The results of my research into Aqualyx were somewhat surprising. We at DietSpotlight did one of our intensive reviews, focusing on the ingredients, side effects, clinical studies, and customer service quality. Plus we read countless user comments and responses from all over the internet. Lastly, we summed up all of the information to give you the bottom line.
Aqualyx is a product designed to eliminate local patches of fat below the skin in different parts of the body, such as the stomach, back, chin, under the buttocks, thighs, hips, and knees. The only part of the body where the use of Aqualyx is not recommended is the region around the eyes.
It is also employed in treating pseudo-gynecomastia in men, caused by excess fatty tissue in the breast region. In that sense, this product works on the principle of ‘Aquaplasty’ or ‘Aqualysis,’ wherein the product is deposited in localized areas of fat.
It claims to liquefy fat cells efficiently, releasing lipids in the process, which are, in turn, taken care of by the body’s lymphatic system and eventually excreted.
In short, Aqualyx is a targeted alternative to liposuction. It is available in the form of an injectable compound solution, with its origin in the deoxycholate family. The product website claims that nearly 2 million vials of Aqualyx have already been sold in 40 countries. It is manufactured by the Italian firm Marlor, but does it work?
Food Chemistry – Red macroalgae sugar is a sugar obtained from agar, which has anti-cariogenic properties. This means that this kind of sugar substitute is good for preventing dental cavities. The demand for this sugar is on the rise, given the increased preference for dietary sugars.
PRS Global Open – “intralipotherapic technique, when performed properly with an appropriate adipocytolytic device and when proper precautions are taken, can be effective and safe for reducing undesirable subcutaneous fat deposits.”
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How Did Aqualyx Start?
Developed by Professor Pasquale Motolese, a renowned aesthetic surgeon and a high-ranking member of the Italian Society of Aesthetic Surgery and Medicine, the Aqualyx was first brought to prominence in the Aesthetic Medical International Congress in Milan in 2004; and was launched globally in 2009.
The product received a CE approval in 2012 (as we shall explore later) and was launched the following year in the UK.
The product is now available in the UK and Ireland exclusively through the distributor Healthxchange Pharmacy – a trustworthy supplier of pharmacy products to medical professionals in the aesthetic and cosmetic industry.
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The Aqualyx product website has mentioned that this product and the ensuing technique of Aqualysis categorically has nothing to do with weight loss. Aqualyx is only a means of body contouring, wherein localized pockets of fat are targeted and dissolved, thus giving a lean appearance.
It is claimed that results will start showing right after the one treatment, although patients should wait for between 3 to 8 sessions for full results.
It should be noted that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of deoxycholic acid (also known as Kybella, a derivative form of which is used in Aqualyx) for treatment for moderate-to-severe fat below the chin (submental fat) in 2015. The use of this compound for targeting any other body fat is not approved and recommended.
This limited approval is based on the understanding that while deoxycholic acid is instrumental in breaking down cellular walls, it can do the same to other cells as well, including skin cells.
This means it can have some mild side-effects such as swelling/bruising, numbness, redness, and pain in the treated area, although more severe effects have also been seen in the form of nerve injury around the jaw and trouble swallowing.
The only compositional difference between Kybella and Aqualyx is that while Kybella is deoxycholic acid, Aqualyx is a derivative. As we shall see in the following segment, the ingredients of Aqualyx have been tweaked to yield similar results more safely.
Aqualyx is a compound solution belonging to the deoxycholate family, albeit modified to some extent. The deoxycholate family – the conjugate base of deoxycholic acid – is a bile acid, synthesized in the human liver. Naturally occurring deoxycholic acid is used in the body’s natural fat emulsification process, where fat is broken down so that the intestines can absorb it.
The key ingredients of Aqualyx include the following:
Sugar obtained from red macroalgae
A monosaccharide sugar
Chemicals acting as a buffer system
Sodium chloride (0.8%)
Despite the scientific terminology for these chemicals, they are all derived from plants. Let us take a look at each component chemical to understand their role in the product.
Sugar Obtained from Red Macroalgae
This hexose polymer can attract water and exchange it for molecules of the active principle (the biologically active ingredient of a pharmaceutical drug). It releases the principle slowly, as per Bioresource Technology.
A Monosaccharide Sugar
A monosaccharide sugar, D-galactose, is responsible for providing energy and finds use as a substrate for biosynthesis of several macromolecules in the human body, per PubChem.
