The Ice Man Cometh: Everything you need to know about cryotherapy skincare

17 JANUARY 2022

Cryotherapy, the application of sub-zero temperatures on your skin, can promote fat loss, anti-ageing and aid joint pain. Ready to face the chill? 

Cryotherapy is, the application of very cold temperatures to the skin as a therapeutic treatment and is an evolution of cryotherapy chambers (think the exact opposite of a sauna) that are used to treat sports injuries or to promote blood circulation, healing and rejuvenation.

We have all heard of athletes taking ice baths to speed up their recovery time, but the method was originally developed in Japan as a treatment for arthritis. In its modern guise, cryotherapy is used to treat joint pain, muscle pain and even migraines. Now, cryotherapy has also been adopted as a facial treatment and the inspiration for many skincare products and devices that promise to refresh and tone the skin.

So how does it work? According to Dr Alexandrides, plastic surgeon and founder of 111Skin, applying cryotherapy to the skin does two things in quick succession – cause vasoconstriction, where the blood vessels narrow, followed by an intense vasodilation, where the blood vessels flood the treated area with new blood flow.

This also means that eye bags are diminished, hyperpigmentation is reduced and your face appears firmer, brighter and rejuvenated. It also benefits the absorption of skincare products into the skin, as the post-cold-shock swell of blood flow allows the active ingredients to penetrate deeper into the dermis.

Dr Yannis Alexandrides offers both cold and hot treatments at his clinics based in Harrods and Harvey Nichols offering cryotherapy treatments and thermotherapy (i.e. hot) facials. These can be booked as an express 30 minute treatment or as a package as 5 or 10 facials. 

If a clinic visit is not for you, there are also a number of treatments and tools that you can use at home – as long as you have a freezer! 001 Skincare London offer the Eyecicle – two beautifully crafted glass devices that are filled with a magnetic liquid to be chilled down and used to refresh and rejuvenate the delicate eye area. But that’s not all.
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Cryotherapy set by 001 Skincare London, £148,

The Cryopress is a cryotherapy facial roller that detoxifies, reo-xygenates and contours the skin. Ada Ooi, founder of 001 Skin, recommends use with her Flash Facial Serum for optimal absorption and effect. Store it in the freezer so it’s always ready for use!

The cold never bothered us anyway.

Article written by Alexander Johnston and Teo van den Broeke - GQ

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