Cryo facials and cryotherapy have gained a lot of popularity over the last few years with celebrities swearing by cool treatment for red carpet prep and skin-care experts boasting about its long list of benefits. For anyone new to the world of cryo facials, there are a few key things you should know before signing yourself up for one.
We asked celebrity aesthetician Sarah Akram to explain exactly what a cryo facial is, what the benefits are, and how you should prepare for one (hint: prepare to be really, really cold).
What Is a Cryo Facial?
"A cryo facial is a type of skin-care treatment relying on tools and modalities that harness supercold temperatures for safe use on the body," Akram said.
Whereas a standard facial usually involves cleansing and treating the skin with products like serums, peels, and creams, a cryo facial utilizes a controlled beam of vaporized liquid nitrogen from a fancy machine to apply freezing-cold air to treat the skin.
What to Expect During a Cryo Facial
Expect it to be cold — the air used during cryo facials is around minus 250 degrees. But the facial treatment shouldn't be painful in any way; some people actually find it soothing. Akram explained there's nothing you need to do in advance to prepare, other than doing your research on the facility like you would with any treatment.
"Every kind of cryo treatment is different, as practitioners and professionals all develop their own style and protocols. Make sure you talk to your service provider about any precautions and what you should expect," she said. "Cryotherapy has become controversial mostly due to misuse and unsubstantiated miracle claims from service providers. There are risks to just about any kind of facial treatment without the proper training and skin-care knowledge."
What Are the Benefits of a Cryo Facial?
Aside from the immediate jolt of energy you'll feel from the cold air, cryo facials are great for several reasons. "Cryotechnology provides a number of skin-care benefits like resetting and increasing circulation, which nourishes cells and tissues; stimulating the production of collagen; reducing inflammation; tightening pores; and general lifting and sculpting of the facial contour."
Immediately after receiving the treatment, you can expect your skin to look smooth and see a decrease in puffiness — unlike some facials that can leave you red or slightly irritated afterward. "Like all skin-care treatments, the effects are cumulative over time," Akram said.