A client asked me the other day about using cold for anti-aging purposes. Should she start using ice on her face or will a rose quartz roller suffice. Is it even good for the skin? We've used cold therapy in our spa for years in the form of cold masks, ice globes, rose quartz rollers and cold ion facial tools. I continue to use a rose quartz roller at home, but lately I haven't really given as much thought as I probably should about the power of cold therapy as I am no longer performing facials. This question motivated me to hit the books and update my research to decide whether we should be using cold therapy at home.
HERE ARE SOME BENEFITS FOR USING COLD THERAPY
DE-PUFFS THE EYES
At LONGEVITY we offer a great depuffing gel that clients use as part of their morning routine. This drains lymph which has accumulated around the eyes over night. Our Anti-Puff Gel has Hesperidin which decreases capillary permeability to reduce redness and puffiness; Dipeptide which reduces water retention; and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide for firmness and reducing inflammation.
Anti-Puff Gel works best when it is cold. So, clients would put their gel in the fridge overnight and roll the cold glass container gently over their skin after applying the serum. This approach works well but I have replaced running down to the fridge with using the above rose quartz roller. The roller always feels cold and the smaller end fits perfectly under the eyes. Now I’ve even gone a step further. I purchased a mini fridge to store in my bathroom and chill my roller, making it even colder.
HELPS WITH LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE
The lymph system is a backup to your circulatory system to detoxify and remove waste and impurities that accumulate in your skin. Gentle lymphatic drainage massage helps remove these toxins as well as taking down inflammation and promoting healing. Your lymph vessels don’t have muscles to push toxins along. They rely on gravity and movement to do their work. This type of massage must be gentle and work in the same direction as the lymph vessels to be effective. Cold helps the process by contracting lymph vessels and expediting their detoxifying effect. This treatment is great for acne as well as anti-aging. Remember to do this on freshly cleansed and toned skin.
LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE TECHNIQUE
The major lymph vessels run down the outer sides of the face and down the neck where lymph can be discarded through the superior vena cava. Don't start at the forehead or you'll hit a bottleneck backup of lymph. The most effective technique is to start on the neck in gentle downward motions. Then go from the chin to the ear and downward on the outer sides of the neck. Work your way up the face to the forehead as shown on the chart. This takes about two minutes.
COLD FACIAL GLOBES
After rolling I apply my morning serums. This includes Stem Stim and C & E Antioxidant Serum, sometimes Sunrise Solution. I then use the cold globes for another 2-3 minutes. Just holding these cold globes in place over puffy areas (like the eyes) is great. I also hold it over the center of my neck where I’ve lost tone over the years. Since I’ve already done lymph drainage with the rollers, freshly cold globes can be used in upward and outward motions starting at the forehead and working your way down.
HELPS HEAL INFLAMED BLEMISHES
Holding cold globes gently over blemishes for 30 seconds contract those capillaries that are causing swelling and redness. If the blemish is particularly inflamed you might try applying a bit of over the counter cortisone cream before holding the cold globes on the spot. You can use an ice cube if you wish, but don’t put the cube directly on the skin. This could cause an ice burn. Wrap it in a paper towel first. This can be done several times throughout the day.
SOOTHES REDNESS AND DISCOMFORT FOR DRY SKIN
Contracting capillaries calms the skin. However, if you have dry skin make sure you protect your skin with an appropriate serum beforehand. After the treatment quickly follow up with a spritz of toner and an emollient moisturizer.
THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON FOR ADOPTING COLD THERAPY
Hormesis is a biological term which some define as, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” What that really means is if you stress the body a little bit you will turn on longevity enzymes that stimulate repair. Not only that, it turns on genes that make you more resistant to stress in the future. A perfect example of a hormetic effect is exercise. When you exercise you are actually damaging your muscles. Then they go into repair mode and your muscles become even stronger. The thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to over stress, where you get past the point where the damage can be easily repaired. Another example of hormesis is intermittent fasting. In this case the stress is hunger. The most popular form of intermittent fasting is the 16:8 rule. You fast for 16 hours and time restrict your eating to fit into an eight hour period. This kind of fasting stimulates longevity genes called sirtuins. These sirtuins stimulate autophagy. Autophagy means self eating. Autophagy kills damaged cells and recycles their proteins to make newer, healthier cells. You don't want to let those damaged cells to hang around. Damaged cells are inflamed cells, These cells affect other nearby cells which cause a domino effect, a big factor in overall aging.
The benefits we get from many foods is due to the hormetic effect they create. Plants that have been exposed to stressors like extreme sun or heat, growing in dry soil or growing too close together experience stress. They then produce protective chemicals that make them more resilient to environmental damage. When we eat these plants we can benefit from their protective molecules. A perfect example is red grapes that are grown in less than desirable conditions. They produce resveratrol, the chemical in red wine that contributes to longevity in humans. This process is known as xenohormesis. Skincare serums that contain hormetic extracts include Revitalize Cell Therapy and Sunrise Solution.
COLD THERAPY AND HORMESIS
The point is, cold can create a hormetic effect. The stress it creates is just enough to rev up protective longevity molecules. If you don’t want to use the methods I mentioned above you could just dunk your face in the sink filled with ice cubes and cold water for 15 seconds in the morning. Then immediately follow up with Stem Stim and C & E Antioxidant Serum or Stem Stim and Sunrise Solution.
Most days I use both the rollers and globes but when pressed for time I just choose one method. When I have the time I do a longer treatment I apply Stem Stim and Revitalize Cell Therapy and then layer on Azulene Soothing Mask which I have left in my little fridge. When coupled with the cold globes this results in a really effectIive hormetic treatment.
Elizabeth believes in "Longevity Skincare", the idea that beautiful skin can endure throughout one's lifetime when utilizing the best that science and nature has to offer. LONGEVITY is a science-based skincare line that appreciates skin of all ages. LONGEVITY by Elizabeth Renee provides hydration, nutrition and protection from environmental aging. Your skin will receive high performance ingredients to help energize and repair its cells, resulting in a healthy skin with an enduring, vital glow.