If our bodies are temples, does yours feel like the Temple of Doom? It’s no secret that a multi-pronged approach gives the quickest and best results. Firstly, diet is the main key to losing unwanted fat – but it’s not just about calories. Back in 1972 – can you believe it was that long ago? – Dr Atkins Diet Revolution first busted the low-fat, high-carb diet myth and instead promoted a diet that restricts carbs like sugary foods, pasta and bread in favour of proteins, healthy fats and vegetables. Taken on board as a plan for life, low-carb eating works. Done properly, it’s healthy, it’s relatively easy and it really does keeps you satisfied.
Exercise is of course the second prong, so get moving! If you haven’t yet found one or more sport or other activity that you really love doing, now’s the time. Diet alone may be enough to trim fat, but exercise burns calories, raises your metabolism even when you’re not on the go, improves mood and mental health, and dramatically reduces your risk of just about every disease we dread. That’s partly because physical activity can reduce ageing related inflammation in the body.
Along with all this scientific research into nutrition and exercise, scientists have also been working hard to meet the demand for slimming technology, from lypolisis, ultrasonic and radio frequency treatments to the highly effective Coolsculpting and other fat-freezing modalities. They can be pricey, but at least some are truly effective – especially when it comes to shifting stubborn fat from a particular bugbear area. So, it’s a good idea to shop around for personal referrals.
To offer you just that, a couple of EL team members treated their tummies, bums and thighs to some of the latest slimming and toning technology available here – plus a fantastic sunless tanning treatment straight from Beverley Hills for a natural glow with an undeniable slimming effect. And yes, we were impressed!
#1 French LPG Alliance Technology Treatment
Hailing from France, LPG Alliance is an award-winning, natural contouring treatment for body and face. Using motorised equipment, it works to “activate and awaken cells” painlessly yet effectively, producing various positive results connected to anti-ageing and tightening. These include lipolysis (or fat elimination), blood and lymphatic circulation, and the production of collagen and elastin to firm slackening skin. The latest version promises to tone, sculpt, contour and slim three times faster than previous models. Treatments are administered with the new Ergodrive head, equipped with LPG motorised rollers that deliver what’s described as a “ROLL’Up, ROLL’In and ROLL’Out” action.
How it works:
Body treatments act simultaneously to release stubborn, localised fat and improve skin quality, restoring tightness and reducing cellulite.
For the face, it works to awaken the natural synthesis of essential rejuvenating substances that are naturally present in our skin. By mechanically stimulating the skin, it causes rejuvenating cells called fibroblasts to boost their production of collagen (for firmness), elastin (for suppleness), and hyaluronic acid (for volume and hydration).
You should see visible results after the first session, and full results can be enjoyed after three to five sessions. Twice-weekly is the general recommendation, and then once a week for maintenance.
How it feels:
To my initial alarm, I’m handed what looks like a tiny white Babygro to put on. The protective garment turns out to be stretchy enough to cover my entire body, arms and legs, and is worn over disposable knickers and a disposable bra. (Not much support there, so I’ll spare you the selfie.)
Cody kindly says that as I don’t have much abdominal fat, she’ll be giving me the 20-minute toning and firming programme. Methodically running the Ergodrive head over my tummy, she follows the protocol on a monitor. Though the sucky, vibrating feeling is pretty intense, it’s not at all painful.
After that, she uses a much smaller appliance head on my face. By stimulating elastin and hyaluronic production, it promises to tone and resculpt. It’s an intensive treatment that’s going to leave several little red marks that linger on my cheeks for a couple of days; nothing makeup can’t cover, however.
Now for the relaxing part – a classic facial comprising exfoliation, extraction (if you want it, and I do), massage, and a lovely, thick, hydrating mask.
My face had been puffy after a long international flight and too much festivity. But after this special facial it was visibly slimmer and tauter – just what I needed! And from the slight tenderness of my tummy, I could tell that something good was happening.
$598 for one session. Try it at a special first trial price of $68!
Note: Beaute Hub also offers the Core Slimming Treatment (patented core technology), which involves the heating of subcutaneous tissue layers to build collagen fibres. This stimulates lipolysis to shrink fat cell volume, and enhances blood circulation at the same time
– Verne Maree
#2 Exilis Elite Body Contouring
This non-invasive treatment uses RF (radiofrequency) energy to stimulate collagen renewal under the skin. It helps to tackle stubborn cellulite and sagging skin on your tummy, thighs, arms and butt.
