Cryo Facials: Everything You Need To Know

Written by Jeeyon Choi — July 02, 2024

Cryo Facials: Everything You Need To Know

You've probably heard about Botox, but how much do you know about frotox?

Skin aging might be inevitable, but even if we can’t freeze time, it turns out we can freeze signs of aging with a little help from cryotherapy.

Cryotherapy (or cold therapy, as it's sometimes called) has been used for years within the medical field to reduce swelling, encourage circulation, and promote healing. It just so happens that cryotherapy works the same kind of magic when it comes to anti-aging skincare. So, allow us to introduce you to: the cryo facial.

What Is A Cryo Facial?

Simply put, a cryo facial (short for cryotherapy facial) is a professional treatment in which a technician blows a stream of colder-than-ice air over the face and neck, all in the name of youth and beauty!

So, what exactly do we mean when we say colder than ice? Generally, we’re talking about vaporized liquid nitrogen that comes in at a pretty serious -200 to -300 degrees Fahrenheit. 

But, before you run for the hills, know that it’s not as scary as it sounds. The low temperatures only last for a few minutes, and the air is constantly moving over the skin. This ensures that the liquid nitrogen doesn't blast any one spot. Plus, most people are surprised to find that cryo is actually pretty refreshing and relaxing. But, it’s the results that will have you running back for more.

Cryo Facial Benefits

cryo therapy tool

Cryotherapy boasts quite a few perks, from boosting the nervous system to smoothing out the texture of the skin. For our purposes, we’ll focus on this treatment's anti-aging effects. Believe us, they're legit!

Tightened Pores

You probably learned way back in science class that heat expands and cold contracts. Well, your pores are no exception to this rule. We commonly use steam and heat to loosen up and soften the sebum (AKA the waxy gunk that builds up inside of pores). But, to keep them trim and taut in the first place, nothing beats the cold.

In a cryo facial, liquid nitrogen cools the skin's surface for immediate vasoconstriction, or tightening of the blood vessels. As the blood vessels tighten, so do those pesky pores! The body’s temperature-regulating response is responsible for skin cell contraction during cryotherapy, and lucky for us, it leads to firmer, glassier-looking skin with reduced pore size. 

Diminished Appearance Of Wrinkles and Fine Lines

Subzero temperatures not only shrink the appearance of pores, but also soften facial lines—partly due to the treatment's tightening effect, but also due to increased blood flow.

Sudden exposure to cold air tricks your body into thinking it’s freezing. In response, it signals your blood to rush towards the vital organs to maintain body heat. As a result, the capillaries expand, white blood cells go into protection mode, and the brain releases adrenaline to stimulate the organs—all of which facilitate cell turnover and stimulate the body’s healing mechanisms. 

When the cryo session is over and your temperature goes back to normal, the blood vessels re-dilate. This floods the face and extremities with fresh, nutrient-rich blood to repair and awaken tired, saggy skin. Improved skin elasticity and a diminished appearance of wrinkles and folds are soon to follow! 

Soothed Inflammation And Puffiness

Cryotherapy is a well-documented solution for relieving swelling in various areas of the body. It works by stimulating lymphatic drainage, meaning that it can reduce the fluid buildup that causes puffiness.

When it comes to the face, this makes for a slimmer shape and reduced inflammatory response (which tends to manifest as redness, discoloration, irritation, and even acne). So, lymphatic drainage has a truly positive impact on the immune system that not only repairs cells, but also fights bacteria and toxins for a clear, calm complexion.

Brightened Under-Eye Area

Do you know that age-old frozen-spoon-under-the-eyes trick? Well, the old wives might have been onto something.

Dark circles appear when blood vessels become visible through the thin under-eye skin. Since frigid temperatures constrict those blood vessels, a cryo facial can improve the shadowy look of under-eye bags and even minimize swelling. This results in an under-eye area that’s smooth, bright, and ready to face the day.

Cryo Facial Treatment Options & Costs

Whether you’d like to spring for an in-office experience or try your hand at a cost-effective DIY version, you can reap the benefits of cold therapy just about anywhere. Here are your options:

See A Professional

When it comes to liquid nitrogen-powered cryo facials, leave it to the experts. Not only are licensed professionals trained in the safety and proper use of this powerful substance, they also have access to machines that can tailor the experience to your needs and desires. With professional-grade machines, they can adjust the pressure, temperature, and airflow to make sure it’s as comfortable and effective as possible.

You can expect an in-office cryo facial to set you back around $40 to $100, depending on the location and breadth of service. The actual cryo part is generally only performed for ten minutes or less, but a longer service may also include cleansing, masks, massage, etc. 

Do It Yourself

cryo tool skin

There are a number of tools and devices that you can use to enjoy the benefits of a cryo facial from the comfort of your own home. Although if you go the DIY route, don’t be surprised that you can’t find anything as strong or as cold as the liquid nitrogen offered by an esthetician.

Still, you’ll come pretty close if you can get your hands on ice rollers, ice globes, or cryo sticks—which range widely from $15 to upwards of $125—or even some good, old-fashioned ice cubes. Keep in mind, if you’re using straight ice, make sure to wrap it in some thin gauze to protect your skin. 

