Destination Skin Smooth Shapes – Cellulite Busting Sucking Machine

I’ve never bought a cellulite product in my life (except for a body brush, if that counts??) and I am incredibly cynical of all those ‘wonder formulas and treatments’ that promise to banish your lumps and dimples and give you the legs and bum of a Victoria’s Secret model. However…against my better judgment, I recently got tempted by one of Wahanda’s offers at Destination Skin for a treatment which proclaimed to “improve the texture of your thighs, hips and buttocks with a revolutionary new cellulite laser treatment”. Now I’ve never been massively worried about my cellulite; I don’t have that much, just a few shallow bumps. But, having just booked a holiday, I thought what the hell…a smoother bikini body wouldn’t exactly be a bad thing…plus the salon is in Westfield which is really near my house… Oh, and it was only £40 or so, reduced from £200. I am an absolute sucker for a discount.

So, the day of the England-Germany match, in fact during the match (I’m not a huge football fan), I headed over to an eerily deserted Westfield to House of Fraser where Destination Skin is located. After filling out a form which made me slightly uneasy (three pages of questions about medical history etc) I was taken to a small, minimalist, white room and sat down with a very nice therapist for a consultation. This basically consisted of her letting me ask any questions I had. I didn’t have many, except to make sure there weren’t any side effects or dangers regarding the laser. I was assured that it was perfectly safe, FDA approved (not sure that impressed me as much as she’d hoped) and the only side effect would be some superficial redness and, in some cases, ‘love bite’ looking markings which should fade within a few days. She also said I’d probably need the loo a lot afterwards. Nice.

I had to sign a disclaimer, which basically stated that I was aware that the treatment when undertaken as part of a course of at least eight, MIGHT help to improve the texture of the skin on my thighs and bottom. I did suspect that this would be the case, as these types of treatments work cumulatively and can’t be guaranteed to help everyone. I mean if there really was a miracle treatment for cellulite out there, we’d all be using it right?! Well, maybe not for £200 a pop actually…twice a week for four weeks, which is what they recommend…

Anyway, I was feeling open minded and ready to let her loose on my less that perfectly smooth behind. Lying face down on the table wearing just my thong, the therapist first wiped my skin with some sort of alcohol based steriliser to get rid of any lotions and dirt. She gave me some goggles to wear in case I wanted to turn around but said I’d be fine without them on if I kept facing forwards. Then she got to work with the Smooth Shapes machine.

The machine uses laser and light energy which is delivered through what felt like a Hoover with a rubber head. The laser and light technology helps to break down fatty deposits which cause those little dimples and the vacuum sucking action helps to disperse the broken down fat into your lymphatic system so that it can be eliminated from your body. This is the same principle as used in manual lymphatic drainage – a gentle massage which works to stimulate the lymphatic system to help ease water retention, improve circulation, and improve skin tone.

At first the treatment felt quite uncomfortable and took a bit of getting used to, after which I actually quite liked it. The therapist started mid-way down my thighs and moved the vacuum sucker thing in upward sweeps to the top of my thighs and across my bottom. Certain areas felt a little sore as the sucking action meant it wasn’t exactly a smooth process dragging the rubbery head across my dry skin. But it got more comfortable as my skin got warmer and I actually found myself relaxing and quite enjoying the massage sensation.

After ten minutes on each leg my treatment was over. A bit of moisturiser, and I was ready to go. I felt gasping for water, which is a good sign, as means the lymphatic system has been working harder and your body needs to replenish. I felt really relaxed too. As I walked out I not-so-subtly checked the backs of my legs in a House of Fraser mirror (I was wearing shorts) and didn’t detect any embarrassing tell-tale signs that I’d just had something sucking on my butt for twenty minutes. Although the next day I did have a few areas which looked like a few capillaries had been burst. Best not to do right before you’re hitting the beach then. That went down in a couple of days though.
So…if you’ve stuck with this review for this long I’m sure you’re dying to know the results?! Well, at first I could have sworn there was an improvement in the firmness and tone of my skin when I checked my bum out in the mirror when I got home. But now I think it was probably just the placebo effect as there isn’t really any discerning difference. Having said that, the logic of the treatment makes sense to me and it certainly did provide what felt like a deep massage and must have stimulated my circulation and promoted lymph drainage during and after the treatment. So I would guess that if you did have a full course of eight you would see some good results. (They have a before and after pic on their website which is quite compelling.)

I, however, will certainly not be shelling out £400 a week to find out. I would actually be much more interested to try a course of manual lymphatic drainage, which would be a more natural and cost effective version of the Smooth Shapes wonder machine, using simply the power of human hands. No FDA stamp of approval needed for that.

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