Did you remember to slather on sunscreen today? If your answer to that question most days is "no," you might be familiar with sun damage and dark spots. The fact is, there are plenty of in-office skin procedures on the market that claim to eliminate damage from too much time in the sun, but most of them require downtime and should only be done during certain months of the year.
Glacial RX, a buzzy in-office skin treatment that promises to treat inflammation and brighten skin, offers the same results with little to no downtime or pain. For background, Glacial RX is an FDA-cleared cryoaesthetic device from the same company that developed Coolsculpting that takes the cooling benefits of cryotherapy one step further to tackle sun spots and reduce redness, while encouraging exfoliation.
If you're interested in learning more about Glacial RX, we asked Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at the Shafer Clinic, to answer all of our burning questions. Keep reading as she breaks down what Glacial RX is, how it works, and everything else to know.
What Is Glacial RX?
Glacial RX is an FDA-cleared, noninvasive, in-office treatment that uses precision cooling technology to treat two different types of skin concerns: inflammation and skin lesions, including dark spots. "The treatment uses a handheld device that is connected to the Glacial RX machine, and the provider will deliver tailored pressure by rubbing the device along the skin," Dr. Engelman tells POPSUGAR.
A typical treatment involves a two-step process. First, the device's handpiece, which has a cold plate attached to it, is applied to a benign lesion or dark spot for 15 to 20 seconds. This works to temporarily freeze the lesion, which suppresses the production of melanin and allows new epidermal cells to replace the existing cells, helping to fade the previous marks. From there, the smaller handpiece is switched out for a larger plate and moved across the face to reduce redness, puffiness, and inflammation. Both steps can be done independently of one another or together. The end result promises brighter, more even-toned skin.
Glacial RX can be used to treat these issues anywhere on the body, including the face, feet, chest, and even hands. A typical facial treatment takes 45 minutes to administer, but isolated spot treatments of single lesions can take as little as minutes. Another plus? There is no downtime. You can immediately return to work and regular activities directly after treatment.
Is the Glacial RX Treatment Painful?
There are no numbing agents or anesthesia used during the process, and Dr. Engelman says that's because Glacial RX uses cold technology rather than heat, which typically involves no pain. She adds that some patients even describe the treatment as relaxing.
How Much Does a Glacial RX Treatment Cost?
The cost associated with the treatment will depend on the provider and where you're located; however, you can expect to spend anywhere from $350 to $675 per session.
How Long Does It Take to See Results From a Glacial RX Treatment?
Although some of the benefits of using Glacial RX as a treatment for inflammation can be seen immediately, Dr. Engelman says you can expect to see the full benefits, including dark-spot reduction, within one to two months. One clinical study reported that 90 percent of patients felt their skin was rejuvenated after the one-month mark, while another showed that 93 percent of spots improved at the two-month mark. Still, it should be noted that it may take more than one to three treatments to see complete results, although this is typically not a multi-treatment procedure.
To ensure best results, you'll also want to make sure you're the right candidate for this treatment beforehand. "Anyone can be a candidate for Glacial RX, as it is effective for all skin types," Dr. Engelman says. However, this treatment would be best for anyone looking to decrease the amount of inflammation they have on their face or body or anyone who is looking for a safe and pain-free way to remove lesions and sun spots.
Potential Risks of a Glacial RX Treatment
Dr. Engelman says there aren't any serious side effects associated with Glacial RX, although some patients may experience redness or microcrusting, which is a superficial crust formed over hyperpigmentation or sun damage after intense facial treatments like IPL or laser. Some patients have also experienced a darkening of their lesions or age spots, but these side effects typically clear up on their own within a matter of days.