As far as facials go, I can be picky. As a person with sensitive, reactive and often inflamed skin (hi, rosacia!) one intense treatment can send me down the road of suffering weeks worth of consequences. Out of pure vanity, I am incredibly cautious. But a few weeks back, in the midst of a muggy July heatwave the Biologique Recherche Ice Facial at Paul Labrecque Salon in NYC caught my little eye, namely because of the name. In sweltering weather, nothing appeals more than the cold. And the fact that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are longtime fans of the French brand and its cult-fave products sweetened the deal.
So, off I went to the Upper East Side of Manhattan on an unreasonably hot day to have my face de-puffed and soothed courtesy of some uber chilly cryo-sticks (a brand signature).
Right off the bat, I found the experience to be incredibly pleasant. As someone who shys away from intense exfoliation and just has a naturally blotchy existence, I found the treatment incredibly indulgent without upsetting my sensitive constitution. My aesthetician started with a cleanse, of course, and the perfect cocktail of P50(the brand’s hero chemical exfoliant), masks and serums that she customized to my face after fully examining it.
The combination of masks, first the Biologique Recherche Cold Algae Mask to help brighten and purify, followed by the Masque Calming VIP02 to soothe, was a lovely combo. My facialist layered and worked the cooling products onto my skin without using any products that were drying. It was the aesthetic equivalent to a dip in a cool pool. Notably, this treatment doesn’t utilize any steam — something that I find often aggravates my face and leaves me redder than I started. So if you tend to go the way of tomato face, you might want to consider the treatment for just this reason alone.
But aside from the masks, the addition of the “iced” stainless steel cryosticks wasn’t just incredibly refreshing, produced a notable effect. And I won’t lie, I was nervous about them. Traditional cryotherapy chambers are not just insanely cold, but they give off an icy steam that gives me — admittedly irrational — anxiety. This treatment, I’m happy to report, had none of that. My therapist proceeded to give my mug a lymphatic drainage massage with the rollers that relieved the tension in my face and toned down blotchiness and redness to even out my complexion. But the best part was that my face was my once-puffy face was less bloated and the bags around my eyes had significantly deflated. All in all, I looked more vibrant, alive and perky.
If you’re looking for a facial that is going to ransack your pores and aggressively exfoliate, this treatment is perhaps not your best bet. But, say, if you have a major event coming up or if you have sensitive skin that just needs a little love — and you want to look more spry and maybe even a little like a missing Olsen sister — an Ice Facial is definitely a great bet.
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