Ever heard of “Fat Burning Cream” as a way to trim up? We hadn’t either until today.
I saw some GUAM Fat Burning Cream the other day and it had the following claim to “fight and visibly reduce skin imperfections in the tummy and waist areas.” It also claims to have the ingredients GUAM Seaweed, and a “slimming phyto-complex (Citrus aurantium and caffeine,) orange essential oil and Vitamin E.”
Sounds suspiciously like a snake oil salesman taking advantage of people desperate to lose weight so I wanted to investigate further before deciding to try any.
Are Fat Burning Creams A Legitimate Way To Loose Fat?
What I found out surprised me, I was expecting this to be just clever marketing but there is actually some science to back up the effectiveness of certain types of topical fat loss products.
The only catch is they accomplishes fat loss through a mechanism I did not expect. As some of you know, I was similarly surprised at how helpful a weight loss massage can be when used periodically throughout dieting, it also worked in an similarly indirect manner to help with removing fat from the body.
How Do These Fat Loss Creams Work?
It turns out that various topical solutions (sprays, creams, lotions etc.) can be a great fat loss aid when combined with a solid nutritional weight loss program. If you need help with that then click here to learn more.
When used with a solid diet and workout program the cream can really help with problem areas but as recommended by fitness models and bodybuilders it should really be taken after already losing a significant amount of fat when you are ready to focus on those stubborn problem areas.
First thing I noticed was that the cream was selling for $40.00 and only had 4 reviews which didn’t have great things to say about it.
So this gave me two more questions I wanted to answer:
Was This Simply a Bad Product…
Or Was it a Bad Concept Overall?
If this was just a bad product then maybe come other companies were making similar products that are more effective. Thanks to Amazon's related products feature I noticed there were indeed other products that looked like they had the same purpose... although they were all labeled and branded slightly differently.
Here's a just a few:
- Slim Green Reduce Cream - Usually around $7.99 for a 4 oz container: This product had quite a few more reviews than GUAM's "fat reducer." In fact, it had 287 reviews with an average of 3.6 out of 5 stars. Not the worst in the world but when you read the reviews it does not give you the best confidence in the product. Still with a lower price, I may be more willing to try this than a fat burner cream priced at 40 bucks.
- Slim Extreme 3d Thermo Active Slimming Serum : Anti-Cellulite Fat Burner - What a name! Priced around $15.99 at the time of writing this. This product by Eveline Cosmetics had 261 reviews for a 3.7 star review (out of 5). And it seems to be the general consensus of the reviews that it is not very effective either. A fair amount of people complained that it created painful burning sensation although other reported nothing more than a warm sensation.
- Fat-Fader Body Toning Lotion with 2.5% Aminophylline & Raspberry Ketones - No clue what Aminophylline is but Raspberry Ketones is a fairly popular fat loss product these days. This creme is priced around $39.95 on Amazon at the time of this writing. It has 41 reviews with an average of 4 out of 5 stars. However, once again after reading the reviews a good amount of people seem to say that they don't notice it working very well, but then again there is a decent amount who say it does. Perhaps a placebo effect? Or solicited reviews on Amazon by the manufacturer or seller... it's hard to say.
So, just by taking a look at Amazon reviews (which are often quite useful at estimating whether a product is legit and or garbage) it is pretty difficult to tell if these topical fat loss creams have any weight behind their claims. If they are effective at all, it would only be so when accompanied by a nutritional and exercise plan. They may indeed help accelerate weight loss with the right diet and exercise combined, but without any other fat loss strategies, I don't think we could rely on them to spot-reduce fat in our problem areas. If we could it could be a great tool to help get rid of our fat knees.
Here is a Review of the Sweet Sweat Workout Enhancer
What is interesting is that he found out that one side of his body sweat significantly more than the other side and it was the side that he applied the Sweet Sweat to. I have not used Sweet Sweat yet, but am planning on it soon. You can learn more about it here.
So How Do These Topical Fat Loss Cremes Actually Work?
Topical fat loss creams often get a bad rap by people who don't bother to do their research into their legitimacy as fat burners. Most people are quick to equate this concept with something akin to snake oil. But is that too quick of a judgement? Or is there any validity to the claims that certain creams can cause subcutaneous fat loss?
