Cold therapy is hot right now. With talks about firm, plump skin trending, cold therapy (also known as cryotherapy) is a must-try service to improve elasticity, smooth wrinkles, and tighten skin. Whether you add ice facial massages to your nightly routine or book a cryofacial to blur fine lines, cold therapy has unmatched skin benefits to boost your skin’s appearance and overall health.
As a new cryotherapy option, ultrasound cold therapy is a treatment used to help you achieve hydrated, younger-looking skin. According to WebMD, ultrasound therapy “relies on ultrasound energy to promote the creation of collagen, which is essential for firmer skin.” The non-invasive treatment painlessly helps with brow lifts, refining wrinkles, and full facial rejuvenation. “The result is younger and tighter-looking skin as the tissue provides more support to the skin,” the medical journal says.
Below, an ESSENCE beauty writer takes us through her experience with ultrasound cold therapy.
Why I tried ultrasound cold therapy
In the past few months, I received four AviClear laser acne treatments– a procedure that “treats acne at the source by targeting and suppressing the sebaceous glands,” dermatologist and surgeon, Dr. Michelle Henry tells ESSENCE. And although these oil glands are a hot spot for acne and clogged pores, they also lubricate and retain moisture in the skin. Needless to say, my acne cleared up, but my skin dried out.
I booked an appointment at Silver Mirror Facial Bar for an ultrasound cold facial as a result. To prep and treat my skin, the esthetician first steamed my face, then performed extractions, high frequency therapy, LED light therapy, and applied a hydration mask before introducing the ultrasound device. The tool looks like a regular handheld ultrasound device with a metal, circular head which painlessly massages the surface of the skin.
For the facial, the esthetician applied a hydrating gel to help the tool glide more effectively over the contours of my face. He set the device on my skin, which felt like the temperature of a cold hand. It was not as cold as expected, but felt slimy and viscous as the hydrating products penetrated my skin. “It penetrates 5 millimeters deep under the skin, reaching the second layer of muscles under the facial muscles,” WebMD says.
For ultrasound cold therapy, dermatologists recommend the treatment for only mild-to-moderate, or early signs of aging, according to the National Library of Medicine. Although I have a younger skin appearance– the exclusive Aesthetica facial says my TruSkin Age® is 22 years old– I noticed the smile lines around my mouth were less pronounced after the treatment.
In a study, “researchers evaluated the procedure’s effectiveness in 7-day, 4-week, and 12-week intervals,” WebMD says. “They found that the skin elasticity of the participants had improved in all the areas that had undergone treatment.” Skin elasticity represents the skin’s ability to snap back to its original shape, which is easy to notice when applying makeup, for example. My skin bounced back more readily after prodding at my post-treatment skin.
With the skin’s dermis (middle) layer decreasing the ability to synthesize collagen once you turn 20 years old, booking treatments and building routines that support skin thinning and drying is important to your skin’s health. Similar to how my skin felt after my PureLift treatment, the ultrasound cold therapy had my skin feeling tight and snatched.
Helps product penetration
More than any other benefit, I felt hydrated. When the skin is exposed to cold temperatures, the blood vessels constrict, which not only reduces inflammation but draws fluids into the skin which is then sealed behind tightened pores. The esthetician added a hydration mask to my skin first, next to other hydrating products, leaving my skin plump and glass-like after the treatment. My skin had been extremely dry, so trying ultrasound cold therapy helped my skin regain the hydration it thirsted for.