I’m willing to give anything a try (once) in the name of beauty research, but I had to psych myself up before having a Cryofacial at CryoLiving.

The stats on this are pretty scary at first glance. Your therapist blows liquid nitrogen vapour over your face for up to 8 minutes, taking your skin down to anywhere between 0 to -2 degrees. Sorry, what? Why on earth would anyone want to do that? Well, turns out there is pretty cool science behind it.

The vapour comes out of the nozzle of the machine at -145 degrees, which under uncontrolled conditions would kill you in a matter of minutes. But targeted application of the vapour can actually help your body heal in ways just not possible with traditional treatments. Think of it as ice therapy, which has been used to treat inflammation for centuries.

The immediate effect is skin tightening (vasoconstriction), as your skin tries to keep itself warm. The happy side effects of this are reduced puffiness, redness and inflammation, which in turn, helps boost collagen growth. It also helps to exfoliate the skin without damaging it, like physical exfoliators do. Since it fights inflammation, it is great for people suffering with inflammatory conditions like eczema and acne.

The facial starts like any other, with a thorough cleanse and mild exfoliation so that your skin is in the optimum condition for the treatment. Once your skin is ready, the vapour is blown onto your face in small, circular motions. Despite what you might think, I found the whole process so relaxing. Yes, it’s obviously cold, but not in that stingy, uncomfortable way. It feels like a fresh wind hitting your face on a winter’s day. After 8 minutes of cooling bliss, the facial carries on as usual, with mask, serum, moisturiser and sunscreen application.

Glancing in the mirror afterwards, I was shocked to see no trace of redness or any irritation at all. My skin was GLOWING, and stayed that way for a good week afterwards. I haven’t seen any long-term results, but I only went for one facial, so wasn’t expecting to see any. I’m keen to see what results continued treatments yield. But if you aren’t keen on committing to a course of treatments, this is also a great option before a big event, as you’ll look your very best!

I’m going for a body treatment next week – going to target by stubborn post baby belly!

I went to CryoLiving in Plumstead, Cape Town, but if you’re in need of some serious ‘chill’ time, and not Cape Town based, treatments are available Durban, PE and Jozi. Find your nearest practitioner here.

CryoLiving’s pricing is R580 per facial, R2525 for 5 facials or R4250 for a course of 10.


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