If you have acne-prone skin (or even just get the occasional annoying pimple) you’ve probably tried everything to deal with the problem: creams, ointments, lotions, and potions — oh my!
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You’re not alone in your suffering — acne actually affects about 85 percent of Americans between ages 12 and 24, so most of us have had to deal with at least minor acne at some point.
If you feel like you’ve slathered literally everything on your face and had only mixed results, allow us to suggest one treatment that could do wonders for your skin: ice.
Yep, those frozen cubes of water chilling in your freezer right now could be just the thing your irritated, inflamed skin is craving.
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According to Jennifer Kramer, founder and clinical director at Corrective Skincare in Los Angeles, “Cold has the effect of constricting blood vessels so that less blood rushes in and swelling subsides. In simpler terms, [ice] reduces inflammation.”
She adds, “Cold also slightly ‘damages’ the top layers of skin, so it works like a natural exfoliant.”
Plus, Kramer says, icing your face every day can slow the skin’s aging process. It’s just like when you put meat in the freezer — it preserves it, she explains. “[It’s] not that different with your skin.”
Here’s the step-by-step process for icing your face (it’s super easy!):
- Wash your face as usual.
- Grab a cube of ice from the freezer.
- Holding the ice cube in your hand (or gripping one end with a towel) apply the ice directly to your face, rolling it around your skin. NEVER stay in one place for too long — ice, like heat, can burn your skin.
- You can roll it around your face for 20 to 30 seconds then just let the ice cube melt in the sink, or keep it moving until the whole cube has melted.
- Pat your face dry, and apply your regular products.
Kramer says you can do this twice a day (morning and night, after cleansing your skin) and you should see a difference in your acne in about two to three days.
Important note: Those with rosacea should avoid icing the skin — it won’t be good for you.
Since the ice works as a mild exfoliant, Kramer says, “Products will… penetrate more effectively. This means everything works better: moisturizers are more hydrating, acne meds are more potent, etc.”
One more thing to know before you try this: The ice will feel very cold on your face! You might also notice that your skin is a bit red after your pat it dry, but don’t worry — that will go away quickly. When you’re done, you’ll notice your skin instantly feels tighter. Apply some ice right when you notice a pimple popping up (especially if it’s cystic), and you’ll be blown away by the results. Trust us, we’ve tried it.