Cooling down your skin is always a good idea. Here’s how to take the plunge.
After three decades in the biz, supermodel Kate Moss has likely seen every beauty hack under the sun. Her favourite? “The ice plunge is the best trick,” she told The Telegraph in 2016. “Fill a sink with ice cubes, cold water and slices of cucumber and hold your face in for as long as you can. It instantly reduces puffiness and tightens up your skin.” It sounds drastic (if not extremely unpleasant), but there’s science to back up this old-school technique. “When you cool down any material in the world, it gets tighter. Our skin is exactly the same,” says Mahtab Moaven, International Lead Educator Consultant at Biologique Recherche, explaining that cold temperatures help to reduce redness, calm capillaries and promote vasoconstriction, the tightening of the blood vessels.
But you certainly don’t need to plunge your visage into a vat of ice to reap the benefits of the cold. Moaven points out that there are endless professional facial treatments that incorporate key cooling steps, like Biologique Recherche’s Cold Mask, a soothing, peel-off alginate mask that’s exclusively for professional use, and the brand’s Cryo-Sticks, a set of stainless steel orbs that can be stored in your fridge to use at home (Moaven recommends using them to depuff and drain the eye area in the mornings). She also suggests a quick blast of cold water at the end of your shower, washing your face with cool water and storing your eye creams in the fridge.
But what about the conventional wisdom that steam is the secret to opening pores? According to Moaven, recent improvements in product formulations, along with stronger active ingredients (Biologique Recherche exclusively uses cold-pressed ingredients to maintain their potency), mean that steam is no longer required to thoroughly and deeply cleanse the skin. “We stimulate the skin with our ingredients so we don’t need extra heat,” she says. “If we want to have firm and toned skin, the best thing is to cool it down.”