We all have our “problem areas:” those pesky spots where stubborn fat just won’t go away, no matter how much dieting or exercise you do. Whether it’s found on your belly, thighs, chin, neck, or upper arms, excess fat can feel impossible to banish — especially as you get older. The good news is there are non-invasive procedures that can help: namely, cryolipolysis, or “fat freezing,” which was first cleared by the FDA back in 2010.
What is fat freezing?
Simply put, fat freezing, also known by its medical term of cryolipolysis, is a fat-blasting treatment that works by killing off your fat cells. In fact, it works so well, more than 450,000 procedures have been performed around the world in the decade thats followed its introduction!
As PlasticSurgery.org explains, this popular non-surgical procedure works by freezing unwanted fat cells to banish them for good.
Thats because when fat cells are exposed to cold, they crystalize (or freeze), eventually dying off over time. From there, your lymphatic system can permanently eliminate them, effectively removing your unwanted fat.
The procedure doesn’t require anesthesia or any incisions, and your “skin and other structures are spared from injury” as your fat cells freeze, since they’re more susceptible to cold than other types of cells.
Can you try cryolipolysis at home?
The biggest drawback of cryolipolysis is, hands down, the price. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of professional cryolipolysis in 2017 was a whopping $1,481 per session. Since the average patient will need two to three sessions per treatment area, that can quickly add up to somewhere between $2,962 to $4,443, for those of you doing the math.
Needless to say, there’s a large appeal for at-home alternatives, which have since popped up on the market. These systems also use cold temperature to banish stubborn fat, but for a fraction of the price.
While you’ll want to follow instructions carefully and be extra careful around your skin with these ice-cold products, when used properly, they can deliver impressive results. You may not see extra pounds coming off, per se, but you could see up to 25 percent less fat in your chosen treatment area according to the makers of one such at-home brand, Isavera ($98.97, Amazon).
A word of caution: As the CoolSculpting Center of NYC notes, ideal candidates for fat freezing will be near their goal weight with no excess loose skin but will still have enough fat (you should be able to pinch about an inch) to benefit from the procedure.
Ready to find at at-home treatment that will work for you? Keep reading for FIRST for Women’s picks for the best fat freezing devices to try at home.
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Top Rated Fat Freezing System
Isavera Fat Freezing System
Where to buy: $98.97 (Originally $149.99), Amazon
With a 4.5-star rating on Amazon from nearly 2,000 reviewers, Isavera’s fat freezing system is the best-rated at-home cryolipolysis option around. It can be used on your tummy, thighs, arms, and more to help fat crystallize your fat cells and make them slowly disappear. All you have to do is freeze the custom-formulated reusable gel packs, place them inside the patent-pending belt, and wrap the whole thing tightly around your target area. For optimal results, the this system should be worn for 60 minutes a day, three days a week, for 8 to 10 weeks. A pro tip? For an even better outcome, you’ll want to massage the area post-treatment for two to three minutes using the included hand massager.
As one reviewer wrote, “I'm at that lovely age of 60 with stubborn tummy fat. ... CoolSculpting is just too expensive, so I thought I would give this a try. The results astounded me after one month.”
Best Fat Freezing for Under Chin
FatFreezer Cryolipolysis System
Where to buy: $39.95, Amazon
If you’re looking to tighten up your chin or neck, FatFreezer's cryolipolysis system is just the thing. This handheld device will battle these problem areas through the power of cryolipolysis. It offers three modes for a complete pampering experience: Start off with the cryolipolysis mode, which drops the temperature down to just below 43 degrees Fahrenheit to help slim your jawline, neck, and even cheeks. Turn on Sonic Mode when you want to enjoy a massage and “penetrate hard-to-reach fat cells,” then finish things off with the After-Massage Mode, which warms up the machine to a soothing 107 degrees. Even better, this three-in-one solution can also help reduce wrinkles, decrease redness and puffiness, and tighten pores.
