Is Ice Good For Your Face? Separating The Myths From Facts

It was a TikTok, wasn’t it? The idea of putting ice on the face has been around for years, but it’s only recently that many people are genuinely interested in knowing “is ice good for your face?

It may be because many influencers are making extravagant claims about the benefits of ice facials. The anecdotal evidence on it is getting a little out of hand. That day doesn’t seem far when ice itself would be crowned the elixir of life by these “influencers.”

Therefore, it’s time that the myths surrounding this ice facial are finally debunked. But first, for those who aren’t well-versed on the subject of icing the face, let’s understand what it’s all about.

What Is Facial Icing? 

It’s literally in the name. You ice your face. That’s it.

However, you’d think that it’s always frozen water, right? So why not just wash your face with cold water? Well, it’s a little more than that.

Some people have taken this trend one step ahead by adding green tea, coffee, lemon, aloe vera, cucumber, milk, rose water, rice water, cinnamon…just about anything that has to do with beauty, really.

Aloe vera ice

The idea is simple:

You take these frozen cubes, wrap them in a cloth, and gently massage them on your face for the “ultimate glow.” And if you’re wondering, “after applying ice on face what to do?” Most people follow an ice facial with their skincare routine, applying toner, serum, and moisturizer. 

The answer to when to apply ice on face will get you different answers because some people do it at different/multiple times throughout the day. Some people swear by the benefits of an ice cube on face at night, but it doesn’t really matter when you do it.

Everything that ice is claimed to do is by the mere action of constricting the blood vessels, which sounds very anti-climatic, but that’s the truth. And that’s what led to rising suspicion among many people, “is ice good for your face, like truly?”

Can you turn back the clock on your face, clear your skin up, make it less oily or more radiant and chiselled, all with the help of a melting block of ice? Some influencers would probably say yes. But we’re here to tell you the truth of these claims. So, without further ado, let’s get into these, one by one. 

Is Ice Good For Your Face – Debunking Myths

Here’s a list of the things that you’ve heard that ice can do for your face. Read on to find what actually works and what doesn’t.

It Reduces Inflammation & Swelling

It wouldn’t be right to vilify the idea of using ice on the face entirely. That’s because cold compresses have been used in the medical community for a long to help patients with swelling and inflammation. That’s because they really do help with that.

By reducing the swelling, ice can help relieve the pain in the area. Of course, it isn’t treating the cause of the problem, but it’s there to help, even if temporarily.

If you’re doing this, your doctor would’ve probably advised you to avoid direct contact of the ice with the skin. That’s because you may have a loss of sensation at/around the treatment area. And if you ice it for a long time, you can end up with frostbite. In addition, you can end up with damage to the surgical area, further delaying healing.

It’s important to make this clear because, in many of these trends, you’d see people directly applying ice to their skin. Do not do that. Always wrap it in something so that there’s a barrier between your skin and the ice. 

So, is ice good for your face when it’s swollen? Yes! 

It Can Help Clear Acne

There are many people who want to know is ice good for your face acne? Well, it’s kind of true.

It won’t help with blackheads or whiteheads in any shape, form or manner, but it can help reduce the swelling from inflammatory acne. The latter would, of course, result in a size reduction, helping the pimple go away.

People with cystic acne may be recommended the use of cold compressors as it can also help with pain resulting from the pimple.

But just keep in mind that the idea of ice magically clearing up all the acne is simply bogus. There’s no scientific evidence that that can happen.

Sure it can reduce swelling, but you also need to treat the underlying cause of the problem. Therefore, make sure to speak with your doctor.

It Can Get Rid of Wrinkles

Absolutely not!

If someone tells you that this is what ice can do, just ask them how? 

The wrinkles on your face have nothing to do with cold or heat. It happens because of the changes that your body goes through as it ages. Or the breakdown of tissue if it’s premature wrinkling due to prolonged sun exposure (UV rays at work). The inner layers of the skin are affected, and icing won’t help with anything.

So, is ice good for your facial wrinkles? No! 

That’s why you shouldn’t hold out any hopes or believe in the false promises of ice magically transforming your face to a smooth, wrinkle-free contour. There’s a reason why people choose facelift surgery over that. It’s because they actually work.

