Whether they're pounding the pavement or slathering on so-called miracle creams, American women have become obsessed with saying goodbye to bumpy, lumpy cellulite.
U.S. consumers spent nearly $100 million last year on products that promise to reduce or remove cellulite, not to mention the amount spent on millions of gym memberships to further this goal.
Now the Cellubike, a contraption that looks part bike and part spaceship, is being marketed as a new way to diminish those troubling dimples.
The Cellubike is "the most effective method of cellulite removal as proven by millions," says its commercial.
What Makes It Different
Manufacturers claim you can pedal away your unsightly cellulite with the help of a secret ingredient: infrared light.
According to the makers of the Cellubike, exercisers who ride an upright or recumbent stationary bike for 40 minutes will burn up to 200 calories. But because of the infrared rays, Cellubike users will burn between 600 and 2,400 calories in the same time.
"It penetrates your skin up to an inch and a half, and that's what gets the capillaries expanded and producing more blood flow, which is then detoxifying your body and bringing the wastes out," said Ellen Reinhardt, president of Better Bodies Inc., which markets Cellubike in the United States.
'It Worked for Us'
Cellubikers Terri Morgan and Trudi Knoedler said that for them, the Cellubike lived up to its promise.
"I lost -- in my first 15 sessions -- 4 inches off my thighs, off each one," Morgan said. "Can you imagine? Four inches on each one. That's tremendous."
"I resorted to liposuction, which left the skin just slack-looking and increased the cellulitey effect," Knoedler said. "So when I started doing this with every treatment, I noticed that the skin was getting tighter, the dimples were starting to go away." Cellubike recommends 15- to 40-minute sessions to see results.
But can the results be credited to infrared light, or will a good old-fashioned workout on a regular bike do the trick?
An Expert Weighs In
"For most people who see improvement, it's probably related to the fact that the device makes them exercise rather than anything else," said Dr Elizabeth Tanzi, a cosmetic dermatologist at the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery.
Even though Tanzi remains skeptical about Cellubike, she agreed that infrared light could bring some benefits.
"It can help penetrate the surface of the skin and increase circulation, thereby helping the body reduce the fat stores on its own," she said.
Still, Tanzi said, when it comes to getting rid of cellulite entirely, there's no bright light at the end of the tunnel.
"If anyone tells you there is a cure for cellulite, I would walk away," she said.