The Consumers' Association on the Slimfreezer versus CoolSculpting

In 2015, Consumers’ Association wanted to review TelSell’s SlimFreezer. Jaimie (Consumer Association Tester) tried out the device for the Consumer Association. Researcher Lauri ten Grotenhuis then took her to see plastic surgeon Farid Kazem to find out if the real professional device with CoolSculpting works. In fact, TelSell’s Slimfreezer is based on this technology of cryolipolysis.

SlimFreezer

First impression | With the SlimFreezer, according to Telsell, you would freeze fat cells so that they can be easily disposed of by your body. The body you’ve always wanted is so within reach…or is it?

In tegenstelling tot wat SlimFreezer beweert, is het apparaat niet vergelijkbaar met een professioneel “CoolSculpting-apparaat”. The subject felt, saw, and measured no difference afterwards from before the treatment. The effect immediately after the treatment on the fat roll was also far from comparable to the professional treatment.

Conclusion Consumers’ Association

SlimFreezer: The claim

The SlimFreezer uses what is known as cold lipolysis. Fat cells are destroyed and can then be easily disposed of by your body. On average, you would lose 20% of your fat cells in the treated area.

How does the SlimFreezer work?

The SlimFreezer has a 10×10 cm square plate that you can attach to your belly, legs or arm with a strap. That plate gets cold. The claim is -6 degrees but our thermometer did not go below zero. Before placing the SlimFreezer, you should place a glycerin pad on your skin to protect your skin. Then you choose a 30- or 60-minute program, and then it’s simply waiting. When the cycle is complete you should massage the treated area for one minute.

How often should you use the SlimFreezer?

The Dutch manual for the SlimFreezer says nothing about how often we should use it. The packaging says once a month, and the US site confirms this. You can, however, treat several areas in succession. For example, your belly and your legs one after the other. But that particular part of your abdomen so not more often than once a month.

CoolSculpting versus SlimFreezer

According to TelSell’s video, the SlimFreezer is identical to the machines used by exclusive clinics. We wanted to check that out. In clinics, they use CoolSculpting. So we visited a plastic surgeon who showed us the professional device for CoolSculpting and performed a professional treatment on our subject. Differences from the professional device are:

  • Treatment with the professional device always lasts 60 minutes. 30 minutes, as is one of the options with the SlimFreezer, is not possible.
  • With a professional device, the piece of skin you are treating is sucked between 2 plates, so the treatment takes place on 2 sides. So it’s not like you put a plate on it.
  • The temperature at which the treatment is performed is crucial. Fat cells are different from cells that contain water. As a result, they react differently to cold. As a result, if done properly, the treatment only affects fat cells and not, for example, muscle tissue. A professional device used by the plastic surgeon checks that the skin is not too cold. In fact, if it does, the skin itself freezes and you can get freeze blisters.
  • The fat roll treated with the SlimFreezer did get cold and slightly harder, but it did not compare to the result at the plastic surgeon. There, immediately after the treatment, you saw that the piece of skin that had been sucked into the device held its shape and was rock hard. It was comparable to a piece of chicken breast right after you take it out of the freezer.
  • Results after 30 days. With the SlimFreezer, no difference could be seen or measured after 30 days. So not-good-money-back after 30 days is definitely the issue here. With CoolSculpting, fat cells leave the body gradually, and a 60-day window is assumed before you see the final results.

We went back after 2 months to measure whether our subject had lost fat after treatment with CoolSculpting. Are you curious to see the end result? Then watch the video (in Dutch) below.
In 2015, this first impression was made and the video recorded. Meanwhile, further equipment development has taken place at CoolSculpting. It is possible that the equipment in the video is no longer used in CoolSculpting clinics.

Proven effective and safe?

Cold lypolise, according to the SlimFreezer, has been evaluated by authorities in America as safe and effective in the treatment against fat. But that’s not entirely true. The treatment there that has been studied and approved by the FDA is cryolipolysis, which is performed with a CoolSculpting device. This method was developed by dermatologists at Harvard Medical School. Incidentally, the real longer-term effects are not yet entirely clear because the treatment is relatively young. But a number of independent scientific studies have now been published. The name cryolipolysis is owned by Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc.

Devices that claim to do the same thing but are not quite the same use terms similar to this, as TelSell does with cold lipolysis. On the CoolSculpting website, you can see where in the Netherlands you can go for an official cryolipolysis treatment. If you are considering treatment elsewhere, ask carefully what results you can expect and what equipment is used.

Cryolipolysis as an alternative to liposuction?

Both treatments have the same goal, which is to destroy fat cells. Therefore, it seems to be an alternative. But cryolipolysis is best suited for people who are fit and want to get rid of the last bit of fat in a specific spot; which training or dieting won’t do. Only in that case can it be considered, because unlike liposuction treatment, it is not suitable for large amounts of fat.

There are quite a few drawbacks to liposuction. It is an operation that requires you to be sedated. You will be left with scars, you will have quite a bit of pain after the surgery and will need to take it easy for a while. With cryolipolysis, you can go back to doing whatever you feel like doing immediately after the treatment. No anesthesia is involved. By the way, you won’t see immediate results; you’ll have to wait one to two months for that.

By the way, cryolipolysis treatment is not much cheaper than liposuction. Each zone you want to treat should be performed both left and right, and usually you will want to address more than one zone. Think about €400 per single cycle, so for a balanced treatment left and right of only lovehandles you can count on about €800.

Is fat cell freezing suitable for everyone?

The SlimFreezer should not be used if you have heart disease, are pregnant, have a fever, suffer from epilepsy, have inflammation or a skin condition, or are suffering from a serious illness. And as mentioned earlier, it is not for large amounts of fat.

For cryolipolysis, according to the plastic surgeon, “if you can squeeze it, we can freeze it. Thus, it is not a technique that can be used with everyone who is overweight. If you have a BMI above 30 then you will need to lose weight first. This is because the skin folds must be able to be sucked into the device.

Saâdia Hannachia
Cosmetic Physician

“CoolSculpting is a fantastic alternative to liposuction”

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