Ice Cubes Face: An Inexpensive, At-Home Facial

Do you struggle with puffy eyes, premature wrinkles, or even cystic acne? Instead of trying expensive facials or Sephora's newest skincare line, put ice on your face daily to make your skin glow for free. 

In a world where every beauty brand is trying to sell you their magical healing potion, the notion of ice beauty can seem unbelievable. But it's true! The answer to many of your skincare woes is entirely free and accessible to anyone with an ice cube tray and a freezer. 

Icing your face can improve and prevent a variety of skin issues, from soothing acne and inflammation to reducing aging signs and calming skin burns. 

Read more on the benefits of ice cube face and how to reduce swelling and other skin concerns with regular use. 

What Does Ice Do for Your Face?

Humans have been using ice to treat injuries dating back to Ancient Greece when medics packed cold snow on affected areas. 

Ice works by cooling and constricting vessels and blood flow under the skin, which reduces swelling and inflammation, the body's natural response to damage. When using this on an injury, it helps to speed up the healing process. 

But why put ice on your face?

It can seem strange to put ice on an area that isn't injured, but it's actually worth it:

  • By constricting vessels' blood flow in our faces, the vessels work a little extra to pump blood there. In time, these vessels become stronger, and your circulation improves. 
  • This improved circulation allows antioxidants to move to the skin and pull toxins away.
  • Stuck toxins contribute to premature aging, so adequate facial blood flow will also prevent premature wrinkles and other aging signs.
  • Acne is a very mild skin injury. Swelling, redness, inflammation, and pus are all surefire signs of your immune system fighting the infection. Much like other injuries, acne benefits from ice face. 

Benefits of Ice on Face

Here is precisely what ice on your face can do to make your skin more beautiful.

Reduce puffy eyes

  • Under-eye skin is incredibly fragile and prone to becoming puffy and droopy, especially as we age.
  • High-salt diets, a lack of sleep, allergies, and genetics all contribute to this pesky problem. 
  • Ice cubes can reduce puffiness in the eye area as they constrict the blood flow to minimize swollen skin.
  • Regular icing will strengthen circulation over time, which will help to avoid skin discoloration and excess puffiness in the future.  

Glow like the sun 

Who doesn't want their youthful glow of days gone by to come back? Blood circulation is at its peak in our younger years and tends to worsen as we age.

Regular, all-over face icing will improve blood flow and bring it right to the skin's surface, creating a healthy complexion with a beautiful glow; no makeup required.

Improved product absorption

If you've invested in some good-quality facial products, you can get your money's worth and reap more benefits by putting ice cubes on your face after application. 

Ice constricts the blood vessels and pores, causing a pulling action on the skin.

By applying your favorite product and then adding ice, your pores will pull in and absorb even more of the product than usual. 

Cuts down oil production

If you struggle with skin that overproduces oil, you likely have enlarged pores.

Placing ice directly on the facial skin clears and shrinks pores so that the skin begins to produce less oil overall. 

In turn, less oily skin is less prone to causing clogged pores, the cause of most blemishes and acne.

Soothe and heal acne

If you have an angry acne breakout, it will be red, warm to the touch, swollen, and painful. Much like we do with other injuries, you can use ice to reduce all of these symptoms. 

  • Cold constricts the blood vessels, cutting down the swelling and redness.
  • Icing increases blood flow to the region immediately after to remove toxins so white blood cells can get to work repairing the skin. 
  • Ice has a numbing effect on wounded skin, making painful acne cysts hurt a little less, too.

Safety and potential for damage

While it's clear there are many ways that ice can help improve facial skin, there are some safety precautions that you should keep in mind before you start regular ice facials.

Redness and Rosacea

If you have an extra-sensitive face prone to redness or a capillary issue like rosacea, never apply ice directly on skin.

  • You can place an ice cube in your mouth and use your tongue to hold it to the roof – this is a blood vessel receptor site that constricts the face's vessels when chilled. 
  • If you want to try direct ice on your sensitive skin, be sure to wait for the ice cubes to melt a bit, wrap it in a thick towel, and keep the icing time under 5 minutes.
  • If your skin reacts poorly, discontinue icing right away!


A bad sunburn can feel very hot to the touch, tempting us to use ice to cool it down. The sunburn itself has damaged your already sensitive facial skin, and applying ice cubes can worsen that damage, not make it better. 

Instead, apply cool compresses to sunburns to relieve pain without harming your skin.

Ice burn

Burns can happen if you leave ice cubes on your face for too long.

To avoid this painful skin damage, wrap your ice in a towel instead of applying it directly to your skin and cut any application times to 10 minutes per area maximum. 

Daily use

Ice is safe to use on your skin daily, but cap the treatments at once per day, tops.

A once-daily application is enough to reap the positive benefits of an ice facial without the risk of ice burn.

How to Apply Ice to Your Face

Not all ice is created equal

While it's true that ice is just water, it's not all suitable for facial application. Before you get started with the steps to face icing, make sure you're starting with the purest ice cubes you can to avoid introducing bacteria into your skin or open acne wounds.

Regular ice is filled with impurities, but you can use a portable clear ice maker to purify the water with its directional freezing technique. Always use clean, filtered water on your face. 

If you're treating acne, dissolve an aspirin in warm, filtered water before freezing, as the aspirin's acid will help dry up the breakout. 

Step-by-Step: Daily Ice Facial

  1. Freeze your ice cubes. (See notes above.)
  2. Wash your face in warm water with your usual cleanser and dry with a clean cloth.
  3. Remove a cube from your ice maker, and wrap it in a thin, dry towel. You can apply the ice cubes directly to the face, but do not use it straight out of the freezer. Allow it to begin to melt, keep the ice moving, and be extra mindful to not leave it on the skin for any longer than 5 minutes.
  4. Rub the ice around your face in circular motions for 5-15 minutes. 
  5. Remove the ice from your face, and follow with toner and moisturizer.

Final Notes: Rubbing Ice on Face Daily

The best part of this beauty secret is that it costs nothing to try – you'll have everything you need at home already. 

When starting an ice facial routine, keep these simple tips in mind:

  • Always use filtered water and ice cubes free from impurities that can make their way into the skin.
  • Ensure your face is clean, dry, and bacteria-free before you begin an application.
  • Use facial icing for depuffing, anti-aging, or acne healing.
  • Discontinue use immediately if your face is excessively red or burning.

You can include facial icing as a part of your morning routine to make your makeup application a breeze or in the evening as a relaxing bedtime ritual to help you wind down. 

Get ready to glow!