Cold therapy is a safe way to reduce inflammation, redness, and puffiness. Some beauty blogs have taken the practice too far by suggesting people rub ice cubes over their faces.
Low temperatures constrict the blood vessels, first reducing blood flow to the area and then counteracting that effect by boosting circulation, which makes your skin look brighter. That said, ice cubes are so cold that they’ll have the same effect as a windburn, notes Sarah Garland, senior manager of spa planning at Equinox in New York City. Post-ice cube facial, your skin might look red and feel tender to the touch.
Instead, use a chilled crystal or stone roller, which will be cold enough to stimulate blood flow but not as freezing as ice. Plus, rollers are easier to maneuver on your skin and allow you to practice lymphatic drainage, Garland explains. The massage technique moves fluid out of your tissues to further reduce swelling.
The bottom line:
Swap your ice cube for a roller like one of these or this one from Angela Caglia. Store it in the fridge or freezer overnight, then use it in the morning or any time your skin needs reviving, Garland says.
She recommends this method: Using light pressure, start at the forehead and sweep the roller from the center toward the hairline. Continue working down the face in the same pattern, then roll down the neck and across the collarbones. Repeat twice. Clean the roller after each use with warm water, towel it dry, and place it back in the fridge or freezer.