Can inflammation reduction lead to ‘slimmer’ skin?

July 16, 2014

Patients will bring to me on a weekly basis tubes of slimming cream for evaluation. The question from the concerned consumer is always the same. Is it wise use of my money to purchase this product again and what exactly does a slimming cream do? The honest truth is that I am not sure what benefit a slimming cream delivers.

Q. What are slimming creams?

A. Patients will bring to me on a weekly basis tubes of slimming cream for evaluation. The question from the concerned consumer is always the same. Is it wise use of my money to purchase this product again and what exactly does a slimming cream do? The honest truth is that I am not sure what benefit a slimming cream delivers.

What is slimming? This is truly a cosmetic concept. Some might think that slimming implies weight loss and thinner people are considered slimmer, but nowhere on the packaging does it discuss body weight. Others might think that slimmer indicates a reduction in body measurement. Again, there is no mention of inches.

I think slimming means smoother, softer skin. Most of these products are based on moisturizers with some botanical additives. One formulation I examined contained a variety of botanical anti-inflammatories including Ginkgo biloba, mallow extract (Malva sylvestris), and hare’s ear (Bupleurum falcatum).

Perhaps a reduction in inflammation can lead to slimmer skin. The trick is to create a cream for a consumer perceived need that does not have a medical definition. This then means that the product is a cosmetic and can deliver whatever the consumer wants the product to deliver. Ambiguity is good from a regulatory standpoint.

 

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