In the vast landscape of social media trends, TikTok has emerged with a new beauty trend once again. Introducing the Lemon Bottle fat dissolving injections, which have been promoted by countless influencers showcasing before-and-after shots with claims of creating washboard stomachs. However, this trend, while capturing the fascination of millions, is not without its controversies and concerns—much like its predecessors, it is generating divided opinions within the online community, and for good reason.
Lemon Bottle introduces a novel approach to fat-dissolving injections. Defined by the company as a “formulation and precision-guided injection technique [that] offer patients a virtually painless experience with little to no swelling or bruising post-treatment, the procedure typically involves numbing the skin in a clinical setting, with targeted areas such as the chin, stomach, thighs, and arms marked with a grid-like pattern. The solution is then directly injected into the fat cells.
Speaking to Glamour, Dr Ahmed El Muntasar, an aesthetician and GP, elucidates that these injections rely on vitamin B and function by breaking down the fat cell walls, allowing the body to eliminate the fat through urine.
Advocates, including plastic surgeon Dr Vahe Karimyan, assert its efficacy in activating fat metabolism and breaking down fat cells, with noticeable improvements often after a single session. A glance online reveals several UK clinics offering the procedure, emphasising its lower cost compared to alternative treatments.
The controversy surrounding Lemon Bottle’s product lies in its missing ingredient: the absence of deoxycholic acid, an essential ingredient for fat-dissolving that was incorporated in the 80s in every single fat-dissolving product and also supported by scientific papers.
While Dr Karumyan praises its effectiveness, board-certified plastic surgeon, and founder of 111SKIN, Dr Yannis Alexandrides expresses reservations to Grazia, citing a lack of scientific support for the product’s efficacy and safety. He states: “Lemon Bottle fat dissolving injections may be trending on social media, but my personal assessment and initial research find no scientific papers to support the efficacy and safety of this product. At present, the current research is too flimsy for me to feel safe and confident to offer this treatment. New non-surgical treatments like this one need to be properly assessed and scrutinised by scientific publications.”
Dr El Muntasar also raises an alarming concern about the widespread availability of Lemon Bottle fat dissolving kits online, allowing untrained individuals to attempt the procedure at home, arguing: “People end up doing these procedures at home, thinking it is perfectly safe when it is particularly dangerous on areas of the face.” He continues: “Even experienced doctors don’t inject fat dissolver into the face as people can end up with lifelong complications, including nerve and vascular damage, dry mouth and issues with their eyes.”
As we previously mentioned, one of the main reasons for Lemon Bottle’s popularity on TikTok is its absence of deoxycholic acid, classifying it as a cosmetic product rather than a medical drug. This distinction contributes to its online availability and affordability compared to other treatments. Dr Muntasar warns of potential dangers, citing recent TikTok videos demonstrating the product’s use on facial areas. This highlights the risk of complications such as nerve and vascular damage, dry mouth, and eye issues, emphasising the possibility of lifelong consequences.
TikTok’s impact in promoting fat-dissolving injections to a gen Z and lower millennial audience is prompting concerns about the platform potentially fostering disordered attitudes towards weight. The discussion also underscores the need for careful consideration and awareness, as non-surgical treatments might create a false sense of security, leading individuals to underestimate potential side effects like necrosis (cell death in the body’s tissues). This risk is particularly heightened when individuals fail to seek treatment from a qualified prescriber.
TikTok trends are known for their ephemeral nature, where new topics swiftly supplant the old. This cyclical pattern simply emphasises the necessity for prudence when adopting TikTok trends, especially within the realm of cosmetic procedures. So before you think of injecting yourself with a new magic Lemon Bottle, carefully consider the dynamic evolution of beauty standards.