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> There are a lot of things that can be done in three minutes: making a cup of tea, demolishing a bag of malteasers or venting about your lunatic landlord in the whatsaap group chat. But what if I told you you could get great skin in three minutes too?

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Powder Diaries
How to get great skin in 3 minutes
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There are a lot of things that can be done in three minutes: making a cup of tea, demolishing a bag of malteasers or venting about your lunatic landlord in the whatsaap group chat. But what if I told you you could get great skin in three minutes too?

 Enter cyrotherapy. You might have heard about it before, but if you haven’t, it the process of using the cold temperature and ice on the body for health and beauty benefits. Intrigued by this idea, I went along to 111Cryo’s body treatment in Harvey Nichols to embrace the power of the chill.

 As someone who is always moaning about being cold anyway, I was initially apprehensive. Why? Because the 111Cryo’s body treatment involves standing in a cubicle, rather like your shower unit at home, at -90 degrees for 3 minutes, that’s why. The thought alone is enough to make you shiver. So why on earth would you do it, you ask? Submerging your body in air this cold is seriously good for your skin and general health.

 What are the benefits?

 - Reduces pores, increase collagen production and gives lackluster skin a kick up the arse.

- Eases joint pain, soothes aches and releases endorphins (the feel-good hormones) and adrenaline to make you feel sharp and energized.

 - If you’re sporty or perhaps training for the marathon, it can help reduce inflammation, repair muscle and speed up recovery time.

 - Similarly, the treatment can also help with weight management, as the cold can boost your metabolism, rev up your circulation and burn calories (up to 800 in one three minute session, which equates to a whole packet of Percy Pigs).

 What happens when you’re there?

 First off, you’re given a full health check to make sure you’re suitable for the treatment, then you change into your snazzy outfit to protect you from the cold. You get given some North Face shoes (basically slippers made out of sleeping bag material. I wish I’d stolen them - they were so comfy and I’d happily wear them for the rest of my life) and socks, two pairs of gloves, shorts (yikes) a sports bra and a vest. The vest is optional but encouraged – the more your skin is exposed, the better the treatment works. Then you get one of those mouth masks, like the Japanese and dentists wear, and a fleecy headband to keep your ears toasty. That is it.

 Upon entering the chamber, it does, unsurprisingly, feel really cold. However, you soon accustom to the temperature and it doesn’t actually feel that bad. Your body is tricked into ‘survival mode’, jolting your body to decide whether to ‘fight or flight’, which releases adrenaline and rushes blood to your core to keep your vital organs protected.

 A trainer is present with you at all times and directs you through some exercises once you’re in the chamber – not just to take your mind off things, but by moving around your body works harder and the effects are boosted – much more effective than staying huddled and wishing away the three minutes. You also get to pick your favourite song to listen to. My choice? Survivor, Destiny’s Child. Popular choices apparently include Ice, Ice Baby and I Will Survive. The three minutes really does fly by, once you’ve done the exercises and had a little dance.

What were the results?

 I felt super giddy afterwards, much like the feeling you get after riding a rollercoaster. I could immediately feel my circulation kicking in - illustrated by my reddening limbs as the blood rushed back to the surface. This is excellent for skin as the circulation boost brings plenty of oxygen in to your skin for a healthier complexion (win, as my skin was looking a bit pants on this particular Monday morning).

 I also felt a lot more energized and cheery for the rest of the day and noticed later in the week that my muscles weren’t quite as sore after my 10 mile run the day before. However, skip the mascara for your session – mine froze and then melted right off my lashes once I stepped out. Aside from that, it’s one of the best experiences I’ve tried and would urge anyone to give it a try.

 Now I’ve experienced this, I’ll never moan about being cold again. I might even go as far to say I’m a chill-seeker now.

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