We all know the invigorating effects of cold water on the skin (ice baths, cryotherapy), as a way to detoxify and strengthen the body, but devotees of the practice also report a boost in energy, better sleeping habits, and lower blood pressure. Sign me up.
Cold environments teach us to calm down, our breath and our mind, and stimulate our vagus nerves (those responsible for all the super important bodily functions like regulating digestion, heart rate, and the immune system). Yep, we’re talking about Wim Hof.
If immersing your body in extremely cold water/air isn’t top of your to-do list, 1) we don’t blame you, and 2) there are simpler ways to reap the internal and external benefits from the comfort of your own home. A cold shower could do it, but there are a few skincare specific hacks we’re more interested in getting behind.
Cool facial tools
Cooling down your facial tools can help you achieve that ‘ice lift’ effect. Instantly rejuvenating and elevating the skin back to its natural plump state, especially after a deep slumber. Using a chilled gua sha or facial roller is going to reduce inflammation and swelling, increase blood flow, and shrink the appearance of pores, all while helping product to properly absorb and sink deep into the skin.
A note that prolonged contact with cold can very much act like heat, and burn the skin. Be cautious about how long you are allowing these tools to sit flush with the skin on your face.
Cold face creams
Placing skincare products in the fridge has the same anti-inflammatory and extra absorby results as using chilled application or massaging tools. (Just bear in mind that your skincare may absorb food odours from the fridge, so sticking your moisturiser next to the leftover cacio é pepe is probably not the best idea. It’s also a great argument for investing in a dedicated beauty fridge.)
In general, keeping skincare on ‘ice’ is most beneficial when you’re looking to constrict blood vessels for a firmer, tighter appearance, or when cooler temps will help mitigate pain or discomfort (think applying aloe to a sunburn). In the summer months especially, we can’t help but migrate our AM and PM routines to the fridge for added make-me-look-like-I-slept-eight-hours-in-the-air-conditioning effect. That, and the low temp helps to preserve active ingredients for a longer period of time.
With the exception of oils and oil-based formulas, most creams, gels, serums, masks, can withstand a cold snap.
Definitely not a necessity, very much a personal choice as to what your pores prefer, but there is some (lots of!) merit to stashing your skincare in the fridge.