I Tried "Frotox", a Skin Tightening Treatment Using Freezing Temperatures, and This Is What Happened...

Aesthetics Hub | 14 Dec 2018


Frotox is essentially a cryotherapy facial, but has been given its nickname due to its tightening and smoothing abilities. Alongside cleansing, massage and extractions, the facial treatment involves using targeted jets of dry ice (liquid nitrogen) onto the face to gradually lower the temperature of the skin from around 35°C, to around 7°C. This process causes vaso restriction, where the blood vessels to the skin shrink, allowing a reduction in redness, inflammation and puffiness. While all can benefit from the soothing effect, the treatment is especially effective on skins with inflammatory conditions like acne and rosacea. 



Lottie Winter, beauty editor



I have breakout-prone but sensitive skin, meaning that skincare ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid and Vitamin C, that would ordinarily be useful to treat blemishes, easily and quickly cause irritation and redness. It would be brilliant to find a treatment that was able to alleviate my breakouts and open pores without causing further flare ups!



I book in for the Ice Clear Facial at skincare brand Sunday Riley's treatment room within Hershesons - the one-stop shop for all your beauty requirements with offerings from The Light Salon, Ministry Of Wax, Suman Brows and DryBy nail bar on top of their signature cut, colour and blow dries. 

The treatment room is tucked away towards the back, and once inside, you wouldn't have a clue you were in the midst of a busy salon. The room is small but captures all the tranquillity of a spa, along with the added merit of some seriously impressive medical devices and skincare machines. 

My facial begins with a thorough cleansing and facial massage to aid lymphatic drainage, moving along all the toxins and tension in my facial muscles. Next, steaming and extractions to unblock and deep clean my pores and address any existing breakouts. Next, a light treatment using a multitude of light frequencies to treat all manner of ailments (red light to boost collagen, blue light to target bacteria, and yellow light to aid repair). While it's not the most relaxing experience, this is exactly what I want from a facial - something that will actually improve my skin health and quality, and something that I couldn't do myself at home.

Now for the moment of truth - the cryotherapy machine. It's a bulky machine that displays all kinds of figures on its screen - the one jumping out being "-162°C". Yep, that's how cold the liquid nitrogen that's about to be pumped over my skin is. It is pumped through a tube an out onto my skin through a nozzle, which is also fitted with lasers that are able to measure skin temperature in real time.

My therapist ensured me that I won't get frostbite (!) because she keeps the tube continuously moving, so no one area ever gets too cold. Plus, that's exactly what the lasers are for - to measure the skin and make sure it doesn't get too cold.  

And it really doesn't feel too cold. I mean, it's cold but it's not in any way painful or too uncomfortable to bear. The application continues for around 10 minutes, so there's a lot of time to get used to the sensation, but after about three minutes I had to get under the covers and tuck myself in up to the chin. After about minute five, my skin surface temperature was down to 10°C and my muscles were involuntarily twitching, but not in a bad way. I could feel my eyebrows getting higher and higher as the muscles became colder and started to understand why the treatment was dubbed "Frotox". 

Immediately after the treatment, my face feels frozen but my skin looks radiant. I have to brace the windy and rainy weather outside and the combination of even more coldness means my eyes are streaming and my nose is completely numb. 

Over the next few days, the immediate radiance is met with incremental improvements - my pores are invisible, the under-the-skin spots I get have vanished, and there's a definite glow. The improvements are so impressive that I venture out without any foundation or concealer for the first time in about 10 years. I mean, it's very impressive. 

After about a week, my skin begins to revert to its usual, congested self and I promptly book back in for a top up. While the benefits are significant, they are fleeting, and I'd recommend a series of treatments to enjoy the full benefits. But if I ever had an event where I needed my skin to look the best it could ever look, this is the treatment I would book for.



This article first appeared in Glamour.


Our Panel of Doctor's Services
DR Celine Leong, Astique Clinic
Microdermabrasion, $214 for 2
Microdermabrasion uses micro-particles to exfoliate the dull surface of your skin, vacuuming out particles of dead skin to allow a fresh new glowing skin to resurface.
Chemical Peel, $214 for 2
Chemical Peel is a 3- to 7-day controlled skin peel system. This medical-grade cosmetic treatment is based on the inhibition of tyrosinase, a critical enzyme in the melanin (pigment) production process, and is designed to lighten blemishes and resistant pigmentation, and brighten your complexion quickly and effectively.
Medi-Facial, from $235.40 to $342.40
Medi-facials are skin treatments formulated to improve general skin health as well as to address specific skin conditions.
Radiance Ex Treatment, $321
Specially created by our doctors over the years, Astique's Radiance Ex Treatment is effective in treating pigmentation, fine lines/wrinkles, enlarged pores as well as dull and oily skin.
CO2 Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing, $399
Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing is effective in reducing acne scars.
Pigment Laser, $350
At ASTIQUE, we use the Medlite from HOYA ConBio®, the latest in Q-switched laser technology. The Medlite has been studied in many clinical trials and is approved by the FDA for the successful treatment of pigmentation disorders.
350 Orchard Road, #08-00 Shaw House, Singapore 238868
Dr Ivan Tan, Nu.Reflections Medical Aesthetics
Pigment Laser, from $250 onwards
This highly versatile treatment is used to treat a variety of pigmentary disorders such as freckles and sun spots, melasma and aged spots. This treatment can also help on enlarged pores and gives the skin an overall rejuvenated appearance.
Mosaic Resurfacing Laser, from $600 onwards
Mosaic Resurfacing Laser is one of the most effective treatments for skin resurfacing, to treat wrinkles and fine lines, photo damaged skin and acne scars.
Triniti Total Face Renewal, from $1,800 onwards
This treatment combines IPL, Radiofrequency and Diode Laser which work synergistically to provide an overhaul, improving the texture, colour and tone for the aging skin.
E-Plus Sublime Facelift, from $850 onwards
The E-Plus Sublime Facelift uses a unique combination of bipolar radiofrequency and infrared light for skin tightening and overall lifting.
123 Penang Road, Office tower #05-12 Regency House (next to old Cockpit Hotel), Singapore 238465
Dr. Elias Tam Tak Chuen, EHA Clinic
Fractional Skin Laser, from $856 onwards
Starts at $856 for one session and is a good solution for acne scars
Pigmentation Laser, from $428 onwards
Laser for skin rejuvenation or pigmentation using Q-Switch - starts at $428 for one session
1 Scotts Road, #15-01 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208