Cold facts about skin icing: Just a fad or here to stay?

by BiE - Beauty in Everything
Cold facts about skin icing: Just a fad or here to stay?



Lately, have you seen celebrities like Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone and Sara Ali Khan dunk their faces into a bowl of ice for instant skin gratification? Now, that’s called skin icing. Skin icing is a viral TikTok skincare ritual that encourages people to immerse their face into a bowl of ice. This chilling treatment also involves smoothing the planes of your face with ice cubes wrapped in muslin cloth, or ice globes & rollers.

There is anecdotal evidence that claims it can reduce puffiness, brighten skin, reduce acne, and even alleviate the early signs of ageing like wrinkles. With social media platforms ruling our lives, every new skincare trend harnesses the power of permeating into our daily routines. Let’s put skin icing to test and decide if it's a skincare game-changer or just a passing fad! To get the 411 on all the purported benefits of icing, read this blog to know more.

The Chilling Truth: The Science Behind Skin Icing

Skin icing has put all the beauty enthusiasts into a state of frenzy with its variety of purported benefits. Let’s explore the icy truth behind the craze.

Skin Icing

What is skin icing?

Skin icing is a cryotherapy treatment that exposes our skin to extremely cold temperatures for an extended period of time, with the aid of ice cubes, ice globes, ice rollers or a refrigerated spoon. Frozen in the ancient time of beauty & culture, skin icing dates back to the 18th century.

What is the significance of icing face?

The core principle of icing face lies in its effect on blood vessels. When you apply ice to your skin, it triggers a physiological response called vasoconstriction. This fancy term simply means the blood vessels constrict.

Is ice good for face?

Narrowed blood vessels restrict blood flow to the area. This can be beneficial in a few ways:

  • Reduced Puffiness: Excess fluid buildup can cause puffiness, especially around the eyes. By reducing blood flow, skin icing may help temporarily minimise this puffiness.
  • Calming Inflammation: Inflammation often involves increased blood flow to the affected area. Skin icing's vasoconstricting effect might help soothe inflamed skin, such as sunburns or breakouts.

Debunking Common Myths about skin Icing

Icing face has suddenly become the “it” thing in this digitally-crowded time. But is the hype worth it? Let’s separate fact from fiction and explore the icy truth behind skin icing

Skin Icing

Busted Myths: Shrinking Pores and Forever Depuffing

While reports claim that icing face can permanently shrink pores or effectively reduce puffiness, the claims seem to be ambiguous. Our blood vessels constrict under colder temperatures, making them appear smaller, thereby giving the face an illusion of smaller pores. However, our pores dilate throughout the day and it is impossible to alter it permanently. When it comes to puffiness, the reduction is temporary due to vasoconstriction. The puffiness goes back to normal once the blood vessels widen up.

Temporary Tightening and Depuffing From Skin Icing

Despite the inadequacy in offering permanent solutions, skin icing is used widely for skin tightening and depuffing. The cold temperature temporarily constricts the blood vessels, aiding in lymphatic drainage that can cause puffiness, and reduces it effectively. Due to its instant skin-gratifying capabilities, many celebrities and influencers ice on face as a quick pick-me-up.

Skin Icing for Better Absorption? Maybe

Some believe that icing face can enhance the effectiveness of other skincare products and improve absorption. While it is true that cold restricts the blood vessels, thereby altering the size of the pores. Smaller pores improves the rate of penetration of other skincare items. However, there is no solid evidence to back this claim. Due to the temporary capabilities of skin icing, it cannot leave a significant impact on the appearance of your skin.

The Risks and Drawbacks of Skin Icing

Is Skin Icing Damaging the Skin Barrier?

Skin icing can potentially damage the skin barrier, our skin’s first line of defence. Extreme temperatures and limited time periods can actually impair the barrier function of our skin, leading to extreme dryness, irritation and even infection. The cold temperatures can draw out the natural oils and moisture from our skin, making it appear dry & flaky.

Remember, moderation is key. Limit icing face sessions to a few minutes at a time, and to answer the question, “can we apply ice directly on face?” NO. Wrap it in a muslin cloth to create a barrier.

Skin Icing is not For Everyone

Skin icing isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. For some, it can actually worsen existing problems. All the sensitive skin-typed peeps out there, this one ain’t for you. The cold can exacerbate skin conditions like rosacea and eczema, leading to further redness, irritation and itching.

Skin Icing

Skin Icing: A Short-lived Solution

Skin icing offers temporary results. The tightening and depuffing effects wear off as blood flow returns to normal. While it might provide a quick fix before a big event, it won't address underlying skin concerns.

BiE’s stance at Skin Icing

At BiE, we believe long-lasting sustainable promises over fleeting perk-me ups. Unfortunately, skin icing is one of them. It is crucial to know that our skin is functioning at a certain temperature and disrupting its balance can exacerbate skin conditions like dryness, redness, irritation & itching. Let’s assume your face is like a nice shiny, delicate balloon and you touch it with a needle (in this case ice), it will burst. Similarly, when ice is applied directly on the face, the blood capillaries underneath it are put under extreme distress, compelling it to burst.

All in all, it is important to know that your skin is like a delicate piece of balloon, exposing it to harsh external stressors like skin icing can severely damage its natural barrier. So when it comes to your skin, #ThinkTwiceBeforeYouIce.

Alternative Approaches to Skin Icing: For Radiant Skin

There are plenty of effective, research-backed ways to achieve radiant skin. Follow simple skincare routines diligently that involves gentle cleansing, moisturising, exfoliating and applying serums for glowing skin.

Skin Icing Benefits


All in all, skin icing offers temporary benefits like tightening, depuffing, and reducing skin oiliness. Perhaps, don't expect it to magically shrink pores or permanently eliminate puffiness. However, if you're looking for a quick and refreshing way to perk up your skin, you can definitely give it a try. But remember, all that glitters isn’t gold. These quick fix-me-ups can leave a long-lasting impact on your skin & severely damage its barrier.

We live in a superficial, digitally-occupied world where succumbing to every new skincare trend on Instagram seems like a no-brainer. Perhaps, it is important to do a thorough research and make informed decisions for the health of your skin. So, when it comes to icing, think twice, before you ice. Till, happy, healthy skin to all!

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