Icing your face has always sounded like something you do when you get My Girl’d (stung by a bee) or jaw surgery or something like that.
Turns out, icing your face is wonderful for your skin texture, muscle tension and acne (at least, that’s what all the beauty influencers and podcasters kept telling me). So, this summer, I finally caved and bought an ice roller and a face mask set. I’ve been using it for the past 30 days and I literally had a moment where I looked at them and said out loud in my bathroom:“where have you been all my life?”
Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways in which icing your face can help you look and feel your best.
Best Tools For Ice Facials
First: let’s chat tool. If you’re really trying to do beauty on a budget, you can simply use raw ice cubes from your ice tray and put rub ice cubes directly on your face. But in my experience, that’s really harsh and painful. Instead, I suggest you invest in a face mask set (this is the one I use) and also an ice roller to use alongside your gua sha routine. They’re now my favorite new skincare tools!
I leave my masks and roller in my freezer overnight and use them as part of my (almost) daily morning skin care routine, but especially after I have a night of drinking or travel and feel extra puffy.
They’re simple to use: I wash my face, apply some Ordinary Rose Hip oil, do my gua sha, pull my hair back and then apply ice masks for about 10 minutes. After, I’ll use my ice jade roller if I feel like I really need more cold therapy boosts.
How Long Should I Ice My Face?
I like to put the mask on for about 10-15 minutes each morning. It’s part of my morning routine so I’ll put on relaxing music or a good podcast and then use ice facial treatment time to stretch. Hey, I’m in my 30’s after all I need a good stretch!
If I use the roller as well, I only do that for a few minutes at the end of my routine to help work out any sticky drainage or areas that need extra tension relief.
5 Benefits Of Icing Your Face + Why Ice Therapy Works So Well
Now that you have your tools in your Amazon cart, here’s all the many benefits of icing your face daily (trust me, I’ve been doing this every day for over a month now and will never go back!!)
1. Icing Your Face for Muscle Tension Relief & Swelling
The most popular reason folks have been rubbing ice on their faces for generations is that cooling helps to relieve muscle tension. It’s a medically reviewed and approved way to reduce swelling after all, not just on your face but all over your body. But, If you suffer from migraines or tension headaches, placing a sheet ice mask on your face for 10 minutes can help to ease the pain and relax the muscles.
If you have tightness in your jaw or neck whether it’s from a surgery or injury, icing your face helps with that, too.Our editor Taylor started using this exact ice face mask after getting sick and her tonsils flared up so she was looking for home remedies to help the over all swelling of her face. For under $20, this mask helps with so many things!
2. Lymphatic Drainage
Going hand and hand with reduced swelling and inflammation, ice rolling helps a ton with lymphatic drainage as well. When I bought my ice mask, I also grabbed an ice roller which I don’t use daily, but I do pull it out a few times a week.
Ice roller benefits also help act similar to a gua sha and can help target specific areas that may be swelling or need drainage from lymph nodes. I still do my daily gua sha before any of the ice on face happens but sometimes I need extra drainage support. Yes, ice rollers really work! And in a different way than gua sha. There’s something really nice about something cold pressing up against sore areas of my temples or jawline…
Wondering how long to ice roll face muscles? Just a few minutes until you start to feel relief from tension! I usually use it after an ice mask so this is more about working muscles. Also, my cold roller isn’t made of stainless steel and most aren’t so make sure you’re washing it a lot to keep it (and your skin) clean!
3. Icing Helps With Keeping Hangover At Bay
Personally, I love pulling out these masks after a night of drinking (or, with age: traveling. Travel hangovers are a THING!) Whenever I feel all that tension, red eyes and puffy face happening, I turn the lights off in my bathroom, turn on a meditation soundtrack and place my ice mask on for at least 15 minutes.
After, I always feel less puffy, more focused and more away. I’ll usually follow it with some coffee and then later in the day some green tea. One of the main benefits of applying ice on face after drinking it helps me feel like a human again.
4. Icing Reduces Inflammation And Redness
One of the most popular benefits of icing your face is that it can help to reduce inflammation and redness. If you have rosacea or other skin conditions that cause rashes or inflammation, these ice masks will absolutely aid in reducing painful outbreaks.
I don’t have rosacea but I do get sunburnt a lot even though I wear SPF daily (pale girl problems!) If you got sunburned on your face, apply aloe vera and then use the ice mask for 10-15 minutes every day until the sunburn fades.
