I Got A -200-Degree 'Frozen' Facial In The Name Of Flawless Skin
As a member of the women's team, I watch in awe as my fellow writers report some truly brave beauty articles. I sit quietly behind my computer, reading through their adventures in laser liposuction and butt facials.
I ignore most press emails involving the words "cutting edge beauty treatments" because, frankly, I'm a wuss with an extremely low tolerance for pain and general discomfort. My blood doesn't get drawn unless my mother is there to hold my hand, and when I watched Kim Kardashian's blood facelift, I almost fainted.
Still, if there's one thing I refuse to tolerate more than pain, it's wrinkles.
I shouldn't worry too much about lines on my 26-year-old face, but that doesn't stop them from existing. 2015 was a bad year for me. I watched as my forehead began to form fine lines, my laugh lines sank in and my eyelids slowly stared succumbing to gravity.
If you asked my boyfriend or mother, they'd tell me this is all in my head. But, I can't shake the insecurity. I was recently offered the chance to try a new kind of facial, in which I would subject my face and neck to subzero temperatures in the hopes of erasing my wrinkles.
Given the chance to resurface my skin, I decided to stop being a baby and start looking like one.
Cryotherapy, which submerges the body in over -200-degree temperatures, has recently blown up in popularity. It seems like every A-list celeb praises the treatment for its ability to decrease pain and inflammation.
The facial version, known as the CryoCure Facial, localizes bursts of controlled vaporized liquid nitrogen dispensed through a nozzle. This is the kind of kooky treatment celebs get in anticipation of awards season.
The 3-5 minute treatment promises instantaneous tightness in the skin, filling fine lines and wrinkles. The cold nitrogen activates skin's collagen production, creating more cells and elasticity. The increased blood flow to the face also promises a “radiant” complexion and reduced acne.
As I walked to my appointment at Skintology Skin and Laser Center in Manhattan, I felt both nervous and incredibly optimistic.
Then, my esthetician informed me I'd enjoy a luxurious 20-minute facial before the frozen treatment. To a normal woman, this would seem like heaven. For me, it only meant more waiting before subjecting my face to a -200-degree freeze.
Elsa may have been born with her ice queen complexion, but I had to work for it.
What made me slightly more on edge, I suppose, was that the pre-freeze facial treatment involved lots of warm steam to my face. As I lay on the chair, face covered in expensive goop, I wondered if she was forgetting to prep my face for subzero temperatures.
My esthetician could tell I was nervous, probably because my shoulders were tense and my face kept scrunching up. I could tell she was the nurturing, motherly type.
“I'm kind of nervous for the cold,” I explained. It was the understatement of the year.
“Are you kidding? It's so relaxing,” she assured me. I have to admit, her sweet disposition put my mind at ease.
But, just as I was about to doze off, I remembered I'd soon understand how Rose felt while floating on the driftwood of the Titanic. Then, my esthetician came back with the torture instrument in hand -- OK, it really just looked like a bulky vacuum with a fat nozzle.
First, she made sure my entire face was completely dry to “avoid looking like a snowman.” Then, she started at my scalp with a temperature of -170, assuring me that she would crank it to -200 as soon as my scalp adjusted.
She moved onto the face, and it was cold. Continuously moving the nozzle kept the treatment from becoming too painful, but sometimes she would linger on one part of my face and I felt like I would die.
Mostly, though, it was relaxing. It was f*cking cold, don't get me wrong, but I could feel the blood rushing to my face, making me beautiful.
The treatment took about 5 minutes. Any more, and I would probably get frostbite.
After my face warmed, I looked in the mirror and was happy to see myself as a real-life Snow White -- pale, but in a sexy way. My skin looked flawless and felt extremely soft, my lines were all actually gone or significantly reduced.
The treatments at Skintology range from $85 for a single session or 10 sessions for $600. Obviously, youth don't come cheap. But, if you have a very special occasion that calls for building a snowman on your face, I recommend giving this frozen treatment a try.