An influencer claims he was “slowly killing himself” after getting addicted to Skinny Jab injections he bought after seeing them promoted by Gemma Collins.
Cosmin Cernica spent thousands of pounds on the product, which he claims left a rash all over his body.
He said the controversial weight loss jabs also made him unable to eat or get out of bed.
The Instagram influencer dropped 10 kilos in just two months but a doctor urged him to stop taking the injections because his body was collapsing.
Cosmin, who splits his time between London and Dubai, told the Daily Star: “I wasn’t a fan of Gemma Collins but I happened to be in front of the TV and she was talking about these injections on a morning show.
“I was like ‘Oh my god this is going to be a miracle’. I went on Gemma’s Instagram where she was promoting it in more detail.
“But I ended up having a severe reaction to the injections which was all over my body for a few weeks and I was slowly killing myself inside and I had no idea.”
Cosmin, 28, described himself as always being “big boned” and he felt pressure to lose weight because of his job on social media.
Gemma was promoting the Skinny Jab on Instagram, where she has 2.2million followers, as recently as last year.
And she once told her followers that the £250 injections “changed her life”.
Speaking to her fans, the TOWIE star said: “Everyone has been asking ‘how the hell have you lost weight, GC?’
“Well, it’s all down to Skinny Jabs and the amazing team there. They have transformed my whole life with regards to dieting.”
The injections act as an appetite suppressant – and that’s exactly what Cosmin initially experienced.
He said: “After a few days of taking them I thought ‘I’m really not hungry any more” and I was going to dinners with my mother and didn’t want to eat.
“I would have two mouthfuls of dinner and I would feel like I had a three course meal.
“What went wrong was I wasn’t eating at all in the end, I wasn’t getting any nutrients or vitamins and I was starting to feel tired and sleepy and I couldn’t get out of bed.”
Despite his health deteriorating, Cosmin dropped 1.5st, more than what he'd usually lose when dieting properly.
He remembered: “I was like ‘this is my secret’ and didn’t tell anybody. People were telling me I looked skinner and I would joke that I was exercising a lot.
“I’m not proud of it.”
But one morning Cosmin noticed a red rash developing all over his body.
He tried changing his shower gels but nothing worked.
A doctor was also lost for words – until Cosmin told him about the injections.
He finally stopped taking them, and claims the rash disappeared days later.
Cosmin is now sharing his experience to warn other influencers to be careful about the brands they advertise.
Earlier this year Gemma said she regretted promoting the weight injections.
She told her BBC Sounds podcast listeners: “I have said that I’m not promoting any diet injections or anything like that.
“I kind of regret doing it, but I feel like sometimes you’re in such a desperate place and you want to lose weight, but actually I’ve come away from this diet promotion now.”
Cosmin said he was “disappointed” in Gemma for promoting the product in the first place.
He added: “I’m a strong believer in only promoting brands that you trust, tried and tested yourself.
“I saw that Gemma recently said she regretted it so maybe she had a similar reaction to mine and something went wrong.”
Cosmin spent thousands on the product and injected himself every three or four days – only to now weigh the same as before.
But he said he came to his senses when a doctor warned he would end up in emergency A&E.
And he is now more comfortable with his weight and urged people not to look for quick fixes.
He said: “I’m now the same weight as I was when I started so this isn’t a long term solution and I spent a lot of money on this.
“My mindset has now changed, I’m not skinny or toned but I think I’m healthy. I eat healthy food and go to spin class. I’m not fussed about my body weight as much as I used to be.”
Gemma Collins’ management team was contacted for comment.
The founder of Skinny Jab, Caroline Balazs, was also contacted.
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