When CoolSculpting, or cryolipolysis — the scientific way to say fat freezing — was first cleared by the FDA in 2010, thousands of women flocked to their dermatologists to see if this new treatment could be the weight loss cure-all they'd been searching for. With proven results for destroying fat cells in stubborn areas of the body where those last few pounds just won't budge, fat freezing was an instant hit. It's one drawback? The price tag. A typical session can range between $2,000 and $4,000. Similar technology is now available over the counter, however, and it comes at a fraction of the price: The Isavera fat-freezing system ($98.97, Amazon).
Isavera works by harnessing the science of fat freezing to target stubborn flab that seems impossible to lose. When fat cells are exposed to cold, they crystalize (or freeze), which leads to the death of the fat cell. Once the fat cell dies and breaks down, your lymphatic system can eliminate them permanently, effectively removing fat. In fact, a 2015 study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery showed fat freezing to be a safe and promising alternative to liposuction and other, more invasive weight-loss methods.
While you won't necessarily shed pounds, over time, you could see up to a 25 percent fat reduction in a treatment area. “Fat is more temperature-sensitive than your skin,” UCLA professor and plastic surgeon Jason Roostaeian, MD, told Vogue in 2018. “It goes through the cell death process before your skin does.”
Unlike the technology used in your doctor's office, however, there's no machine to deliver the chill with Isavera's at-home treatment. Instead, you're working with an easy-to-wear, patent-pending Velcro neoprene belt that can be placed around the waist, stomach, thighs, or any other area you'd like to focus on. Its cold element comes from built-in pockets that house specially-formulated, dual-action gel packs that you chill prior to use in the freezer until they reach ideal temperatures for fat freezing — between 30.2 and 39.2 degrees.
Board-certified neurologist Dr. Ari Magil, M.D., is quoted on the company's website as saying that "Isavera, when used as directed, is a promising technique for obtaining targeted fat loss in problem areas that would be very difficult to obtain from diet and exercise alone."
To use, place the pre-chilled gel packs into the pockets of the wrap. Tightly fasten the cold-isolation belt around the area you want to target and wear it for 60 minutes. As fat cells die-off with regular use (manufacturers recommend using three times a week for 8 to 10 weeks), you'll gradually begin to notice results, primarily a trimmer waistline.
While some users report seeing results in as few as three weeks, most see full results over a three-month span.
This Isavera kit also comes with an included massager. According to the brand, studies have shown that massaging fatty areas post-application can dramatically increase fat cell damage, accelerating your results. Isavera recommends massaging the area post-treatment with its handy tool for at least two to three minutes.
So far, this product has racked up 1,000 reviews and an almost five-star rating,
"This is nothing short of a miracle if you use it as directed," raved one Amazon buyer. "I was kind of skeptical at first because, while I knew cool sculpting is a thing, I wasn't sure I'd get any results with something at home. I used the belt and massager on my lower midsection once a day for three days and my pants were too big! THREE DAYS! I am a stone-cold believer!! I can not wait to use this on all my problem areas! I'm so glad I bought this system!"
Another wrote, "I'm 12 weeks in and could not be more impressed. My stomach and love handles have shrunk significantly. I can see it, and even more importantly, I can feel it. My clothes fit better. I feel much [leaner] and more athletic, which has motivated me even more in the gym. I'm still seeing improvement and plan to continue for a bit longer to see just how far this takes me!"
Give the Isavera a try: After all, the only thing you have to lose is inches!
Where to buy: $98.97, Amazon
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