Health & Fitness

Cryotherapy in the service of beauty

A nitrogen bath at – 200 ° C to firm the body, an edelweiss cream to relax facial features, North Atlantic seaweed to enhance the eye area… Cosmetic treatments are entering the era glacial.

Never before has the land of beauty known such a cold episode. The polar wind is blowing in stores, where the benefits of a new category of active ingredients supposed to boost the effectiveness of creams are touted: the plant capable of surviving extreme temperatures.

Frozen rays therefore grow, from the most anticipated to the most unexpected species: the edelweiss (Super Soin Solaire Visage, by Sisley, and Prodigy Reversis Night, by Helena Rubinstein), the orchid from the summits of Courchevel (Exertier ), a mysterious alpine flower from the Ice Age (Eternal Snow Cream from Polaar) and algae from the icy waters of the North Atlantic (Hydraskin Regard Frais Continu from Darphin).

« Irruption de la high-tech »

The temperatures also drop in the institute, where “cryo” protocols are widely used. There is localized cryotherapy, nitrogen spraying on an area of ​​the body, to melt cellulite, or on the face, to limit the effects of age. Cryolipolysis, which consists of sucking a bead in a suction cup, then freezing the adipocytes to liquidate them.

More impressive, whole body cryotherapy (WBC) involves the client entering a chamber, from which only the head protrudes, and taking a three-minute nitrogen “bath”. The displayed temperature is close to – 200 ° C.

According to Bertrand Vaillant, founder of the Parisian cryotherapy center Good Regen, sales of this type of refrigerated cabin are increasing by 20% per year in France. In Paris, around fifteen centers are equipped. The thalassos are also tempted. In short, the CCE is the latest fashionable technique, like, in their time, the Power Plate or tanning showers. But where does this passion come from?

“The cold is surrounded by a very strong mythology, associated with fantasies of hibernation and eternal life,” recalls Pascale Brousse, founder of trendy firm Trend Sourcing. It also conveys a promise of performance, according to his colleague Pierre Bisseuil, of Peclers: “Used in cosmetics, plants resistant to extreme cold give the idea that the product will be effective. “

The string of cold has been exploited by brands for a long time (“sorbet” creams, cooling eye masks, “cooling” effect after-suns, “ice cubes” gels for light legs). “It is the emergence of high-tech that is arousing renewed interest,” continues Pascale Brousse. And creates controversy.

Muscle benefits

Doctor Jean-Robert Filliard is familiar with cryotherapy. A specialist in sports sciences, he was the first French doctor to work on the CCE. In 2009, he equipped the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (Insep) with a real “cold room” at – 110 ° C in which high-level athletes parade to accelerate recovery after the ‘effort.

“In thermal shock, the body reacts to maintain itself at 37 ° C. There is a decrease in the diameter of the blood vessels and the release of anti-inflammatory molecules and endorphins “, explains the doctor. Before clarifying: “We should not speak of CCE when it comes to simple boxes from which the head sticks out. We have many thermal sensors in the face, so exposing the face is important for the benefit. “

Above all muscle benefits. Nothing to do, therefore, with the weight loss often claimed: “I have already given 35,000 sessions, and I can tell you that the cold has never made anyone lose weight,” says Jean-Robert Filliard.

 There remains the well-being experienced after the session. “” Cryo “responds to issues related to our lifestyles, such as stress, fatigue, lack of sleep,” assures coach Steve Compagnon, founder of the Pole cryotherapy institute. A less fanciful argument, put forward to appeal to a wider audience than just marathon runners.

However, insists Jean-Robert Filliard, “being exposed to this type of cold is not trivial”. “I advocate the CEC only in cures. And it is important that it be medicalized, ”he adds. In serious centers, a doctor, and not a beautician, supervises the sessions. For those who like the idea, there is the battery of creams with edelweiss and other resistant plants, rich in antioxidant defense molecules. Or the cold shower.


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