Vicks for belly fat, the TRUTH (backed by Science)

Vicks for belly fat?

How can Vicks help you with belly fat?

This question drove me insane and triggered my obnoxious curiosity.

Vaporub for belly fat? Really? So I clicked.

vicks for belly fat

Vicks for belly fat before and after

And there it was, a video of a woman rubbing her stomach with Vicks. Then wrapping her stomach with saran wrap, and followed by a waist trainer.

Cut scene to the following day and the video shows of her belly having noticeable change. The bulge has vanished, leaving her with a flat stomach.

My jaw literally dropped. Wrapping your belly with Vicks overnight, works?

What the heck is going on here?

Researching the efficacy of Vicks Vaporub for belly fat 

I needed to find out whether this is fact or fiction. I googled, I searched Youtube, and I meditated, then came up with a conclusion which you may disagree with.

We all know what Vicks is for; it treats cough due to throat irritation. Vicks also help with minor aches and pains in muscles and joints. However, can you use Vicks Vaporub for belly fat? Will it burn fat by applying it to the stomach?

To find out, I needed to research each ingredient.

Active ingredients


According to Asahikawa Medical University, it was thought that applying camphor to the skin helps blood circulation, but it has not been clearly explained.

To further examine the effects of camphor to blood circulation, nine adults were studied after using the chemical.

The research found that camphor does increase blood circulation. 

[source: Camphor induces cold and warm sensations with increases in skin and muscle blood flow in human.]

The following is how good blood circulation helps your body:

  • When you maintain healthy blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, you allow your lungs and muscles to work correctly.
  • Your white blood cells will move to wherever it is most needed — mostly fighting off potential diseases and sickness.
  • Good blood circulation helps reduce waste from the body.

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil has been proven to have antimicrobial effects against many bacteria. It improves the immune system. It helps with inflammation. It has antioxidant properties and a great pain killer. 

We are trying to determine Vicks efficacy through topical application though not inhalation or ingestion. The only benefit it has through skin application is reducing inflammation. 

[source: Immune-modifying and antimicrobial effects of Eucalyptus oil and simple inhalation devices.]


What we know is that menthol acts as a pain reliever even in ancient times. Recent studies show that it’s advantageous as an analgesic. 

[source: The role and mechanism of action of menthol in topical analgesic products.]

In another research, menthol was found to be a better option than ice for delayed onset muscle soreness.

[source: A comparison of topical menthol to ice on pain, evoked tetanic and voluntary force during delayed onset muscle soreness]

Inactive ingredients

Cedarleaf oil

Cedarleaf oil is excellent as an antimicrobial agent reducing the infamous and common candida albicans. 

Nutmeg oil

Sufferers of diseases and cancers are sadly in need of analgesics to relieve some pain symptoms. 

Pharmaceutical grade pain killers can sometimes cause other side effects and aren’t safe to use for a more extended period.

Food and Nutrition Research have perused a potentially safe alternative for pain relief—nutmeg. 

FNR concluded that nutmeg is a viable, safe, and natural alternative to drugs such as ibuprofen or paracetamol.

[source: Nutmeg oil alleviates chronic inflammatory pain through inhibition of COX-2 expression and substance P release in vivo]


Petrolatum found in skin barrier products such as Vaseline helps trap water inside the skin and acts as a barrier. 


Thymol is used as a stabilizer in Vicks. Although less toxic than phenol, extreme exposure can produce vomiting, nausea, and gastric pain. It may even lead to convulsions, coma, respiratory, and cardiac collapse.

Regarding skin application, Thymol has caused skin irritation and sensitization.

[source: Thymol effects.]

Turpentine oil

Turpentine oil is used topically to treat rheumatoid arthritis, toothaches, and various muscle pains.

Oral poisoning can lead to insomnia, headaches, coma, and even death. 

Youtubers tried Vicks to reduce belly fat

At this point, I already have my answer to the question: “Does Vicks reduce belly fat?”

However, I needed to hear it from people who cover their stomachs with Vicks and saran wrap. So, I went to Youtube for fact searching.

I watched two channels who tried it for a day and echoed the same failed result.

I watched another two who tried it but had good results.

