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Oxygen facials

oxygen facials
December 7, 2007 Reviewed by Marta 3 Comments

Madonna is big on oxygen facials. I am reliably informed that she has her own machine at home. On numerous occasions I have been told she has the greatest skin ever.

I should also confess that my own monthly microcurrent facials are finished by a few minutes of oxygen mist. Its cool and refreshing. Nevertheless, I've secretly thought that it might be the most snake-oilish part of my treatment.

In addition to Madonna, oxygen's proponents are prestigious. Dr Paul Herzog of the Nobel Institute in Stockholm says that "the basic reason for early aging of the skin of the face lies in a decreased oxygen supply from the capillaries". His prescribed intervention is a cocktail of oxygen, water, vitamin A and glucose.

Since the 1930s, oxygen chambers have been used to treat the wounded or patients recovering from cancer. However, here oxygen to the cells is increased via the pulminary vascular system. In other words, oxygen is taken in by breathing. The idea that oxygen can have the same effect via the dermis is, according to at least one doctor (Dr Christopher Zachary of the University of California), "snake oil".

If that wasn't controversy enough, there is the issue of free radicals. Oxidation, caused by free radicals, contributes to the aging of cells and wrinkles. Oxygen is the conduit for free radicals to the skin's tissue. So shouldn't oxygen facial treatments make matters worse? Logically, yes. However, there is no evidence one way or the other.

In the meantime, the FDA has still not approved oxygen facials.

My verdict is that my two or three minutes of cooling mist is neither good or bad for me, but I certainly won't be increasing it.

  • January 24, 2009

    by Shannon

    I can only speak from experience. I used to get facials when I spent part of each year in Santa Fe NM. The air was so dry, it was almost a medical requirement. A friend recommended a facialist who touted oxygen misting at the end of a basic facial. She misted the face with a stream of oxygen while a layer of vegetable and fruit enzymes sat on the skin as a last step. A week later, you could still tell the difference. Weird and seemingly inexplicable, but true.

  • December 18, 2007

    by Marta

    <p>Peter<br />
    That's very interesting. Are you saying you can use too much topical vitamin C?<br />

  • December 18, 2007

    by Peter

    <p>Hello Marta, </p>

    <p>The actual "oxygen" component of oxygen skin care and facials is a nonsense because of course the skin doesn't breathe. </p>

    <p>People who push this idiotic therapy should strip down naked and stick their heads in a bucket of water... by their logic they shouldn't faint because there would still be plenty of "breathing" surface area left. </p>

    <p>The matter of whether or how much oxidation occurs is not so much a matter of oxygen being present alone, but what the metabolic balance is – how many anti-oxidants are there to counteract oxidants... an excess of anti-oxidants produces oxidation, too, a phenomenon seen in some users of topical vitamin C products. </p>

    <p><a href="" rel="nofollow"></a></p>

    <p>Peter. </p>

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