To learn all things cryo, we chatted to Jacqui Taylor of Cryo Glow Co, who offer cryo-based treatments across a number of chic Sydney wellness destinations. “Cryotherapy is the use of cold, either locally or generally, to promote health benefits. Think everything from cryo tanks and ice baths to fat freezing and medical uses to ablate damaged tissue,” Jacqui explains.
And there are a range of high-tech treatments on the market that use cryo technology in a bid to beautify. “Similar to whole body cryotherapy, cryo facials and toning use cold but not sub-zero temperatures (typically around 6 degrees Celsius) to promote collagen and elastin, reduce pore size, and reduce inflammation (including improving rosacea and acne-prone skin),” shares Jacqui. “Immediately post-facial, you’ll experience a boost from the vasoconstriction and dilation, and with multiple treatments, fibroblasts are stimulated to create more collagen and elastin, thus improving skin quality.”
Happily there are more and more products popping up on the market that allow you to enjoy the benefits of cryotherapy in your very own bathroom. I’ve been incorporating facial tools for years into my massage routine, and while fine used in the conventional way, their face-sculpting and de-puffing properties are markedly boosted when chilled. In particular, I’ve tried my fair share of jade rollers over time, but I particularly rate the La Vie en Rose Roller from celebrity facialist Angela Caglia: it’s properly weighty, which is important in attaining appropriate pressure to up blood circulation in the skin.
Jade rollers are also ideal for helping eke more out of your sheet masks; I enjoy pairing my Angela Caglia roller with Skin Inc’s Lines Be Gone Rose Gold mask to further boost its hydrating and plumping properties.
If puffy eyes are your beauty bugbear, a tool more targeted to the area should help drain excess liquid and smooth: Skin Gym’s Mini Jade Eye Roller is created just for this purpose, and fits neatly and comfortably where larger rollers might not. Harley Street brand 111Skin’s Sub-Zero Depuffing Eye Masks create a cooling effect just used by themselves; slipping them on after they’ve been chilled in the fridge, and then using a similarly chilled mini roller, would make for a match made in heaven.
Gua sha tools, which have recently entered the Western beauty consciousness – as so often is the case – from their ancient origins in the Far East, are similarly improved after a spell in the fridge. These flat stones are carved to fit around the angles of the face and make you feel as though you’re chiselling out your cheekbones and jawline in real time. British brand Hayo’u Quartz Beauty Restorer is a favourite of mine; apply a few drops of a facial oil (I’m currently enjoying Biossance’s Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil) to add nourishment and slip – and get sculpting.
Beyond the more familiar massage tools, there’s a clutch of new and purpose-built tools on available to help introduce cryotherapy into your skincare routine. Biologique Recherche have devised Cryo-Sticks, teardrop shaped tools that are used by brand therapists during facials but are also available for customer use at home. They’re crafted from stainless steel which allows them to conserve coolness for longer, while the weighty metal feels satisfyingly soothing on sensitised or puffy complexions.
British brand Jalue’s Ice Therapy Kit is both novel and efficacious: it consists of a silicone ice cone that you fill with a concoction brewed from an enclosed teabag. You pop it into the cone and leave to freeze, which results in something not dissimilar in appearance to a tuckshop icy pole, but providing many more beauty benefits. Intended for daily use, you swipe the frozen stick in broad strokes across the skin, massaging in the melted liquid (containing soothing chamomile and nettle) for a dose of both hydration and skin sculpting.
A good option to have pre-frozen in the freezer to help ease the effects of a sleepless night or crying-induced puffiness is Vanessa Megan’s Cryo-Rosé Ice Cube Treatment. These dinky pods take up next to no space in the freezer and are a cinch to use: pop out the frozen cube and wrap in its little muslin cloth, then apply to the skin, letting the heat of your skin melt the green tea- and cucumber-infused serum.
I’d been most familiar with Australian brand Lonvitalité thanks to their range of dermarollers, many of which come with interchangeable heads to suit different skins or areas of the face. So I was pleased to stumble upon their Ice Roller head, which slots easily onto the base of their dermarollers. Incidentally it works a treat at calming sensitised skin after a session of dermaroller microneedling, but can successfully be used at any time you need an extra dose of cool.
And finally, a totally free but highly effective practice to incorporate cryotherapy into your daily routine: cold showers. Popularised in recent times by Wim Hof, they’re not for the faint-hearted but they will leave you feeling energised and wide awake, and supposedly are of great benefit to your immune system and heart health. “If you can’t make it to your salon, gym, or recovery centre, you can derive benefits from simply having a one minute cold shower each day (consistency is the key), or jumping in the ocean each morning (especially during winter),” suggests Jacqui Taylor from Cryo Glow Co. “Or simply have a roll in the snow on your next ski holiday!”
Story by Tess de Vivie de Régie. Holding shot of Zoë Kravitz for Rolling Stone Magazine.