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, in the form of a patch, that you apply to your skin.
The concept is, unusual, to say the least, but it does have supporters.
As such, this Thrive patch review is going to take a detailed look at what the patches actually offer and whether they are likely to work.
This review has been recently updated to reflect the current product line from Le-Vel, along with the ingredients that are being used.
What is Thrive?
Thrive is a product range from the company Le-Vel. The company promotes an 8-week lifestyle system called the Thrive Experience. This involves three different types of product:
- Premium lifestyle capsules
- Ultra micronized shake mix
- Lifestyle DFT with fusion 2.0 technology
That last entry is what we're interested in today, which is the Thrive patches. They look like this:
The style is unusual. Le-Vel promotes them as a lifestyle formula that can be absorbed through the skin using Dermal Fusion Technology (DFT).
In other words, the patches are wearable supplements. The nutrients are absorbed through your skin which should, in theory, mean that you get access to the nutrients faster.
To lose weight, customers are also meant to be taking the shake mix and the capsules.
The idea does sound interesting. If nothing else, patches are an unusual idea. It's easy to see how they could, theoretically, offer benefits. But, how well do the patches work in practice?
Thrive patches are produced by Le-Vel, a multi-level marketing company
Thrive promotes multiple products. We're mostly focusing on the patches in this post. But, it's worth highlighting the other items too.
The Thrive Experience
As we mentioned before, the Thrive experience involves three different products. The capsules are shown in the image below. There is one version for men and another for women.
These are simply supplements. They contain various vitamins, along with probiotics and plant-based compounds. For females, the ingredients list looks like this:
Many of the ingredients could offer benefits - especially if your diet isn't balanced. But, for the most part, this is simply a multivitamin. There is nothing particularly unusual about it.
The next component is the Thrive Mix.
This is a meal replacement shake. As such, it contains a range of different vitamins and minerals, along with protein and fiber. The basic nutritional information looks like this:
The final part of the Thrive Experience is the most interesting - the patches.
We're going to come back to these shortly. The site claims that the patches can help with:
- Weight management
- Appetite management
- Energy and circulation
- Nutritional support
- Mental acuity
As a whole, the plan is pretty typical. Users are basically taking two types of supplement (one as a capsule, one via a patch), along with a protein shake.
Would it offer benefits? Probably. Supplements can be relevant for people who aren't getting enough nutrition. And protein shakes can promote weight loss.
Thrive Plus Products
Beyond these main products, there are also others that the company produce. Le-Vel refers to these as Thrive Plus products and there is a range to choose from.
We’re not going to focus on these, as they are mostly beyond the scope of this discussion. But, the range does contain various types of products, such as:
- Powder that you can add to water to create an 'activated beverage'
- Black Label DFT (another type of Thrive patch)
- Powdered mocha with added nutrients and plant-based compounds
- A lifestyle shot
- A nootropic supplement
The Thrive Patches Themselves
The Thrive patches are the most interesting thing that Le-Vel offers and the one product that makes them stand out.
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 is a realistic claim.
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.
In theory, the patches are designed 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, the compounds are released over an extended period of time.
In some ways, this doesn’t even matter. After all, the patches are just a delivery system.
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 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:
ForsLean is a trademarked ingredient. This is listed first on the label, so it is probably the most significant ingredient. It 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 (1). That’s not quite the same thing as actually losing weight. Plus, that study involved 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 is in the patches. Plus, there appears to be little research proving that this type of delivery system is 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 (2).
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.
2. Green Coffee Bean Extract
Green coffee bean extract was actually fairly popular as a weight loss supplement on its own for a while. However, it has been the subject of relatively few studies (3,4), many of which were funded by the weight loss supplement industry.
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 (5).
The site Vixen Daily offers much more detail into the science behind green coffee bean extract and what this actually means for weight loss.
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.
3. Garcinia Cambogia
This is a particularly common ingredient. You'll find it in many different weight loss products and even as a supplement in its own right.
Additionally, research into CoQ10 and weight loss has been fairly limited. Some studies do suggest that the compound may help with glycemic control (10) but more research is needed to even prove that. The site DietSpotlight offers more insight into CoQ10 and weight loss.
5. 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.
This is another trademarked product. This time, it is 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.
But, evidence is extremely limited and the effect hasn't been shown in humans. Besides that, you're likely to get more beneficial compounds from lemons themselves than Thrive patches offer.
8. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is surprisingly common in weight loss supplements, partly due to the Clean 9 Diet. But again, the evidence simply isn't there. The most significant impact is that aloe vera can act as a laxative in the right doses. But, that's not really a good thing. Besides, you probably wouldn't get that effect with Thrive patches.
Also, most discussion of aloe vera and weight loss focuses on drinking aloe vera juice. The amount of aloe vera in Thrive patches is likely to be much lower and the process is different too.
L-arginine is an amino acid that is sometimes linked to weight loss. For example, the site LabDoor talks about one study where participants did lose weight when taking L-arginine.
But, that study involved 3 grams of L-arginine 3 times every day. That's 9 grams in total. There's no way a Thrive patch contains anywhere near that amount.
The site Authority Weight highlights some other evidence. But, studies are still limited and the best results come from large doses.
The Ingredients Overall
Plus, the evidence for weight loss benefits isn't strong. Some of these compounds may have some impact - but it is likely to be incredibly small. Thrive users are likely to see more benefits from the protein shake and any lifestyle changes than from the patches.
It's also unclear how much of each compound is present in the patch or how much you absorb. So, even if some of the compounds do promote weight loss, you may not be getting enough of them to see any significant benefits.
And remember, the studies that have been conducted wouldn't have used patches. Using patches as a delivery system is highly under-researched and even Le-Vel doesn't provide much proof that the idea works in practice.
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 Patch Products
The ingredient information that I’ve focused on here is for the main Thrive patches - the ones used in the Thrive Experience. But, there are some other options.
Thrive Plus Black Label DFT
This version can be used instead of the regular patches in Thrive Experience. The marketing focuses on how it is an amazing product that uses different ingredients and promotes better outcomes. But, there aren't many details about how. The ingredients are as follows:
Thrive Plus DFT Duo Weight Management
This patch is promoted as having a 'dual-action left/right adhesive application'. This basically provides a larger surface and the potential for better absorption. Once again, the ingredients are different but they follow a familiar pattern.
Thrive Plus Duo:Burn
This product is promoted as the most recent Thrive patch and takes advantage of lessons learned from previous products. The marketing talks about how this version has a greater amount of the ingredients, although details aren't provided. The ingredients themselves should look familiar.
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.
With that in mind, I took a look at Thrive patch reviews from actual users to see what they had to say. As is always the case, reviews are mixed. Some people seem to have had good experiences, while others are less encouraging.
Let's look at the positive reviews first. One reviewer mentioned that the patches seemed to decrease their appetite and provide more drive. This suggests they might work for weight loss.
There were also some negative reviews, including people who didn't see much impact at all.
There are many similar reviews from both perspectives. Some people love the products, while others don't.
To be honest, many of these differences largely come down to perception.
For example, many people here are talking about drive 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
With so many mixed reviews, it's hard to know what the Thrive patch results actually are. Do the patches work for some people and not for others? Or, are some people just more easily convinced? The significant number of negative reviews is also a major cause for concern. If nothing else, this suggests that many people aren't happy with the product.
That begs the question, why even bother?
There are many positive reviews for Thrive patches, along with plenty of negative ones
Thrive Patch Side Effects
There is also a concerning pattern of side effects. This is something that multiple reviewers have highlighted.
In fact, there were many reviews that mentioned side effects - more than I've seen for most other products. Side effects might be particularly significant for anyone who is sensitive to caffeine or stimulants.
Responses from distributors suggest that the side effects are just your body detoxing but that's not true. Even if detoxing did work like people claimed, you should not be experiencing this many side effects.
There are many reports of side effects from Thrive patches
Buying Le-Vel Products
The main way to purchase the products is through Le-Vel's website or from a distributor. The patches are sometimes sold on Amazon, but the listings often get pulled.
Buying the products is surprisingly complicated - as you need a distributor before you can even sign up as a customer. In fact, you can't even see the prices without finding a distributor and going through the sign up process.
Reports about pricing are mixed and the total will depend on what you purchase.
However, you may be paying between $100 and $300 per month to have the products automatically shipped to you. Another estimate suggests that it totals around $5 per day. Either way, the products aren't cheap, especially if you are following the entire Thrive Experience.
The products are mostly sold through distributors and they are fairly expensive
Does The Thrive Patch Work or Is It a Scam?
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 hype. But, long-term weight loss doesn't come from a crash diet or a popular fad.
Instead, you need sustainable habits and healthy foods.
Check out my recommended weight loss products to see where you can get started
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What do you think? Are the patches worth trying or a complete waste of time and money?