Skin creams made with caffeine could banish cellulite, according to new research.
Scientists who tested the creams found rubbing them on every day for a month had a significant impact on a woman’s skin.
Eight out of ten had tighter skin and lost up to two centimetres off their thighs, one of the main areas on the body for cellulite.
Two out of three volunteers also lost weight off their hips as the fat under the skin that causes the complaint dissolved.
Cellulite affects up to 90 per cent of women at some point in their lives.
Although losing weight can help, even slim women can develop the ‘orange peel’ appearance on thighs and buttocks.
It develops when fat builds up between the connective fibres that link the skin to tissue deep inside the body.
In many women these fibres become shorter, producing the characteristic dimpled effect of cellulite.
Caffeine has been used in creams for many years but there has been little evidence the support its use.
The theory is that it is absorbed into the skin, where it speeds up the rate at which the body disposes of fat.
Some companies have even started selling so-called coffee tights, at around £9 a pair, to get rid of unwanted fat and cellulite.
The latest study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, suggests a cream containing just seven per cent caffeine can have a significant effect.
Doctors at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil tested 130 women with cellulite on their hips and thighs.
The women rubbed the cream on to one thigh and hip twice daily for 30 days. The other thigh and hip were left untreated to measure the difference.
At the end of the experiment, 80 per cent of the patients had lost up to three-quarters of an inch off the upper part of their thighs, with skin ‘dimpling’ reduced.
On the lower part of the thigh, the average reduction in circumference was about two-thirds of an inch.
Professor Omar Lupi, who led the study, said in a report on the findings: “A 30-day treatment with a caffeine solution showed significant reduction in the circumference of thighs that were treated.
“But diet and exercise should always be encouraged as an initial step for the treatment of cellulite.”