With a clean face and a cube, stick, or roller in each hand, make your way from the center of the forehead out to the rest of the upper face, spending a little extra time around the eye orbit. Then, repeat on the lower half of the face, cooling the skin from the center of the chin upward and outward through the cheeks and jawline, then down to the neck and chest. For added benefits from an at-home cryo facial, you can try ice-rolling on top of a hydrating face mask to boost product absorption.

The Cryodrop

If you really want to take your DIY cryo facial to the next level, SiO’s Cryodrop ($115) is in a league of its own. This breakthrough skin-toning tool uses the power of cold therapy combined with massage to visibly sculpt facial contours.

Unlike any other DIY cryo facial solution available today, the Cryodrop harnesses the powers of diamagnetic and cryo technologies in a single tool. If you haven’t heard of diamagnetic technology, it’s time you got on board. Diamagnetic applicators enhance the absorption of skin-nourishing ingredients, strengthening the skin barrier for deep, long-lasting results. Along with cold therapy, it makes for a one-of-a-kind rejuvenating tool. 

The Cryo Fill Serum

If you're specifically looking to blur and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, the SiO Cryo Fill serum is another stellar DIY cryo facial product to consider. It contains a blend of peptides, amino acids, and antioxidant-rich ingredients, along with deeply moisturizing exopolysaccharides. This powerful combo works in harmony with the Cryodrop to volumize and brighten the skin.

After washing and drying your face, apply the Cryo Fill serum directly onto wrinkles and on unevenly-textured skin. Then, gently tap it in with the Cryodrop for better product absorption.. 

The Cryo Body Cream

The magic of cryotherapy isn’t just for your face – it can also be used to firm and rejuvenate the skin all over your body! SiO’s Cryo Body Cream is specifically formulated to work with the Cryodrop to visibly tighten and contour the skin.

To use the Cryo Body Cream, massage it into the skin virtually anywhere on the body. Then, use the Cryodrop to send the nourishing cream deeper into your pores as well as enjoy the massage. This anti-aging skincare product is particularly beneficial for leg, arm, and stomach wrinkles. 

The Cryo Eye Cream

For a dramatic improvement to puffy, dark under-eye circles, SiO’s Cryo Eye Cream is an ideal option. It utilizes  the anti-inflammatory benefits of cryo therapy and deeply hydrates the skin, leading to a noticeable reduction in eye lines and wrinkles.  

To use the Cryo Eye Cream for a smoother and tighter under-eye area, apply a small amount of it to the eye area every morning and night. For truly striking results, use the tapered end of the Cryodrop to lightly massage the eye cream into the skin and maximize the cooling effect. 

Cryo Facial FAQs

Your most burning (er… freezing?) questions, answered.

How Long Do Cryo Facial Results Last?

After one professional treatment, the results of cryotherapy are pretty immediate. The improvement to your skin may even peak over the course of a couple of days and taper out around the one-week mark. To see longer-lasting benefits, you’ll have to keep up with regular treatments for at least a few months. The most cost-effective way to do so is to invest in at-home cryo facial products.

How Often Should You Get A Cryo Facial For The Best Results?

There’s no hard and fast rule on this. But, most spas that offer cryo facials recommend starting strong with 5 to 10 treatments in the first month, then continuing with maintenance appointments once or twice a month. This is a good timeline for at-home cryo facials, too.

Do Cryo Facials Help With Acne?

They do! In fact, a study on mice found that oil glands in the skin actually minimize oil production when exposed to a temperature of about 18 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold temperatures also reduce inflammation and redness, which, of course, go hand-in-hand with acne.

Will I Need Downtime After a Cryo Facial?

Luckily, unlike many other aesthetic treatments, cryo facials don't cause redness or involve anesthesia. So, you won't need downtime after professional or DIY cryo facials. You can dive right back into your regular schedule with bright, refreshed skin to boot!

Are Cryo Facials Safe?

The simple answer is yes, cryo facials are safe for healthy individuals. But, it’s worth noting that in 2015, the FDA released a consumer update on whole body cryotherapy, which indicates risks and side effects including oxygen deficiency, frostbite, and eye injury.

With that said, in cryo facial treatments, your eyes are protected and an esthetician continuously moves the wand over only the face and neck. So, the concerns associated with full-body cryotherapy aren't relevant.

Still, you should always make sure that the person treating you is a trained professional. Additionally, consult your primary doctor if you're pregnant or have any underlying medical conditions such as respiratory issues, cardiovascular issues, or anemia. If you have any skin conditions, like rosacea, eczema, or atopic dermatitis, check with a dermatologist before embarking on a cryo facial journey, as cold temperatures can be aggravating.

In Closing

If you’ve spent enough time in chilly weather, “cold therapy” might sound like a bit of an oxymoron. But, before you write it off, know that it's not only a highly effective wellness treatment, but also pretty relaxing.

There’s a reason why the cryo facial is one of the trendiest, celebrity-favorite beauty treatments out there. Whether you opt for a professional or DIY cryo facial, it'll flush out toxins and reduce inflammation in the skin for an even skin tone and visible wrinkle reduction. So, bask in that glow, ice queen!