There is no shortage of weight loss products out there and one that’s becoming pretty popular is the Thrive patch.
Basically, this is a weight loss product that you apply to your skin.
The concept is, unusual, to say the least, but it does have supporters.
As such, this critical Thrive patch review is going to take a detailed look at what the patches actually offer and whether they are likely to work.
Before we get started, I do want to make a couple of things clear.
First, the term critical refers to critical analysis. So, I’m going to be taking a detailed look at these products. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll be focusing on the negative. Instead, I’m genuinely curious about the logic behind the patches and how they work in practice.
The other thing I want to note is that, no, I haven’t tried the product myself.
This might seem a bit strange but I’m more interested in the science behind the concept. Realistically, there are simply too many diets to practically try each one out.
At the same time, it’s surprisingly difficult to gauge whether a diet works from your own experience. In most cases, people tend to make unintentional changes to their lifestyle and diet when they are using a given product. Likewise, it’s hard to interpret whether or not you have ‘more energy’ because our personal views of energy levels can be so easily biased.
With all of this in mind, the only effective way to do a Thrive patch review is to look at the actual research and science. So, that’s precisely what this post is going to do.
The Company Behind Thrive
The Thrive Patch comes from a company called Le-Vel. This is actually a fairly new multi-level marketing company that has been around since 2013.
In theory, this type of company can produce decent products and there are examples out there. However, I always recommend being very careful with any such company. The reason is that multi-level companies rely on distributors to promote products, while also strongly encouraging recruitment.
One outcome of this is that there are a large number of people with a vested interest in making the program and products seem great.
Often this means that people will exaggerate their claims about the product’s effectiveness. In other cases, people may simply convince themselves that the products work better than they actually do.
This doesn’t prove that there is anything wrong with Le-Vel’s products. However, it does suggest that you need to be a little wary about believing any claims that they make.
Thrive patches are produced by Le-Vel, a multi-level marketing company
The Thrive Experience
Now, the company does actually produce a few different products, including the ones below.
The first two are basically multivitamin supplements. These come with a range of ingredients and a list of various benefits that they’re supposed to offer. Honestly, these supplements could be the topic of an entirely different post, but I’m not going to emphasize them here.
The orange product is termed a ‘lifestyle mix’.
Basically, it seems to be a meal replacement shake. So, it offers some protein (15 g per serving), along with a range of vitamins and minerals. The technique here is fairly similar to what Shaklee and Shakeology offer.
In theory, this type of product can actually help people lose weight, especially if they’re having it instead of a meal. However, it is just a protein shake and there is no shortage of them on the market.
For just about every brand, if you replace a meal with a protein shake on a daily basis, yeah, you’ll probably lose weight. But, there’s nothing revolutionary about the idea.
Finally, the green product is the Thrive patch, which is the emphasis of this Thrive patch review. So, I’ll come back to these in a little.
Additionally, the company heavily promotes an 8-week Thrive experience.
This is a specific plan that people are supposed to follow for 8 weeks, which may contribute to significant weight loss.
The program includes doing the following on a daily basis:
- Take 2 capsules in the morning
- Drink a Thrive-branded protein shake
- Apply a Thrive patch
Now, in this Thrive patch review, I’m specifically focusing on the patches because that is the one part of the program that is actually unusual (despite the hype).
But, I do want to note that the rest of the system is fairly typical. For example, there is a ton of weight loss supplements on the market already, including products like Plexus Slim and alternatives like Iaso Tea.
Yet, for the most part, there is little evidence to suggest that these products are effective.
Instead, any impact tends to come from other elements. For example, if you followed the 8-week Thrive experience, you probably would lose weight. But, that would partly happen because your diet would improve and because you’re eating less as a result of the protein shake.
Personally, I doubt that the 8-week Thrive experience is any different at all.
Beyond these main products, there are also others that the company produces, such as variations on the patches and lifestyle gels designed to complement the other products.
The company refers to these as Thrive Plus products and there is a range to choose from.
However, we’re not going to focus on these, as they are mostly beyond the scope of this discussion.
Le-Vel produces four main products, one of which is the patches. Additionally, there is a diet plan and some support products avaliable
The Thrive Patches Themselves
The rest of what Le-Vel offers is fairly typical but the Thrive patches are certainly unusual. In fact, that was the reason for writing this Thrive patch review to begin with.
The company calls them Premium Lifestyle DFT, where DFT stands for Derma Fusion Technology.
