There has been quite a lot of hype and heated debate over skin toning gels and whether or not they really work. We did a bit of investigating to find out more about these products and you can decide for yourself if you think they’re worth a try.

Lisa DeFazio, MS, RD Media Nutrition Expert and Host says there have been plenty of mixed results when it comes to toning gels. “Putting any type of liquid on muscles makes them look better,” De Fazio explains, “But, there are really no toning gels that are approved by the FDA for the use of producing firmer skin and muscles.”

Basically, rather than actually toning your skin and muscles, most of the toning gels on the market only deliver a temporary look. As the gel wears off the “toned” look starts to fade away too. DeFazio suggests, that because of this, it might be a better idea to just use a regular lotion or body oil that makes your skin look a little more toned. Any lotion or oil that gives a glossy or shiny look to the skin can help make the appearance of muscle tone stand out more, but it won’t make it appear if you don’t already have natural muscle tone.

“Also, when you are tan, or use tanning lotions, that will also make your legs and arms look more tone as the tan makes you look thinner and camouflages cellulite,” De Fazio said. “The muscle definition is more pronounced and defined with darker skin.”

There are currently no products available on the market today that are approved by the FDA to actually tighten or tone skin or the muscle under the skin. There are several skin firming lotions on the market that contain ingredients such as Q10, active copper, collagen and biotin. These creams may help your skin firm up and reduce the look of cellulite, both of which can result in a more toned look, but again will not actually increase your muscle tone.

DeFazio points out that working out regularly is really your ultimate best option for toning your muscles and keeping them looking toned.