Is Freezing Your Face the Secret to Better Beauty?

We tried a -111℉ facial.

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The Treatment: 111Skin Mini Cryo Energizing Facial

The center for the 111Cryo body treatment at Harvey Nichols in London.
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So, before I try my first ever Cryo facial, I decide to do a little investigation into the story behind the mini-treatment. 111Skin, the London-based skin-care brand who will be administering my treatment, relies on cryo technology that uses freezing cold air to stimulate skin cells to create products that better penetrate the complexion, while firming and softening skin.

This screams: step into my chamber and never return. Do you think Voldemort lives there?
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The mini facial derives from the the 111Cryo treatment at the Harvey Nichols store in London. Although the facial doesn't require entering a full-body cryo machine, there is a device that blasts -111°F air onto the face and décolletage area via a hose.

What It Feels Like

I feel like a kid in a candy store, but I'm actually an adult in a very luxe spa.

I decide to get this facial early on a Tuesday morning, and as I walk into Barneys, I'm mostly expecting to get a quickie 10-minute face rubdown at the 111Skin counter. I'm led to a secluded room by a very nice aesthetician, and my scrambled morning brain immediately starts to calm down.

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When the aesthetician tells me to take off my clothes and put on a towel, I realize this a real-deal treatment, and I am in for a treat. I lay down on a comfortable single bed and at once, my hair is wrapped up in a towel and the facial begins. Another surprise: the whole procedure has way more steps than I originally anticipate.

Cryo Face Serum by 111Skin, $250, barneys.com.

It Begins

She starts by cleaning my face, neck, and upper-chest area twice (twice!!) with a cleanser. But this isn't a normal, quick face wash. The facialist massages the product all over my complexion and wipes up the residue with hot towels. Honestly, this is one of the most luxurious things I've ever experienced.

"She reassures me that I'm doing really well—but that's only because I've perfected my emotionless poker face."

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Then comes the big moment. I see a hose-like contraption appear above the left side of my neck, and as I hear her explaining what's about to happen, my mind fogs in anticipation of the cold air. Sure enough, the machine starts pumping out a fresh stream of what I like to call "a frozen paradise mixture," and I feel my skin prickle as the air is maneuvered around my face and neck.

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Do I look OK to you?

"Some men have gone up to a level nine," the aesthetician says, and my eyes widen as I'm feeling the chill at a mere level five (there are different pressure level settings at which the air streams). She reassures me that I'm doing really well—but that's only because I've perfected my emotionless poker face.

It does feel really cool (no pun intended). I like the sensation because it makes me believe my skin is actually reacting to something (as opposed to that feeling I sometimes get when I put on products and feel like they're not making any difference).

Cryo Body Serum by 111Skin, $150, barneys.com.

I start to shiver a bit and then, after a couple of minutes, the machine is turned off. My skin starts to acclimate to the room's temperature. Different serums (including a body formula for the décolletage) are applied and massaged deep into my pores. Then, I'm blessed with a sheet mask, and the aesthetician gives me a pro tip: always use the extra product in sheet mask packages and rub it around your body because if it's good for your face, it's good for the rest of you, too.

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Help! Where can I get one of these?!

While the mask marinates, she applies a red zappy contraption over my face to stimulate the mask's ingredients even more, and I begin to contemplate how much one of these costs, so I can get one for my home.

Finally, the eye lift gel is applied to my eyes and lips, and I get a dose of sunscreen for anti-aging purposes. She finishes things off with a cool (pun intended) spritz of essence.

The Aftermath

My skin is glowing so radiantly, I begin to question if that's really my reflection I'm seeing in the mirror. I'm advised to drink lots and lots of water following the treatment, so I take a couple of Barneys-branded water bottles and hustle my way back to work. I hop into a cab with a Barneys bottle in hand like a glam New Yorker is supposed to.

"Always use the extra product in sheet mask packages and rub it around your body because if it's good for your face, it's good for the rest of you, too."

Once at work, my boss tells me she can see a difference—and I'm not not saying that I catch a few glances of myself in the bathroom mirror throughout the day, just to see if the glow is still there. Not only am I still radiant three hours later—my skin still feels dewy.

I'm not obsessed with myself, I swear.

I spend the subway ride home (because LOL, I'm actually a regular New Yorker who can't afford to take cabs everywhere) petting my cheek, much to my seat neighbor's dismay. By the time I get home, it's been about 10 hours since the treatment and I'm STILL. FREAKING. GLOWING.

I've never had this long-lasting of a result before, and my mind is blown by the fact that my complexion is still smooth right before I go to bed. (Yes, I wash my face and follow up with the 111Skin face serum, just in case you're wondering.) I go to sleep with the back of my hand resting on my pillow-soft forehead like a fainting Disney princess, a pinch-me-my-skin-is-perfect moment.

The Verdict

Anything that can make me glow this long is high up on my "Things That Make Me Happy" list, so I give the cryo facial two thumbs up with a side of hairflip. I 100-percent recommend, if not simply for the novelty of it all.

Are you in New York? Check out the 111Skin counter at the Madison Avenue Barneys New York store and experience the facial with a purchase! Have any questions? Chat me @chanelinezp.

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