I Tried It: CoolSculpting
What is CoolSculpting and could it be right for you?
I always feel conflicted when swimsuit season rolls around: ecstatic because it’s summer and I get to ditch the layer of heavy clothes yet miserable because it’s summer and I have to ditch the layer of heavy clothes.
It’s amazing how quickly my body deteriorates over winter: Wobbly bits and scaly bumps that definitely weren’t part of the landscape last season have since taken up residence.
So what’s a girl to do? Lots! I’ve recently been experimenting with products and procedures in the pursuit of feeling confident in my bathing suit. Here are a few of my fave finds.
I’ve tried every abs buster known to women without results. No matter how tight my core gets, my jelly belly lingers. Jenny Cajucom, a registered nurse at The Plastic Surgery Clinic in Toronto, tells me I’m the perfect candidate for CoolSculpting, a non-invasive procedure that targets hard-to-treat body fat. You know the culprit spots: thighs, arms and tummies.
How does CoolSculpting work?
A suction applicator is placed on the targeted area, pulling the skin between cooling panels. Cold is gradually introduced to the area with the aim of freezing underlying fat cells. “When fat cells are exposed to extreme cold, a process of natural removal is triggered that gradually reduces the thickness of the fat layer,” says Marlo Rodman, a spokesperson for CoolSculpting. “Once the treated fat cells are crystallized, or frozen, they die and are naturally eliminated from the body for good.”
The procedure feels intense. When the machine started, I thought it would swallow up my entire stomach. There’s an intense pulling and a soft sting. But as the area starts to freeze, you become numb to the sensation. It takes about an hour to cycle through.
The area feels tender for a few days after the procedure – like you’re recovering from a new workout – and the section can remain numb for a few more weeks. Some women experience bruising, but I didn’t. You won’t see immediate results. According to Rodman, it takes up to three months for the body to naturally eliminate the dead cells and reveal the full effect: typically a 20 to 25 percent fat reduction.
What I especially love is that this is a permanent solution (unless you gain a lot of weight), and you don’t need maintenance visits. I’m about halfway to three months and I’ve noticed that my pants are already looser. Yay! I’m finally looking forward to slipping into a skimpy little swim number. For info, visit theplasticsurgeryclinic.com.
Scrubs and Lotions for Smoother Skin
Before I shop for a new swimsuit, I need to tackle my scaly shins and a nasty patch of keratosis pilaris (small red bumps on the back of my thighs), which I haven’t had since I was a teenager. Here’s my winning strategy.
For Overall Dryness: Exfoliate with Éminence Coconut Sugar Scrub, $48. Made of raw sugar cane granules and antioxidant-rich coconut oil, it physically buffs away dry and dead skin.
For Keratosis Pilaris: Treat with Reversa Skin Smoothing Body Lotion, $36. Since keratosis pilaris is caused by a buildup of keratin that blocks hair follicles, it’s important to use a chemical exfoliant that contains 10 percent glycolic acid, like Reversa.
For Silky Smoothness: Moisturize with Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, $45. A combination of six botanical oils, including macadamia, hazelnut and camellia, this multi-purpose dry oil quenches skin, leaving it nourished and glistening. It’s the perfect accessory to the little nautical number I’ve settled on for my poolside lounging.