Stefan Pinto (picture by Stephanie Diani)

My friend Joe sent me this link to a New York Times article about creams, makeup and caffeine that can improve the look of your abs. These seem more in demand than abdominoplasty (tummy tucks), which appealed to only 4700 American men in 2009, a doubling of the number in 2000.

So if you want to highlight whatever abs you do have, or tighten the skin in that region, you can do it with various products. I liked this quote the best:

“When you first glance at these products, it sounds like it’s snake oil, but when you dig deeper it seems like there is some efficacy to it,” said Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, a dermatologist in New York and assistant clinical professor at the Yale University School of Medicine. “When you add caffeine it causes blood vessels to restrict, and it turns out that’s a great trick for making skin appear less puffy.”

Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas cautioned men against expecting dramatic results from such products. “But even a 10 percent improvement would make a difference to some people,” she said.

Stefan Pinto, a model and fitness columnist, spoke well about one product, but look at the routine and diet he has underneath the cosmetic part. In addition to a strict gym regimen, he eats eight servings of vegetables daily and avoids dairy products and bread. “If you think you can go into a store and buy something and get all these results, then you’re fooling yourself,” he said.

How do you eat eight servings of anything in a day? He sure has discipline and determination! I can barely do three sessions of crunches some months, so don’t look to me for major inspiration. I better do some exercises and stop eating so much no-fat yogurt…