Buffer Systems (4.2%)
This is one of the key components of Aqualyx, which is responsible for ensuring that the sodium salt of the deoxycholic acid is delivered to just the intended spot.
Sodium Salt of Deoxycholic Acid
While preparing Aqualyx, this ingredient – also known as a derivative of the deoxycholic acid – has been attenuated. In conjunction with the deliberate slowing of release by the hexose sugar, the reduced aggressiveness of this polymer makes, as per the developer’s claims, the product safe for use.
Sodium deoxycholate – mixed with phosphatidylcholine – is often used in mesotherapy to induce lipolysis. We shall explore the concept of mesotherapy in detail below.
Water and Sodium Chloride
The water content in the product is mainly used as a substrate and for injection purposes.
Benefits & Results
Does Aqualyx Work?
The product website has been helpful in this regard. Clinical evidence is listed, wherein the doctors have employed the Aqualyx injectable solution instead of invasive liposuction procedures.
One particularly definitive study, executed by doctors in Spain (one of whom, admittedly, is the external medical advisor of a distribution agency of Aqualyx in Spain), reveals why this product is safer and more efficient than its counterparts available on the market.
Another study – performed by Dr. Pasquale Motolese himself, and published in a European academic journal in the field of Aesthetic Medicine and Dermatology – showed real differences in different sets of fatty tissues, subjected to other kinds of treatments; the cells exposed to Aqualyx treatment exhibit maximum cellular degeneration, thus proving its efficacy.
However, due to the lack of any external study available, it is impossible to ensure the extent to which it works.
Based on customer reviews, though, it seems that Aqualyx provides only the assisted push towards fat reduction; subsequent maintenance of the status quo is up to the patients themselves. This can be achieved by regular exercising and following a healthy dietary habit so that the fat loss does not rebuild and get deposited in the same part.
Another source of comfort is that Aqualyx has received full CE (Conformité Européene) approval in December 2012, which means that the product has been tested and approved regarding the safety standards applicable to all states of the European Union, according to the Security and Exchange Commission. This means that Aqualyx can be used safely without further testing or modification.
Aqualyx Benefits and Results
The Aqualysis treatment is suitable for those patients who prefer not to have invasive liposuction surgery or even laser lipo treatments. These latter forms of treatment are ideal for patients who are keen to rid themselves of a significant amount of fat. In contrast, for localized pockets of fat, Aqualyx is a relatively hassle-free option.
The results take time to manifest themselves. This depends on the stability of cell membranes. Thus, younger people, with more substantial and more stable cellular membranes, usually have to wait longer than older patients for the effects to manifest themselves. Body conditions also play a significant role in determining the response rate.
Regarding possible side-effects from using Aqualyx, an extensive study appears to have been made (as noted on the product website), which can be summarized as follows. 331 therapeutic sessions were conducted on 145 patients, with a mean age of nearly 42 years and mean Body Mass Index (BMI) of 24.78 kg/cm2.
More than 90% of the respondents were women. Most of the treatments were tested in the abdominal region, followed by the flank. The results are as follows:
A clear majority of the adverse effects observed were inflammatory and pretty mild.
Most patients reported some degree of pain and a stinging sensation throughout the process, although these sensations were usually tolerable and temporary.
Ninety percent of the patients suffered from erythema (redness of the skin) or hematoma (swelling of clotted blood within the tissues) in the post-operative stages. It can thus be safely assumed these are unavoidable manifestations in this form of treatment.
No severe inflammatory lesions, ulcers, or skin necrosis were reported.
However, some candidates reported experiencing nodules, although overall, no patient reported a severe effect of having received this treatment.
Details on Aqualyx and Weight Loss
While Aqualyx is instrumental in eliminating pockets of fat, it should be noted that weight loss is not the ultimate aim of this product.
Use of Aqualysis is reported to cause increased urination, which in its early days, gave the impression that it was leading, in some way, towards weight loss. It should be remembered that Aqualyx is merely a means to body contouring, as confirmed on the product’s website.
This is understandable, considering that the Aqualysis treatment is targeted at localized areas of stubborn fat, as opposed to large-scale procedures like liposuction, which focus on larger volumes of fat, which, if removed, will lead to a noticeable drop in body weight.
How to Use Aqualyx
During a course of Aqualyx treatment should be done only under the guidance of a doctor, surgeon, or a specialist. Usually, two treatment sessions – each ranging between 30 to 60 minutes – are required to remove the stubborn fat in a particular part of the body.
