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Published on March 18, 2020

Cryotherapy aka Ice Hydration

By Marina


Every morning I watched my mother use an ice cube to wipe her face. She did it religiously without missing a day and swore by it. My mom maintained supple, plumped skin way into her advanced years even though she did not have access to expensive skincare or facials. I adopted that habit in my 20’s and now 30 years later I can confirm – it works.
I saw the results but did not understand why or how it worked. So I did my research. Here is the science behind it.

This phenomenon is attributed to an unusual property of water. Water in its solid phase (ice) is less dense than in its liquid phase. While other materials contract when they solidify, water expands. You can observe this if you put ice into a glass of water. The ice doesn’t sink to the bottom of the glass but floats on top of the liquid, like an iceberg. The distance between water molecules in a solid-state is greater, therefore the bond between the molecules is weaker.

When ice is applied to the skin it melts and this freshly melted water still has weak bonds between molecules. That is what gives the moisture a better chance to penetrate your skin and to supply extra hydration to the deeper layers of your skin.

Another benefit of this procedure is the low-temperature application, known today as cryotherapy.  Cryotherapy is any treatment that involves the use of freezing or near-freezing temperatures. When exposed to freezing temperatures your body (or face) reacts as if it is actually freezing. It triggers its natural healing mechanisms where your capillaries expand and the white blood cells start working faster to protect you. During this treatment, your brain also releases hormones, such as adrenaline and endorphins, to stimulate your organs. These reactions facilitate cell rejuvenation, boost your immune function, and promote self-healing.

An actual cryotherapy session utilizes a blast of liquid nitrogen, however, recent studies prove that submerging treated areas in the icy water delivers better results.

Use an ice cube and enjoy a cryotherapy facial in the comfort of your own home.

You can even go a step further and make ice with herbal infusions. Depending on your needs you can use chamomile, calendula, echinacea or green tea. Just prepare the herbs the same way you would make tea. Steep it, cool it, pour into an ice cube tray, and freezes. Enjoy!

This simple morning routine delivers a triple effect: supplies moisture to your skin, facilitates rejuvenation, provides extra nutrients to your skin (if you use infusion). Follow with a moisturizer and you will feel awake, hydrated and ready for the active day!

PHOTO BY: Victoria Wendish