5 Ways to Get Slimmer Arms When Exercise Doesn’t Work

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We all know diet and exercise and all that good stuff are really the best ways to get slimmer arms. BUT, when that’s not working in your favor—or if you need a quick-fix solution—try one of these arm-centric solutions for shaping up.

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The Surgical Solutions

According to ASAPS, almost 400 thousand people had lipo last year, making it the number-one surgical procedure on the books for 2015. Liposuction “sculpts” the body, so if you have localized fat deposits (ones that don’t go away even with diet and exercise) in an area like your arms, you might be a candidate. There are a variety of different techniques used for this procedure, but Orlando, FL, plastic surgeon Armando Soto, MD, tells us he prefers VASER-assisted liposuction for the fibrous fat of the arms. “This can also be combined with ThermiTight [where a tiny probe heats targeted tissues] for enhanced skin contraction and tightening,” he says. “Liposuction is a minor surgical procedure that can often be performed under local anesthesia, although I believe both patient safety and overall outcome are enhanced with a deeper form of anesthesia.”

The other surgical option is an upper arm lift (aka brachioplasty), which removes fat and tightens excess skin that may be a result of weight loss. 

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The Noninvasive Options

According to Sacramento, CA, dermatologist Suzanne L. Kimer, MD, CoolSculpting is her number-one noninvasive choice to decrease fat in the arms. “Liposuction and/or ThermiTight are more invasive but may give better results,” she says. “CoolSculpting has a new applicator system that only requires a 35-minute treatment time and there is no recovery period. Fat is super chilled and then slowly goes away over the next few months.” And as for the question regarding if these fat cells stay away? “Whatever fat cells are removed via CoolSculpting stay away, similar to liposuction,” Dr. Kilmer adds. “The fat cells that are remaining can increase lipid [fat] storage if needed, also similar to liposuction. So remaining fat cells can increase or decrease in size as you lose weight, but for the most part, the ones that are removed stay away.”

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The Clothing Cure

Granted, it’s that time when you’re wearing tank tops that you need arm help the most, but wearing certain fabrics, styles and cuts can create the illusion of better-looking arms. Celebrity stylist Kareem James says two of his favorite fabrics for slimmer-looking arms are sheer illusion mesh and lace. “They also hide certain back fat and make the arms look tight; it’s good to show your arms, you just have to do it in a way that is mystifying,” he adds. “Different necklines can do that too. A crew-neck dress that’s sleeveless might not sound so good, but you actually can draw the focus to your neck, not your arms.” One style that James says is big this season that can also help? Bell-shaped sleeves. “But if you don’t like certain parts of your body, don’t automatically think baggy. Sometimes, tighter, or closer to your body, can be better. Wearing baggy just accentuates the baggy parts.”


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The Makeup Fix

It’s been coined “shapewear for the skin,” and Charlotte Tilbury’s Supermodel Body Slimmer Shimmer ($65) really does deliver. Think of it as a highlighter for your limbs. Use a matte bronzer to contour your inner triceps (or bat wings) and blend this shimmer on the topside of your arms to create a more defined look when the light hits your upper body. It also contains caffeine, which helps reduce puffiness and unevenness in the skin.

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Tone-Up in a Tube

There are fruit acids to exfoliate, a proprietary skin-tightening ingredient that claims to tone, and the formula will give you pretty much the softest skin of your life. With benefits like that, Rodial Super Fit Arm Sculpt ($62) is sort of a no-brainer for applying.

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