This can be repeated up to 8 times, as per the number of fat patches required to be eliminated. This treatment is repeated every 3 to 4 weeks. The process can be broken down as:
The medical practitioner usually applies a local anesthetic to ease the patient’s discomfort during the treatment process. This can be injected either separately or along with the Aqualyx.
The cell membrane of the adipose cell undergoes a change in surface tension when the solution reaches them. In the process, the permeability of the membrane increases.
The skin outside the targeted area is then subjected to pulses generated by an ultrasound device. The fat cells thus swell and burst. Therefore, microdroplets of fatty liquids are released into the bloodstream and are metabolized by the lymphatic system and finally excreted.
The elimination of fat under the neck or the chin usually takes less time to eradicate fat pockets in the hip and the thighs. Though, it should be noted that the effects of using Aqualyx are truly beneficial only if the patient follows a healthy lifestyle afterward and avoids weight gain.
Potential Aqualyx Side Effects
As with all products, using Aqualyx will come with its own set of side effects, some of which are mild, while others can be serious.
The product website mentions that the patient is likely to feel swelling, redness, and skin irritation after each treatment session. Some patients are also known to complain of light bruising. This can continue for up to 4-6 days. One patient is reported to have suffered scarring along the neck after being treated with Aqualyx®, although this seems like an extremely rare occurrence and need not cause worry.
Though unconfirmed, some reports suggest that this form of drastic fat disposal may not always be healthy; rather, it can disturb the body’s glucose and cholesterol level, causing complications at a later stage.
However, it should be noted that this treatment is never to be used on patients with the following conditions:
Pregnant and lactating women are advised not to use this product. Women are advised not to lose weight during the first two months after birth, as it is during this period, the female body recovers from the exhaustion of childbirth and generates an adequate supply of milk. Reports have suggested that breastfeeding itself relieves the fat accumulated in the body, especially in the hip and lower thigh region.
Patients with lipodystrophy (where the body is unable to produce fat) or any other pathological condition should refrain from this kind of treatment. Fat tissues produce the hormone leptin, which instructs the body that no further food intake is necessary; and enables the production of insulin in the body. When a person is affected with lipodystrophy, the patient may not only suffer from the lack of this hormone but also suffer from other secondary problems,” according to the journal Endotext.
Patients who have reported any skin disease, especially in the area meant to be treated, should not undergo this kind of treatment.
Patients under 18 or above 60 years of age should not opt for this treatment.
In any case, it is always advisable for potential patients to undergo a comprehensive health check and consultation sessions with their doctors before embarking on this procedure.
While it is still unclear why Kybella is US FDA approved, and Aqualyx is not – given that the ingredients to both are mostly the same – it can only be assumed that the product has had the rigorous and more extensive scrutiny of the FDA. Also, it should be noted that the use of Kybella is restricted to the area of the jaw, while Aqualyx can potentially be used for any part of the body.
Any Aqualyx Lawsuits?
So far, there have been no reports of any lawsuits filed against this product. Backed by studies, and with CE approval, the product has not elicited any negative response regarding adverse complications.
Although there have been sporadic customer reviews concerning the efficacy of Aqualyx, these can be put down to factors beyond the product’s reach.
One of the biggest concerns raised by customers is the pricing of Aqualyx. At $395-495 per treatment (as per the product website; some customer reviews have pegged this at a higher level), this cost is relatively high for ordinary patients.
When it comes to the body’s problematic areas – like the stomach or the hips, which involve longer courses – the cost can rapidly burn a hole in the patient’s pockets. On the other hand, when compared to the US FDA approved Kybella, Aqualyx appears to be a more cost-effective option.
Of course, the more holistic and cheaper way of reducing fat is to exercise regularly to maintain healthy body fat levels and follow a healthy diet plan. Once these techniques have been applied, body fat does disappear, only to return if no measures are taken to keep it in check. Considering the significant costs involved, it is not wise for patients to revert to this form of treatment every time the fat develops conspicuously in any part of the body.
Besides the obvious choices of liposuction and laser lipo treatments, patients willing to lose adipose fat can choose other means. However, not all of these measures are universally accepted:
This non-surgical procedure involves injecting a cocktail of several chemical compounds into the body to dissolve the fat and remove cellulite, according to the International Journal of Dermatology. This mode of therapy is especially used in the upper arms, thighs, abdomen, and buttocks.
However, it should be noted that the injection used in this process can cause a certain amount of irritation to the skin. Some patients also report a mild burning sensation after the injection. However, this can be assuaged to some extent by using a topical anesthetic. In any case, these symptoms relieve themselves after a few days.
The trouble with mesotherapy is that there is no uniformity in the kind of chemicals used in the concoction injected into the body. As a result of this, there is no concrete literature available that can favor or reject mesotherapy. There have been both happy customers and those who have faced complications following treatment.
Also known as Thermacool or Thermalift, this mode of treatment involves the use of radio frequencies to tighten the facial skin. While this technique is not mainly aimed at removing fat, it can yield the same kind of skin-tightening effect as using Aqualyx.
This method’s benefit is that it is aimed just beneath the surface of the skin, without bruising the epidermis. This instigates the growth of collagen and ultimately tightens the skin.
Patients who use Thermage treatments may complain of tenderness and a depression on the cheek that resolved shortly after being reported, states the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.
This treatment mode employs one of the age-old techniques of using high-intensity ultrasound to target and dissolve fat cells. This usually entails 3 to 4 sessions. During each session, an ultrasonic probe is placed on the skin. Upon massaging the skin with the probe, the ultrasonic frequencies target the fatty cells and melt them clean.
This concept is also used in Aqualysis, albeit in conjunction with Aqualyx. Studies conducted by Dr. Motolese have shown that while using only ultrasonic pulses can dissolve fat cells, the results are more decisive with the use of Aqualyx.
What Users Are Saying
“I decided to try Aqualyx because after having two children my shape had changed dramatically, even though I was exercising regularly and eating healthy I could not get rid of some stubborn stomach fat and muffin top, even though I’m not very large I desperately wanted to get rid of the fat on these areas.
After six weeks I have lost 2.5 inches off my stomach and can see a slight difference. Unfortunately due to covid-19 I cannot have my second treatment which would of been today.”
“Been Left with a Hole in my Chin, Would Not Recommend – It was slightly uncomfortable but nothing I couldn’t handle, I was left swollen and chin looked massive for about 2 weeks, I went back for my review and he said it was coming a long nicely and to massage the area, which I did, I notice a hole in my chin, he said it was just tissue and to keep massaging it, he injected more in after about a year, then it followed with the same thing to massage the area, my last appointment I mentioned the hole and I didn’t like how it looked, he said it was perfect and I had not fat there and to come back in 6 months, I went to another clinic and they agreed it was failed surgery but they did not want to take the case, so as it stands I have been left with a gaping hole in my chin and more of a double chin then I had, I would not recommend this procedure.”
“Aqualyx hell :'( – I had the treatment, under my chin and jowel area. I swelled up like a bullfrog, which she said was normal – and 2 (nearly 3) weeks later I am left with uneven hanging skin under my chin and super loose Jowels! I have never been so upset, I googled for hours and found no-one who had experienced this and the side effect of sagging skin was nowhere to be found.
It’s literally a loose flap of skin, more on the left side – like a turkey.”
The Bottom Line – Does Aqualyx Work?
Now the moment you’ve been waiting for: our bottom line on Aqualyx injections. Well, we appreciate that this fat-loss procedure is available all over the world, and there are some before and after photos posted on the official website. But we have some reservations about it because of the steep cost. Also, we’re concerned about the hassle and pain of the actual shots.
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Aqualyx is an injectable treatment that is meant to help remove stubborn areas of fat. It does not require anesthesia.
What are the ingredients in Aqualyx?
The ingredients for Aqualyx are in a polymer from 6-Anhydro-L-Galactose, D-Galactose, sodium salt, 12-dihydroxy-5-cholan-24-acid, water and sodium chloride.
What are the side effects of Aqualyx?
Aqualyx website has a little skin irritation, bruising and oedema, listed has the side effects for Aqualyx but says they will ease after a few day. Also, other people have reported side effects being redness, swelling and tenderness in the treated area.
Does Aqualyx work?
On Aqualyx they provide clinical evidence from doctors who report that Aqualyx does work. They also have pictures of clients from a Dr.Wong which shows people who have lost weight from taking Aqualyx.
What is the price of Aqualyx?
The official website does not reveal the price of an Aqualyx injection, as it will depend on your insurance, location, and the medical center you choose for administration.