Somebody who works in the beauty business doing treatments asked me about body wrap procedures involving lysolecithin as a slimming aid. She was kind enough to explain how it is done. ‘The body is dry exfoliated, the product is applied, body wrap film is applied, client lies down for 1 hr are unwrapped, remeasured and are told to drink at least 2 litres of water for 72 hrs after the treatment to aid the release of the “liquidized fat”.’ The product in question’s main ingredients are grapeseed oil and lysolecithin, with the lysolecithin being the active. She reports that this treatment does indeed lead to measurable effects with customers losing an average of 4″ (10 cm) from their waistlines with some as much as 8″ (20cm). It isn’t surprising that the treatment is popular.
But how does it work? She was skeptical about the way it is described. The lysolecithin is supposed to penetrate the skin and to break down the fat and turn it into liquid. That does sound far-fetched. Let’s look at the lysolecithin and see if we can work out what is going on.
First off, lysolecithin is an actual thing. It has an official International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary listing. Any classical scholar will tell you that lyso means to split something. For example the process of splitting a sugar is known as glycolysis. Any biochemist will tell you that lecithins are commonly found in the body and are commonly found in cell membranes. So it sounds like lysolecithin is a type of lecithin that splits things up. It all begins to make sense.
Unfortunately when you look a bit deeper into the details it all unravels. Lysolecithin is so called because it is lecithin that has been split – so the splitting isn’t something that it does: it is something that has been done to it. Splitting up lecithin will give you a mixture of things, but mainly fat. It doesn’t give you something that will fight fat at all.
It is just about possible that some components of hydrolysed lecithin would get through the skin. though having got into the blood stream it would soon be impossible to tell the difference because plenty of the same kind of chemicals are there already. And even if there was something special about the particular hydrolysed lecithin components that had been added, how would they be able to make their way to the fat to do their job?
So basically I have no idea how this treatment is working. Perhaps the combination of the wrap itself and the heating induces the body’s fight or flight mechanism which ups the body’s metabolism? Or maybe it is just water loss as a result of the sweating? Neither sounds particularly convincing. But as I say they are very popular treatments so whatever I think a lot of people are using them. The most popular brand names are Shrinking Violet (love that name!) and Minimi. Both stress that their treatments are not a substitute for diets, but they do sound like a good way to get a weight loss project off to a start. We can investigate how they work later.
Information from Suppliers
it would make an interesting and possibly well hit blog post, Shrinking Violet is the craze fad right now and has been since last year, Minimi jumped on the bandwagon sometime Have a great weekend