While this may be the first you are hearing of cryotherapy, it was actually invented in Japan in the late 1970s as a remedy for rheumatoid arthritis. In recent years, it has become more and more popular in the States, and a certain amount of controversy has come along with it.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, it is a “trend that lacks evidence, poses risks”. But ask one of the professional athletes who use cryotherapy for recovery or injury rehabilitation and they will tell you it has been life changing. A Cryofacial patient who has seen her rosacea disappear with just a few treatments will certainly tell you a different story, too.
After hearing people rave about speedy post-surgery recovery times (or chemical peel, as it may be), and knowing that the eternally youthful Demi Moore swears by it, obviously, I had to go and see what it was all about.
What is cryotherapy?
It is defined as a “systematic anti-inflammatory treatment involving skin exposure to ultra-low temperatures (-190° to -256°F) for a brief, controlled time (one to three minutes).” In regular people terms, that means you stand in a futuristic-looking chamber while liquid nitrogen is blown on your body for up to three minutes. They also offer localized treatments. So say, you have tennis elbow, they can isolate and only treat that part of your body (no chamber required).
But it doesn’t stop there — it is used to treat a plethora of ailments and beauty concerns. Everything from autoimmune disorders and fibromyalgia to cellulite, aging skin, depression and insomnia. Because I didn’t try the whole-body treatment, I can’t speak to any of those claims, however, the number of maladies that people go in for weekly — and sometimes daily — is jaw-dropping.
Joseph Godin and his wife are the owners of San Diego Cryotherapy and they see about 40 patients a day — sometimes up to 85. That kind of traffic is not something to be ignored. I chose San Diego Cryotherapy because they are the only provider in San Diego whose employees were trained and certified by Dr. Jonas Kuehne of Cryohealthcare in L.A. (he is the one who brought cryotherapy to the U.S.).
“I woke up looking refreshed… Like I had both been on vacation in the south of France and gotten a La Mer facial overnight”
Cryofacial: The Facts
The Cryofacial involves the technician using a vacuum-like apparatus to blow pressurized liquid nitrogen vapors on the face, neck and head to stimulate collagen and shrink pore size.
Other reported benefits include:
- Erases fine lines, age spots and wrinkles
- Treats eczema, psoriasis, acne and other skin disorders
- Tightens skin and reduces pore size
- Improves circulation
I was taken into a private room and laid down on a treatment bed exactly as you would for a regular facial, except this time there were no locker rooms, no robes and no makeup removal. I couldn’t help but think that this would be the perfect lunchtime pick-me-up. Because I was not intending on having multiple treatments, I was given a 15-minute session to maximize the effects.
The first pass of cold air literally took my breath away, and scared me a little if I am being honest. It felt like my throat was closing up, but after convincing myself to relax, the cold air actually felt fine. Well, except that I could feel my sinuses weirdly contracting with each pass. I also found it quite difficult to speak during the Cryofacial, but that was the extent of discomfort — if you can even call it that.
Fifteen minutes later, we finished and a quick mirror check confirmed that my skin was glowing. I was happy with that. I’m not going to lie — I expected miracles, but thus far, there were none to report. That evening, I examined myself in the mirror waiting for my 23-year-old self to reappear, but nada. Oh well, I thought. I met some really nice people and learned a lot about cryotherapy, so nothing was really lost.
Three days later, I woke up looking refreshed… like I had both been on vacation in the south of France and gotten a La Mer facial overnight. My pores were smaller and the expression lines on my forehead were noticeably less defined. But the most exciting part was that when I washed my hair in the shower — NONE FELL OUT.
Ask my husband and he will tell you I shed like a dog (a dog that sheds a lot). Normally, long strands of blonde hair are wrapped around the laundry, hanging from the dog’s mouth, in the refrigerator… somehow they fly off of my head and land on stranger’s shirts when I first meet them. For the first time since I had the facial, I thought, I need to go back.
When I was researching cryotherapy, I had read about the thickening effect it has on hair, and like a cold rinse in the shower, it closes the cuticle and leaves the hair very shiny and healthy-looking. But no one had mentioned this! For years, the rate of hair loss has been increasing, probably due to age and stress, and so this was practically a miracle. I was home alone at the time and considered knocking on the neighbor’s door and telling them how excited I was (don’t worry, I didn’t).
Would I have another Cryofacial? The long and short of it is, yes. Would I go in once a week and have liquid nitrogen blown on my hair? 100% yes. Would I recommend that you give it a try? Absolutely.
Book your cryotherapy session today: https://gocryosd.com/booknow/