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Does Ice Water Help Acne? (Your Questions Answered)

In the quest for clear skin, many of us have stumbled upon the question: Does ice water help acne? This age-old treatment has seen countless people dunking their faces in ice-cold water bowls, taking cold showers, and even applying ice cubes directly to their skin.

But what does the science say? Is there merit to these frosty skincare routines, or are they just a shiver-inducing myth? Let’s explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of using ice water for acne and uncover the truth behind this cold skincare phenomenon.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Ice water treatments like dunking the face in cold water or ice facials can reduce inflammation and tighten pores, offering temporary relief for acne.
  • The water temperature used for washing the face is crucial; lukewarm water is generally recommended for its gentleness and effectiveness.
  • Regular cold water therapies, including cold showers and ice dips, can contribute to skin health and should be part of a comprehensive skincare routine.
  • Integrating Exposed Skin Care products with cold water treatments can enhance overall acne management, leading to healthier, more balanced skin.

Woman holding a bowl of ice

The Cold, Hard Facts: Unpacking the Theory Behind Ice Water and Acne

Before diving into whether submerging your face in ice or taking cold showers for acne is beneficial, it's essential to understand the theory behind these practices.

Why Cold Water?

The idea that cold water may help with acne is based on several aspects:

  • Reduce Inflammation: Cold temperatures are known for their ability to reduce inflammation. Since acne is fundamentally an inflammatory condition, it’s thought that the cold can help reduce this aspect.
  • Shrink Pores: Cold water can temporarily tighten the skin, which may reduce the appearance of pores. Smaller-looking pores can lead to a face that looks smoother.
  • Calm Irritated Skin: Coldness can soothe skin irritation, providing relief to inflamed acne spots.

But does this theory hold up in practice? Let's delve deeper.

Does Ice Water Help Acne? The Ice-Cold Verdict

Chilling Evidence

When it comes to understanding if cold water helps acne, there are several points to consider:

  • Inflammation Reduction: Submerging your face in ice or using cold water may reduce puffiness and inflammation, which are key components of acne. This could lead to less prominent acne.
  • Soothing Effect: Cold water can calm skin irritation, a common side effect of acne.
  • Enhancing Circulation: Cold exposure can stimulate blood flow when the skin warms back up, potentially aiding in skin health.

Person taking a dip in an icy lake

However, it's important to note that while these effects sound promising, they are usually temporary.

The Ice Water Facial: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Perform an Ice Water Face Dip

Immersing your face in ice-cold water might sound daunting, but it’s a simple process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to performing an ice water facial:

  1. Prepare Your Bowl: Fill a bowl with cold water and add ice cubes.
  2. Clean Your Face: Always start with a clean face. Wash your face with lukewarm water and a gentle face wash to remove dirt and oil.
  3. Dip Your Face: Hold your breath and submerge your face in the ice water. Hold for as long as comfortably possible, then come up for air.
  4. Repeat: Do this several times, depending on your tolerance.
  5. Dry and Moisturize: Gently pat your face dry and follow up with your favorite skincare products.

Benefits of an Ice Water Face Dip

  • Instant Refreshment: This technique provides an immediate feeling of being refreshed and awakened.
  • Reduced Puffiness: It can help reduce puffiness, especially around the eyes.
  • Temporary Pore Tightening: Your skin will feel tighter and more toned, albeit temporarily.

Cold Showers for Acne: A Refreshing Approach to Skin Care

Taking the Plunge into Cold Showers

Apart from dunking your face in ice water, taking a cold shower is another method believed to help with acne. But what does taking a cold shower entail for your skin?

  • Stimulates Blood Flow: Cold showers may improve circulation, giving your skin a healthier appearance.
  • Reduces Hot Water Damage: Hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dry skin. Cold water doesn’t have this effect.
  • Decreases Inflammation: Cold showers can help reduce inflammation and calm the skin like the ice water facial.

Man taking a cold shower

How to Incorporate Cold Showers into Your Routine

  • Start Lukewarm: Begin with lukewarm water to cleanse your face and body.
  • Gradual Temperature Decrease: Slowly turn the temperature down to a cooler setting.
  • Duration: Aim for a few minutes in the cold water to reap the benefits.
  • Daily Routine: Incorporating cold showers daily can maximize potential benefits.

The Science of Cold: Understanding How Temperature Affects Skin

To truly grasp the potential benefits of ice water on acne, it’s important to delve into how temperature impacts our skin.

Cold Temperature and Skin Cells

  • Constriction of Blood Vessels: Cold water causes blood vessels to constrict, reducing redness and swelling.
  • Effects on Sebum Production: While cold water doesn’t directly affect sebum production, it can help manage its visible effects.
  • Skin Hydration: Cold water doesn’t strip the skin of natural oils, helping maintain hydration levels.

Warm Water vs. Cold Water

  • Warm Water Benefits: Opens pores and helps in cleansing, but can also strip away natural oils.
  • Cold Water Benefits: Tightens skin and reduces inflammation without removing essential oils.

Integrating Ice Water into Your Acne Care Routine

Finding the Right Balance

While the benefits of ice water and cold showers for acne seem promising, it's crucial to integrate these practices sensibly into your routine.

