Cooling Down Anxiety: The Surprising Benefits of Applying Ice to Your Face

Finding effective ways to manage anxiety has become increasingly important. While traditional methods like meditation and deep breathing exercises have proven beneficial, an unconventional approach is gaining attention for its potential to calm the nerves—cold therapy on the face.

Understanding Cold Therapy

Cold therapy, also known as cryotherapy, involves subjecting the body or specific areas to extremely low temperatures. When applied to the face, this unique form of therapy may offer surprising benefits, particularly in the realm of anxiety relief.

How can facial cryotherapy relieve anxiety?

The Mechanics Behind the Chill

One of the primary mechanisms cold therapy may soothe anxiety is vasoconstriction. This process involves the narrowing of blood vessels, leading to reduced blood flow to the treated area. In the case of facial cold therapy, this vasoconstriction may help alleviate inflammation and contribute to an overall sense of calm.

Additionally, the numbing effect of cold temperatures on nerve endings can play a role in anxiety reduction. Imagine a gentle cooling sensation on your face, dulling any discomfort associated with tension or anxious thoughts. It’s akin to a refreshing breeze for the mind.

The Stress Response and Hormonal Harmony

Exposure to cold prompts the body’s stress response, triggering the release of adrenaline. While the idea of activating the stress response might seem counterintuitive, this burst of hormones can temporarily enhance alertness and energy levels. It’s like a natural jolt of vitality that might just help you face the day with a renewed sense of vigor.

Furthermore, the release of endorphins, often referred to as the body’s natural mood boosters, can occur with cold therapy. Endorphins play a crucial role in regulating mood and promoting a sense of well-being. This release could contribute to the overall relaxation experienced during and after a session of facial cold therapy.

The Distraction Factor

An interesting aspect of cold therapy is its potential to act as a distraction. The sensation of cold on the face commands attention, pulling focus away from anxious thoughts and grounding individuals in the present moment. It’s a simple yet effective way to break the cycle of spiraling worries and redirect attention to the immediate physical experience.

How can I use cryotherapy on the face for anxiety relief?

Using an ice roller or cold compress at home for potential anxiety relief through cryotherapy can be a simple and soothing process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose the Right Equipment: Select an ice roller, jade roller or cold compress suitable for facial use. Ice rollers are designed with a rolling mechanism and can be stored in the freezer, while cold compresses can be simple gel packs that you store in the refrigerator.
  2. Prepare the Ice Roller or Cold Compress: If you’re using an ice roller, place it in the freezer for at least a few hours before use. If you have a cold compress, follow the instructions for refrigeration. Ensure that the roller or compress is adequately chilled but not frozen solid.
  3. Set a Comfortable Environment: Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can sit or lie down. Creating a calming environment can enhance the relaxation benefits of the cryotherapy.

Start the Session:

Start with a clean face. Take the chilled ice roller or cold compress from the freezer or refrigerator.

If using an ice roller, gently roll it over your face in upward and outward motions, similar to how you would use a guasha.

If using a cold compress, apply it to different areas of your face, holding it in place for a few seconds before moving to another area. Start with shorter sessions, around 5-10 minutes, and assess how your skin and body respond.

  1. Incorporate Mindfulness Techniques: While using the ice roller or cold compress, practice mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. Focus on the sensations and be present in the moment to enhance the overall relaxation effect.
  2. Pay Attention to Your Body: Be mindful of any discomfort, numbness, or adverse reactions. If you experience any negative sensations, stop the cryotherapy session immediately.
  3. Finish with Moisturizer: After the cryotherapy session, apply a gentle, hydrating moisturizer to replenish your skin. This step can be especially helpful if your skin tends to be dry.
  4. Repeat as Needed: You can repeat the cryotherapy session as needed or incorporate it into your self-care routine. However, it’s essential to listen to your body and avoid overdoing it.

Remember, while some people find cryotherapy soothing, it may not work for everyone. If you have any underlying health conditions or concerns, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating cryotherapy into your routine.

Related: how to give yourself a cryotherapy facial at home

When is The Best Time to Ice roll?

The best time to ice roll may vary based on personal preference and individual needs. However, here are a few suggestions for when ice rolling might be particularly beneficial:

Morning Routine:

  • Some people find ice rolling in the morning refreshing and invigorating. It can help reduce puffiness, wake up the skin, and provide a cooling sensation that may be energizing.


  • After a workout, ice rolling can help soothe any inflammation or redness in the skin. The cold sensation may also provide relief to tired muscles and contribute to a post-exercise recovery routine.

Before Bed:

  • Ice rolling before bedtime may help relax the facial muscles and promote a sense of calm. It can be a part of a nighttime skincare routine to reduce any puffiness accumulated during the day.

Stressful Moments:

  • If you experience anxiety or stress, ice rolling can be a quick and accessible way to provide a calming effect. The cold sensation may help alleviate tension in the facial muscles.

There’s no strict rule on when to ice roll, and it’s essential to find a time that suits your routine and preferences.

Individual Responses and Caution:

While some individuals may find relief in cold therapy for anxiety, it’s essential to recognize that responses can vary widely. What works for one person might not work for another.

A study from 2008, showed that cryotherapy can really help with feelings of depression and anxiety. The research found that around one-third of the people who tried cryotherapy saw a big improvement – their symptoms reduced by at least 50 percent. This improvement was much better compared to those who didn’t try cryotherapy.

Caution is paramount when considering cold therapy, especially on the face. It’s crucial to follow recommended guidelines regarding duration and intensity to avoid potential adverse reactions. Consulting with a healthcare professional before incorporating cold therapy into your anxiety management routine is advisable, ensuring it aligns with your overall health and well-being.

Beyond Anxiety: Cold Therapy in Various Contexts

While the focus here is on anxiety relief, it’s worth noting that cold therapy has been explored in diverse contexts. Athletes often turn to cryotherapy for sports recovery, leveraging its potential to reduce muscle soreness and accelerate the healing process. In the realm of skincare, the cooling effect of cryotherapy has been hailed for its potential to rejuvenate and plump the skin.


In the ever-evolving landscape of mental health and well-being, exploring unconventional yet promising approaches like facial cold therapy is an intriguing journey. While the science behind its anxiety-soothing effects is still emerging, the anecdotal evidence and potential physiological mechanisms make it a topic worth exploring.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for managing anxiety. What works for you is a personal journey of discovery. So, whether you’re drawn to the cool embrace of facial cold therapy or prefer other methods, the key is to find what resonates with you on your path to peace and tranquility.

Hi, I’m Samira – your holistic wellness guide. Join me on a transformative journey to cultivate a balanced, vibrant life. Here you’ll uncover the keys to overall well-being, from nourishing your body to nurturing your mind, heart, and spirit. Let’s create your path to radiant health and inner harmony. LEARN MORE.

Elevate your well-being – like, share, thrive!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discover more from BLVCK LXTUS

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading