best ice facial tools

Cryotherapy at home: can using ice globes help de-puff your eyes?

Posted by for Skincare

Does rolling a suspicious-looking (and freezing cold) tool around your eyes actually help depuff? We asked the experts. 

There’s no denying that there are a lot of different facial tools available these days. From jade rollers to various LED gadgets, there’s a whole world out there – and it’s only getting bigger thanks to increased demand in at-home devices while we’re in lockdown.

The internet’s latest obsession? Ice therapy, which translates as using ice cold tools on your face, specifically around your eyes, to help increase blood circulation and to decrease puffiness. But does it actually work and what are the best tools to use? We asked the experts and here’s what you need to know.

What are puffy eyes and what causes them?

First things first: knowing what puffy eyes are and how they occur is always important. As Dr Elizabeth Hawkes, oculoplastic and ophthalmic surgeon explains: “Puffy eyes typically present as mild swelling of the upper and lower eyelid. They are sometimes accompanied by itchy eyes, watery eyes, and itching of the eyelid skin,” she says. “They tend to be caused by a variety of factors, such as lack of sleep, allergies, nasal congestion and dehydration.”

Dr Barbara Kubicka, founder of ClinicBe concurs, adding that ageing can also cause puffiness. “Muscles around the eyes are weaker with age and not so efficient in pumping lymph out,” she explains. “Sleeping in a warm room or using aggressive products around the eyes at night can cause puffiness too, as can general inflammation of our system like bad diet, alcohol or smoking, and finally tiredness and time spent in front of the screen causes exhaustion of muscles and irritation of the skin.”

What are the benefits of using cold tools, like ice globes, to depuff the eyes?

“There are a number of benefits of using cold tools,” says Dr Hawkes. “Used correctly, they can minimise inflammation and puffiness – especially in the morning – as well as helping lymphatic drainage and sinus pressure, plus they offer benefits for the skin by reducing redness and kick-starting the circulation which gives skin a radiant glow.”

How do tools, like ice globes, work?

“They help constrict the capillaries and in this way prevent more oedema (a build-up of fluid) around eye area forming,” explains Dr Kubicka. “Cool compresses and massage also improves the sensation, in turn bringing relief to tired, puffy or irritated eyes.”  

How long should these tools be used for?

“I’d generally suggest that people use them for no longer than 15 minutes each morning,” says Dr Hawkes. “Apply them to the skin and very gently roll underneath the eye, from the side of the nose and out towards the cheekbone. Follow by cleansing and applying your daily antioxidant eye serum and a broad-spectrum SPF.”

“It’s important to be mindful that if the skin is in direct contact with something very cold for too long, it’s possible to damage skin cells,” she adds.

The best tools to help depuff tired eyes

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Images: Temple Spa / Courtesy of brands

Originally published 4 February 2021.

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Lucy Partington

Freelance beauty editor Lucy Partington is obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she'll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.