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What Is Icing, and Why Is It Good for Your Skin?

7 mins

Shelly Jones

Using ice cubes is a simple way to deal with a range of skin issues. Find out more about it as we explore the uses and benefits of ice in facial skin care.

Sometimes you don’t need a lot of things to take care of your facial skin. The humble ice tray in your freezer is a hidden gem when it comes to skin care. While many people are aware of icing the face and how it works, a lot of people don't know anything about this way of using ice cubes.

We often get too preoccupied with the latest beauty breakthrough, and a 10-step skincare routine. However, it turns out that plain water (when it is free of contaminants) is a great choice for the face. We'll find out how in this article.

Table of contents:

  • What Is Icing?
  • How to Ice Your Face
  • Different Ways of Icing the Face 
  • Aloe Vera Ice Cubes
  • Green Tea Ice Cubes
  • Benefits of Icing Your Face
  • Reduce Under-Eye Puffiness 
  • Reduce Oiliness
  • Soothe Acne
  • Treat Rashes and Insect Bites
  • Reduce Signs of Aging
  • Soothe Sun Damage
  • Few Things to Note Before Using Ice Cubes on the Skin

What Is Icing?

Icing refers to applying ice on the face — it's as simple as that. All you need to do is get a few ice cubes and apply them to your face. People have used ice for a range of household remedies for a long time, ever since ice became readily available in homes. Today it continues to be a common skincare practice across the world.

what is icing for skin

Unfortunately, there hasn't been much scientific research on the benefits of ice for facial skin. Most of the claims that we have are anecdotal. What science does tell us is that when you ice your face, the blood vessels in your face become constrict, making your face appear lighter, brighter, and more radiant. Most of the other benefits associated with icing depend on this very principle.

How to Ice Your Face

You should not use ice directly on the surface of the skin. The reason is very simple — you may get frostbite. If you get one, the affected area can become dry, flaky, and even painful.

The safest way to use ice is to wrap it in a clean cotton cloth. You can even use something like a fine piece of muslin. There are specialized materials that are designed for icing the face, but a plain piece of cotton cloth also does the trick.

Most experts recommend icing your face in small circular motions. Start with your forehead, and go all the way under your chin. Cover every part of the face in the process, including the under eyes. The entire process should not last for more than 20 minutes. Even less than that is fine because the ice cube would melt in under 20 minutes in a warmer place.

how to have glowing skin

You have done enough when your skin starts to feel the coldness of the ice. You may notice it getting slightly numb, and that is completely fine, but do not let the face become completely numb. That could end up harming your skin instead.

Some people like to leave their face as it is after an ice facial. But if you have particularly dry skin, you may want to pat your skin dry and apply some moisturizer. No matter what you do, avoid warm water or steam just after icing your face. If you want to, you can do facial steam before icing your face to clean the pores.

Different Ways of Icing the Face

If you want to take the benefits of icing to the next level, there are several ways to do so. Note that water ice cubes are not the only form of ice that is beneficial to your face. It is the coldness of the ice, and not the water content of it, that makes icing work for facial skin. As such, you can use a range of different ice cubes to get the most out of it.

Let's find out more about the two best alternatives to water ice cubes.

Aloe Vera Ice Cubes

Aloe vera is one of the best ingredients for skin care. Both science and anecdotal evidence have proved the efficacy of aloe vera a long time ago. However, what many of us don't know is that it is great in the form of ice cubes as well.

aloe vera for skin

Making aloe vera ice cubes is as simple as using them. All you need to do is get your hands on pure aloe vera gel that does not contain additives. If you have an aloe vera plant at home, you do not even need to worry about buying it.

Once you have the raw aloe vera, simply place it in a clean and disinfected ice tray. Let it freeze completely before you use it. If your ice tray makes around 20 cubes of ice, you can use one tray for more than a month. Freezing the aloe vera prevents it from going bad.

Use the aloe vera ice cubes as you would use a water ice cube. However, make sure that you take out only the cubes you are going to use. Do not let the remaining ice cubes thaw and freeze multiple times.

Green Tea Ice Cubes

Green tea is another popular choice for holistic health care. It takes care of your body, skin, and hair. Making green tea ice cubes involves a few more steps compared to making aloe vera ice cubes.

green tea benefits

First, you need to prepare 100 ml to 200 ml of green tea. Make sure you are using authentic green tea that does not have any added flavors or colors. Once you have the tea ready, allow it to cool down. After it has come to room temperature, pour the tea on an ice tray and let it freeze.

As with the aloe vera ice gel, only take out a few cubes at a time and let the others remain frozen. Use it with a plain piece of cloth, just as you would with a water ice cube. One tray will easily last a month if you use an ice facial once or twice a week.

