Aesthetic Treatments

The Surprising Part of a CoolSculpting Treatment That Could Make a Difference in Your Results

CoolScuplting Applicators

If you’ve done some clicking around on SpotlyteTM before, you might already know a little bit about CoolSculpting. The medical aesthetics treatment hit the market in 2010, and it uses non-invasive technology to target stubborn fat pockets on the body. But what many people don’t know is that since its debut nearly a decade ago, the treatment has continued to evolve — and that includes the launch and use of new applicators. In fact, there are seven different applicators used to help freeze and destroy fat. 

[Editor’s note: The CoolSculpting treatment is a non-invasive fat-freezing treatment that effectively reduces fat in certain self-proclaimed “problem spots” in the submental and submandibular areas, thigh, abdomen, flank, and upper arm, along with bra fat, back fat, and underneath the buttocks (you know, those bulges that just won’t go away, regardless of how much you sweat it out on the treadmill). While it isn’t a weight loss solution, fat-freezing can reduce pouches of fat. As with any procedure, there are risks and side effects, so talk to a licensed provider to see if it’s right for you.]

New applicators may seem like a small, subtle change in technology, but they can make all the difference when it comes to your results. The good news is that any reputable facility will know exactly which applicator to use depending on your specific needs. However, so that you have a better idea of what to expect once you’re sitting in the consult or treatment room, we’re giving you the full breakdown.

How CoolSculpting Works

Before diving into the different types of CoolSculpting applicators, you should have a fundamental understanding of how the treatment works. Regardless of the area being treated, a specific applicator is placed on the targeted fat pocket — say, a double chin, thighs, or belly — to freeze fat cells in the area.

The applicator is cold enough to kill off fat cells (referred to as apoptosis) in the treated area, but not cold enough to damage other tissue. Following your treatment, the treated fat is eliminated from your body naturally over the course of a few months for a fat layer reduction of up to 20 to 25 percent. 

[Editor’s note: The CoolSculpting® procedure is not for people that have cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.] 

What to Discuss With Your Provider Before Your CoolSculpting Appointment

Before diving into a treatment, you should consult with your provider to ensure that you’re a candidate for fat freezing. For example, you should ask if the type of stubborn fat you have can be targeted by CoolSculpting. Ideally, you should have “pinchable” fat, otherwise known as subcutaneous fat, rather than the hard, visceral fat that surrounds organs. This treatment works most effectively on individuals who are generally healthy, eat well, exercise regularly, and hasn’t recently dealt with weight fluctuations.

It is also important to note that if you are seeking a weight loss solution, fat freezing is not it. CoolSculpting is a body contouring treatment that is designed specifically to reduce stubborn fat in specific areas. Your provider should understand your body and your goals, and understand the proper technique for using the applicators. Know that you may need multiple treatments to achieve the results you’re looking for. To find a licensed provider near you (and to ask more questions!), consult with our team of trained aesthetic specialists.

CoolSculpting Applicators and Functions

There are seven primary CoolSculpting applicators. Each works nearly identically — they all help freeze and kill fat — but they do have some subtle and important differences that help achieve the most effective results over the course of your treatment plan. The primary differences are the shape, whether it has a suction mechanism, and how long it needs to be worn.

The applicator: CoolAdvantageTM Plus

The skinny: This is the largest CoolSculpting applicator, and is used to target more substantial areas of unwanted fat, like the upper and lower abdomen and love handles. It’s usually used during the first session to “de-bulk” and get rid of these larger amounts of fat, as a precursor to more tuned sculpting in the subsequent sessions. 

The treatment time: 45 minutes.

The applicator: CoolAdvantage Petite 

The skinny: This applicator is identical to the CoolAdvantage Plus, but targets smaller areas of bulky fat, including those that are on the inner thighs, flanks, upper arms, and abdomen. 

The treatment time: 35 minutes.

The applicator: CoolFitTM Advantage

The skinny: Like the CoolAdvantage Plus, this sculpts larger and longer areas of bulky fat, but is a smaller applicator for more targeted treatment. It’s often used on the thighs, upper arms, and abdomen. 

