When it’s hot AF outside, the obvious way to cool off is by getting ice cold. But rather than just stick your head in the freezer (don’t judge us, okay?), there’s a smarter solution to lower your body temp – and improve your skin at the same time…
Enter cryotherapy (or cold therapy), which boasts many good-for-your face benefits like pore tightening, baby fuzz blasting, and texture enhancing. Plus, unlike other treatments, it’s 100% safe to do if you’ve been in the sun. In fact, it feels great after you’ve been in the sun. A continuous blast of chilled air to the face that isn’t nearly as torturous as submerging your entire body into a -200° to -284° Fahrenheit tank? Sign us up.
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But what exactly does facial cryo entail? We asked Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, celebrity cosmetic dermatologist and founder of PFRANKMD & Skin Salon to break it down for us. “Cryotherapy is liquid nitrogen delivered to the skin and is a quick fix for various skin concerns to make you look great for any occasion,” he explains. “It helps minimize pore size, decrease and heal puffiness in the face, increase blood flow, and reduces inflammation, acne, and redness, leaving your skin with a dewy glow. I combine cryotherapy with my other signature treatments in my new Paparazzi Facial to give immediate results, with no downtime to promote long-term skin rejuvenation.”
We like the sound of that, but arguably the best part is that the cold bursts (which contract the muscle fibers and remove dead skin cells at the same time) also stimulate collagen production. “When using cryotherapy on your face, blood is shunted away from the skin quickly and then rushes back, causing an increase in collagen production,” says founder of Nordic Edge Wellness Clinics, Dr. Marie O’Connor. “With that, wrinkles and fine lines can be reduced and your skin will be tighter.”
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Dr. O’Connor is also quick to point out that the cold level during the facial treatment is more tolerable since the cryo-technician is constantly moving the applicator. This means you can get nice and frosty for a good six minutes, as opposed to the usual three minutes for body treatments. And while cryo is safe if you’ve been in the sun (unlike other no-no treatments like lasers and micro-needling), your skin may be more sensitive. “During the treatment, we continuously ask about your comfort level, but the cold temperature will help with the pain and inflammation associated with sunburn,” she adds.
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Another fan of cryotherapy is celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and Skincare, Joanna Vargas. She’s constantly treating her A-list clientele to cryo sessions during awards season saying, “a person can go monthly, but when there’s a big red carpet ahead I perform this treatment multiple times a week.” As for post-care, Vargas suggests eating foods that are easy to digest (since the treatment is very anti-inflammatory) and using great products at home. Think: a diet consisting of dark berries, fatty fish, and broccoli, plus serum-heavy sheet masks like her Glow To Go Set, $75. This will keep your cryo results lasting longer, as will O’Connor’s one-two punch: Nordic-style lotions and cold packs on your face at night.
You don’t even have to visit a facialist to experience the benefits of cryotherapy as there are SO many amazing tools that allow you to do it from the comfort of your couch. Here are some of our faves:
Georgia Louise Cryo Freeze Tools, $125: Reap the rewards of cryo at home, without having to travel to a med spa to get it. Celeb facialist; Georgia Louise’s metal-tipped wands drastically contour, calm, and soothe the skin in just five minutes.
Recoup Fitness Cryosphere Cold Massage Roller, $40: This portable icy roller ball is fitted with 3.4 ounces of cooling gel and combines the benefits of cryotherapy, with traditional massage, for quick recovery from muscle pain. Use it pre- or post-workout for sweet relief when your limbs just can’t.
Get Glowy Facial Massage Globes, $60: Stash these quartz globes in your freezer whenever your skin’s in need of a little pampering or a glow-inducing smoothing sesh. The interior micro beads retain their cool temp, which keeps the globes colder for much longer and they depuff like a BOSS.
DIY Cryotherapy: Considering the key factor of cryotherapy is ice-cold temperatures, you can DIY your own facial using ice. It’s super simple yet SO effective! Find out how to give yourself the ultimate cryotherapy experience, here.
Tell us if you’ve ever cryo’ed in the comments below.