Do Anti-Cellulite Treatments Work? Expert Says We’re Asking The Wrong Question.

Posted 29 June 2024

Anti-cellulite products are big business – but here’s what the science says

Published: June 24, 2024 5.04pm SAST

Although 90% of women have cellulite, we’re yet to see it represented as a normal anatomical characteristic in popular culture. In Greta Gerwig’s 2023 Hollywood blockbuster, for instance, Stereotypical Barbie, played by Margot Robbie, develops dimples on her upper thigh as part of her existential crisis – along with other human faults such as halitosis, flat feet and irrepressible thoughts of death.

When Stereotypical Barbie asks doll sage Weird Barbie what the dimples are, she explains: “That’s cellulite. That’s going to spread everywhere. Then you’re going to start getting sad and mushy and complicated.” Barbie’s perfect smooth plastic perfection is marred.

Despite its prevalence, then, cellulite has been constructed as a flaw in need of correction. Consumers, it seems, agree, especially when fed a diet of … Read the rest

USN Cellu-Firm – ASA Sanctions – 15 July 2009

The original ruling against the claims for USN Cellu-Firm was made in November 2006. Three years later, USN was still making unsubstantiated claims for this product and in essence, ignoring ASA rulings, and in spite of previous sanctions. A consumer laid a complaint arguing that severe sanctions should be implemented. The ASA imposed sanctions, but not of any significance.

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USN Cellu-Firm – ASA Breach ruling – 8 June 2009

USN continued to make unsubstantiated claims for Cellu-Firm, resulting in a breach complaint to the ASA. The ASA ruled in favour of the consumer.

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USN Cellu-Firm – ASA Sanctions – 16 October 2008

In a ruling dated 8 April 2008, the ASA found the USN in breach of its earlier ruling dated 28 November 2006 in that USN did not submit adequate substantiation in terms of the Code for its “anti-cellulite” claims, but still continued making these claims on its website. The consumer and USN were afforded an opportunity to comment on whether or not sanctions were appropriate.

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USN Cellu-Firm – ASA Breach ruling – 8 April 2008

In a ruling dated 28 November 2006, the ASA ruled against the USN’s print advertisement for its “Cellu-Firm” product. In a letter dated 26 February 2008, a consumer argued that USN is in breach of the original ruling as it continues making misleading statements about the product on its website.

The ASA ruled in favour of the complainant.

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USN Cellu-Firm – ASA breach ruling – 02 April 2007

This Clicks advert promoting this USN product continued to infer that this product could reduce cellulite in spite of the previous ASA ruling. A breach complaint was laid with the ASA. USN responded with “The current advertisement displays certain products available at Clicks, and only shows the packaging of the product in question. No claims are made about this particular product. The respondent submitted that it did not supply Clicks with the image used on its broadsheet advertisement. Clicks designed and published its own advertisement with an old image. In addition, the respondent has changed its own advertisements, images and labels, and informed Clicks about the implications of the previous ruling”.

The ASA concluded that: “The breach allegation is accordingly dismissed. The respondent is, however, cautioned that third party retailers should be alerted to the import of the ASA ruling. Should further, similar, breaches occur, the contents of this Read the rest

USN Cellu-Firm – ASA ruling November 2006

Posted 05 October 2015

This ASA ruling was made in November 2006. USN claimed that Cellu-firm “to be effective for cellulite”. The complainant pointed out that the active ingredient is Centella asiatica, a synonym for gotu kola, and that Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, the “Scientific Gold Standard for Evidence-Based, Clinical Information on Natural Medicines” had NO indication that this ingredient has ANY efficacy against cellulite.


Cellu-firmThe ruling is posted, followed by the complaint.

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