According to the company’s marketing, this delivery system is unique, which wouldn’t surprise me.
But, uniqueness alone doesn’t mean much. After all, a product can easily be unique while not working.
The instructions for using the patches are fairly simple:
The underlying idea is that the patches provide a way to deliver the various compounds via the skin. This creates an extended delivery system, something that you wouldn’t get by ingesting those same compounds.
Now, in theory, the patches are supposed to offer a range of benefits, including the following:
The company itself offers little evidence to support these benefits. Furthermore, there doesn’t seem to be much research on the patches themselves.
But, at the end of the day, the whole concept is that these patches deliver compounds to your body in a different way. Specifically, you get them for an extended period of time.
The implications of this? Well, that’s not really clear.
In fact, there isn’t even much evidence of how much you absorb this way, versus taking a traditional supplement. It’s very possible that you get a lower amount of the compounds overall.
The company doesn’t provide enough information to answer these issues. However, in some ways, this doesn’t matter.
After all, regardless of whether they are effective or not, the patches are just a delivery system. As such, the best way to figure out whether they work is to see what they’re actually delivering.
So, we’re going to take a look at what’s actually in the patches.
The purpose of the patches is to act as a delivery mechanism, resulting in prolonged exposure. However, it isn't clear what advantages, if any, that system actually offers
Thrive Patch Ingredients
To understand the potential effects of these patches, we have to take a look at the ingredients that they contain, which are as follows:
First off, I can tell you that a few of these are extremely common in most weight loss supplements out there.
In particular, green coffee bean extract, Garcinia Cambogia and CoQ10 are often used.
In each case, the evidence for their effectiveness is fairly scarce. For example, with Garcinia Cambogia, some theories suggest that it may play a role in decreasing fat production and helping people feel full (1,2) but evidence in humans is extremely limited (3,4).
Green coffee bean extract was actually fairly popular as a weight loss supplement on its own for a while.
The few studies that have reported a positive effect from green coffee bean extract have observed a relatively small impact in terms of actual weight (7).
At the same time, green coffee bean extract does come in the form of supplements. So, if you still want to try out this idea, you'd be better off getting the supplements, rather than relying on Thrive patches.
Finally, CoQ10 does offer health benefits, especially for people taking statin medications. But, most of those benefits apply to people who have low levels of CoQ10, rather than the general population.
Additionally, research into CoQ10 and weight loss has been fairly limited. Some studies do suggest that the compound may help with glycemic control (8) but more research is needed to even prove that.
Realistically, if these compounds actually helped with weight loss, then there would be many effective weight loss supplements on the market. Yet, most weight loss supplements don’t have much effect at all, suggesting that the same may be true for the Thrive patches.
Beyond these compounds, there are also a few that are more unusual.
One of these is white willow bark. This is used from time to time in supplements but, in most cases, it seems to be used to increase the effects of caffeine and ephedra rather than actually helping with weight loss.
The evidence for white willow’s effectiveness in doing so is limited – and this is most irrelevant anyway, as caffeine and ephedra aren’t even in the Thrive patches. For that matter, it isn’t really clear why white willow is even in the mix or what it is supposed to do.
Beyond this, there are also two other ingredients.
The first is ForLean, which is a trademarked ingredient. This is listed first on the label, so it is probably the most significant ingredient.
ForLean is actually a version of the supplement called coleus forskohlii. There is some research behind this particular ingredient, although the outcomes of the research are not clear cut.
For example, one study found that the supplement reduced the risk of gaining weight (9). That’s not quite the same thing as actually losing weight.
Plus, that study involved actually supplementing with the compound at a level of 500 mg per day.
Would you get that benefit from Thrive patches?
Well, it’s not clear.
There isn’t even an indication about how much coleus forskohlii there even is in the patches. Plus, there appears to be little research proving that this type of delivery system is even that effective.
Another study found that the supplement ‘favorably altered body composition’. However, that outcome refers to an increase in lean body mass, rather than weight loss. Additionally, the study also used relatively high doses of the supplement (10).
All-in-all, the evidence for this supplement is spotty at best and there is little to prove that it does contribute to weight loss. That’s particularly concerning if this is truly supposed to be the main ingredient in the patches.
The final ingredient that I want to consider is Cosmoperine. This is another trademarked product. This time, the ingredient seems to be a metabolite of black pepper.
The basic idea is that this increases the bioavailability of a few drugs, including Forskolin (which is another name for ForsLean).
