CoolSculpting, for those who aren't familiar with the treatment, is FDA-approved, endorsed by many A-listers and the most popular brand of non invasive fat reduction technology on the market today.
Using a process called cryolipolysis or fat freezing, it freezes and kills fat cells with no downtime involved – and studies have shown that it works. It is effective at reducing fat, some people only need one treatment and results are permanent, as long as you maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.
Your clinician can choose from a range of applicator sizes depending on the area to be treated – larger applicators can be used to reduce fat, with smaller ones employed for use under the chin or contouring further down the line.
You can look to achieve a 20-25 per cent reduction after a single treatment – according to RealSelf which reports a 'worth it' rating of 73 per cent, inner thigh treatments have the highest satisfaction levels, while abdominal area results were least impressive.
I’ve always been a steady weight and have never dieted in my life, but following a hormonal issue a few years ago, my upper body filled out and despite maintaining a BMI of 23, I’ve not been able to shift the added inches gathering around my bra strap and on the backs of my upper arms.
When it comes to a procedure such as CoolSculpting, it's vital to consult with an expert and not risk dodgy DIY methods such as ice packs or cubes; I headed to body contouring specialists Light Touch Clinic in Surrey to try it for myself.
After a thorough consultation, photographs were taken from a number of angles for the fairly standard before and after comparisons. It was then decided that my upper arms and back/bra 'chub' would be suitable areas to treat.
Each area takes 35 minutes plus a two minute massage, so in my case the total treatment time was around 2.5 hours for four cycles/applicators, excluding consultation time.
Senior aesthetician Sammy began by drawing on my skin – this is to help her place the applicator in the correct area. She then laid a protective gel pad on the area before applying the applicator which attached comfortably onto the skin, sucking in the fat.
Applicator placement, size and orientation is critical to avoid 'drop off' – an area which shows where the applicator was placed and the fat removed. There is also some aesthetic sculpting required which your clinician should have an eye for.
As your skin and tissue lowers to a temperature of -10C, the first 10 minutes feels quite cold and uncomfortable, but then the area goes numb and these sensations subside. You can watch TV or work, however you need to keep the treated area as still as possible so the applicator doesn’t ‘pop off.’
The worst part by far is the last 40 or so seconds of the vigorous two minute massage performed after each cycle, which is pretty painful as your skin warms back up to its core temperature, but thankfully short lived. This is done to help kick-start your body’s natural process of excreting the dead skin cells, and can help improve fat volume reduction tenfold.
Sammy advised firing up the lymphatic system by marching on the spot for a couple of minutes a day for two weeks; this helps with the elimination of fat cells from the body. I also tried to increase my activity levels and work out a bit more than normal. Drinking plenty of water is also a good idea.
Tip: Make sure you go to the toilet before your treatment, as I literally had to run to the bathroom at the end of mine.