In this article:
Your skin is constantly exposed to harmful pollutants, sunlight, microbes, and harsh temperatures, which, along with unhealthy eating habits and stress, can lead to various skin problems. The problems include dark circles, skin dullness, enlarged pores, puffiness, fine lines, and acne, among others.
For this reason, skin care is an important part of people’s daily routine and includes different products to combat these problems. There are a number of products and natural ingredients you can try, and ice can be a valuable addition to your skin care routine.
Applying ice on your face after a long day is not only refreshing but also helpful in cleansing your face and boosting blood circulation, giving it a fresh appearance. Also, ice can act as a natural makeup primer, antiaging compound, and anti-acne treatment in the long run.
Making ice cubes is easy and affordable. You can also add skin-friendly ingredients to the ice cubes and use them to improve your skin health.
Benefits of Rubbing Ice on Skin
You can use ice on your face for the following benefits:
1. Get glowing facial skin
When applied to the skin, ice constricts your blood vessels due to its low temperature, thus lowering blood flow to the face. (1)
Once the ice is removed, the blood vessels expand again, during which blood circulation to the face increases. An increase in blood circulation, along with the soothing and cooling effect of ice, can impart a natural glow to your face.
In addition, ice helps in exfoliating your skin and tightening pores, giving your skin an even and smooth appearance. Moreover, applying ice increases the absorption of products by your skin by creating a pulling effect, thus increasing the efficacy of the creams and serums you use for glowing skin.
Rubbing ice on your face imparts a radiant, fresh, and dewy look, which sometimes can be an alternative to makeup when you are in a rush.
How to use:
- For glowing skin, it is best to use rice water ice cubes. Simply freeze 1 cup of rice water into cubes. Wrap the cubes in a thin towel and use it as a cold compress on your face until the ice cubes melt completely. Wash your face, pat it dry, and apply a moisturizer.
- Rub an ice cube over your face after applying serums or creams as part of your nightly routine.
2. Reduce puffiness around the eyes
Puffiness around the eyes commonly occurs due to a lack of sleep or increased eye strain from the continuous use of digital screens. (2)
When you massage your eyes with an ice cube, the skin tightens, and the fluid drainage around the eyes increases, reducing puffiness and providing a cool, soothing effect.
You can freeze green tea for this purpose as it is rich in antioxidants and caffeine, which soothe the eyes and reduce puffiness. Chamomile tea is also effective in reducing puffiness owing to its anti-inflammatory nature.
How to use:
- Brew 1 cup of chamomile or green tea and strain it.
- Once cooled down to room temperature, pour the tea into an ice cube tray and freeze.
- Wrap a couple of the ice cubes in a thin towel, and glide it over your eyes in circular motions for about 5 minutes.
- Repeat the process 4 or 5 times with a gap of 1 minute between each.
- You can use this remedy a few times daily to reduce puffiness.
3. Reduce under-eye bags
The cooling effect of ice helps control inflammation by constricting the blood vessels. Moreover, as discussed above, it can help brighten the skin. These effects of an ice massage can help reduce under-eye bags.
You can use cucumber and coffee as these are found to fade dark circles under the eyes.
How to use:
- Extract the juice from a cucumber and freeze it in an ice tray. Wrap a few cubes in a thin towel, and gently move it over the under-eye area for 5 minutes. Wash your face and pat it dry. Repeat this remedy a few times a day.
- Alternatively, brew a cup of strong coffee and freeze it into ice cubes. Use these coffee ice cubes to massage your under-eye for 5–10 minutes, and then wash your face.
4. Shrink open pores on the face
Large, visible skin pores are common if you have oily or combination skin. This skin type also attracts dirt and impurities that can settle in your skin pores, causing the blockage.
Rubbing ice on your face can help clear the dirt and oil from your skin pores. Moreover, the cold temperature helps shrink your skin pores, decreasing their size over time.
How to use:
- Wrap a couple of plain ice cubes in a clean, soft cloth.
- Massage it over your face until the ice melts completely.
5. Control acne and pimples
Pimples commonly occur due to the clogging of skin pores with dirt, oil, and bacteria and are more common in oily skin types.
Since rubbing ice on your skin helps shrink the pores, therefore reducing oil production, it may also help control acne and pimples. In addition, ice can lower the inflammation and redness associated with pimples. (3)
How to use:
- Grind some basil leaves with a cup of water, and add 3 tbsp of fresh aloe vera gel to it. Transfer the mixture into an ice tray and freeze it. Place the ice cubes on your acne for about 10 minutes.
- Alternatively, mix 1 tsp of cinnamon powder with 1 cup of water and pour the mixture into an ice tray. Use the ice on your face to soothe your pimples and acne.
6. Soothe sunburns
Sunburns cause redness, inflammation, and pain, all of which can be improved with the help of an ice massage. Rubbing ice over the affected areas numbs the skin, reducing pain. It also controls inflammation and redness.
Moreover, ice helps combat the heat in your skin after a sunburn, cooling and soothing the skin. You can use frozen aloe vera cubes as aloe vera is a popular treatment for sunburns.
