Can ice cure acne and puffy eyes?
The world is full of “beauty hacks” some of which are genuinely helpful and others that can be borderline dangerous. One of the hacks that has legitimate science behind it, however, is the old wives tale about using ice to reduce swelling under your eyes and even help acne. So, is it time to ditch those expensive creams and soaps in favour of a good water filter and an ice dispenser?
The science part
The concept of applying ice to areas of the body as a means of promoting recovery has been used for hundreds of years. The theory is that the ice eases pain by temporarily neutralising nerve activity and reduces swelling by slowing blood flow. This can help with everything from soothing sunburned skin to bringing down swelling under your eyes (and anywhere else, for that matter). It can even technically reduce the oiliness in your skin that causes and exacerbates acne.
Of course, while the base science here is sound, ice is by no means a miracle cure. It should only ever be used as a helping hand, so to speak. But if your curiosity has been piqued then read on below to learn how and when to apply an ice facial.
Applying ice to your face
First thing’s first – don’t apply the ice to your skin directly as this is likely to be unpleasant. Instead, take 3 or 4 small cubes of ice and wrap them in a cotton cloth or tea towel. Then, before the ice melts, take that cloth and move it in a circular motion around the affected areas.
Puffy eyes – A cold compress is thought to reduce bags under the eyes, particularly if the compress is also combined with tea leaves or coffee beans. This is because caffeine is thought to help circulation.
Acne – While it is far from proven science, there are many advocates of ice facials that swear on it treating acne by reducing inflammation and stopping skin pores production oil. Of course, you should always clean any cloths used before moving onto another part of your face to avoid spreading bacteria.
Alternatives to frozen water
Ice doesn’t need to just be frozen water. For example, frozen aloe vera maintains all of the healing powers it possesses as a liquid with the added benefit of ice. Applying an aloe cream to your face prior to applying an ice pack can also be beneficial.
We’ve already explained how caffeine can be used to help circulation but frozen green tea can also be used for its antiviral properties. Again, all benefits here are anecdotal but they are in no way harmful either so it can’t hurt to try.
Top tips for ice facials
- Discuss your intention with a doctor if you have a pre-existing skin condition.
- Use a dedicated ice tray to make the cubes you’ll be putting on your face.
- Wash your face thoroughly before starting the process.
- Use tissues or a cloth to wipe away any of the excess liquid that might escape from your face.
- If it starts to become uncomfortable or painful, remove the ice pack. Trust us, you don’t want to have to suffer through the pain of ice burn!