Best Thigh Fat Freezing Device
Isavera Thigh Fat-Freezing System
Where to buy: $119.97, Amazon
Thighs can be a notoriously tough area to rid of stubborn fat, but Isavera’s new LegSculptor system will hone in on both the inner and upper area between your hip and your knee to deliver an overall toned look. Simply freeze the patent-pending gel packs in your freezer (there are eight in this kit), place them into the provided pockets of the included neoprene thigh wraps, wrap them tightly around your legs, and relax. You’ll want to wear these for 60 minutes per day, three times per week, for a total of eight to 10 weeks to help banish cellulite, orange peel skin, and fat dimples. For optimal results, use the included massager to finish each fat freezing session with a two to three-minute massage. This system comes with a 90-day money back guarantee.
Best Fat Freezing Machine
Igia Fat Freezer Platinum System
Where to buy: $119.99 (was $149.99), Amazon
This at-home fat freezing option blends two popular technologies into one. Not only will it freeze your fat away with its cooling unit, it harnesses the power of "theralight" to penetrate deeply into hard-to-reach fat cells. To use it, apply one of the nine included protective pads to your target area, tightly wrap the system on top of it, and choose between a 30- and 60-minute treatment. For optimal results, Igia recommends waiting a minimum of four weeks between treatments and massaging your target area for three to five minutes after each freezing session. You'll also get a diet and exercise plan with your purchase, which is backed by a 30-day money back guarantee.
If you're anything like reviewer Nalini, however, you won't need to: "I had a total of two treatments on both my inner and outer thighs (and one additional treatment on one inner thigh), and I am so, so happy that I had bought this thing," she wrote. "My legs are more shapely and defined, and I feel so much more confident in my clothes and (finally!) a bikini since undergoing the treatments."
Best Face Fat Freezing Roller
ESARORA Roller for Face and Eye
Where to buy: $14.99, Amazon
Think of the ESARORA roller for face and eyes as a lite version of the other at-home cryolipolysis systems found on our list. Powerful but safe enough for everyday use, this roller will chill your face to fight wrinkles, relieve fatigue, shrink pores, and more. It’s also great for alleviating redness caused by menopause. It takes just 10 to 15 minutes to drop down to its ideal temperature in the freezer. Once frozen, take the roller head, pop it onto the handle, and enjoy the cooling sensation as you massage your face and neck.
As one reviewer gushed, “I use this ice roller in my esthetician treatment room after extractions, peels and/or waxing. My clients love it! It drastically reduces inflammation and swelling.”
Best Fat Freezing Waist Trainer
Tagefa Fat-Freezing Waist Trimmer
Where to Buy: $49.99, Amazon
Ideal for use on your waist, thighs, belly, and back, this Tagefa fat-freezing waist trimmer looks like a traditional waist trainer, but uses specialty gel packs to help freeze fat found in those stubborn love handles. Simply place the packs in your freezer (it will take about two hours for them to fully chill), then pop them inside the waist trainer and wrap it around your target area. They're especially designed to remain soft (even at -0.4 degrees Fahrenheit), so they’ll be pliable enough to comfortably contour to your body for a 30- or 60-minute session. This kit includes the waist trainer belt, three gel packs, two silicone massage cups, a cellulite massager for post-treatment, a tape measure, and a handy storage bag.
Best Fat Freezing Belt
EcoFreezer Fat-Freezing Belt
Where to buy: $99.99, Amazon
The curved, adjustable design of the EcoFreezer fat-freezing belt will allow you to use this product on your love handles, arms, stomach, or thighs. Unlike other options on our list, however, this belt needs to be plugged into a power outlet, so your mobility will be reduced during treatment. For this reason, you can choose between a traditional 60-minute session or a shorter 30-minute burst. After removing the belt, be sure to massage the treatment area for optimal results. If you don’t love the belt, EcoFreezer offers a 30-day money back guarantee.