Chilly Skincare: Benefits of Cold Therapy For Skin

Pool stairs leading into icy water

If we told you to name the human body’s largest organ, we’d probably get a few different responses. While many people might name the intestines or go out on a limb and guess the liver, chances are, you’d overlook the true hero of this story: skin. 

Skin is by far the largest organ on the human body, and as a result, it can tell us a lot about ourselves and our health. For example, changes in your skin can denote internal illnesses, the effects of aging, blood pressure, and even vitamin deficiencies. On the external side of things, the beauty industry has exploded over the last few years, trying to find ways to rejuvenate, tighten, and soften our skin.

Amongst the creams, oils, spa treatments, and home washing routines, skincare has become a central focus for many people today. Yet, at the same time, it’s become harder to know what will be good for your skin, and many benefits have been overlooked! 

This article will let you in on the secret of cold water skincare, the missing ingredient in many people’s skincare routines. You might find that all you need to add to your life is a splash of icy water! So instead of rushing to buy more exfoliating products and moisturizers, give this article a read, and try some of our ice-cold skincare recommendations. 

Medical Disclaimer: All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Cold Therapy

The idea of cold therapy is nothing new, and there is a long therapeutic history of ice bathing through the ages. However, skin care has never been particularly close to the top of the “ice bath benefits list,” so most people are still in the dark about the cosmetic benefits of ice water and cold therapy in general.

Cold therapy is a broad term that encompasses many different areas. Professional athletes and gym buffs use ice baths to physically recover after grueling workouts. Plenty of cultures and societies worldwide praise the benefits of cold water immersion, and there’s an ever-growing trend of taking a daily cold plunge to boost your energy and mental toughness.

So, where does skincare fit into all of this?

(Face)ing the Facts

The focal point of most beauty routines is the face (it’s called the moneymaker for a reason). Between eye creams, moisturizers, toners, makeup, and shaving cream, a lot of money can go into our faces. So to save you a few bucks and possibly up your skincare regimen, we took a look at why cold water is good for your skin and how washing your face with cold water could be a game changer.

In general, most people automatically wash their face with lukewarm or hot water. We’re used to hot showers and hot baths, so why should our face get any different treatment? 

For starters, cold water has a unique reaction with our blood flow and blood vessels. When you interact with cold water, your blood vessels constrict, bringing blood flow to the vital organs. As your body reheats, your blood vessels will contract again, which has been shown to improve blood circulation. For your face, this can help to erase fine lines and wrinkles and create a healthy glow during the day that protects your skin from outside pollutants! 

Following the same principle as ankle injuries and sore muscles, cold water on your face can help reduce inflammation and swelling. Doing a quick cold rinse in the morning can reduce eye puffiness and help tighten up your skin for the day.

Your face shouldn’t only get the cold water treatment, however. In fact, most cleansing beauty products on the market right now work best with lukewarm water. So to get the best of both worlds, start by rinsing your face with lukewarm water, which will do best to dissolve oils in your pores and wash away dirt. Then, follow that up with a rinse of cold water to help close your pores, tighten your skin, and give you the perfect dewy look!

While ice cold water can be a great addition to your morning routine, be careful about temperatures that are too extreme. For oily skin, cold water doesn’t clear pores out as effectively as lukewarm water, leading to breakouts. Conversely, for people with dry skin, hot water can strip away too much from your pores, drying out your skin even further. Find a good temperature balance, and figure out what type of washing routine will fit you best.

Cold Hygiene

Cold water doesn’t just help the skin on your face; it supports all over! Though you might be more familiar with the benefits of taking cold showers, there are plenty of cold bath benefits as well. Either method of bathing can have a positive effect on your skin.

Similar to its interaction with our cardiovascular system (blood flow), cold water reacts to your central nervous system in some remarkable ways. When you enter cold water, your brain begins to produce norepinephrine, a hormone that helps regulate attention, vigilance, and focus. While this is great for our minds, norepinephrine also increases the constriction of blood vessels all over your body. In a nutshell, a cold plunge into an ice bath can help the blood flow to your skin all over and give you fresh, taut, healthy-looking skin in just a few minutes. 

Plunge

At PLUNGE, we’re fans of all things cold, especially cold water. Voluntarily dipping your body into cold water may seem daunting, but trust us, this is where the magic starts! From finding the correct ice bath temperature to learning about all of the many benefits of cold plunging, check out our blog, or try a Plunge today!