What is Silk’n Lipo?
Looking for a way to remove your most stubborn body fat? The Silk’n Lipo system promises to be the first affordable at-home device to help you accomplish this goal. It claims to give you liposuction-like results without needing to go under the knife, or even commit to a diet or workout plan.
The company claims that using the Silk’n Lipo device for just 15 minutes a day on targeted areas of your body will lead to fat reduction and strengthened muscles, resulting in a slimmer, more toned appearance. Within eight weeks of consistent use, they state, you should see results that compare to clinical procedures.
This toning system is the invention of Home Skinovations, a global business for home-based beauty devices. At the time of writing, Silk’n Lipo is still in the production stage after generating interest and funding through an IndieGoGo campaign. By winter 2017, the device is scheduled to ship to those who preordered it.
Toning and contouring without diet or exercise; the Silk’n Lipo promises a lot. Can it possibly deliver? First, let’s dig deeper into the promises of liposuction.
How Does Liposuction Work?
According to WebMD and HowStuffWorks.com, liposuction is a medical technique using thin, blunt tubes, which are inserted into tiny cuts in the skin, to remove fat from your body through suction power.
Usually, just local anesthetic is used to numb the area before the procedure, but general anesthesia is also occasionally necessary, and it rarely requires an overnight hospital stay, unless a large amount of fat is removed.
Notably, liposuction is used to reshape specific areas of the body, not to reduce overall body weight. For this reason, the procedure usually only targets parts of the body that don’t naturally respond well to diet and exercise, like the outer thighs and hips for women.
While the procedure is effective for removing fat pockets from these areas, regaining weight after the procedure will cause the fat deposits to return. Likewise, it can take as long as six months for the skin to shrink down to match your new body shape after undergoing liposuction.
Do Silk’n Lipo’s results really compare to clinical liposuction treatments? Let’s find out.
What Does Silk’n Lipo Promise for Weight Loss?
Silk’n Lipo is targeted at people who are too busy to fit regular exercise into their schedule but still want a toned body, and those who can’t seem to lose those last few pounds. For this reason, much like the traditional liposuction we just discussed, the device isn’t meant to help you achieve large-scale weight loss. Instead, it’s a sculpting system for small trouble areas.
Silk’n Lipo relies on two systems for fat loss: LLLT (Low-Level Light Therapy) and EMS (Electro-Muscle Stimulation).
Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT)
According to this study, low-level light therapy (in general—not Silk’n Lipo specifically) is a technology that uses laser light to stimulate the body for a variety of benefits, including healing, pain relief, and reduced inflammation. By exposing skin to this level of light, its photons are absorbed into the cells where they increase blood flow and oxygen levels.
In many dermatologists’ clinics, large LLLT machines are used to reduce wrinkles, heal burns, and promote fat loss. In the Silk’n Lipo device, the company tells us this technology is shrunk down into a portable system.
According to their promotional material, these light frequencies cause temporary holes to form in cells, where fat drains out and is then eliminated from the body through the bloodstream. The cells then close up again and shrink down in size, permanently removing the fat.
However, initial study results, as reported by LiveScience, show that LLLT users can regain some of the weight after a few weeks, either because the fat cells refill or because new ones are added.
The FDA approves of LLLT systems as a fat loss alternative to liposuction, but clinical research is still inconclusive about how well it works.
According to the LiveScience report, the results of clinical LLLT might be more temporary than traditional liposuction. Moreover, the Silk’n Lipo website notes that there currently aren’t any studies that look specifically at the effectiveness of home-based LLLT systems.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS)
Used for years by physical therapists and fitness trainers, EMS is a method for enhancing strength by sending electrical impulses directly to muscle fibers, bypassing the brain in the process. According to Silk’n Lipo’s information, your body can’t tell if the command to flex a muscle comes from your mind or EMS, so the technology can effectively work your muscles without a workout.
According to Physioworks.com, there are several theories on how EMS can strengthen weak muscle. One is that it causes a larger percentage of muscle fibers to contract than what regularly contract during exercise, muscles that start out weak are reported to be impacted the most.