The treatment time: 35 minutes.

The applicator: CoolCoreTM Advantage

The skinny: If you’ve already been treated once to get rid of bulky fat, you might see this applicator at your second treatment to help smooth things out. Alternatively, if you don’t have much stubborn fat to get rid of in the first place, this applicator might be used to help sculpt, typically on the bra fat, stomach, love handles, and banana roll. 

The treatment time: 35 minutes.

The applicator: CoolCurve+TM Advantage

The skinny: This is a narrower version of the CoolCore Advantage applicator, and sculpts more linear areas of fat, including love handles, bra fat, and banana rolls. It may also be a preferred applicator for patients who have a smaller frame.

The treatment time: 35 minutes.

The applicator: CoolSmoothTM Pro

The skinny: This is the only applicator in the CoolSculpting collection that doesn’t feature suction. It targets flat surface areas that were previously a challenge to treat, particularly stomach and love handles, as well as thighs and saddlebags. 

The treatment time: 75 minutes.

The applicator: CoolMini®

The skinny: Like the CoolSmooth Pro, this applicator allows providers to treat previously difficult-to-target areas with heightened precision. It’s particularly useful for the double chin.

The treatment time: 45 minutes.

What to Know Before Booking Your CoolSculpting Treatment

Wherever you go for your treatment, it’s important that your provider has a firm working knowledge of how each of the applicators works, especially as the technology evolves.

“If you don’t seek a provider who truly understands the technology, you can be left with unnatural results or no results,” warns Jessica Stellwagen, co-founder of Phoenix’s Bodify®, a facility that specializes in CoolSculpting. “A person's outcome is dependent on which applicators are selected, how the body is marked, how the applicators are placed, the after-massage treatment, and giving the client very important take home instructions,” she explains.

For example, the CoolSmooth Pro applicator isn't suction-based and doesn't cool bi-directionally or pull tissue away from the core of the body. Because of this, it has to be a little colder and worn longer in order to effectively set up an up to 20 to 25 percent fat reduction in the treated area, she explains. A trained provider will take this into consideration.

“CoolSculpting is a wonderful technology, but it’s important to work with a highly trained, educated, and experienced staff,” advises Stellwagen. After all, even though fat freezing is a non-invasive treatment, you shouldn’t cut corners with medical aesthetics procedures — it’s your body, and you should be seeking out licensed providers. Consult with Spotlyte’s team of trained aesthetic specialists, who can help answer your CoolSculpting questions and find a practitioner near you.

Jessica Stellwagen is a paid Allergan® consultant.

Individual CoolSculpting® experiences and results may vary depending on the number of treatments and the amount of time after treatments.

CoolSculpting® is an Allergan-owned non-invasive fat reduction treatment.

CoolSculpting® Treatment Important Information 


The CoolSculpting® procedure is FDA-cleared for the treatment of visible fat bulges in the submental (under the chin) and submandibular (under the jawline) areas, thigh, abdomen and flank (love handles), along with bra fat, back fat, underneath the buttocks (also known as banana roll), and upper arm. It is also FDA-cleared to affect the appearance of lax tissue with submental area treatments. The CoolSculpting procedure is not a treatment for weight loss.

Important Safety Information 

The CoolSculpting procedure is not for everyone. You should not have the CoolSculpting procedure if you suffer from cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria.

Tell your doctor if you have any medical conditions including recent surgery, pre-existing hernia, and any known sensitivities or allergies.

During the procedure you may experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping at the treatment site. These sensations subside as the area becomes numb. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, tenderness, cramping, aching, itching, or skin sensitivity, and sensation of fullness in the back of the throat after submental or submandibular area treatment.

Rare side effects may also occur. CoolSculpting may cause a visible enlargement in the treated area which may develop two to five months after treatment and requires surgical intervention for correction.

Ask your doctor if CoolSculpting is right for you. To learn more about what to expect, visit the CoolSculpting website and comprehensive Important Safety Information.