times as many stores as a few months ago. John Lewis and Debenhams also stock versions of the underwear that promise to help women look trimmer – without the need to take any extra exercise.
The £29.50 (€34) M&S knickers, described as 'Waist & Thigh Cincher', claim to be independently proven to reduce visible signs of cellulite. On the packet the retailers says that they, "smooths, slims and shapes".
But Which?, the consumer watchdog, said it believed women might be being misled into buying the expensive garment.
As well as being advertised as 'firm control anti-cellulite', the garment also contains ingredients such as aloe vera and caffeine embedded into the fabric.
Which? said two consultant plastic surgeons and a dermatologist – which it employed to examine the claims – were doubtful about the evidence, noting that any very tight underwear without the added ingredients could have the a similar effect of smoothing the skin.
They were also concerned about lack of evidence that the aloe vera and caffeine work on cellulite and are in sufficient quantities to be effective.
A spokesman for the M&S pointed out that the label merely said "proven to reduce the visible signs of cellulite" rather than diminishing the cellulite itself. She added: "This garment is clearly labelled and we refute claims that it could be misleading. It contains ingredients widely used in creams to reduce visible signs of cellulite and the fabric has been independently tested."