Ice therapy… I know: groundbreaking. Ice therapy straight from your home freezer has been around since time immemorial, so why am I just talking about it now? With the persistent popularity of Cryotherapy facials and ice therapy brands ever-elegantly elaborating on the simple task of walking into your kitchen, I figure this little luxury is worth some investigating.
Ice therapy increases blood circulation, minimizes pores, and soothes inflammation, so really, why the hell not? What you’ve probably heard on the street is that it shrinks your pores, giving you that frostbitten smooth face you can usually only get during the winter. But it doesn’t just smooth out your skin; ice therapy soothes inflamed acne, contours your facial structure, calms under eye bags and gives you that oh-my-god-she-did-something-to-her-face glow.
Facialists have incorporated ice cubes in their treatments for some time; let’s just say it is ice age old trick. (I know lame joke, but you get the gist.) The use of ice to enhance products after application – such as serums or masks – restricts your capillaries and allows the ingredients to penetrate deeper into your pores.
We are all too familiar with the old wives tale of applying a cold compress to those annoying breakouts that always seem to pop up at the most inopportune times. What’s missing from that tale is that it also helps to alternate with applying some ice to those mountainous growths, to relieve pain and decrease inflammation by constricting the blood vessels. A trick from dermatologist Dr. Francesca Fusco at Wexler Dermatology in New York City: dissolve an aspirin into warm water before freezing, so the acetylsalicylic acid will help with drying out those breakouts.
The cubes do not need to be just water. Brands like Jalue, started by Azerbaijani entrepreneur Jale Demirchi, harnessed ancient mixtures of healing herbs and modern day cryotherapy – they even give tribute to Catherine the Great, who was said to apply ice cubes to her face, neck and décolletage every morning to preserve her beauty. Jalue’s Ice Therapy cooling, radiance boosting mini facials are made with chamomile, sage, nettle, rose and oak bark to reduce puffiness and lessen the size and appearance of your pores.
Jalue Ice Therapy
If you need a last minute touch up before a big event, or just got off a long plane ride and need to be presentable post haste, Annie Semonin created her Express Radiance Cubes for an instant look of relaxation. Just pop those bad boys in the freezer and apply them cold. To improve elasticity and radiance, the formula is infused with Marine Spring Water for hydration, red seaweed and evening Primrose Oil for moisturizing, and then Azelaic Acid, which helps absorb excess sebum.
Looking for a DIY project? Try freezing milk, which is high in Vitamin A and great for a firming, contouring effect. Milk is also a natural exfoliating lactic acid, and sculpts your cheekbones and jawline, with a firming effect as the result. Using green tea and other caffeine sources can certainly help with the inflammation, because of the antioxidants packed in there. If you have the patience to make your own concoctions, go for it, but for my own jet lag woes I am bringing my Annie Semonin Cubes with me.
If all else fails, follow in Kate Moss’s footsteps by submerging your face into a sink filled with icy water to combat puffiness. I am still dying to try a cyrotherapy facial. Any of you Pretty Birds tried it yet?
Photos by Giacomo De Maggi