You'd think that skincare addicts would swear by shelves of beauty products but only the true few take it a step further. Skincare treatments do what at-home bottles and DIY kits cannot; give you expert help with upgraded techniques and tools that look like something out of a sci-fi movie. Like laser removal or UV cured gel nails, there's another professional grade treatment that has garnered the attention of the community at large. Cryotherapy can be best translated to mean 'cold therapy' in layman's terms. Also dubbed as 'frotox', it is a treatment in which the skin over the face, localised areas of the body or it in entirety is exposed to vaporised liquid nitrogen. Hollywood A-listers like Justin Bieber, Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and Justin Timberlake as well as athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo and Floyd Mayweather are known to use cryotherapy for appearances, while filming movies and in the case of sports people, for recovery. Some are such fervent devotees that they even have cryotherapy chambers in their mansions.
One of the greatest advantages of cryotherapy is its instantaneous quality. While serums and lotions rely on your skin cell's long renewal cycle, the skin treatment has instant results. The benefits of it are many. It improves blood circulation, tightens pores and boost cell regeneration. That's only taking into account the skincare aspect. In terms of wellness, it relieves muscle pain, relaxes the body, eases soreness and can even improve metabolism.
So when I got a chance to drop in at Alchemy situated at Mumbai's Marine Drive to try out the treatment, of course I couldn't say no. It promised a spin on traditional skin treatments with the use of Organic Riot's vegan, cruelty-free products.
On a hot October afternoon, the view of the golden Arabian sea was like an oasis in the midst of a bustling day - white, calm and relaxed. The combination of a thorough cleansing, wet massage and dry massage were enough to revitalise my face and leave it tingling, even with the weather in the 30s.
But for me, it was the whole body cryotherapy that truly shone. And that's coming from someone who isn't a newbie in professional grade facials and treatments. A massive metal chamber in a dark room was intimidatingly releasing vapour clouds when I was asked to step inside alone in my skivvies. A few minutes into it was when I actually realised what I had gotten myself into.
As gentle as the gusts of liquid nitrogen gas were, the icy cold washing over me was immediate. So was the realisation that I'm braving sub zero temperatures with next to no protection. My extremities were protected from frostbite thank God and goose bumps were appearing on my skin. It's a funny feeling when you're freezing like you're in the Tundra, even though you stepped out of Mumbai's sticky heat merely minutes ago. In three minutes to the T, I was escorted out in my robe and changed back to my clothes.
The real effects of cryotherapy follow soon after the treatment is done. My skin felt fresher and cooler, even when I step back outside. My body felt more revitalised and I was more at ease, and all it took was minutes worth of cryotherapy. Prolonged treatments will definitely have more long term effects but it took me one session to feel more refreshed, eased and cool.