Today, we’re talking slimming creams. I know, I know - I just heard you raise your eyebrows.
But honestly - how many times have you looked in a mirror and wondered why that one little jiggly bit just won’t disappear, no matter how much you exercise? Wouldn’t it be just so easy to massage a slimming cream into it and *bam* it would just disappear?
Yep, that sounds too good to be true - if I’m honest, a slimming cream sounds dodgy at best and useless at worst. What’s really in a fat reduction cream, and how can something topically applied to skin possibly influence what’s underneath it? In case you need a refresher, any fat that we have can only be reached under two layers of skin. Plus, our skin is pretty well-designed to keep things out of our bloodstream, so is it really possible that something we put on it actually change the fat underneath?
The category of slimming creams itself seems to be split into two distinct categories - ones that you apply before working out to encourage sweating, encouraging "weight loss", and the second category was of creams that you massage into your skin like any other lotion. They do have slightly different claims, but do either category actually work, and is there such thing as a “best slimming cream”? Let’s find out!
Brazilian Belle Cold Slim Gel
EcoHot Natural Hot Cream
Sports Research Sweet Sweat
TNT Pro Ignite
Do slimming creams really work?
IMO, the short answer is, nothing will ever work as well as good eating and old fashioned exercise. How most slimming creams work is by encouraging loss of water weight, causing a temporary reduction in appearance and weight. It’s possible to lose up to five pounds of water a day, but doing so isn’t recommended - such intense dehydration is pretty risky to your health!
What’s actually in a slimming cream?
While checking out all the different slimming creams, they all claimed that their formula and ingredients were the best for the ultimate fat burning lotion - so I looked into some of the ingredients with the biggest claims to see if they had any merit to them. The results could surprise you!
One ingredient that kept coming up was caffeine - I won’t hide it, I’m a coffee addict as much as anyone else, but could applying it to my skin instead of drinking it actually make me lose weight? The idea behind including caffeine in a weight loss cream is that it supposedly stimulates circulation, encouraging weight loss. It’s described as a lipolytic, meaning it ‘breaks down’ fat - but that only applies to consumed caffeine, not it being applied to your skin. In reality, the addition of caffeine does temporarily reduce the appearance of fat and cellulite by decreasing fluid retention - not by burning fat.
Another ingredient that kept popping up in slimming lotion ingredients was menthol. This can appear in the ingredients list as mint or mint extracts, and you’ll definitely know if it’s in the ingredients if you use the cream and immediately feel a tingly, cold feeling. Some of the claims attributed to menthol include skin-protecting antioxidants, but that’s not going to cause weight loss. I personally think that it gets put into slimming creams solely for its cooling and tingling sensation - camphor does the same thing, and is another common denominator in these ingredient lists.
On the other hand, chili extract in the form of chili oil or capsaicin has popped up for similar, but opposite effects. We all know the heat of chilies, and applied to the skin, the stronger extract has a warming effect. Like caffeine, most creams with this ingredient assert that it improves circulation that leads to weight loss. Also like caffeine, the only thing your body will lose is water weight, but chili oil has the added benefit of ‘feeling like it's working', thanks to the warming abilities of chili extract on skin.
Green Tea Extract
Who hasn’t heard of all the amazing benefits of green tea? When consumed, it supposedly boosts your metabolism and provides a great source of antioxidants, but it’s not currently established if the same effects happen when you apply it to your skin. I mean, it's probably not going to hurt, but I definitely think that you and I would be better off drinking green tea to reap its benefits from the inside, out.
How do fat burning creams work?
How fat burning creams claim to work is by increasing circulation, which leads to increased temperature, encouraging excess sweating and resulting in fat loss. But when it comes to fat, let’s get one thing straight - when we’re born, we’re born with all the fat cells we’ll ever have in our lives.
When someone is skinny, it doesn’t mean they have fewer fat cells, and when someone is larger, it doesn’t mean they have more fat cells. It just means that their fat cells are storing more excess energy, and the best way to get rid of these energy stores is exercise. Fat cannot be ‘broken down’ or ‘burned away’, just reduced in size.
Can I really get rid of cellulite?
Along with fat itself, a lot of these creams claim to help get rid of cellulite. I remember the first time I realized I had cellulite, and all the subsequent self-consciousness about it after - the thing is, cellulite is totally natural. It’s the natural dimpling of skin over our body fat, but I know I’m not the only woman shy about cellulite - thanks to Facetune, we never see natural bodies with this and hold ourselves to a pretty unnatural standard, creating the market for anti-cellulite creams.
