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Do ice facials really help skin glow?

We tried a new ice facial treatment that promises to give good-looking healthy skin in 10 minutes

Ice facials are known to help boost blood circulation
Ice facials are known to help boost blood circulation (Unsplash)

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Tech-powered facials are having a moment. From light therapy and laser facials to patented technologies often touted as Hollywood red carpet favourites, the market is currently flooded with therapies that promise tight skin, reduced pigmentation and improved skin texture. 

Given the constant desire for a glowing skin, consumers don't mind purchasing a package deal of multiple sessions, with each session costing anywhere between 10,000 to 20,000.

I tried one such new therapy, Ice Facial, at the Mumbai branch of Isaac Luxe by Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta. Priced at 7,500 (plus taxes), Ice Facial comes with similar promises, achievable in 10 minutes. 

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I became interested in cryotherapy (a procedure in which an extremely cold liquid is used to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue) years ago when footballer Cristiano Ronaldo made headlines for installing a cryo cell at his home. Like him, many other sports stars, and entertainers like Lady Gaga, are known to take ice baths for better body and muscle healing. Many celebrity makeup experts recommend icing the face before applying makeup as well.

The ice cryotherapy facial makes things easier than dunking your face in a sink filled with ice. Research says it is designed such that it can be used on any part of your body to encourage vasoconstriction and deal with stressed out, unresponsive skin that feels limp and dull all the time. 

The cryotherapy machine emits bursts of liquid nitrogen vapour, with temperatures ranging from -160 and -320F. This is a non-invasive treatment, so you can even do it right before or on your wedding day too. “The low temperature of nitrogen causes vasoconstriction, wherever used, and increases the rush of blood. This helps reduce inflammation, improves collagen production, and targets fine lines. If you do it every three to five weeks, it will make your skin firmer over time,” claims Dr Gupta.

Ready with high hopes for our tired, 30s skin, my therapy begins with microdermabrasion (you can choose to opt out), some massage and a mask, in addition to the cryo therapy. 

Once the therapy starts, I can immediately feel a calming yet chilling sensation on my skin. My aesthetician covers the whole of my face and neck in 10 minutes. Immediately post the therapy, I look like I have just woken up from a deep sleep. 

Once my sleepy face settles, by evening, even after a hectic day, my skin feels noticeably brighter. The area around my brows and mouth (where I have a bit of sagging) appears firmer to touch, something I am happy about. While the first session doesn’t remove fine lines, it seems the facial might actually work some magic when paired with other treatments. Three days after the treatment, the skin is glowing. It’s tight and the texture and tone is much smoother. The effects of the facial lasted two weeks. By the end of the third week, my skin started looking tired again.

Verdict: The ice facial definitely does some frozen magic, and I would try the treatment again, to check if the long-term benefits of multiple sessions stand true. Before trying anything, do consult with your doctor if your skin is ready to undergo any treatment. 

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