How Was Your Day … Face-Freezing Aesthetician?
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because sometimes it’s OK to talk to strangers.
By Leslie Nguyen-Okwu
In this occasional series, OZY takes to streets and neighborhoods across the globe to ask a simple question: “How was your day?”
Mountain View, California
Today, I’m feeling tired, but that’s nothing a little nitrogen can’t fix. A frigid blast of liquid nitrogen to my face — 292 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, to be exact. Some people plod through hasty morning jogs. Others guzzle down steaming cups of joe like it’s oxygen. Not me. The secret to my peachy-keen attitude on this early Monday morning is not endorphins or caffeine, but a CryoFacial.
I’m a 20-year-old part-time aesthetician at the Peninsula Wellness Centre. Fingers crossed, I’ll be a chiropractor one day; I’m gearing up for a round of chiropractic college applications. But for now, I throw on my scrubs most mornings and operate a CryoFacial machine that makes your skin firmer, your hair thicker, your lashes longer and your pores smaller. With a wave of my CryoWand, a fog of pressurized liquid nitrogen will stream into your face, hair and neck — and ta-da! You’re red-carpet ready. In my opinion, every woman should have these deep-freeze facials in their beauty arsenal. They’re better than Botox. It’s only been a month so far, but I’ve already gotten compliments on how much tighter and glossier my own skin is.
I believe that beauty starts from the inside out — the skin, that is. Superficial or not, bad skin affects the best of us. Since I was a teenager, I’ve dabbled in skin care treatments of all kinds, including painful microdermabrasions and toxic bleaching of sun spots. I used to be insecure about my skin. It was dry; I had big pores. I was also overweight when I was younger. But I started working out, watched the pounds drop and now I feel so much more confident.
I know … a woman died after being locked in a cryotherapy chamber in Nevada a few weeks ago. And sure, it’s not yet FDA approved. But it’s not just all hippie-dippie hocus-pocus.
Today, a middle-aged woman named Judy walked into the clinic. I led her past the reception desk and into a corner cordoned off by floor-to-ceiling curtains. I switched on the machine and played guitar music. I know the drill. First, I started with her hair, for follicle growth. Next, I moved on to her face, for wrinkle reduction. And then her neck, for collagen production. We’re one of the few places in the country that offers this kind of treatment, but soon CryoFacials will go mainstream. I tell Judy it’s like a refreshing face-lift without going under a painful needle.
There are people who are suspicious. But once they know the benefits that come from it, they come around. No chemicals. Noninvasive. I’ve never seen anything like it. My dream job would be to treat scoliosis, something I’ve seen patients suffer through time and time again. I want to start my own chiropractic practice and use ice therapies to soothe a painful crooked spine.
Judy winced from the icy air blowing into her eyes. I eased up on the flow, turned the machine down a notch or two. I know the whole cryotherapy trend, CryoFacials included, has its skeptics. I know … a woman died after being locked in a cryotherapy chamber in Nevada a few weeks ago. And sure, it’s not yet FDA approved. But it’s not just all hippie-dippie hocus-pocus. I can see Judy’s skin tightening, glowing before my eyes. Eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis — with a small dose of vaporized liquid nitrogen, it can all be cured. For those who believe it’s just hype, I encourage them to try it once. And sure enough, they become daily addicts like me.
Time’s up. Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” wafts in the background. I shut the music off, lay down my CryoWand. I’ve got three patients waiting and it’s not even noon yet.