Why Facial Icing Is A+ For Makeup Prep + How To Do It Safely

If you want an extra-smooth makeup application, you may look to a primer to prep the skin for foundation, contour, powder, and whatever else you choose to layer on. If your end goal is to keep your makeup in place or add a certain finish (think dewy versus matte), then primers are certainly the way to go. 

However, if you’re simply using a primer to even your skin tone, then skin icing may be an alternative method to consider (or serve as a pre-primer step for those who want to go the extra mile). 

Double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Konstantin Vasyukevich, M.D., tells mbg that facial icing can lead to reduced puffiness and inflammation, temporary brightening of dark circles, and an overall more even complexion. A lovely base for makeup, no?

Vasyukevich also explains the science behind this method: “One of the reasons ice has such a positive effect on the skin is because cold objects help drain unwanted excess fluid buildup from the lymphatic system,” he says. Think of it like a cold plunge for your face—it de-puffs swollen areas and constricts blood vessels, which can help dial down discoloration.

Other forms of facial massage, including gua sha, can have a similar effect when it comes to de-puffing. These tools are especially helpful when incorporated into a regular, long-term practice, but you can think of facial icing as a momentary reward. To reiterate: Gua sha and facial icing methods shouldn’t be categorized as one or the other but rather different methods with different results. 

When it comes to makeup prep and momentary benefits, however, a chilled facial tool (or even straight-up ice) takes the cake. Below, find a quick how-to. 

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