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By Patricia Wersinger

As a French woman living in New York, I am often asked, how do French women stay thin? Though it is true that French women are often trimmer than the average American woman, these myths are exaggerated. Women in France eat balanced meals at regular hours and don’t drink soda or ever snack. They may eat ragouts, pastries and fat cheeses, not to mention the chocolate parfaits that break all will at the end of lunch, but the ingredients in the meal balance each other out and the helpings are small. French food is also fresh, containing fewer preservatives than American food that may contribute to fat deposits. One little secret I also share is that French women are strong believers in cellulite fighting lotions. Recommended by their dermatologists and estheticians, they apply them religiously like the secret ointments of a national cult. Is this what it is? Who knows, but in France these creams are part of any serious beauty routine. Here are some of the better known brands that have all been clinically tested for their results and a popular electric device for fighting unwanted bulges and fat deposits.

Clarins‘s Body Lift Cellulite Control targets stubborn cellulite with eight plant extracts to break down the protein barrier of fat and tighten and firm the skin to help make the hips and waist smaller. The lotion spreads unctuously and is easily absorbed by the skin. It is most effective if you massage the skin in a circular motion to promote circulation and drainage of fat and water in the targeted areas. The luxurious Clarins line is available at http://www.macys.com and all Clarins counters.

Vichy Cellu Destock with pure caffeine 5% and Lipocidine ™ causes a slight stimulating, tightening, and toning up effect upon application to the buttocks, hips and thighs. You must apply from knee to buttock and knead the area slowly until the product melts into the skin.

Vichy Destock Stomach Firming and Refining Treatment helps reduce the sag in your stomach area. Pro-firming peptides and 5% Pure Caffeine improve microcirculation and firm the skin reducing the bloated feeling. If you suffer from a bulging stomach you will feel a leaner and firmer contour after a few applications. Clinical results have shown 17% improvement in skin firmness with exercise, 10% without exercise over a period of 4 weeks. Both are available at http://www.ulta.com, Walgreens, Duane Reade, CVS and www. vichyusa.com

Though not French, the organic line Mama Mio has adopted some of the best ingredients of cellulite fighting creams. Get Waisted contains nine ingredients that combat fat deposits by maximizing lypolisis, which is the function in your own body to fight cellulite. Available at http://www.mamamio.com

Also try also Shrink to Fit a serum packed with the best ingredients of Mother Nature to fight cellulite and “orange peel” skin, http://www.mamamio.com/uk/body/get-waisted-body-shaper.html

Nivea has a cellulite fighting line consisting of a Skin Firming Cellulite Gel Cream, a Skin Firming Cellulite Serum and a Skin Firming Body Lotion that are efficacious at a reasonable price. Formulated with Coenzyme Q 10, Natural Lotus and Carnitine, ™ it helps in as little as ten days to reduce cellulite, tighten skin and get you ready for the beach. Available at http://www.drugstore.com or any drugstore.

Hypoallergenic Afterglow Gel for firming and slimming by Noodle and Boo is perfect for sensitive, irritable and especially post pregnancy skin to improve its firmness, tone and texture. Algae extract gives an immediate tightening effect and over time helps diminish fat deposits and stimulates collagen synthesis.

Available at http://www.nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus and NoodleandBoo.com

Luxury organic line Amala’s Detoxifying Firming Treatment with Myrtle, Sea Algae and Apricot help tone and improve the appearance of loose skin. French Sea Algae in Amala help firm and detoxify the skin by minimizing the destruction of healthy cells that can lead to looser, less dense skin. Clinical tests have acknowledged a 90% increase in firmness in four weeks. Available at http://www.amalabeauty.com

To help the full efficacy of the products, it is recommended to first exfoliate the areas of your body where you want to reduce fat. Isola Jamaica in a Jar is a unique Coffee and Sugar Scrub with a mood lifting scent of Vanilla Latte that is a thorough exfoliator as well as a natural body detox. Your skin will be smoother and better prepared for its cellulite fighting treatments. 100% natural and organic. Made in Jamaica and available at http://www.isolabody.com

French women are also known not to have the same enthusiasm for hard-core gym workouts as Americans. What some use in the comfort of their home are at home electronic devices that sculpt trim tummies effortlessly while reading Jean Paul Sartre. I recently had the opportunity of trying Tummy Lift by Bio-Medical Research and recommend it. It helps reduce those impossible to get rid of, post pregnancy fat deposits on the stomach and achieve that sculpted trim tummy we all crave. How does it work? You set a belt to contract and relax your waist that you control with an activator. The belt pumps the targeted area. It is easy and will bring out this abs out of your mushy middle over four weeks. You have to be patient and do it for four weeks without skipping a day!

Available at http://www.bmrbeautyseries.com

Cellulite fighting creams are recommended to help fight body fat and reduce bulges. Firming creams help reduce loose skin. Tummy Lift helps build muscle. While not sufficient on their own to get rid of problems, they work well in combination with one another and regular exercise, as well as a balanced diet to maintain a trim and elegant figure. Some of us have hereditary constitutions or hormonal conditions that make it almost impossible to get rid of our fat deposits, but the creams will help get rid of the excess water, fight the fat, activate blood circulation and firm up the skin. Give them a try!

Originally published June 2013
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