As Americans, we want fast results: fast food, fast technology, and fast weight loss.
Is there really a quick fix to getting rid of extra fat and sagging skin?
I went to Kerri’s Avenue Salon in South Bend to investigate the latest buzz: toning wraps called It Works.
The big question is do they work?
It sounds too good to be true, a wrap applied to the skin that will, in less than one hour, tone and sculpt your body.
They are called It Works, and the product claims to draw toxins out of your body and tighten your skin.
Kerri Blair, owner of Kerri’s Avenue Salon, says, “It is a tightening, toning and firming system. So, it's not, you know, fat isn't going to fall off of you.”
Kerri says these wraps are different from other weight loss wraps because they are not meant to make you sweat.
“It's pulling the toxins out of your fat cells, and then, over the seventy two hours for the product to complete its cycle, it's going deeper and deeper and deeper into your tissues. Your fat cell is going to shrink.”
I wanted to see for myself how these things work. So, we wrapped my arms, stomach and legs with the It Works wraps and Saran wrap.
Once the wraps are in place, you have to leave them on for 45 minutes. The product claims to detox your body, but the important thing is to drink plenty of water.
Every ingredient listed in the product is botanical.
“The product is actually infused into the cloth, and then it's actually on the cloth as well…Right away, when you open it up, you're going to be able to smell that there's eucalyptus."
So, if it’s all natural, does that mean it is safe?
Dr. Rob Riley of Memorial Family Practice says, “Even things that are natural have the potential for causing harm. People may be allergic to certain things. Interaction between various natural products can cause side effects in various people.”
Dr. Riley says the main issue he has with the It Works wraps is that they are not FDA-approved.
“Usually in medicine, we rely on good, solid scientific studies, which are widely distributed and open for discussion and so forth, to decide what things are both safe and effective, and we just don't have that information for this type of product…We don't know whether the product has side effects or the potential to do harm. It doesn't mean it's unsafe. It just means we really don't know.”
Speaking of side effects, just 30 minutes after removing the wraps I was feeling nauseous and dizzy.
However, others who tried the product felt quite the opposite.
Matt Smith used the It Works wraps, and he says, “I know my energy went up that day. My energy went up the next three days ... I mean, if you take out all of that junk that's in your body from your system, who knows what is out there. It just helps your body work better.”
So, did it work?
Well, I did lose about an inch and a half off certain areas, but what I noticed more than anything after using the wraps was skin tightening, something Dr. Riley says is possible.
Dr. Riley says, “Theoretically, that seems like a possibility, that if you can take some of the fluid out of the skin, that it may shrink down a little bit.”
It is not permanent.
“These would be temporary sorts of things. If this is based on shifts in fluid and things like that, the body is very good at restoring its normal balance over a period of time.”
It Works does not claim to be permanent. It says one treatment should last you about thirty days.
While this quick fix may give you some results, remember, you are taking a risk anytime you use something that is not FDA-approved.
When it comes to losing weight, Dr. Riley says it all comes down diet and exercise.
If you do want to try the It Works wraps, one treatment will cost you about $25.
The product also says it keeps working for 72 hours after you apply a wrap.