For years now people have been using ice or cold compresses for under-eye circles, large pores, and any number of things to help them achieve that smooth, flawless skin.
But does it work? And more importantly, is it safe to use ice under your eyes on a long-term basis?
Can You Safely Use Ice For Under-Eye Circles & Wrinkles
Yes, you can safely use ice or cold compresses under your eyes for dark circles and wrinkles. However, like with all treatments, there is a correct way to do this.
Now, when done correctly, ice or cold compresses can soothe inflammation and swelling under the eyes. The coldness helps to shrink blood vessels under the eyes which reduces blood flow to the area.
This lessens the puffiness. Less inflammation over time will allow the skin to regain some of its firmness and lessen the darkness that can result from constant inflammation.
I had a significant reduction in puffiness and swelling caused by my insomnia when using this method.
Other great ways to get rid of dark circles are:
How To Use A Cold Compress Or Ice For Under-Eye Circles
The easiest way to apply ice or a cold compress to your under eyes is by wrapping a small piece of ice in a clean cloth or towel and then placing it gently on the area.
- Remember that the skin under your eyes is very thin and sensitive so do not leave it on the skin for more than 60 seconds.
- Do not place ice directly on the under-eye skin. Use a thin cloth or tissue as a barrier between your skin and the ice.
For added skin barrier protection, I and many skin care experts recommend cleansing your skin first and then applying some moisturizer under the eyes to keep the skin barrier hydrated and soft.
Also make sure that the ice, cloth, or other cold product you are using is clean and safe for use, and avoid getting it directly into your eyes.
To explore your options to lighten dark circles check out my article on The 10 Medical & Home Remedies For Under Eye Dark Circles
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How long Should You Leave Ice on Under Eyes?
Do not leave the ice or cold compress on the skin for more than 60 seconds at a time. Lift it off and move it around your eyes. You can keep doing this for 5-10 minutes but remember only leave the ice on your skin for 60 seconds.
If your skin starts to feel numb or tender (like a burn), stop immediately. This means you may have left the ice on your skin too long.
I know a few people who left their compress on for too long and end up getting burns, so you need to be careful.
Some natural ways that can help lighten your under-eyes are:
How Often Can You Put Ice on Your Under Eyes?
This icing process can be done 2-3 times per week for beginners and eventually every morning as your skin gets used to the treatment.
How often you will need to use it will depend on how much puffiness you get and how bad your circles are. For me, 2 sessions in one week were enough to reduce swelling.
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Please keep in mind that this treatment will not immediately fix your under-eye circles. You will see an immediate difference in swelling and puffiness, but deep-set circles and darkness will take weeks to look visibly different.
Related Article – Chamomile Tea Bags On Eyes: Benefits & How To Use
Alternatives To Using Ice
Apart from using regular ice, you can also use a cold spoon, cold tea bags, jelly ice packs, cold under-eye masks, or commercial ice rollers. Just be careful to avoid getting any cold liquid into your eyes.
Benefits of Using Ice For Under-Eye Circles
1- Reduces Inflammation
The main mechanism of action of ice on the skin that skin care experts are concerned with is its ability to reduce blood flow under the skin of the under eyes which reduces inflammation.
This is also helpful for people who have inflammatory skin conditions like eczema which can even affect the eyes along with puffiness and circles.
Related Article – Niacinamide for Dark Spots & Wrinkles Under the Eyes
2- Shrinks pores and tightens the skin
Ice also constricts your pores which helps to control oiliness and clogging. It also gives the skin a tighter and more firm look and feel.
This significantly helps to improve the appearance of under-eye circles. The tightening of the skin also helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Related Article – Using Azelaic Acid for Wrinkles & Circles Under the Eyes
3- Gently exfoliates
Using ice on your skin gently helps to remove dead skin cells. This gives the skin a cleaner appearance and stimulates the growth of new cells underneath.
Related Article – Can You Use Salicylic Acid Under the Eyes – Shocking Truth
4- Soothes acne and sunburn
The coldness helps to soothe the part of the inflammatory process that makes acne and sunburn heated and painful and/or swollen. If you get acne close to your under eyes or have been sunburned, ice is a great way to gently soothe the area.
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Risks of Using Ice For Under-Eye Circles
Even though icing the skin of the under-eye is relatively safe, it can cause some unwanted effects if not done correctly.
Here are a few things to be cautious of:
- Cold burn
- Nerve Damage
These effects can occur if you leave the ice on your skin way too long or if you treat already irritated or broken skin. They can also cause your under-eye darkness to get worse.
However, before any of these can occur, you will more likely be able to feel when the coldness is too much and remove the ice in time.
To be on your safe side, always test your skin first. Then only leave the cold object on your skin for a minute at a time or less at a time.
If you think that you have burned your skin or irritated it, stop using the ice and do not reapply it for a few days. Moisturize the area and avoid putting anything else on the skin. If it still feels irritated after a few days, if you have worsening swelling, pain, or persistent numbness, seek medical attention as soon as you can.