A second theory is that EMS improves the rate that messages go from your brain to your muscles, allowing for quicker muscle memory formation and a faster learning process. According to Silk’n Lipo, this speeds up the process of flushing out fat from your cells to create a more toned body, faster.
Because the FDA regulates EMS devices in the US, the company notes that Silk’n will only be available in the country if it obtains FDA approval, which is currently scheduled in October 2017.
By combining these two common clinical technologies, the Silk’n Lipo system claims to be a convenient, non-invasive way to get the benefits right at home. But, is it worth the effort for the results?
How Long Does Silk’n Lipo Take to Work?
According to the product’s fundraising page, Silk’n Lipo will take at least eight weeks of treatment in the same spot for slimming to be noticeable. Each treatment should last fifteen minutes, and every part of your body you want to address needs the same amount of attention.
The company states that results can vary, but that two months is optimal for most users. While there aren’t any known risks for extending treatments beyond fifteen minutes, the company recommends sticking to 30 minutes or less per location each day.
What Does Silk’n Lipo Cost?
At the time of publishing, Silk’n Lipo is still in development. You can support the IndieGoGo campaign and get a discounted price by preordering the device for $179 per unit, or $329 for two. They are expected to ship by late December 2017.
No return policy is specified yet, but when we reached out to the company through email, they told us that returns will be eligible for 60 days, once the device is available. Each purchase will come with the one or two treatment applicators (depending on the number you order), a charging station, and three belt sizes that can fit different body parts, including the arms, thighs, and waist.
What Products are Similar to Silk’n Lipo?
For those seeking a way to look leaner without exercise or liposuction, there are several products available that offer home-based body contouring for a range of prices. We choose to look at two products we found online (the Ultimate Fat Freezer and the Smart I Lipo) to see what other LLLT machines are promising for fat loss.
Of note: Unlike the Silk’n Lipo, neither of these devices utilizes EMS technology, as well as LLLT.
While most LLLT machines are targeted for pain relief, not fat loss, the Ultimate Fat Freezer is designed to be a non-invasive system that sculpts your body shape by dissolving fat cells. Like Silk'n Lipo, you can wear the device on targeted parts of your body to ‘freeze, destroy and dissolve fat cells.'
Online, we found about half a dozen five-star reviews for the device, but little information about the ways it utilizes LLLT technology to “freeze away fat cells” (a claim that Silk’n Lipo doesn’t make). You can purchase it from multiple websites for about $129.99.
Another LLLT machine on the market is the Smart I Lipo machine from DHGate. While there isn’t much information about this machine publicly available, the device comes with a white touchscreen charging center and 14 portable laser pads that can be put on any part of your body for targeted fat melting.
Unlike the Silk’n Lipo, the pads aren’t connected to your body by a belt, meaning that you most likely need to use the system while lying down. While we weren’t able to find many reviews for the product online, it retails on numerous websites for $623.
Will these devices really work to help you tone up and lose weight? For long lasting weight loss, medical experts from the Mayo Clinic, WebMD, and Harvard Health unequivocally recommend turning to a healthy diet and exercise instead of liposuction procedures, because a lack of changed habits will cause you to bring the fat back on.
However, if your goal is only to achieve toning in a targeted area that exercise hasn’t made much difference for, the reports we referenced earlier about LLLT and EMS technology reveal that they might make the difference for shedding those last few ounces. If you’re unsure, make sure you talk with your doctor for a recommendation.
Our Consensus: Who is Silk’n Lipo Best For?
As emphasized earlier, Silk’n Lipo is designed for people that want some extra help reducing stubborn fat from specific trouble spots on their body, as well as those who want general toning without going to the gym. The device is NOT intended for general weight loss and won’t help you lose multiple pounds at a time.
The product isn’t in production yet, so there aren’t user testimonies about its effectiveness or even clinical trials. However, our research from the previously mentioned websites showed that the LLT and EMS technology it relies on are standard practice in many clinics. According to these experts, whether the technology will work in a home system is still up for debate.
If you’re looking for a way to lose a small amount of fat without putting in hours at the gym or signing up for liposuction, the Silk’n Lipo might help you achieve a more toned appearance in the long run.
Regardless, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor before trying any home toning device to ensure it won’t cause any unexpected problems for you.