May 5th 2018
To Buy For
To Buy For: the sculpting ball that gives you cheekbones
May 26th 2018 / 0 comment
How this ice cool beauty tool will cool and calm this summer
Summer may be here, but it’s cold that’s having a health and beauty moment. Cryotherapy - the therapeutic use of extreme cold has been deployed for everything from fat freezing (in the form of Coolsculpting, rated by our writers Sarah Vine for contouring her jawline and Christa D’Souza for her bra strap overhang) to skin cancer treatment to treating depression. The 111Cryo chamber (three minutes at -90°C) in Harvey Nichols lists weight loss, pain management, sports conditioning, healing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis and collagen stimulation among as its benefits. When I tried it, I was left with a kind of caffeinated euphoria that lasted all day.
Ice baths and freezing showers bring science backed-health benefits too, as PT Max Lowery told me recently. He trained with ‘The Iceman’, Dutch athlete Wim Hof, who seemingly spends hours swimming around the frozen north in just his budgie smugglers and climbing Everest in shorts, and bamboozling scientists. Max recommended I try a cold shower and deep breaths for as long as I could stand it to boost immune system, circulation, aid weight loss and counter inflammation. The one time I tried anything like this was on my wedding day. It was just before I got into my dress and I was feeling a bit sweaty and anxious. My best friend ran me a freezing shower and ordered me to get in. I couldn’t have been more surprised at how it put me back to rights and gave me a pleasing glow.
The thing that fascinates me most about cold water is what happens to your nervous system when you splash it on your face. It’s known to stimulate our mammalian dive reflex, which sounds stressful, but which actually slows the heart rate and tones the vagus nerve, the stress buffering branch of our autonomic nervous system. Communications coach Prof Preston Ni recommends it as an instant calming tip for anxiety.
One fan of the freezing face-plant is Kate Moss, who said in an interview that when she wakes up feeling tired and puffy she fills a sink with ice and cucumber and submerges her face. “It tightens everything and makes you look awake,” she said.
Which brings me to the new Cryo-Ball from Teresa Tarmey, who is famous for her 'ice' facials. She has used it for years in her red carpet treatments for sculpting and depuffing celebrities before a big event and when I met her earlier this month, she was newly back from the Met Ball.
By popular demand, she’s just launched the ball as part of an at-home Cryotherapy Kit. The surgical steel roller is about the size of an apple and lives in the freezer - ideally below minus 8°C - swaddled in its special cloth bag, safe from your rogue peas and escaped breadcrumbs. It comes with a lactic acid toner, which you sweep over the face to exfoliate and over which you apply a high-strength hyaluronic acid gel. You then roll the ball over the gel for about seven minutes in upward sweeps, avoiding the forehead - unless you enjoy brain freeze. It’s several upgrades ahead of the unwieldy ice-cube-on-the-face trick, delivering a blast of cold to your cheeks and jawline that I find surprisingly soothing and moreish.
It’s brilliant for lymphatic drainage, circulation boosting, smoothing fine lines and reducing the puffiness that can come with hay fever or a night on the wine or the carbs. The plumping hyaluronic acid gel acts to boost the overall effect. Teresa even has a freezer near her bed so she can reach for her Cryo-Ball first thing. "It gives me confidence," she tells me. "I first intended for it to be used before big events or to save stressed or problematic skin, but it’s so effective, I actually use it every morning, to de-puff and de-stress skin. The results are so impactful it’s impossible not to!”
If I ever get hot flushes or night sweats, I’ll be buying that bedroom freezer for my Cryo-Ball. It soothes away a bad night’s sleep and sucks in your cheeks, making your cheekbones pop and your pores appear smaller. Regardless of the skin benefits it just feels incredibly calming - perhaps like cold water, it really does lower the heart rate too.
Buy the Teresa Tarmey Cryotherapy Kit £220. It includes a Cryo-Ball, Lactic Acid Toner, Hyaluronic Acid Gel and a reusable silicone mask for optional use with the gel.