Oxygen is a funny thing. It is necessary to life and, yet, too much can be deadly. So, when it makes an appearance in anti-aging products such as Madonna’s oxygen facials or the Duchess of Cambridge’s fave Karin Herzog’s oxygen-based Vita-A-Kombi, I have mixed feelings. After all, you can have too much of a good thing and since I am not at the top of Mount Everest or under water, I am unlikely to be oxygen deficient. Nevertheless, I was very curious to try my free sample of Oxygen Pur Serum ($80), which is oxygen with a water base, a gelling agent and preservative.

You have to be a big believer in oxygen with this formula. And I think the first hurdle for me to overcome was the sense of emperor’s new clothes. I have a bottle of something with an invisible active. Hmm.

Oxygen Pur claims that it has a breakthrough technology that enables it to dissolve oxygen in water (after removing the nitrogen). Because the skin absorbs water more easily than air, the oxygen is now supposed to more easily penetrate the skin. There is a study that concluded that when exposed to water with elevated oxygen levels there is a transfer of oxygen through the dermis and increased blood flow.

Against this there are oxygen skeptics and even those who conclude it is bad for you. Oxygen facials are seen as bad things since an excess of high-pressure oxygen applied to the skin's surface can theoretically generate high levels of free radicals and degrade oxidizable molecules. Oxygen in cream is much more benign. However, Dr Marie-Claude Martini doesn’t like the cosmetic use of oxygen one bit, saying that in “all cases oxygen has intense physiological action” and because oxygen is a pro-oxidizer that can cause free radical damage, the body will automatically detect and reject any excess oxygen.

Nontheless, I decided to give Oxygen Pur Serum a go and tested it for about five weeks. The simple gel was easily absorbed and left my skin looking a teensy bit shiny. And that was really about it. I did not notice any change or improvement. Although, Oxygen Pur may have developed a new way of handling oxygen, I am still not convinced that its topical application is an anti-ager – at least not from my own experience.

Having said that, if you are intrigued by oxygen, then I would try Oxygen Pur before going for Karin Herzog cosmetics, which use hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which is such a strong oxidizer it is used as a teeth whitener and food preservative.

Ingredients in Oxygen Pur SerumWater, oxygen, cellulose gelling agent, Microcare MTC