A lot of these creams claim to either reduce cellulite by a) reducing fat, or b) firming and toning the skin itself. Because cellulite is so closely linked to the presence of fat, there isn’t much that can actually be done about it on a surface level. Caffeine may temporarily get rid of it, but it can never naturally be banished. Even the best slimming gels won’t permanently smooth it over!
Are slimming creams worth it? What’s the best fat burning cream?Well, let’s take a look a body slimming cream or two and compare the ingredients and what they claim to do. There are a lot out there, and it can be hard to distinguish what actually works from phony science. Let’s play pick or pass with these four slimming creams to find the best weight loss cream for you.
1. Brazilian Belle Cold Slim Gel
This slimming gel comes with a lot of claims. Firstly, it claims to improve overall complexion by generating collagen and elastin in your skin. Ingredients that do this are usually antioxidants - it contains green tea, a potent antioxidant, which could provide these results.
It’s pretty honest with claiming to help lose water weight, thanks to a unique blend of caffeine, menthol, green tea, and L-carnitine. The menthol definitely provides a cooling effect, which I’m honestly not sure how I feel about - I still think it’s just a way to make you feel like something is happening, like a placebo effect.
Unlike some of the other products on this list, it’s not greasy at all or likely to stain your clothes. The gel texture makes it easy to wash off after use, and it can be used on its own, or applied to the targeted area then wrapped with a sweat belt or waist trainer. It's probably one of the best slimming gels options out there.
2. EcoHot Natural Hot Cream
This Hot Cream combines a lot of ingredients that will definitely make your skin feel some type of way - it has a combination of menthol, camphor and chili oil, three very skin-stimulating ingredients for a long-lasting tingle in your skin.
I still think that these ingredients are there for placebo - when it comes to fat loss, at least. If used with a wrap or sweat belt, this Hot Cream could definitely support water weight loss, at the very least. A fat reducing cream it is not, but it can help you get your sweat on to get rid of water weight.
On their own, there just isn't enough evidence for these ingredients to support they help with real weight loss - and neither do the other ingredients in the cream. It kind of reminds me of Icy Hot, but just in a bigger tub with more essential oils.
3. Sports Research Sweet Sweat
This weightloss cream really confuses me, if I'm honest. It claims to help encourage sweating and target stubborn areas with the help of wraps, or just simply applied under workout clothes to enhance a little extra perspiration. Despite it's thick, promising texture, the Sweet Sweat didn't really seem to make an impact on sweating at all.
It’s pretty specifically designed to be a complement to a fitness routine, especially for spot reducing targeted areas of fat - Sports Research sells different fitness bands to wrap around specific parts of the body, such as abs, legs, and arms to target weight loss there. I’m skeptical that it’s not so much the Sweet Sweat that encourages sweating, as it is the neoprene bands.
White Snow Petrolatum, Brazilian Carnauba Wax, Acai Pulp Oil, Pomegranate Seed Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Virgin Camelina Oil, Squalane Oil (Olive), Aloe Vera Extract, D-tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Natural Fragrance.
Looking at the ingredients list, it’s very oil heavy. The texture of the cream itself is incredibly greasy and hard to wash off. I was doing some research and it turns out that carnauba wax is the same wax used on cars and surfboards (!!!) so no wonder some folks are having such a hard time getting it off their actual skin and having it stain their clothes!
I would have to pass on this one - you might be better off buying a generic tub of vaseline and smearing it on your skin for the same results!
4. TNT Pro Ignite
Like Sweet Sweat, Pro Ignite uses their own blend of petroleum jelly and plant oils to encourage circulation, and therefore boost weight loss - or so they claim.
White Snow Petrolatum, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Chinensis (Jojoba), Seed Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Camelina Sativa Seed Oil (Camelina), Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Punica Granatum Seed Oil, Fragrance, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Undecylenate.
Again, the first ingredient is Vaseline - could there be untapped potential for plain Vaseline as a workout booster? Is plain Vaseline, on its own, secretly the best skin firming lotion for weight loss? That in mind, this formula doesn’t seem to do anything better than Sweet Sweat, either - the effects were honestly hard to tell, with and without a sweatband.
Is a Weight Loss Lotion Worth It?At the end of the day, the jury is still out on whether these without a doubt contribute to genuine, lasting weight loss. If you’re curious about giving a slimming cream a try, I would have to go with the Brazilian Belle Cold Slim Gel. It has a good mix of skin nurturing ingredients along with the ingredients that help you lose weight or at least the ones that supposedly do. For the most part, it’s a slimming gel that works. I don’t think it would hurt to use it once in a while - just always be aware that they’re not a total replacement for clean eating and regular exercise.
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About the author Stephanie Morin
NYC-based beauty and skin care blogger, Stephanie delivers a healthy dose of practical beauty tips for some serious skin care inspiration!