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Cold Case: Skin Care’s Deep Freeze

As the temperature hits triple digits, keep your complexion in a tundra-like environment with the latest frosty face products.

Aveda Cooling Masque, Aveda stores; Freeze 24/7 Anti-Aging Eye Serum, Henri Bendel; Clean & Clear Toner; mass retailers; Icy Beauty Play & Rewind, Bliss Spa; Laura Mercier Gel Mask, Bergdorf Goodman; Skyn Iceland Arctic Face Mist, select Sephora.

Aveda Cooling Masque, Aveda stores; Freeze 24/7 Anti-Aging Eye Serum, Henri Bendel; Clean & Clear Toner; mass retailers; Icy Beauty Play & Rewind, Bliss Spa; Laura Mercier Gel Mask, Bergdorf Goodman; Skyn Iceland Arctic Face Mist, select Sephora.

George Chinsee

Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 08/10/2007

As the temperature hits triple digits, keep your complexion in a tundra-like environment with the latest frosty face products.

Freezing and cooling skin care creams, gels, masks and mists are a decidedly hot trend in the beauty world, thanks to their numerous benefits to the skin.

While self-heating masks are the perfect remedy for unclogging pores in acne-prone complexions, icicle-inducing items help keep puffiness, redness and sensitivity at bay—not to mention the added bonus of a cool burst, a definite pick-me-up in soupy summer heat.

According to New York dermatologist Karyn Grossman, temperature does affect the skin. “Warm temperatures dilate blood vessels and cause increased blood flow,” she says, “while cool temperatures constrict blood vessels and help to decrease pain, itch and inflammation.”

Cooling products are particularly effective when used on the eye area because they help to bring down puffiness and under-eye circles.

And while many products on the market use natural coolers like menthol, cucumber and eucalyptus to refresh and revive tired, dull skin, some brands take the freezing concept literally.

Icy Beauty, the brand behind the patented “high-speed cooling” skin-lifting treatment Ice Source, is launching a new product this summer based on the same chilly premise.

Play & Rewind, a two-part, single-dose system aimed at the hard-partying set, is said to feature an even more potent version of its patented instant freezing technology that can be deployed with just one click. Play is designed to be applied before a night out to luminize and soften skin, while Rewind is for the not-so-great morning after, when skin is dehydrated and in need of detox. By lowering the product’s temperature to 36 degrees, it purportedly shrinks the molecules of the cream so they can penetrate the layers of the skin more easily.

Grossman doesn’t see cooling skin care as products made for any specific skin type, but advises consumers of all types to explore them as needed, especially if you are experiencing swelling, itchiness or redness.

If you simply crave a cold sensation, sans any skin condition, she recommends grabbing a sunscreen like Neutrogena’s Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock as it “cools the skin just to feel good.” It’s something to keep in mind when the next heat wave strikes.