  1. Moderation is Key: Don’t overdo the cold; too much exposure can lead to skin irritation.
  2. Complement with Other Treatments: Use ice water methods with other acne treatments for the best results.
  3. Pay Attention to Your Skin Type: Be cautious if you have sensitive skin. Start slowly and observe how your skin reacts.

Tips for Incorporating Cold Water into Your Routine

  • Morning Ice Water Splash: A quick splash of cold water in the morning can invigorate and reduce morning puffiness.

Morning splash of ice water on the face

  • Post-Exercise Cold Shower: A cold shower can help close pores and refresh your skin after a workout.
  • Evening Ice Facial: An ice facial before bed can soothe your skin after a day of exposure to pollutants and irritants.

Beyond the Chill: Complementary Acne Treatments

While exploring the question, "Does ice water help acne?" it's important to remember that acne treatment is multifaceted. Here are some complementary approaches:

Effective Skin Care Practices

  • Regular Cleansing: Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser.
  • Exfoliation: Regularly exfoliate to remove dead skin cells, but avoid over-exfoliating as it can irritate acne-prone skin.
  • Moisturizing: Keep your skin hydrated with a non-comedogenic moisturizer.

Lifestyle Adjustments for Healthier Skin

  • Diet and Hydration: Eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated for overall skin health.
  • Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate acne, so find ways to manage stress effectively.
  • Sleep: Ensure you get enough sleep, as lack of sleep can affect skin health.

Enhancing Acne Management with Exposed Skin Care

Incorporating Exposed Skin Care into your acne treatment routine can significantly enhance the benefits of traditional methods like cold water therapies. Combining the effectiveness of Exposed Skin Care with practices such as ice water facials and cold showers can help manage acne more effectively.

Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

Here are some key benefits:

  • Synergy with Cold Water Treatments: When combined with the cooling effects of ice-cold water or an ice-water facial, Exposed Skin Care products can help reduce inflammation more efficiently. This synergistic effect can lead to a face that looks more refreshed and less inflamed.
  • Enhanced Hydration and Oil Regulation: Exposed Skin Care products are designed to hydrate without over-stripping the skin of its natural oils, balancing the drying effect of cold therapies like dunking your face in a bowl of ice water.
  • Targeting the Root Causes of Acne: The components of acne are addressed directly with ingredients that target bacteria, reduce puffiness, and help regulate sebum production. This is especially beneficial when alternating between cold and hot water during skincare.
  • Gentle Yet Effective: Suitable for sensitive skin, these products can be used with cold showers to help manage acne without causing additional irritation.
  • Promoting Glowing Skin: Regular use of Exposed Skin Care, along with cold therapy techniques such as putting ice cubes in a bowl of water and gently rinsing your face, can lead to healthier, glowing skin.
  • Preserving Skin's Natural Balance: The careful formulation of these products ensures that the skin's natural balance is maintained, even when experimenting with temperature-based treatments like cold plunges or ice therapy.

By integrating Exposed Skin Care with methods like cold water facials and ice water dips, you can enjoy the compounded benefits of advanced skincare and natural remedies, ensuring your skin stays clear, vibrant, and healthy.


The benefits of ice and ice water in skin care highlight a compelling intersection between natural remedies and scientific insights. Submerging the entire face in ice-cold water or simply washing it with cold water can tighten the skin's surface. 

This potentially reduces inflammation and gives the skin a refreshed appearance. Yet, it's crucial to balance this with warm water to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils. Moreover, the temperature of the water plays a significant role in skin health.

While cold water reduces pore size and soothes the skin, lukewarm water remains a gentle and effective choice for cleansing. Regularly dunking one's face in a bowl of cold water, especially with ice cubes, can invigorate skin cells and help manage acne by reducing inflammation.

However, it's essential to remember that while using cold water and ice therapy offers numerous skin benefits, they should be part of a broader skin care strategy. Integrating quality products, like those from Exposed Skin Care, ensures a comprehensive approach to maintaining healthy, vibrant skin.

Whether cold or hot, water comes with its own set of benefits, and incorporating these elements thoughtfully into your routine can lead to better skin health and appearance.


How Does Ice Water Affect Acne?

Ice water can help reduce inflammation and redness associated with acne. The cold temperature tightens pores and soothes the skin's surface.

Can Cold Showers Help Clear Acne?

Yes, cold showers can help with acne by reducing inflammation and tightening skin pores. However, they should be used as part of a broader skincare routine.

Is It Better to Wash Your Face with Cold or Hot Water?

It's best to use lukewarm water for cleansing the face. Hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils, while cold water tightens the skin and can reduce inflammation.

Can Dunking Your Face in Ice Water Improve Skin Health?

Yes, dunking your face in ice water can temporarily improve skin health by reducing puffiness and invigorating skin cells, leading to a refreshed appearance.

How Can Exposed Skin Care Enhance the Benefits of Cold Water Treatments?

Exposed Skin Care products can complement cold water treatments by providing hydration, balancing oil production, and targeting the root causes of acne without causing additional irritation.