How it feels:
First up, a machine called X-Wave, which uses acoustic wave energy, is applied on my outer thighs, for ten minutes on each side. It feels like a sharp, but not painful, pulsating motion against the skin. This step of the treatment stimulates the lymphatic system and encourages the creation of new collagen.
Next up, it’s time for the Exilis Elite machine, which uses an RF frequency pulse that heats up to a high temperature to reach the deeper layers of your skin to break down fat cells. This session lasted about half an hour. The heat from the rolling probe did feel quite intense at times, but it still wasn’t painful. At times, it felt more like a warm massage!
I did experience some tenderness and slight bruising in the week after the treatment, but that quickly dissipated. Although a series of sessions are recommended for best results, I can see that my skin looks and feels visibly tighter and smoother after just one treatment.
For thighs, Exilis Elite costs $3420 for six sessions. The price also includes six additional X-Wave sessions at no extra cost.
– Susannah Jaffer
#3 Non Surgical Belly Fat Removal with Sculpsure
Sculpsure is a laser technology that selectively targets fat tissue below the skin. It induces adipocyte injury by raising adipose temperature to a range of 42 to 47 degrees celcius with no damage to the surrounding tissue. Over time, the body naturally eliminates the fat cells, showing positive results usually after six to 12 weeks. (Results may vary from person to person).
How it feels:
The ladies at the clinic were very nice and informative; they told me what to expect during the session. Before entering the treatment room, I met with Dr. Yanni Xu, who looks amazing just having given birth six weeks ago. We had a chat about the areas I wanted to target – I had a lot of concern after having gained almost 40kg with my last pregnancy!
After our conversation, she highlighted my target zones, which are the tummy, thighs and underarms. We decided for my first treatment to target my tummy, so off I went to the treatment room. Before the actual treatment, they took a couple of before pictures and i was given the frame belt that hold the paddles, which are customised to target the fat area of my tummy. The paddles are attached to a larger machine that releases energy at an optimum wavelength to be absorbed by my fat calves while leaving everything else intact.
The whole treatment took only 25 minutes and for me it was painless. I was initially a little apprehensive after seeing the SculpSure machine, but I was pleasantly surprised that I did not feel any pain. The energy that was released felt warm and I felt a tingling feeling in my tummy. I actually enjoyed the 25 minutes of quiet time; it was short but sweet!
One does not see any visible result right away. I did feel some abdominal tightening (the feeling is akin to having done 50 sit-ups in one bootcamp session) a couple of hours after the treatment. Fast forward to three weeks later and I can see a much more defined stomach that’s less jiggly. Having seen the before and after pictures of other clients, I am very positive and hopeful for the full results after six to eight weeks!
$2000 to $3000 for one session, depending on the area treated. It typically takes one to two sessions for visible results.
– Susan Knudsen-Pickles
#4 Intensive Body Perfection Programme
Offered at Estheclinic, this programme is a combination of lipovcavitation (ultrasound) to break down fat cells, and radiofrequency to tighten, firm and tone skin. I did the treatment on the upper hips area – that comfy bit for a baby to sit on, but which does not lend itself well to doing up trousers or wearing shorter tops.
How it feels:
Each session took around an hour – there is a slight electronic whine with the ultrasound treatment, which feels like electricity passing between your ears, but after the first session, I brought headphones and podcasts and it did not bother me again.
The radiofrequency that follows is warming and relaxing, rubbing smoothly all over the area. There is no pain at all with either procedure, although the first session definitely felt “lumpier” as the ultrasound machine was pushing over the skin. I had half a dozen small, coin-sized bruises around each area but they went down in a couple of days, and did not reappear for following sessions.
For an hour or so after the treatment, there is some numbness around the hips and buttocks, but it’s nothing major to affect movement.
After three sessions in as many weeks, I noticed that there was room to move in some of my shorts that had been a little tight. Photos taken at the end of six sessions show smoother skin, less dimpling, and a definite change in the shape of the upper hip area. Still not a photo I would post on social media, but I am going back to the wardrobe now to see which of my old pants may fit me again!
$320 to $390 per session. Estheclinic recommends at least six weekly sessions to see a difference.