Both aloe vera and green tea ice cubes work on the same principle of constricting blood flow. However, they also add their own healing properties to the ice. Using either of these ice cubes is equivalent to giving yourself an aloe vera or green tea facial.

Benefits of Icing Your Face

There are many benefits of applying ice to the face. However, it is generally recommended not to ice your face every day. Icing once or twice a week is often enough.

icing the face

Now let us go through some of the main benefits of icing your face. Note that not everyone will notice the same level of benefits. Icing your face is completely natural and free from side effects, so anyone can give it a shot.

Reduce Under-Eye Puffiness

Under-eye puffiness is one of those issues that everyone has to deal with, no matter how much they take care of themselves. If you are in a rush and want to get rid of under-eye puffiness, using ice cubes is a quick and simple solution. 

Take a cube of ice and very gently massage it on and under the eyes. After a few minutes, you should notice a visible reduction in the puffiness. It's not only very convenient but also works when you are tight on time.

how to get rid of puffy eyes

Reduce Oiliness

Our skin produces oil in the form of sebum. While sebum is essential for the protection and care of facial skin, overproduction of it can lead to oily skin. One of the simplest ways to get rid of oily skin is to use ice cubes.

Since ice cubes close the pores and constrict blood flow, it also prevents the production of sebum. Using an ice facial once or twice a week will give you visible results in terms of dealing with oily skin. Give it a try if you have especially oily skin and if other remedies don't work for you.

Soothe Acne

Acne often stems from oily skin, though there are other reasons as well. Just as you can control oily skin with ice, you can do the same for acne. Simply icing your face will control the overproduction of sebum and, in turn, control acne.

However, another benefit of icing is that it reduces inflammation by constricting blood flow. As a result, the appearance of your acne would be far less prominent after icing your face. It works on a cosmetic level as well as on a therapeutic level.

how to put acne under control

When it comes to dealing with acne through ice cubes, you should preferably bring out your aloe vera or green tea ice cubes. Coupled with the benefits of ice, aloe vera and green tea will work amazingly well for your acne. Go get the most out of it; consider adding an aloe vera face wash and a green tea face mask to your skincare routine.

You can use ice cubes to target the odd pimples that arrive out of nowhere. Icing for 5 to 10 minutes can reduce inflammation and redness, making the appearance of the pimple less prominent.

Treat Rashes and Insect Bites

If you are using water ice cubes, there aren't any additional antiseptic or anti-inflammatory properties to it. However, it is still effective in getting rid of rashes, be it from insect bites or other reasons. But when you use aloe vera ice cubes instead, dealing with these issues gets much easier.

By using ice on your face, you are preventing blood from flowing into that area. As a result, the pain and discomfort of rashes go away immediately. With time, the rashes themselves disappear. This is a simple and handy way to deal with any accidental insect bite, like getting bitten by mosquitoes.

Reduce Signs of Aging

Icing the face keeps it firm and tight, which is a natural antidote to wrinkles. In addition to tightening your pores, the coldness of ice also reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, making your skin look firm, young, and bright. 

Reduce Signs of Aging

However, you should be careful when using ice as an anti-aging treatment. Overdoing it will make your skin dry, which in turn will promote the growth of wrinkles. When used in moderation as supplemented with other products, ice can successfully help in preventing premature wrinkles.

Soothe Sun Damage

The harmful UV light can damage the skin to a great extent. Using ice is a great way to undo some of that damage. For the best results, consider using aloe vera ice cubes instead of plain water ice cubes. The healing properties of aloe vera make it even more effective in countering the harmful effects of sunburn.

However, note that you should never apply ice directly to a severely sunburned area. It can further inflame your already sensitive skin, making it more painful. Always wait for the initial sensitivity to go away, or use cold water instead. Once the sensitivity and pain subside, use aloe vera ice cubes to deal with sunburn and other sun-induced skin damage.

how to treat sunburn

Few Things to Note Before Using Ice Cubes on the Skin

These are some things to be careful about before applying ice to the skin:

  • Make sure your face is cleansed and free of grime, sweat, or dirt build-up
  • Use a separate ice tray for facial ice cubes, even if you are using plain water
  • Keep your skin away from the ice by using a cloth or some other barrier
  • Never ice your skin for more than 20 minutes at a time

Keep these things in mind whenever you think about applying ice cubes to the face. When done correctly and carefully, using ice can change your skincare game completely.

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Shelly Jones

Shelly is a beauty blogger and freelance lifestyle writer. She has been blogging for over ten years now, and her articles have appeared on major lifestyle websites. Readers from all across the world await and believe in her authentic product reviews.

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