The Washington Post called it a dream cream. Apart from the striking unoriginality of this phrase, one wonders whether this was based on actually using it. Sovage Tummy Flattening Gel is really a very mediocre cream with no breakthrough ingredients. So if you are looking to avoid your morning crunches, this may disappoint.

The first four ingredients are emulsifiers and the fourth is a suspending agent. Then we get to a standard cellulite treatment ingredient called aminophylline. This is a chemical that is used to treat emphysema because it relaxes the bronchial airways. In 1993, it became popular as a fat buster after researchers reported that women who used it on their thighs for six weeks lost of an inch of fat. However, there hasn't been any convincing follow up research to corroborate this.

There is also bupleurum falactum root and coenzyme a. I found a patent claiming that this combo has an effect on cellulite and it turns up in a fair few anti-orange peel potions. As does caffeine.

Interestingly Sovage Tummy Flattening Gel comes with plenty of warnings: don't use more than twice a day, don't use if pregnant, stop using if "extreme rash/itching" occurs. I wonder if this is due to the inclusion of ethylenediamine. This is highly toxic in its pure state of a 100% concentration and can be very easily absorbed into the skin. There are also two FD&C dyes.

UPDATE: I've just discovered that the FTC charged Sovage with making false claims in 2004. There was a settlement in 2006. However, late last year, when the FTC charges were brought to the attention of Nordstrom (by a website called Diet Detective), the store pulled Tummy Flattening Gel off its shelves.