One Youtuber in particular, Luxx Curves, revealed more as to why. The host goes on to say that the secret to this “phenomenon,” is the waist trainer.

I could not believe her answer. How can a waist trainer burn fat in your stomach? As a weight loss nutritionist, I can tell you; it’s a load of crap.

The only thing a waist trainer will give you is nausea from being unable to breathe correctly. You see, the waist trainer or corset restricts the air you breathe by squeezing your diaphragm.

Hence, I am in disbelief when specific fitness influencers advocate a waist trainer’s efficacy in targeting stomach fat.

How long to leave Vicks wrap on?

From watching the Youtubers, as mentioned earlier, leaving the Vicks wrap on overnight seems to do the trick.

However, an article by Shareably advises leaving the Vicks wrap on for 30 minutes. They also mentioned adding more camphor to reduce the burning sensation on the skin.

Vicks Vaporub for belly fat without wrap

If you are thinking of applying Vicks Vaporub for your belly fat without a wrap, think again. The purpose of the wrap is to make your skin sweat, resulting in water loss in the area being treated.

So, when you apply Vicks Vaporub without a wrap, you will not get a positive result.

Vicks Vaporub weight loss reviews

I was looking at other people’s opinions on Quora about using Vicks Vaporub for belly fat.

I’m fascinated by how someone who agrees that rubbing Vicks Vaporub gets rid of belly fat has more upvotes compared to people who disagreed.

There are other articles and videos in favor of Vicks Vaporub and 1 article in complete disbelief on the first page of the Google search. The following are what others are saying:

“Hey!!! Based on my personal experience, This really does work!! I made a quite common mistake for the first month or so, I just rubbed it on my belly and left it like that whilst I slept at night. That causes the vicks to evaporate and then it won’t stay on long enough to burn the fat and tighten the skin. For it to work effectively, you have to wrap some cling wrap around your stomach multiple times until it’s nice and sturdy, then you can sleep with it on. Everybody else would say that you need to put on a corset over the cling wrap but I skipped that and It still worked just fine for me. And the great thing is that it doesn’t only work on your stomach but everywhere on your body. I did my thighs as well and my gosh was I happy with the results!!!! If you do try this, I wish you nothing but the best!!! ♡♡♡♡♡♡”

by: Gemma Haupt

“Can you guess why? Because it doesn’t do that. no more than planting the magic beans on a full super-moon will give you Jack’s beanstalk.
Truth be told, it is Hellmann’s Mayonnaise mixed with steel-cut oats, rubbed on the belly that draws out the belly fat from under your skin. But you need to be vigorous rubbing it in. And only the original version, not the olive oil one. lol
By the way, I can let you have a real gold mine of a business opportunity for only a relatively few dollars. I can sell you the Brooklyn Bridge, and you can charge tolls to go across. You will make millions! I have to let it go because of the IRS looking into my assets.
Now, here is something you can believe. Eat reasonable amounts of healthy food. Exercise regularly. Ignore ‘miracle’ cures. The only thing getting skinny from them is your wallet”

by: Martin Roy

According to Valley News Live, they asked Procter and Gamble (P&G) about using Vicks Vaporub for belly fat:

“We did ask P&G, the makers of Vicks Vaporub, about the trend. In a statement, the company says it does not endorse any inappropriate use of its products.”

by: Valley News Live

So does Vicks help burn belly fat?

Vicks does not work to reduce belly fat.  Vaporub does not help with belly fat loss. What it does do is that it helps reduce water weight. When you lose water in the belly fat area, your belly shrinks, giving the impression of fat loss.

However, the water loss is only temporary, and your belly will soon return to its original size.

Menthol, nutmeg oil, and turpentine oil may indirectly affect belly fat loss. By reducing muscle soreness after a workout can result in quicker muscle recovery and maximum effort in your next training.

There are known common side effects such as the following:

  • Skin rashes and irritation
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Acid reflux
  • Bruising
  • Numbness 

Would I personally try Vicks Vaporub to reduce my belly fat? Well, maybe? I’m curious by nature. Wait for the next Youtube video? Coming soon…


Christian Tanobey

Metabolism of a sloth and a body that’s almost impossible to put on muscles motivated me to study weight loss and nutrition. Sharing what I’ve learned and experienced to help you achieve your ideal body.