I like to do this practice in the morning as part of my daily routine but the benefits of icing face at night and also in the morning after you get sunburned are it helps heal the damaged skin faster, keeps you less red and peeling, and helps to fade that burn into a tan.
5. Banishes Under Eye Bags
Ice masks work to help get rid of those pesky under-eye bags, too! The cold contracts your skin to make that area tighter, and the roller can help with drainage. This all leads to less pronounced dark circles under your eyes. I always follow this with under eye creams. I really have noticed ever since using this mask every day, I hardly ever have under-eye bags anymore.
6. Icing Your Face Fights Acne
If you suffer from acne or other skin conditions, putting ice on acne can be a very helpful way to soothe your skin and help reduce flare-ups. For some reason the past year or so I’ve been breaking out on my chin a lot. I can’t figure out why, at 31 years old, this is happening ( I need to chat with my derm) so I’ve been desperate to find a solution.
I do use acne treatments like Hers but they aren’t enough. Until I started using this ice face mask and holy smokes, it works wonders. I never knew that putting ice on a pimple will help stimulate blood flow, reduce swelling and shrink it by the end of the day.
I still use pimple patches and other spot treatment serums alongside icing, but dang, this is my favorite day to banish pimples fast. I wish I knew about this as a teenager, this could have saved a lot of headaches. There are so many benefits of icing face for acne and it’s a lot safer to use than harsh chemical treatments like Accutane!
7. Ice Exfoliates The Skin
Another one of the cool benefits of ice on the face is this practice removes dead skin cells and keeps your skin constantly regenerating new, healthy cells. It’s a different type of exfoliation than cleansers have, so still use your regular exfoliation beauty products in your routine. Ice supports on top of it!
8. Ice Helps Beauty Products Absorb Better
Icing your face causes your pores to shrink and contract. When you first apply a serum or oil ( I love The Ordinary products, especially the Rose Hip Seed Oil for this), the product is pulled into the skin far better than it would if it was just applied on top and you walk away.
Yes, ice removes dead skin cells, reduces pores, increases blood flow and everything else that helps make skin youthful but the absorption of products is another big reason why using ice is so powerful in a morning beauty routine.
9. Ice Rollers & Masks Give You Tight, Smooth Skin
Laslty, one of the most immediately noticeable benefits of facial icing is that it gives your skin a tight, smooth appearance. This is because the cold constricts blood vessels and reduces inflammation, reduces redness and helps with blood circulation. As a result, your skin looks brighter and smoother almost immediately after you ice it and can give you an all-over glow by boosting circulation.
I sometimes reach for this in the afternoon before an event to ensure I’m working with a tight, smooth surface when applying my makeup. If you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up before a big event or special occasion, facial icing is a great option.
Just be sure not to overdo it; too much cold and skin icing can damage your skin so if you did an ice roller in the morning aim for under 10 minutes for a quick pick me up.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ice Therapy
When To Use Ice Roller In Skincare Routine?
You can use it any time but I prefer to use it after my ice mask comes off. I’ll apply another serum or oil and then use the ice roller to work the product in, or focus on areas that need more tension relief.
What Is The Best Ice Roller For Face?
I love this one from Amazon that’s just $18!
What Is The Best Ice Mask For Face?
I use this one from Amazon that comes in a set so there’s a full face mask and also an ice eye mask!
Ice Roller Vs Jade Roller Differences
I still think using your gua sha tools and jade rollers should be the first thing you do in your morning skincare routine. They are smaller and better at working out all the fluids in your lymph nodes that need to drain. Even if you keep your jade roller in your bridge, having an ice roller is handy because it’s bigger. This means it can cover more of your face at once to keep the skin cooler longer.
What Are The Long Term Benefits Of Ice Rolling
Using ice on faces has a lot of short-term benefits, like removing redness or puffiness. Some of the long-term benefits of ice rolling your face I’ve seen from using this daily for over a month is overall skin texture. My face is consistently tight and smooth these days, even on the few mornings I can’t have my ice mask (on trips, camping, etc.)
As you can see, there are many reasons to consider adding icing your face to your skincare routine. Whether you’re looking for relief from acne, headaches, or muscle tension, icing your face could be the answer. I’ve never been a fan of the idea of dunking your face in ice water, this is much easier and drier.
I’m obsessed and will be using this as part of my daily routine for the foreseeable future.