Cold therapy fans Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, Daniel Craig, Alicia Keys and Jessica Alba all tout the health and skincare benefits of cryotherapy – although experts remain frosty

The therapeutic use of cold has ancient roots, but recent innovations and celebrity endorsements have put these icy practices in the spotlight. From the exhilarating rush of a cold dip to the soothing touch of a chilled facial roller, the spectrum of treatments is as broad as it is intriguing.

This resurgence in popularity owes much to high-profile advocates like Jennifer Aniston, Daniel Craig, Alicia Keys, Jessica Alba and Demi Moore – celebrities who have been vocal about their positive experiences and the benefits they have apparently noticed.

But can immersing yourself in cold water or applying an icy facial treatment really change your skin and health, or are there limits to its effectiveness? With the wide range of cold-based beauty treatments available, from luxury skincare lines to DIY icing techniques, it can be overwhelming to navigate this trend.

Wim “IJsman” Hof

When we expose our body to cold, physiological responses unfold. “Initially, cold exposure causes vasoconstriction, a reflex in which blood vessels constrict to retain heat and maintain core body temperature,” says Keiko Negishi, esthetician and skin therapist at FILD Studio. “This effect is especially noticeable on the skin and extremities, which may become numb or less sensitive as blood flow is diverted to protect vital organs.”

This abrupt change often results in a tight feeling to the skin, which can reduce inflammation and swelling by minimizing blood flow to the affected areas.

Need a digital detox? This luxury resort in Bali can finally get you off your phone

Over the past decade, several methods have advocated the use of cold for wellness, but the Wim Hof ​​method stands out as the definitive leader. Founded by Wim Hof, also known as “The Iceman”, this method combines deliberate cold exposure with specific breathing techniques and meditation. The core belief is that regular, mindful coping with the cold can profoundly improve health, vitality and well-being, providing benefits such as improved immune function, increased energy, better stress management and greater endurance. Hof’s method has not only intrigued the wellness community, but has also sparked scientific interest, confirming some of its impressive claims.

SkinGym Cryo balls

The appeal of cold treatments is enormous, from the exciting venture of cryotherapy chambers to the ice facials. Experts emphasize that cold plunges, where you immerse yourself in ice-cold water, provide both immediate sensory awakening and profound health benefits.

“The cold shock improves circulation, allowing the body to warm itself, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery to the skin,” says Negishi. This boost in circulation is essential for achieving a healthier, more radiant complexion by helping to flush out toxins and reduce inflammation.

Gen Alpha beauty is on the rise – but how young is too young for a skincare routine?

Moving from full immersion to the targeted application of cold in beauty treatments, ice facials are emerging as a less intense but still effective option. Whether you simply use ice cubes or special cryotherapy tools, these treatments soothe the skin, reduce inflammation as the cool temperature constricts blood vessels, relieve redness and swelling, and provide an instant lift – ideal for revitalizing a swollen face or to recover from a sleepless night.

Kenny Leung ice beauty projects at work

Recently, several products have made a splash by offering benefits ranging from cooling and depuffing to revitalizing and toning. A good example is 111Skin’s Cryo De-puffing line, which has won over users who want to refresh their skin and reduce puffiness by using cryotherapy techniques used in medical treatments.

Move over, K-beauty – Ayurvedic skin care is the beauty trend of 2024 to know

Charlotte Tilbury’s Cryo Mask and Anne Semonin’s Express Radiance Ice Cubes are other notable entries in the cold beauty trend. The cryo mask, enriched with firming ingredients and kept refrigerated, provides immediate lift when applied. Meanwhile, the Express Radiance Ice Cubes, designed to be frozen before use, combine the benefits of cryotherapy with powerful serums, creating a powerful blend of active ingredients that firm and depuff skin when applied cold.

111Skin series for cryo-puffing

Offering similar benefits, cold sticks provide a portable solution to refresh and hydrate skin on the go, while infusing soothing ingredients designed to be applied straight from the fridge to cool and soothe skin, reducing puffiness are reduced, especially around the eyes. But there are also a wide range of tools designed to deliver the benefits of professional cryotherapy treatments in the comfort of your own home, such as ice facial rollers and cryotherapy balls, which stimulate blood flow, reduce the appearance of pores and improve the absorption of skin care products. . “Refrigerating beauty products like jade rollers, Gua Sha stones, and sheet masks before use is another simple yet effective way to boost their soothing and puffing effects,” suggests Negishi.

5 beauty drops to know this month: It’s Dior versus Tom Ford

As cold beauty treatments become more and more popular, it is essential to dispel some myths. For example, the belief that cold water can permanently change pore size is a misconception. “Pores do not open and close. Cold water can temporarily tighten the skin, making pores appear smaller, but this effect is temporary,” explains Negishi. While cold water can refresh and invigorate the skin, warm water excels at dissolving oils, allowing for a more effective cleanse. “However, neither temperature changes the structural aspects of the pores,” she adds.

Express Radiance ice cube by Anne Semonin

The line between beneficial and potentially harmful cold treatments can be thin. For those with sensitive skin or conditions such as rosacea, extreme cold can worsen redness or irritation, counterproductive to the desired soothing result. Likewise, overuse of intense cold treatments can cause damage to the capillaries over time, especially if the skin is not gradually conditioned to the cold or if the application is too harsh. Ultimately, integrating cold treatments into a skin care routine must balance scientific insights, personal experiences, and professional guidance to ensure safety and effectiveness.