While there’s no time like the summer to cool off, putting ice on your face is a year-round skincare strategy. From functioning as a natural makeup primer to taking cheekbones to new heights, ice cubes are a secret weapon for many top facialists and makeup artists.
YouTube star Lisa Eldridge swears by ice facials to combat early set times and jet-lagged models. Is redness your problem? Just bring a frozen block to the roof of your mouth, where receptors for your face’s blood vessels live. And for flare ups, they also act as spot-on treatments for breakouts says Austin-based aesthetician Renée Rouleau. No matter what state your face is in, experts weigh in on how fresh-out-of-the-freezer cubes, especially when blended with green tea, caffeine, or milk (!), can help increase blood circulation, minimize pores, and soothe inflammation for clear, radiant skin.
Jumpstart a Healthy Glow
For as long as he’s been performing transformative facials, celebrity facialist Ole Henriksen has incorporated ice cubes into his treatments. “They dramatically improve circulation in the skin for that healthy glow we all want,” he says. To boost results, he’ll brew and freeze rosehip seed tea, which is high in Vitamin C, as well as antioxidant-packed green tea. For application, Henriksen suggests wrapping an ice cube in a thin cotton handkerchief and massaging it across the skin.
The age-old ice-cold trick can also enhance the hero products of your regimen. “If you apply a serum to the skin and put ice on it afterwards, the capillaries restrict and it creates a pulling effect that helps ingredients penetrate deeper,” explains Rouleau. Celebrity facialist Joanna Czech is also a fan of the extra icy step—particularly when masking. After using La Mer’s The Brilliance Brightening Mask, she seals in the illuminating and skin-softening ingredients by gliding gauze-wrapped cubes along the planes of the face.
To get the glow in one quick step, however, take a page from the supermodel playbook and make like Kate Moss. Inspired by Joan Crawford’s no-holds-barred approach to vanity portrayed in Mommie Dearest, the 45-year-old model has been known to submerge her face in a sink of icy water to counteract morning-after puffiness.
Sculpt Your Cheekbones
For more sensitive skins, and souls, Henriksen suggests a slightly modified alternative to the face plunging technique: After filling a bowl up a third of the way with whole milk, which contains cell-regenerative Vitamin A and naturally exfoliating lactic acid, add ice cubes before drenching a face cloth in the bone-chilling blend. “Hold it across the entire face for 15 seconds and repeat up to five times,” he says. Or, tap into into the global beauty trend of face sculpting and work a frozen milk cube from the center of the chin along the jawline to the earlobe, then upward towards the highs of the cheekbones, under eye region, and across the forehead, he says. Repeat the massage for 5 minutes to get the firming, contouring effect.