It Decreases Oil Production  

The oil on your skin is the work of sebaceous glands. And they, too, aren’t affected by heat or cold (unless it’s too extreme, which could permanently damage them).

So, is ice good for your face if it’s oily? There isn’t any way that ice cubes can decrease the production of oil. In fact, it may just do the opposite of that. How?

Some people do this facial icing multiple times a day. So, it’s kind of like washing your face multiple times a day, which can lead to over-dryness and, in fact, overproduction of oil to compensate for the dryness. This can result in more acne. Therefore, it’s best to be careful about this. 

It Can De-Puff The Eyes 

Here the answer to is ice good for your face is a resounding yes! One of the most popular uses of ice is for reducing puffiness and not just around the eyes.

Puffiness is something that many people struggle with due to different reasons, such as a diet high in salt, excessive drinking, or a poor night’s sleep. And by constricting the blood vessels in the face and reducing blood flow, ice can help make your face less bloated.

This is helpful if you have something big coming up in a matter of hours. Some celebs even claim to do it before their red carpet event. So, you can try it out.

However, remember that the skin around the eyes is  pretty thin, so you’ll really feel the iciness there. Just make sure to keep the ice moving and not let it linger there for too long.

It Can Help With Itchiness & Redness 

It most definitely can. And you might have accidentally done this yourself when you had a really bad itch, and you couldn’t stop scratching, but it was making your skin raw, so you put something cold on it. Instant relief! 

Other than that, by constricting the blood vessels, ice can also make you look less red. This may help people who struggle with certain skin conditions. However, it is something for which you need your dermatologist’s advice. 

Some people also say that ice can help with melasma. And it can, in a way. 

Heat is something that can trigger melasma. So, by using a cold compress, they can potentially benefit from an ice facial. But again, you should consult your doctor.

It Brightens Your Face 

Is ice good for your face if you want to make it brighter? No!

If anything, it should make you look paler by constricting the blood vessels and reducing the blood flow to the face. And if that’s the kind of brightening effect that you want to achieve, then an ice facial can help you there. 

However, unfortunately, you won’t become a glowing, ethereal beauty by the simple application of ice. 

It Improves the Penetration of Skincare Products 

How can it? It’s not like micro-needling. You’re just putting ice on your face. 

However, if you had facial swelling and ice helped reduce that, that could help your skincare better seep into the skin. But it’s only true if you have swelling. If everything’s okay, then no, ice isn’t improving the penetration of your skincare products. 

Are There Any Side Effects Of Ice Facial?

So, “what are disadvantages of rubbing ice on face?” It’s pretty harmless since it’s mostly water, after all. However, some people experience redness and irritation as a result of icing their skin. This is especially the case for people who have sensitive skin.

Facial icing

Is There Someone Who Needs to Avoid Ice Facials?

One study published in the Clinics in Dermatology Journal outlines the skin conditions that can develop as a result of cold exposure. The following conditions can affect the face: 

Chilblains – red discoloured patches on the skin that develop as a result of inflammation of blood vessels due to repeated exposure to cold.

Acrocyanosis – bluish discolouration of hands, feet and, sometimes, face due to cold. 

Cold Urticaria – formation of itchy hives on the skin due to cold exposure. 

Cryoglobulinemia – thickening of abnormal proteins in the blood due to cold. 

Cold Panniculitis – this commonly affects the face of children due to the sucking of popsicles or ice rings. 

If you’re suffering from any skin condition or health problem, speak with your doctor about doing the ice facial as it can cause problems later on. 

Wrapping It Up

So, is ice good for your face? It depends on what you’re using it for. If it’s swelling, inflammation, redness or itchiness, it can certainly provide temporary relief and even help. However, claims that have to do with anti-ageing, oil production, or skin brightening are simply false.

It’s clear that ice facial doesn’t cost much or really anything. And since it’s also mostly frozen water, what’s the harm in trying, right?

While that may be true, you still need to be careful while applying ice to your face. That’s because you can damage your skin, especially if you have a health condition. 

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