Do oxygen facials work?

by beautifulwithbrains

oxygen facials
Oxygen facials are all the rage now. Apparently, celebrities like Madonna and Gwen Stefani swear by them. But, just because celebrities endorse them, doesn’t mean they work. We need to look at the science to figure that out. So, what’s the deal with oxygen facials?

What are oxygen facials?

Oxygen facials are treatments that claim to infuse the skin with oxygen. They are performed with a machine that uses a stream of pressurized oxygen to deliver a hyaluronic acid serum or other hydrating moisturizer into the skin.

The treatment was inspired by hyperbaric oxygen treatments that are proven to help treat wounds. These treatments increase the amount of oxygen in the lungs, which then delivers it through the blood to injured tissue. This process generates growth factors and stem cells that help it heal sooner.

But, this is so NOT what’s going on when you have oxygen blasted onto your face.

What the science says

Placing a person in a pressurized hyperbaric chamber isn’t the same as spraying oxygen on the skin. In the first case, a person can breathe the oxygen in. In the second, she can’t.

How can I be so sure? Easy. Oxygen can’t penetrate the skin. You see, skin doesn’t have lungs. It can’t breathe. It can’t absorb oxygen. When you spray oxygen on your skin, it stays on the surface.

So, why do oxygen facials seem to plump skin?

There are two theories:

1. It’s all in the serums

The machine that performs oxygen facials sprays a serum on your face. This usually contains hyaluronic acid, which is well-known to plump and soften skin even when comfortably resting on its surface.

2. It’s an inflammatory response

There may be an even more sinister explanation. After claiming “the concept that high-pressure oxygen would do anything to help the skin is such nonsense as to be laughable”, Dr Christopher B. Zachary, professor and dermatology department chairman at the University of California, suggests this plumping effect could be an inflammatory response caused by the blast of oxygen. And that’s NOT good for the skin.

What about free radicals?

Free radicals are those nasty little things that cause premature wrinkles. Too much oxygen can generate them. So, even if oxygen could penetrate skin, I’m not sure why you would want it to.

The Bottom Line

I don’t know about you, but I think that splurging up to $200 on a treatment science and experts say it doesn’t work and could potentially cause more problems than it solves is a waste of money. If you want to increase the levels of oxygen in your skin, simply take fast, deep breaths. And, if you’re concerned about wrinkles, stick to these proven-to-work anti-aging superstars.

Have you ever tried an oxygen facial? If so, how did it work for you?

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Dao December 22, 2008 - 6:17 pm

I say save yourself some money and get some good food. Oxygen facials is such a scam, I don’t know why people buy into it!

Nikki December 23, 2008 - 12:42 am

I thought so!!!! Thanks for sharing! I kinda knew it’s marketing strategy about the Oxygen stuffs..thanks for the post 🙂

beautifulwithbrains December 23, 2008 - 1:55 pm

Dao: You’re so right! I can’t understand why people believe it either. Maybe they think that because celebs do it, then it must work. Sadly, they’re wrong.

Nikki: you’re welcome. you’re right, it’s all about marketing. Aestheticians offer this service because they know there is a lot of hype about oxygen facials right now and they will make lots of money from it. Unfortunately people believe it so they don’t really see any reason why they should do tests to prove these facials actually work. It’s all kinda sad and not really ethical imo.

sab December 23, 2008 - 9:29 pm

$200?! ouch!

beautifulwithbrains December 24, 2008 - 11:33 am

I know! That’s a lot of money, can’t believe anyone would spend so much for something that doesn’t even work! What are people thinking?

stacey December 23, 2009 - 10:58 am

have you ever tried an oxygen facial?? You should not judge it unless you have!!! I know for a fact they work I have seen visual results many times including my brother who was a burn victim whom I did treatments on reguarly and it calmed his skin down so much he has no scarring. Also science does confirm by studies that oxygen under pressure does NOT cause free radical damage!! Not to mention that it is not just about the oxygen itself to provide the results but the serums that are used inconjunction with the treatment. I am a believer Why?? because I have seen incredible results, I have many testimonals of satisfied customers that love the treatment and would never have anything else!

beautifulwithbrains December 24, 2009 - 6:50 pm

Hi Stacey,

no, I have never tried an oxygen facial before and I don’t think I ever will. Before paying that kind of money, I would like to see some scientific studies backing up the claims about these facials. And so far experts seem to have mixed opinions about it, but I haven’t seen any study supporting these claims. If I do, I’ll change my mind and may even have an oxygen facial.

I didn’t say that oxygen under pressure causes free radicals, but so far I have seen no scientific study say it doesn’t. I haven’t even seen any that say it does though so that’s just a concern I have that hasn’t been answered yet. If you have a link to any study clearing this up, please let me know.

I don’t doubt that skin looks good after an oxygen facial and I’m glad they work for many people, but my point is that it’s just too much money to spend on something that hasn’t been scientifically backed up. I’m sure the serums and moisturizers sprayed with oxygen benefit the skin, but they also benefit it if used the correct way.

If someone wants to have an oxygen facial and it works for them, that’s fine. But personally, I need more proof that they aren’t just a gimmick as there are other treatments that work well with scientific studies backing them up.


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