Big freeze is latest skincare craze

CELEBRITIES are known to get hooked on the most bizarre beauty treatments to ensure they look their best when stepping out into the limelight.

From Kim Kardashian’s “vampire facial” where her blood is extracted and then re-injected into her face to rejuvenate the skin, to Angelina Jolie’s caviar body treatment, many celebrities are willing to try anything in pursuit of that perfect complexion.

Now cryotherapy is the latest skincare craze that A-listers such as Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and Cristiano Ronaldo are raving about. The treatment uses liquid nitrogen vapour, at temperatures around -160°C, on the face and body to stimulate energy and blood flow.

Developed in 1978 by Dr Toshima Yamauchi of Japan, cryotherapy was first used to help patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The word “cryo” is Greek and means “icy cold”, and the “big chill” is said to relieve symptoms of arthritis, autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis, other neurological disorders and depression.

The therapy gained popularity in the 1980s in Europe and the US when both professional and recreational athletes used the treatment after exercise. Over the years it moved to also being used for anti-ageing and weight loss.

The first company in South Africa to try a variety of cryotherapy treatments is CryoLiving in Plumstead, Cape Town. Similar facilities are expected to open soon in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

“While cryotherapy involves freezing temperatures, the body itself is not freezing,” Eugene Pienaar of CryoLiving explains. “In the case of whole body cryotherapy the liquid nitrogen gas is swirled around your body in an open-topped cryosauna.

“The cold temperature only cools the top layer of your skin which makes the body raise its inner temperature in response. This results in increased blood flow and, among other benefits, relieves inflammation and in my case, cured really bad insomnia,” he says.

Having tried everything from botox to regular facials, Gail Adams, 50, was keen to try the CryoFacial.

“Pis the cold air hit my face it stung a little, but it was a bearable cold,” she says. “My face brightened up immediately after the facial and the next morning my skin felt softer and extra clean.

“I never leave home without makeup and base underneath my eyes, but after the facial I felt like I didn’t need make-up at all,” she says. “I will probably do it again.

” She didn’t feel or see any difference with her body after doing a whole body CryoSauna session, which is a maximum of three minutes.

You can exit the sauna whenever you feel you have had enough. Adams lasted for about a minute and a half.

Upon arrival one is required to complete a questionnaire and your blood pressure is taken before going into the CryoSauna for the whole body cryotherapy treatment. You are given a gown, socks and crocs, as well as gloves.

“AM can say is that it’s quite a shock when the cold air hits your body” says Adams.


During the CryoFacial treatment, a pressured liquid nitrogen vapour is sprayed directly on to the face, neck and head, promising results that include immediate tightening of skin, reduction in pore size and facial inflammation (puffiness), stimulating collagen production and decreasing wrinkles and lines, says senioraesthetician Belinda Woods.

CryoLiving offers treatments including chemical peels and body shaping for post-op recovery, multiple sclerosis, depression, anxiety and inflammatory diseases.


Therapies range from:

R495 for a single session.

R375 per session if you buy a bundle of 20.

R2 995 a month (minimum of 2 months), allowing unlimited sessions and suitable for professional athletes or the chronically ill.

Local cryotherapy is more affordable as it uses less gas. The costs are:

R350 for a single area.

R200 for second area.

R2 900 for a bundle of 10.

For more information, visit the website www.cryoliving.com.

This artical origanally appeared in Star, Verve

Date: 8 March 2016

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