The Chilly Beauty Treatment: A Beginner’s Guide

The Chilly Beauty Treatment: A Beginner’s Guide

On Instagram, we’re used to watching celebrities do strange and beautiful things, such Britney Spears’ daily clothing dances (which tick both the odd and lovely boxes), Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively’s constant taunting of each other, and Lady Gaga’s ice bath habits. The latter, on the other hand, may not be so strange after all.

If you’re bold enough to try it, exposing your body to extreme cold can have various benefits for your body and skin. However, instead of hauling a cart full of ice back from the grocery and filling up your tub, there are treatments and at-home gadgets that can provide the same results without the stress (and risk of chilblains).

What exactly is cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy means “cold therapy,” and it refers to the use of cold temperatures, ice, or cold equipment (ice packs, sprays, probes, etc.) to benefit the body.

However, in recent years, it has been most typically linked with immersing the entire body in the intense cold for a set period, specifically in ‘cryo-chambers.’

The chambers, similar to glass-doored showers generally sized to fit one person, are set at a chilly -130 degrees Fahrenheit, and you’ll be there for around 3 minutes (less for beginners, slightly more for the hardcore and experienced).

What are the health benefits of cryotherapy?

The benefits that have been demonstrated are numerous and varied. Dr. Yannis Alexandrides, a plastic surgeon who created 111Cryo and has expanded his ice chambers across the UK, tells us that the key benefits are “clarity of mind, an endorphin rush, muscular recuperation, and a visible tightening of the skin in the most short term.”

Long-term and repeated use can yield even better outcomes. “This can involve increasing the body’s metabolic rate by 500 to 800 calories per session. Plus, the treatment also helps with anti-inflammation, so it’s wonderful to incorporate as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise,”explains Dr. Yannis.

Cryotherapy has been an essential part of Artur Zolkiewicz’s body-enhancing practice as Manager at Workshop Gymnasium in Knightsbridge (favorite of TV celebs and catwalk models). “It’s my go-to recovery activity,” says the trainer, who jumps in the chamber at least twice a week after intensive Jiu-Jitsu and weightlifting sessions. “It minimizes inflammation,” he says, “something I’ve observed in particular, strangely, in my finger joints. In martial arts, there is a lot of grabbing.”

He’s also seen an improvement in his focus and sleep quality, which Dr. Yannis says is supported by research showing that regular cryotherapy sessions can help regulate sleep patterns.

Is cryotherapy beneficial to my skin? 

Yes, argues Dr. Yannis, because intense cold can aid collagen stimulation, one of the most crucial parts of keeping your skin plump and wrinkle-free.

If you are unable to access/afford/bear the notion of a cryotherapy chamber, there are other methods to reap the benefits of cryo on your skin, such as through a facial.

“I’ve been employing cryotherapy, or the use of severe cold, as part of my salon treatments for years,” explains famous facialist Teresa Tarmey. “It produces an ‘Ice Lift’ effect, which swiftly and dramatically lifts drooping and puffy skin, revitalizes a dull complexion, and sculpts the face, perfect for people who want to see immediate effects from their treatments, as well as for busy women.”

The Healthy Outdoors