The icing on top of our skincare routine—literally.
When it comes to skincare, we’ve got the basics. We’re no longer wondering whether or not we need retinol or sunscreen in our routine. (Yes and yes, no doubt.) Instead, we’re looking for the obscurities: the secrets for an above-and-beyond complexion. We’ll search far and wide for these tips, but sometimes it’s just a matter of sticking close to home. Because as it turns out, there’s been a vastly underestimated skincare hack sitting right under our noses—more specifically, right inside our freezer. It’s called the ice facial.
Firstly, don’t be afraid. It’s only about half as bad as it sounds, and the results more than make up for it. Secondly, this latest obsession lets us conjure a healthy glow, tighten skin, minimize the appearance of pores, and handle those under-eye bags once and for all. The cold temperature shrinks capillaries and stimulates drainage, which is the culprit of puffy and dull skin. As aptly put by Into the Gloss, it’s like “lacing up a corset on your face.” That’s enough to make us sign up, as it is. You know how your skin looks when you’ve just stepped in from a brisk walk or run in cold air? Flushed cheeks, clear poreless skin, and a healthy glow? It’s the same effect, to a lesser more-controlled degree.
Ice facials can be performed in two ways: 1) Filling a bowl with a little water and a lot of ice, and dunking your face for 10-20 seconds, about three times. 2) Wrapping an ice cube in a thin gauze or linen cloth, and then gliding it over your face for a few minutes. If using a wrapped ice cube, guiding it from the inner eye area to the outer eye (focusing mainly on bottom under-eye bags) really helps flush out the excess fluids. You’ll look instantly awake, refreshed, and sculpted.
Adding an extra ingredient to your ice bath or ice cubes takes this facial to the next level. “I like to add witch hazel to ice bath water or an alcohol-free toner such as our Balancing Skin Tonic. They offer anti-inflammatory benefits, while reducing puffiness,” explains Texas-based aesthetician Renée Rouleau. Freezing rosehip seed tea, which is high in vitamin C, or antioxidant-packed green tea into ice cubes is another quick enhancement.
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Ice facials aren’t brand-new to the scene and have been popular amongst celebrities, models, and makeup artists for a while—you know, those that might have the time and incentive to plunge their faces into an ice-cold tundra on a daily basis. However, after giving the easier ice-cube strategy a try, we’re total converts. After a few minutes, a close peek in the mirror reveals pores that are noticeably smaller, skin that is tauter, eyes that are now puff-free, and a subtle glow. It’s more than worth the extra few minutes in the morning while getting ready, and it definitely falls into the above-and-beyond complexion category. Not to mention, it doubles as a natural primer for your makeup.
So next time you’re itching for some glowing skin, or nursing day-after-drinks puffiness, consider this your secret weapon. We’re pouring green tea into an ice cube try as we speak.