Kate Hudson swears by it, but does an ice bath for your face really work?

Image: Getty.

Kate Hudson is the queen of lifestyle hacks (her fitness one in particular is genius) so our ears pricked up very quickly when she shared her instant skin pick-me-up trick.

“To wake myself up or make my skin less dull I’ll dunk my head in a bowl of ice… it’s like taking a cold plunge with your face,” she told Redbook magazine.

Grey’s Anatomy‘s Ellen Pompeo is also a fan of this technique. So does using extreme temperature like ice on your face actually work?

WATCH: Thought face mists were a waste of time? Think again. (Post continues after video)

According to Emma Hobson, Education Manager International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica, ice therapy has been around for many years and is very popular in Nordic countries, as well as the always-ahead-of-the-beauty-curve Korea.

“The main benefits are that it works on constricting the skin’s circulation, which for controlled periods assists with reducing redness, reducing the ‘heat’ in the skin and creates a slight tightening, toning effect of the tissues. This is why it’s used on puffy eyes and reducing inflammation of a breakout,” explains Hobson.

As well as solving problems, it’s also a great way to help prepare your skin for makeup as it tightens pores and tones the skin, creating a fresh-looking canvas. (Post continues after gallery.)

But that doesn’t mean you should give your face an ice bath every day. Many people actually make the mistake of doing it too often or for too long which can have the opposite effect.

“If icing is done for too prolonged a period of time, especially on the facial skin, it can lead to broken capillaries. Because you have constriction of the vessels you will need this to reverse so the skin receives ample nutrients via the blood to function optimally,” says Hobson.


A few times a week for no more than a couple of minutes is fine, but be cautious if you are prone to broken capillaries as you don’t want to worsen the situation.

Be cautious if you're prone to broken capillaries . Image: iStock


There are also a number of ways you can achieve a similar effect - and all it involves is a fridge.

"As an alternative you can use cold face cloths sprinkled with essential oils or toner and placed in a freezer bag in the freezer. This feels so refreshing and very toning for the skin," says Hobson.

"Or you can place your toner, eye gels, and serums and even your moisturiser in the fridge so they are super cooling on application and have a similar effect to icing."


Do you regularly "ice" your face?