A number of women have said a product that promises to get rid of cellulite on the body has caused them serious injuries.
FasciaBlaster, a product designed to eliminate cellulite as well as reduce pain and improve flexibility, muscle definition, circulation and joint function, has become something of a viral phenomenon in recent weeks, gaining coverage on places like Today and Goop, and raking in Facebook followers. The product's inventor, Ashely Black, has said the FasciaBlaster can help to break up fat cells.
But some women who saw the FasciaBlaster as a magic wand to rid themselves of cellulite say the product has caused long-lasting bruises, according to a report from BuzzFeed. More than 60 people have reported cases of injuries and product malfunctions to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, BuzzFeed reports. In one report, a patient said the FasciaBlaster caused bruising, inflammation and changes to her menstrual cycle.
The FasciaBlaster device itself is a stick adorned with four claw-like massagers that press against the body to "break up fascial adhesions," according to the company website. It costs $89.
"Women are so self-conscious of their bodies it's almost instant gratification you get when you drag that claw across your skin and you get bruises," Julia Lefebvre, a former FasciaBlaster customer, told BuzzFeed. Lefebvre, 49, still has bruises on her body after using the device six months ago. "It's almost like feedback, but in our heads it's like why would women — extremely intelligent women — buy into this? I don't know how I bought into it."
More than 4,000 people have joined a closed Facebook group to discuss the negative effects of the FasciaBlaster.
In a statement to Money, the Ashley Black Company said it was "disheartened" to see the BuzzFeed report.
"Oscar winning actors, hall-of-fame athletes, and runway models have been using Ashely's products and methods for over a decade," the company said. "We get testimonials every day from women and men all over the world whose lives the FasciaBlaster has changed."
In a follow-up statement to Money, a representative for the Ashley Black Company claimed that Lefebvre is "an activist working with Ashley Black’s embittered ex-husband to smear the company” and the FDA complaints filed against the company were "part of an orchestrated campaign . . . led in part by Ashley’s embittered ex-husband.”