To answer this we have to investigate to see if there are actually any ingredients that can pass the skin to blood barrier (known as transdermal or percutaneous delivery) that have been verified by scientific studies or experiments. Well, in fact, there is one study I have found that has pretty convincing evidence of this happening. And the active ingredient was licorice, believe it or not.
Fat Fader Extreme Topical Fat Loss Lotion Review
Check the cream below out here.
This "fat burning cream" was applied to 18 healthy females' thighs (ages 20-33) and after 4 weeks they had a greater overall average of decrease in subcutaneous adipose tissue (the fat under the skin) from the thigh the Glycrrhetinic Acid (the active principle of licorice root) cream was applied to than the thigh that the Glycrrhetinic Acid was not applied to.
Check out the study here.
So obviously these creams claim to target subcutaneous fat (fat deposits below the skin) rather than visceral fat (the fat located inside your stomach around your organs). If that is true then whatever ingredients within the cream would have to be able to be ingested by the body through transdermal delivery. This is the method that certain drugs or other creams use to deliver an active ingredient to the body.
But here's the catch... most of the times this happens the ingredient is absorbed systemically. This means that the whole body absorbs it.
- One example of a supplement that can be delivered transdermally and has been proven to be absorbed systemically is transdermal magnesium oil. Magnesium is an essential mineral that around 75% of adults are deficient in and many people who have tried oral supplements of magnesium have complained of upset digestion. Not so with those who opt for the spray because the skin act almost like a filter and absorbs the amount the body needs which means no digestive problems.
- Another example of transdermal deliberate is a nicotine patch. Once again, although a different ingredient, nicotine is also small enough to fit through the skin and be absorbed by the epidermis and dispersed throughout the body.
So as you can see this delivery method is legitimate if the active ingredient is indeed small enough to fit through your layers of skin.
This leads us to our next question about the effectiveness of fat burning cream.
What Is The Active Ingredient and What Is It Supposed to Do?
Well, this is not an easy question to answer because each product uses different ingredients and therefor has different strategies to help with fat loss via topical solution.
Cortisol Management and Reduction = Belly Fat Loss
Some topical fat loss gels / cremes such as Eviscerate, Abliderate, and Smolder, claim to work by lowering and controlling cortisol. This would be a legitimate method to reduce fat if the product indeed does that. Excess cortisol is linked particularly to more belly fat so if these creams can help reduce your cortisol (stress hormone) you could for sure see a reduction in belly fat. Some other ways to do this would be through meditation and cutting back or ceasing consumption of caffeine is instrumental in releasing more cortisol (great for your flight or flight response... not a good thing to have elevated cortisol levels all the time though.)
Conclusion About "Fat Burning Lotions"
When it comes down to it, as surprising as it sounds there are transdermal weight loss creams, lotions, and sprays. The things is they act in a non-direct way to help people lose fat. Often in methods other than literally "burning" the fat underneath your skin. Instead, they will usually work their magic by helping to optimize your hormones and indirectly help your body utilize more of your stored adipose tissue for fuel.
So will these creams get your toned or ripped alone? No, that is wishful thinking. They can be great for the finishing touches of an already effective weight loss diet and nutrition plan and fitness program. If you are having trouble with stubborn fat in problem areas after already losing a significant amount of fat, then some of these creams could be a very beneficial aide for you.
If you need help getting rid of the bulk of your fat first, then you should consider learning more about the secret of harnessing leptin than women are beginning to learn. This is the latest breakthrough in female fat loss that is generating great results for many women.
If anyone is aware of other studies or scientific evidence of other ingredients causing similar results please let us known in the comments below. Two other ingredients used topically on the skin to reduce fat are Yohimbe and nicotine.
These are put into cream form and have somewhat of a following in the underground bodybuilding world for their final cutting phases. Of course, it's common knowledge that nicotine is easily addictive so most people rotate yohimbine cream for 1 day and nicotine cream the next and so on.
Another study that may interest you about fat burning creams is also at PubMed here.