Mai, was tired of dealing with the redness that was inflaming her face. “I was using topical medication for my acne and rosacea and I just wasn’t seeing them improve. Instead, the redness was increasing,” she relates.
When the frustrated 32-year-old accounting specialist spoke to her dermatologist, he suggested she try a new treatment option – the “Glacial Facial.” He thought the cooling effect of the treatment would work to reduce the redness.
Mai took the suggestion and says that after the first very “relaxing” treatment, “I had an improvement right away when I looked in the mirror and the redness hasn’t come back.”
Five weeks later, she underwent a second cooling Glacial Facial at the Juva Skin & Laser Center in NYC, and she reports that she has maintained her positive results. Now, she plans to schedule another treatment next spring when the weather warms up, since her skin conditions are exacerbated by heat.
So what is this new hour-long ‘Glacial Facial’? It’s a skin treatment that was developed by doctors along with Massachusetts General Hospital, when they were conducting studies on how cold could be used to suppress unwanted pigmentation. Doctors were “using controlled cold temperatures to reduce the amount of activity in pigmentation sites in the skin, particularly for women with darker skin, since dark skin is very prone to pigmentation due to acne and other skin damage. As part of the studies, doctors learned that people with rosacea and sensitive skin also responded well to cold,” explains Dr. Bruce Katz, a board-certified dermatologist, and director of the Juva Skin & Laser Center in NYC, which has been offering the innovative treatment for several months.
“Patients with inflammatory conditions like eczema and rosacea don’t respond to typical facials. That’s because there is a lot of blood vessel activity with these conditions, which creates the redness and inflammation. Cold restricts the blood vessels and so reduces the activity,” Dr. Katz explained.
With a reduction in the blood vessel activity, patients who try the cold “Glacial Facial,” see redness and excessive pigmentation in their skin, calm down. The key to the actual “Glacial Facial” procedure, which is now offered at a selection of dermatologist offices throughout the country, is the “cooling” applicator hand piece which is used at various steps in the procedure to massage products into the facial skin for several minutes at a time: a light salicylic acid peel, a brightening microbial treatment mask, and a vitamin C brightening and firming serum. As the products are massaged in, the patient experiences a soothing sensation as ‘cold’ delivered by the chilled hand piece is applied to their skin.
The cooling hand piece which is utilized for the massaging, is “very refreshing,” reports Julissa, 34, another patient at Juva Skin & Laser Center. “It felt crisp and soothing. I loved it.”
Julissa, a sales rep, says that she was thrilled to see “a glow in my skin” after the Glacial Facial. “My skin looked brighter and I had a few brownish sun spots and it lightened them. I also felt like my eyes were less puffy.” She now plans to schedule another treatment.
Dr. Katz recommends that patients undergo two to four Glacial Facials, each spaced out a month apart. “A lot of facials are relaxing and the face feels good afterward, but they don’t have lasting results. But with this treatment we have absolutely seen lasting improvement in patients,” he reports. The facial is also being studied to see if it’s effective in treating psoriasis.
The cost of the Glacial Facial is $500 per treatment.
To find a dermatologist offering the Glacial Facial in your area, go to glacialskin.com and enter your city, state, or zip code under the ‘Find Your Way to Spotless Skin’ finder.