What Is an Ice Facial, and Can It Minimize Pores?

October 26, 2021
Claire Rodgers
By: Claire Rodgers | skincare.com by L'Oréal
What Is an Ice Facial, and Can It Minimize Pores?

Have you heard of the ice facial? It’s a popular Korean beauty trend that’s said to minimize the look of pores, reduce puffiness and make the skin look smoother. While the alleged benefits sound great, we consulted the experts to find out if the face icing trend is truly worth trying, or if there are better ways to shrink the look of large pores.


What Is an Ice Facial?

To do an ice facial at home, all you have to do is rub a piece of ice wrapped in a thin cloth all over your skin. Think of the flush you get after you walk outside on a cold day — ice can help mimic that. 


What Causes Enlarged Pores?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), pores are the tiny holes in your skin where hair grows. They secrete sebum, the natural oil that keeps our skin feeling soft and smooth, and play an important role in the health of our skin. But a few causes, from oily skin to the products you use and even genetics, can cause your pores to appear larger. 


Can an Ice Facial Minimize Pores? 

You can’t get rid of your pores or permanently change their size, but you can help visibly reduce their appearance with an ice facial. But while the cooling effect of ice or chilled skincare products can cause blood vessels underneath the skin to constrict making pores appear smaller and tightened, the reaction is only temporary. According to board-certified dermatologists and Skincare.com consultants Dr. Dendy Engelman and Dr. Joshua Zeichner, shortly after the ice is removed, any benefit will soon subside and your pores will look the way they once did. In fact, both Dr. Engelman and Dr. Zeichner say the concept of pores “shrinking” is a total myth.

“There are no muscles around your pores, so ice will not do much,” Dr. Zeichner says. What’s more, rubbing cold ice on your face or dunking your face in a bath of ice water could actually cause more trouble than it’s worth. “Applying ice onto your skin for too long can burn the skin,” says Dr. Engelman. 


For a better idea, we recommend turning to products formulated with glycolic acid, like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 5% Glycolic Acid Toner, or salicylic acid, like the CeraVe Acne Control Cleanser, to help remove excess oil and exfoliate dead skin cells that can accumulate in the pores and cause them to look larger. 

CeraVe Acne Control Cleanser

Photo: Shutterstock

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7 Primers That Can Visibly Reduce the Appearance of Large Pores

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