Oxygen is the new buzzword in anti-ageing. But does it work, or is the hype around this new treatment all hot air?
Promoting a facial literally made of air seems akin to being a townsperson awkwardly cheering on the emperor as he struts the streets in his undies, convinced he’s draped in Gucci.
If it’s invisible and completely non-tangible, not to mention something readily available for free, and has clients lining up to pay a pretty penny for the privilege, surely the oxygen facial must be one of the biggest cons of the beauty industry this decade?
It would certainly seem that way, until you break down the science behind this unique treatment…
Oxygen – don’t we already have enough of it?
We typically think of oxygen as something needed by our lungs to keep us alive, but oxygen has quite a few more functions besides that. It’s also required by all of our body’s cells in order to renew when they start getting a bit hagged, much like the snake sheds his skin to make way for a fresh new one. Without it, many of our body’s processes would shut down.
Unfortunately, as we age, the oxygen levels in our facial tissue decline, decreasing blood circulation and causing our skin to look dull. And if you’re thinking, ‘But don’t we get enough oxygen in the air?’ the answer is, not really. The air we breathe is actually composed of just 18 per cent oxygen (O2). Combine that with pollution, sun damage and other environmental factors, and you have a recipe for a clogged system starved of enough O2 to promote significant cell turnover – the perfect environment for rapid ageing.
How does extra oxygen help the skin?
When concentrated directly on the skin, oxygen has a plumping, hydrating effect, promoting the softening of fine lines and wrinkles and de-clogging of pores, allowing for faster cell turnover. Oxygen also kills bacteria, promoting a clearer, more even-toned complexion.
What happens during an oxygen facial?
An oxygen facial begins with cleansing the client’s skin and exfoliating. Next comes the oxygenation. This is usually a masque applied to the face, which will begin to fizz and bubble while it oxygenates the skin at a cellular level. There may be slight pressure on the client’s skin, followed by a cooling effect. For some treatments, a pure plant stem cell enhancer is also applied to further rejuvenate and prevent signs of ageing. Lastly, a moisturiser is applied, ideally containing SPF to protect the skin from further sun damage.
The $60million question: does it actually work?
For most clients, the results of an oxygen facial are immediate, and very noticeable. Typical results include increased luminosity, hydration, improved texture and a softening of fine lines. For this reason, the oxygen facial has become a cult pre-event treatment for clients preparing for a wedding or special occasion. But as with most facial treatments, lasting results aren’t always seen from a single treatment. The best results are when the facial is repeated regularly and paired with a good skincare regime.
The latest oxygenating products
1. O2 Lift Treatment Kit, 2. 25% Stem Cell Facial Enhancer, 3. O2 Lift Enzymatic Facial Peel, 4. O2 Lift Oxygenating Facial Masque. Contact Image Skincare for more details.