How to use:
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean cotton cloth or put them in a zip lock pouch, and apply it to the affected area for instant relief from the stinging.
- You can also freeze fresh aloe vera juice and apply the cubes on your sunburned skin to facilitate healing. Allow the ice cubes to melt on your face and avoid washing the skin immediately.
- Alternatively, you can apply aloe vera gel on the affected skin and massage it with plain-water ice cubes covered with a towel.
7. Exfoliate the skin
Ice cubes made of milk are potent skin exfoliating agents. Milk contains lactic acid, which is a natural mild exfoliator helpful in removing dead skin cells. (4) Moreover, it moisturizes the skin, controls redness, and improves hyperpigmentation.
Frozen milk gives your skin a natural glow and radiance when used as a natural exfoliator.
How to use:
- Mix ¾ cup of milk with ¼ cup of water and freeze the mixture in an ice cube tray. Rub the frozen milk on your skin and allow it to dry for half an hour, after which you can wash your face.
- You can also add pureed cucumber or blueberries to the milk for added exfoliating and refreshing effects.
8. Soften the lips
Ice can soothe and soften your skin, and it has the same effect on chapped lips. It can control the inflammation and pain associated with chapped lips.
Icing your lip, along with consuming adequate water, keeps your skin moisturized and soft.
How to use:
- Dilute 1 cup of concentrated rose water with 1 cup of normal water.
- Freeze the mixture into ice cubes.
- Apply the ice cubes on your lips to moisturize them.
9. Control inflammation associated with tweezing
Tweezing the eyebrows is a common beauty practice, which can be quite painful. Applying ice around your eyebrows numbs the area, lowering the pain associated with it.
Icing the brow area also prevents the inflammation and redness that may occur otherwise.
How to use:
Place ice cubes on your eyebrows for around 10 minutes before tweezing them to numb the area and control both pain and inflammation.
10. Fade aging signs
Skin aging is characterized by the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin. Applying ice to your skin boosts blood circulation, improving the supply of antioxidants that fight free radicals, which are responsible for premature aging.
Moreover, an increase in blood circulation provides nutrients and oxygen to the skin to maintain its healthy condition.
In addition, ice tightens the skin, preventing wrinkles and fine lines when used regularly. Applying ice over your antiaging products also helps them penetrate the skin better, increasing their efficacy. Thus, using ice on your face can make your skin look young and radiant.
How to use:
- Before bedtime, wash your face using cold water and pat it dry.
- Gently massage your face by gliding ice cubes over it in circular motions. You can also add a few drops of lavender oil or rose petals into the water before freezing.
- Repeat the procedure every day for at least a couple of weeks to obtain results.
The following tips can come in handy for the safe and proper use of ice on your skin:
- Always clean your ice tray before pouring in any solution to set. It is best to allocate a separate ice tray specifically for skin use, as otherwise you run the risk of microbial contamination.
- Make it a habit to wash your face before applying ice.
- Do not use the above-mentioned remedies more than 2–3 times a day.
- To control inflammation or pimples, ice your skin before bedtime as it can boost skin healing and regeneration that takes place at night.
- Wrapping the ice cubes in a soft cloth before applying them to your face. If you need to apply the ice directly to your face, use the ice after a minute or two of taking it out from the freezer.
- It is recommended to wear gloves when handling ice to prevent the transfer of germs and to allow you to hold the ice for longer.
- Do not place the ice cube on a skin area for more than 10 minutes as it increases the risk of frostbite.
- Avoid getting the ice or melted water into your eyes, especially if it contains other ingredients.
- Keep a tissue or napkin by your side when using ice to wipe off excess liquid and therefore prevent making a mess.
- Limit the use of ice-based remedies in the winter months as the decreased blood circulation can contribute to skin dryness, irritation, and flakiness.
Can ice be used to fade dark spots?
It is believed that regular use of ice can help fade dark spots to some extent by boosting blood circulation and brightening the skin. However, there is no solid evidence to support the claim that ice can improve hyperpigmentation or dark spots.
What is an ice bucket face soak?
Ice bucket face soak, as the name signifies, involves dipping your face in a bowl filled with icy water. This practice helps tighten your skin pores, giving your face a smooth appearance.
To perform an ice bucket face soak, simply take some ice and water in a bowl, and dip your face in it for about 30 seconds. Use a soft, clean cloth to pat your face dry. You can repeat this twice a day.
Can ice damage the skin?
Directly applying ice to your skin can cause damage if used for a long time at once due to the extreme temperature. Therefore, it is suggested to wrap a cloth around the ice to prevent direct contact with the skin.
Ice is a popular remedy among beauticians to clear the skin and give it a radiant, fresh glow. The use of ice is an age-old technique to lower redness, inflammation, puffiness, and blemishes on the skin.
Moreover, ice boosts blood circulation to the skin, improving its health without incurring heavy costs. Make sure to use ice with caution and in a limited manner to prevent burning your skin.
Keep in mind that the effect of ice, as with most therapies, will only be noticeable after a few days of consistent use; therefore, be consistent and patient.