The evidence about whether or not the ingredient can actually do so is pretty minimal.
But honestly, it hardly matters whether or not Cosmoperine increases bioavailable of ForsLean or not. After all, the research for ForsLean isn’t particularly strong and it’s doubtful that ingredient would contribute to weight loss anyway.
The ingredients in Thrive patches are fairly similar to what you would find in a weight loss supplement or tea. And, like in those products, there is little evidence that the ingredients offer weight loss benefits
Other Thrive Patches
The ingredient information that I’ve focused on here is for the main Thrive patches on the market. But, there are variations too, like the Black Label patch.
In addition to differences in the size and color of the patch, there are also variations in the specific ingredients. For example, this is what the Black Label patch contains.
I’m not going to go into these ingredients in detail but there are many similarities and the general patterns are the same.
Basically, the various Thrive patches rely on ingredients with minimal research and evidence. There is some suggestion that these ingredients may contribute to weight loss but the support is nowhere near strong enough to actually warrant using the patches.
Additionally, even if the patches do play a role in weight loss, the impact is likely to be small. Instead, most benefits you see would be based on changes to your diet and to your lifestyle.
There are other Thrive patches out there too. These use similar patterns of ingredients and are likely to have the same lack of proof concerning their effectiveness
Thrive Patch Reviews
Based on the evidence from above, you’d think that the patches would be fairly unpopular. Well, yes and no.
For one thing, there has been a lot of hype and interest surrounding this brand. That popularity is probably the reason that you may have heard about Thrive patches to begin with.
With that in mind, I took a look at Thrive patch reviews from actual users to see what they had to say.
Now, at first glance, this doesn’t look encouraging, although the distribution of reviews is interesting.
This type of pattern is actually fairly common with this type of product. Basically, it seems that some people are extremely happy with the product, while others are less than pleased.
For example, here are some of the positive reviews on Amazon:
And here are some negative ones:
To be honest, the differences largely come down to perception.
For example, a lot of people here are talking about mood or energy levels. Both of these are extremely subjective areas. In practice, it’s incredibly difficult to accurately tell whether your energy levels are increasing or decreasing from day to day. Even if you could tell, you wouldn’t be able to determine precisely what caused the change.
Another interesting thing is that relatively few people talked about weight loss.
Losing weight is supposed to be one of the key reasons for using these patches, yet most reviewers don’t mention any weight loss at all.
From these reviews, I see little evidence that the patches actually work. Additionally, the significant number of negative reviews is a major cause for concern. If nothing else, this suggests that many people don’t see benefits.
That begs the question, why even bother? After all, the products aren’t exactly cheap to begin with.
Thrive patch reviews are extremely mixed, which suggests that the experiences of users vary dramatically as well
Final Thoughts on Thrive Patches
At the end of the day, there is little to suggest that these patches are effective for weight loss. For the most part, the patches are just variations on the idea of weight loss supplements. The biggest difference is that you stick these to your skin, rather than ingesting them.
It’s hard to know whether the delivery system is beneficial or not but at the end of the day it simply doesn’t matter.
Realistically, these patches simply aren’t going to be effective because the compounds in them don’t really help with weight loss. In pretty much every case, the compounds in question have limited research or none at all supporting their ability to help with weight loss.
For many people, weight loss is an important goal but you’re not going to find it through products like Thrive patches. Simply taking a pill, drinking something specific or using a patch is never going to be a quick fix to weight loss.
Instead, effective weight loss is about finding a lifestyle that works for you.
What this looks like tends to be different for each person. For example, some people turn to low-carb diets, while others may look to techniques like intermittent fasting. The idea is to find something that works well for your own body and is actually sustainable.
In fact, one of the main reasons that people don’t lose weight or fail to keep weight off is that they are trying to follow a technique that isn’t suited for them. For example, many diets involve eating very few calories. That can work for short-term weight loss but few people have the willpower needed to sustain such a diet in the long-term.
In contrast, relying on whole healthy food tends to be much more sustainable in the long-term, which can help you to lose weight and keep it off. After all, just look at the amazing food you can make on a low carb diet.
Want to Lose Weight and Keep it Off?
Weight loss is a huge industry, with no shortage of bold claims. But, long-term weight loss doesn’t come from a crash diet or a popular fad. Instead, it is connected to sustainable habits and healthy foods.
Check out my most recommended products and guides to see where you can get started.
What do you think? Are the patches worth trying or a complete waste of time and money?