The Skinny on At-Home Fat Loss Devices

Imagine a handy tool that could deliver salon-level weight loss treatments in the comfort of your own home. This sounds amazing, and many distributors claim that their gadget can do just that. But are these at-home slimming tech products capable of actual weight loss results?

The Skin Report is a podcast created to educate listeners on methods to improve skin health for people of all ethnicities and ages. In this episode, host Dr. Sethi shares her knowledge of at-home weight loss tools. While many of these gadgets are advertised as at-home tools for fat loss, body sculpting, and muscle toning, Dr. Sethi provides listeners with a deeper look at these products to determine whether they deliver on their promises. She reviews fat-busting technology like electric muscle stimulation (EMS), cryolipolysis, and ultrasonic cavitation and discusses whether these can be achieved safely through at-home devices. She also compares these fat-busting tools to similar in-office treatments to help listeners determine which purchase would provide more bang for their buck.

As the founder of RenewMD Beauty Medical Spas and a woman of color, Dr. Sethi is dedicated to spreading science-backed skincare information on The Skin Report. Tune in to this episode to learn about at-home weight loss devices!

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Effects of Electrical Muscle Stimulation on Waist Circumference in Adults with Abdominal Obesity: A Randomized, Double-blind, Sham-Controlled Trial

Nuface Microcurrent Trinity Microcurrent Device

Cryo Toner At Home Patented Cryolipolysis Machine

Ultra Cavitat Cellulite And Fat Treatment Machine

This transcript was exported on January 4, 2024 -view latest version here.

Skin care can sometimes feel overwhelming. Whether it’s finding the right products, ingredients, or treatments. There’s a lot out there, but not always for people of African, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and East and South Asian descent. That’s why I set out to educate myself and others so that we can all feel beautiful in our skin. Hello and welcome back to The Skin Report. I’m Dr. Simran Sethi, an internal medicine doctor, mom of three, and CEO and founder of Renew MD Medical Spas and Skin by Dr. Sethi. On this episode, we’ll cover some of the amazing technologies available for addressing stubborn fat from the comfort of your own home. It seems like there are no limits to what treatments can be performed at home, but can a handheld device help you along in your weight loss journey?

In today’s episode, we’ll look at some of the popular devices for fat loss, body sculpting, and muscle toning. So let’s get started. I thought it would be beneficial to begin this episode by reviewing how the body stores fat before we tackle the different fat loss methods. Our bodies hold two main types of fat. There is subcutaneous fat, which is stored right beneath the skin and sits on top of the muscle. Subcutaneous fat is actually the deepest layer of the skin and gives it volume for a full and taut appearance. The other type of fat is visceral fat, which is located deeper within the body. This fat sits behind our abdominal muscles and surrounds our organs to hold them in place.

When a patient visits my practice for weight loss procedures, we begin by determining type of fat that they wish to lose and wear. Once we know this, we can figure out the best treatment plan for addressing the excess fat. Of course, at-home fat loss devices do not cover the team of trained professionals to consult you on your treatment options. Currently, most of the personal devices available for fat loss are optimized to treat subcutaneous fat. This is because there are not many options to treat visceral fat as it is deep under our abdominal muscles and is really only reduced by weight loss. I strongly believe in providing my listeners with honest information about the capabilities of the products that I discuss on my show, and I want you to have realistic expectations about their results.

If you are looking to lose excess fat in your abdomen, visiting a professional can help you determine the best treatment plan to address your needs. Up next, I’ll share how some at-home devices help users say goodbye to their stubborn fat. The first type of fat-busting tech I’ll be covering is called EMS, which stands for electric muscle stimulation. These devices are usually micro current devices that deliver electric muscle stimulation to work the muscles and improve the appearance and texture of the skin. In the professional office setting, EMS tools have been used for muscle rehabilitation to improve muscular strength and for essentially toning and sculpting the body. At-home weight loss devices commonly claim that they use electric muscle stimulation as an element within their fat reduction technology. But does EMS really produce a significant impact on fat cells?

A 2018 study by JNMA aimed to determine the effects of electrical muscle stimulation on waist circumference in adults with abdominal obesity. This randomized double-blind sham control trial involved an electric muscle stimulation program wherein 60 patients with abdominal obesity received electrical muscle stimulation or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation randomly five times a week for 12 weeks. The results of this study showed that the electrical muscle stimulation program modestly reduced waist circumference in abdominally obese adults without side effects. While EMS may not produce a significant effect on fat cells directly, one reason why it is included in many at-home fat reduction services is for its toning effects.

