Want shinier hair, smoother skin, or a more toned body? The answer might be ice.
Treatments for hair, skin and weight loss using frozen temperatures have been popping up all year, so getting hotter might be actually about getting cold. Here are our picks for the hits and misses of frozen beauty therapies.
If Botox seems too dangerous, why not try freezing the wrinkle-causing nerve endings in your face?
Iovera, or Frotox, involves injecting liquid nitrogen into your skin. It was developed as pain relief, but it also works to relax facial muscles and temporarily smooth out forehead wrinkles. It relies on the body’s natural response to cold, so it’s toxin-free, but we still find the whole thing a little terrifying. Call it a maybe.
They look like straightening irons, but there’s no heat here.
This one makes sense – after all, we’ve been told for years to rinse our hair in cold water to give it an extra shine. The idea came when Kiwi hair stylist David Roe noticed that since his wife had been rinsing her hair with ice, it had been smoother and more manageable. The Inverse Hair Conditioning System works on the same principle, but taken to another level.
It looks like a hair straightener, but it’s quite the opposite. You keep it in your freezer and run it through damp hair, or after heat styling, and it quickly cools it right down. Inverse’s manufacturers say the below-freezing temperatures change the structure of the hair fibre itself. We’re listening.
Also known as CoolSculpting (we can see why they rebranded), this fat-freezing treatment works by applying very cold temperatures to stubborn areas of the body. Supermodel Molly Sims is a fan, and it’s FDA-approved, so it’s got to be safe, but we’re still halfway between fascinated and freaked out.
CoolSculpting is the name-brand treatment that’s seen all the research, and it is available at a few New Zealand clinics, but watch out for less legit providers. No one wants their internal organs chilled.
This is another one with supermodel approval – Gigi Hadid used it before her Victoria’s Secret debut – but its scientific backing is a little shakier. Participants get into a small chamber, where liquid nitrogen is then poured over the body. It is anti-inflammatory,says Dr Sarah Hart, but any anti-ageing effects are not yet proven.
When you consider that a Nevada, US salon manager recently froze to death while treating herself, it seems like even less of a good idea. “For most people, a cold blast in the morning shower will be the closest they come to trying this treatment,” Hart says.