With the 31st Olympic Games well and truly underway, all eyes are on Rio. As much as we love the swimming, athletics, rugby and gymnastics (also a shout out to the synchronised swimmers - just how do they get all that make-up to stay in place in the water?!), that's not what's had team Bazaar talking over the past 10 days. Instead, we've noticed that several athletes share an affinity towards a certain beauty treatment loved by Hollywood A-listers like Kim Kardashian West and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy which helps boost circulation and relieve muscle soreness through the process of heated glass cups being placed onto the skin. The heat creates a seal and when the cup cools, the decrease in temperature provides a suction-like effect on the skin. Its rumoured benefits include improved skin texture, and a reduction in the appearance of cellulite.
The only trade-off? Several painful-looking (but entirely pain-free), circular "bruises" on the skin for a few days following the treatment. Jennifer Aniston rocked hers on the red carpet back in 2012 at the premiere of Call Me Crazy and USA swimming hero Michael Phelps was sporting them in Rio most recently.
Michael Phelps showed off the results of his cupping treatments in Rio. Photo: Getty Images
Unsurprisingly, Gwyneth Paltrow is said to have been a fan for years and now other celebrities, including Justin Beiber and Kim - who posted about getting the treatment done on her Snapchat recently - are following suit. The wellbeing benefits are also highly praised by swimmer Natalie Coughlin and gymnast Alex Naddour, who told USA Today that the treatment is “better than any money I've spent on anything" and that it's "what keeps me healthy.”
Image: Kim Kardashian West Snapchat
Whilst it might win gold in the eyes of athletes and celebrities, some health practitioners have warned against blindly following their lead when it comes to the treatment. Opinion is split as to whether or not its supposed health benefits are legit, or whether it's simply the latest in a long line of Hollywood beauty fads. Bazaar's tip? Before you go all Bieber and book yourself in, be sure to chat with your physician about whether or not you're suitable to undergo the treatment, and if you're given the all clear, find a reputable (and licensed) practitioner.