– Danielle Rossetti
Three outlets islandwide: Tanjong Pagar, East Coast, Rochester Park
#5 Radiofrequency Body Contouring and Cellulite Blaster
• G5 Massage Therapy is performed with a therapeutic mechanical device that uses gyratory and percussion actions to break down fatty deposits, improve circulation, speed up toxin elimination, reduce the appearance of cellulite, boost production of elastin and collagen, improve skin texture and relax tense muscles.
• The multifunctional Multi-polar Radio Frequency (RF) machine comes with dynamic super pulse negative pressure (vacuum) and red LED light. The RF body probe utilises RF energy to activate lymphatic drainage and blood circulation, reduce fat deposits, stimulate vasodilation, break down fat cell links, increase cell metabolism and lipid degradation, reduce cellulite, encourage production of new collagen and elastin, reduce the appearance of cellulite, tighten, smoothen and rejuvenate the skin, and improve body contours. The red LED light in the body probe also helps to promote skin rejuvenation, enhance collagen and fibroblast production, and promote tissue repair.
How it feels:
Right away, I liked the setup at Derma Lab Beauty & Wellness. They offer bespoke facial and body treatments tailored to your areas of concern – for me, that’s my stomach and my back, around the underarm and bra strap area.
My therapist first cleansed and scrubbed the parts to be treated. Then she used the G5 massager to loosen up the muscles for around 40 minutes – it was strong like a mini jack hammer, but I liked the sensation. After that came the high-tech RF machine with vacuum and red light therapy, which also felt good as it moved over my skin making suction sounds, again for around 40 minutes. Finally, she massaged in some body-shaping oil.
Both of the partners in this business are married to medical doctors. Having disliked being pressured to sign up for packages at beauty salons and medical aesthetic clinics, they set up Derma Lab with the aim of providing good quality treatments at reasonable prices. The idea is that if you enjoy your session and see good results, you will come back!
I felt a bit tender for a couple of days from the action of the G5 massager, but I didn’t mind because I felt it was working. In some people, they say, the RF treatment can cause minor redness and swelling that should resolve in a day or two.
G5 Massage Therapy starts from $100 per session, the RF treatment from $120.
Note: Derma Lab also provides Ultrasonic Lipo Cavitation, a Thermal Detox Wrap and EMS Muscle Toning Therapy.
– Rebecca Bisset
Derma Lab Beauty & Wellness
#02-08B United Square
101 Thomson Road
What it is:
Sunless Tanning with the Infinity Sun system, advocated by Hollywood celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson.
How it works:
You really do need to exfoliate your whole body prior to your tanning session. Ideally, you could use Infinity Sun’s Exfoliating Body Masque, a gentle formula containing the pineapple fruit enzyme, Bromelain.
Founder and co-director of Airbrush Elite, Joanne Yeke, also warned me not to shave or wax for 24 hours beforehand, and not to apply any moisturiser or deodorant before my appointment.
Based on walnut juice and sugar, the organic Infinity Sun liquid tan is also enriched with essential oils, antioxidants and botanicals. Unlike some others, it doesn’t have a strong smell. It’s administered through a spray gun and takes about five minutes to apply.
You can be in and out in 10 minutes, so it’s easy to squeeze your session into a lunch break. The spray can be set at various levels to suit both pale and darker skin tones, so the result is personalised for you.
How it feels:
It’s easy enough for Airbrush Elite to set up their system in your own home, or you can go to theirs – I went to Joanne’s place on Cavenagh Road. It was so quick, and the effect is instant. I remembered to wear something dark and loose-fitting to go home in, and to stay dry for at least eight hours afterwards – no showering, no bathing and no getting sweaty! Although I had done spray tanning a few years ago, I had forgotten how fabulous it makes you feel. A tan hides lots of the bumps and blips, and I feel about 10kg thinner. In short, I feel like a new woman.
The effect is golden-brown and not at all orangey – even my face looks great. The Infinity aftercare products help the tan last a few days longer, and I am following Joanne’s instruction to moisturise regularly with the Infinity Sun Extend with Shimmer.
If you take a package of 10 sessions, it works out to under $50 a pop, as long as you go to them; there’s a surcharge if they come to you. Best of all – if you hold a spray-tanning party at your home, the host tans for free!
– Rebecca Bisset
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