Take the NuFace Microcurrent Trinity Microcurrent Device, for example, which we discuss in season three, episode seven on skin gadgets. While this tool is advertised as a toning device for facial skin, it works by using electronic muscle stimulation and microcurrent technology to firm the skin on the face and neck. By working out the muscles, electronic muscle stimulation can make them appear more toned, taut, and visible beneath the skin. Naturally, this is a positive effect for a body firming or conditioning device. Next on our list of popular at-home fat loss devices is cryolipolysis. Cryolipolysis is a method of using extremely cold temperatures to freeze and ultimately destroy fat cells. In professional practices, cryolipolysis devices like Cool Sculpting, are used as a non-surgical fat reduction procedure to remove excess subcutaneous fat deposits in targeted areas. Cool sculpting is a great option for people with stubborn fat in certain areas that have proven to be resistant to exercising and dieting. Common areas may include fat beneath the chin and the love handles, back, and upper arms.

Cryolipolysis is non-invasive and effective and delivered in-office using a cool sculpting device. But today, beauty tech companies are trying to deliver similar results to customers through at-home gadgets. One such tool is the Cryo Toner at-home patented Cryolipolysis Machine by the company Sculpt Skinny Pro. According to its website online, the tool can be applied by the user to freeze away fat in problem areas. Better yet, the site tells readers that the Cryo Toner can deliver results with a tool that it describes as similar to cryolipolysis technology available at-home. I found it noteworthy that the website mentioned several times that the Cryo Toner home use device uses a “different cooling system and functions from traditional fat freezing and other beauty clinics.”

I wanted to bring this up because Cool Sculpting owns the patent on their technology. This, of course, means that no at-home fat freezing machine will utilize the same technology, and I have yet to come across one that is FDA approved. With no FDA approved fat freezing devices available for at-home use, it is safe to say that cryolipolysis is an unsafe do-it-yourself body contouring method. Fat freezing machines intended for at-home use can be dangerous and have not been evaluated by the FDA for their safety. Therefore, if you want to experience non-invasive fat loss through cryolipolysis, you’ll want to visit a professional and save your money on risky devices. That fat busting gadget may have been a flop, but stick around as I’ll be tackling more later in the episode.

Another popular non-invasive method for breaking down fat cells is through ultrasonic cavitation, alternatively known as ultrasonic lipolysis or cavi-lipo. By using ultrasound technology, these machines can break down subcutaneous fat cells to reduce localized fat, contour the body’s shape, and improve the look of cellulite. In-office ultrasonic cavitation machines generate ultrasonic vibrations, radiofrequency, and low-frequency ultrasonic waves to apply pressure on the cells causing them to break down. Once the cells are destroyed, the body can expel the dead cells as waste through its lymphatic system. This method has its pros and cons. It is painless and ultrasonic cavitation sessions are usually quick. However, patients usually require multiple treatments and it could take up to three months to experience final results. Ultrasonic cavitation technology is offered in at-home devices such as the UltraCavitat Cellulite Fat Treatment Machine.

This tool combines ultrasonic cavitation, infrared light, and electronic muscle stimulation to treat fat deposits while improving the skin’s appearance, texture, and tightness. So now the question on everyone’s mind is, does this tool work? Well, there are several factors that can influence the success that you may have with these tools. Handheld ultrasonic fat cavitation devices arenot regulated by the FDA and therefore have limited scientific research for their effectiveness. Also, at-home devices are often significantly weaker than in-office technologies that they’re based on. Therefore, it will likely take you significantly longer to see any results. If you do wish to use one of these devices, however, consider the intensity of the ultrasound waves and seek out tools with lower frequencies, as these will be more likely to deliver optimal results.

As for the UltraCavitat Machine in particular, the fact that it uses three technologies including electrical muscle stimulation and infrared Light, in addition to ultrasonic cavitation means users will likely experience positive results from frequent and continued use. However, an in-office treatment will always be your best option for a safe and inexpensive subcutaneous fat loss treatment. Thank you all as always for listening to this episode of The Skin Report Podcast, and until next time, love your skin, love yourself, and celebrate your beauty.

If you’d like to learn more about science-backed skin care or medical aesthetic treatments, please subscribe to and turn on notifications for The Skin Report so you always know when a new episode is up. We have a newsletter that you can sign up for on so that you can stay up to date on all our latest products and more. Additionally, if you have a skincare question or want to make an episode topic recommendation, please message me at, which is linked in my show notes, and I’ll be sure to answer your question in an episode soon.

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