Facials typically involve steaming, exfoliation and extraction plus masks and layers of moisturizers and serums. But one of the newest kids in the spa, cryotherapy facials, just blows a subfreezing mist all over your face.
This may not sound very appealing, especially in the dead of winter, but cryo-facials have been winning many clients over with their short sessions, lack of downtime and near-instant results in the form of tighter, more radiant skin and removal of some imperfections.
HOW IT’S DONE
During a cryo-facial session your face is thoroughly cleansed, and some providers also do a gentle massage or steam the face. A wand attached to a machine is used to apply the liquid nitrogen, which is as cold as minus 200 to minus 300 degrees, evenly across your face. This process takes about 3 minutes.
The deep freeze triggers your pores and blood vessels to contract. Once your skin returns to normal temperature your blood vessels quickly dilate, flushing your face with oxygenated blood that can make your skin feel tighter and smooth some wrinkles, while looking refreshed and glowing. It often plumps up your lips, too. A serum is generally applied after the procedure.
Many users have compared the sensation to sticking your face into a freezer, definitely cold but generally bearable. Most appointments last around 15 to 20 minutes, but many providers give the option of additional services in conjunction with a cryo-facial.
HOW SOON, HOW OFTEN?
Results can appear immediately as a glowy sheen to your face, similar to what you have when stepping in from the cold after a brisk winter walk. Tightening of the skin usually becomes more obvious a day or two later. The luminous appearance and taut skin usually last a few weeks. Many people get a cryo-facial every 3 to 6 weeks to maintain this look — the effects of this facial become more permanent with frequent visits as your skin’s firmness and texture changes.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
In rare instances a cryo-facial can cause frostbite or skin discoloration, the latter of which may be temporary or permanent. Make sure you’re going to a licensed aesthetician trained in the procedure.