Practiced in beauty parlors, spas or by health professionals, cryotherapy allows the body, muscles, and skin to benefit from the many advantages of cold. It’s an age-old technique that has experienced an unprecedented rise in popularity since the pandemic — so much so that brands are now focusing on more accessible, portable solutions, designed for use at home.

Why spend hundreds of dollars on all kinds of creams when a simple ice cube can single-handedly get rid of your wrinkles? Viral techniques that use the benefits of cold are all over social networks, with TikTok in the lead, reflecting a growing craze for cryotherapy — or cold therapy.

From skin-icing to frozen cucumber or the frozen makeup sponge, internet users share all kinds of DIY tricks to get rid of wrinkles, a dull complexion and imperfections, today totaling tens of millions of views on the Chinese social network.

The craze for cold emerged in the midst of the pandemic, reflecting people’s interest in more natural beauty methods. And this has only increased in recent months.

Cryotherapy and cryolipolysis — or ‘fat freezing’ which involves reducing certain localized fat deposits with cold — are also experiencing a growing interest, as explained by plastic surgeon Dr. Thierry Van Hemelryck last year. Initially focused on physical recovery, these treatments have now found their place in the fields of beauty, body shaping and even haircare. 

The many virtues of cold

We’ve all heard at one time or another that it’s good for your health to finish your shower with a blast of cold water, or to take a dip in the sea in the middle of winter, or even to pass an ice cube over an aching or inflamed area.

Cold is said to have multiple benefits, to the point that models and celebrities have long praised its merits, often running an ice cube over their faces in the run-up to important events.

Cold improves blood circulation and microcirculation, acting on health as well as on the skin, alleviating all kinds of pain, tightening pores — thus fighting against imperfections — and promoting skin firmness and radiance. It may even help burn calories and promote relaxation.

And that’s not to mention its decongestant properties, which are said to limit the formation of wrinkles while reducing dark circles and puffiness. It’s therefore plain to see why cosmetics brands have taken a close interest in the many virtues of cold, developing new tools and treatments to harness its powers at home and at lower cost.

READ MORE: Cryoablation: Putting a freeze on breast cancer

From the salon to your home bathroom

In fact, 2022 kicked off with the ice globes trend — two spheres that you fill with water and place in the refrigerator or freezer and apply to the face to soothe skin, and reduce inflammation and dark circles.

These tools have sparked the public’s interest, with peaks in searches on numerous platforms, including Google Trends, and have given rise to new beauty essentials drawing on the virtues of cold to appeal to an ever-wider target audience.

The Charlotte Tilbury and Dr. Jart+ brands have both drawn on cryotherapy to offer shoppers a new kind of mask. Charlotte Tilbury’s “Cryo Recovery Mask” promises to give skin a smooth and firm appearance.

While the Dr. Jart+ “Cryo Rubber” promises a radiant complexion by lowering the skin’s temperature to increase blood flow and the absorption of active ingredients. In a more classic style, Lancôme’s “Rose Sorbet Cryo-Mask” is a cooling mask formulated to reduce the appearance of pores and smooth the skin’s texture.

For its part, Sothys Paris taps into the benefits of cryotherapy with its “Anti-Puffiness Cryo Roll-On,” recommended to fight signs of fatigue, while the French brand Akane offers a whole “Ice Therapy Kit” with, in particular, a radiance treatment lotion and a sorbet stick — in the form of an ice cube — combining active ingredients with the effects of cold to boost the benefits.

Note that the slimming segment is also getting in on the act, since some brands now propose cold-effect gels and creams to “boost the elimination of fat cells.” Cellublue, for example, proposes a whole product range directly inspired by cryotherapy.

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