Adding an icy blast to your beauty routine is nothing new. Pros have been using ice cubes to decongest and tighten skin for ages, and you’ve probably been told to keep eye cream or spoons in the freezer to help depuff under-eye bags. So it’s no wonder the cold trend is now finding its way into treatment rooms, skincare products and accessories—just look at all the cryo globes, ice rollers and cooling-effect formulas on the market today.

“When you apply cryotherapy [cold therapy] to the skin, several physiological reactions occur: vasoconstriction, reduced inflammation, stimulated fibroblasts [the cells responsible for collagen production] and a temporary tightening of the pores,” explains Julia Lockley, treatment manager at Formula Fig, a skincare spa with locations in Toronto, Vancouver and L.A. She adds that if you want to flush out toxins and give skin more oxygen and essential nutrients, a vigorous post-cryotherapy massage will do the trick by increasing blood flow. Despina Daniilidis, founder of Montreal skin spa PEAU’ésie, agrees. “[Cold therapy] calms the nervous system, reduces tension and firms and plumps skin while [creating] a full-body sensory experience,” she says. Cooling products and tools are also fabulous options for soothing skin and helping it bounce back faster after certain treatments—namely, injections and micro-needling.

But you don’t need to be in a professional environment to have cryotherapy—almost anyone can apply an icy helping hand at home. “Cooling products and cryo tools can help soothe and calm red, irritated skin in addition to reducing the inflammation and swelling associated with acne, alleviating the burning sensation of sunburn and even easing the itch and irritation caused by allergic reactions,” says Lockley. And according to Clarins’ Marie-Hélène Lair, who’s director of responsible innovation, the brand’s newly launched Cryo-Flash Cream-Mask can really take the edge off menopause-related hot flashes by bringing the skin’s temperature down by a whole 4˚C. “Keep it in the fridge or on your bedside table and apply as needed behind your knees or on your décolleté, neck, temples and hairline,” says Lair. The secret behind this innovative new skin solution is a little molecule called M.G.A—derived from menthol and evening-primrose extract—which facilitates calcium’s entry into cells and results in an intense and instantaneous firming effect. “The cooling effect of an ice cube on the skin won’t last,” continues Lair. “This product’s dense texture and ingredients dovetail to extend the effect for at least 15 minutes post application.” When used as a face mask, it helps lift, tighten and boost skin, but Lair says that it also works wonders on a headache when applied to pressure points.

It’s important to remember that your skin is delicate, though. Daniilidis strongly advises keeping your ice cubes where they truly belong—in your favourite drinks—since putting ice directly on the face can cause frostbite and ice burn. Instead, she recommends using longer-lasting stainless-steel ice globes (the glass ones are easier to break and won’t stay cold as long) to massage over your sheet mask, or directly on the skin. “I also love using cold compresses to beat summertime heat and anxiety or panic attacks,” she says. “Plus, I always end my showers with 30 seconds of cold water to calm my nervous system.” And a final hot cryo tip is to keep face tonics, serums, creams and a bottle of spring water in the fridge to help you cool down and elevate your beauty routine.


When in Montreal: The Extra Ice Cooling and Sculpting Facial at PEAU’ÉSIE

Say hello to firmer, more sculpted skin thanks to this beauty space’s “PEAU’tocol,” which harnesses the powers of stimulating massage, ice globes and microcurrents.

Price: $140

When in Toronto: The Collagen + Texture Facial at Formula Fig

Nano-needling, cryo-lymphatic massage and LED-light therapy join forces in one powerful treatment to oxygenate and invigorate skin.

Price: $205



Our latest cryo fave is this lifegiving creamy mask, which lifts, firms and refreshes with a healthy dose of antioxidants.


Price: $90



Up your ice-cube game and use these little frozen gems—which are filled with ultra-powerful ingredients like damask rose, niacinamide, fruit acids and vegetable extracts—with reckless abandon on your face, neck and décolleté.


Price: $77



Make some sacred space in the freezer for this reusable acupressure mask, which is perfect for icily whipping skin back into shape on those particularly rough (ifyouknowwhatwemean) mornings.


Price: $76