Surprise! Your Skin Doesn’t Like Oxygen
Adored by celebrities, the oxygen facial is the latest trend to make waves in the beauty industry. With the help of Professor Derek Richard, we take an in depth look into the latest skin care trend and see if it lives up to the hype and really revolutionises your skin.
What is an Oxygen Facial?
As we all know, the body needs oxygen to survive. However the theory behind an oxygen facial is that if skin cells are fully oxygenated they will look healthier and brighter, improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, increase blood circulation and promote collagen production.
Usually performed in spas and skin clinics, the procedure involves an aesthetician cleansing and exfoliating your face, then a wand is used to deliver a stream of high pressure oxygen directly to the skin surface for 30 minutes to an hour. Typically, a Hyaluronic serum and moisturiser are then applied. As a non-invasive procedure there is no down time, you can apply makeup directly after the and results are expected to last between 4 and 7 days.
Does an Oxygen Facial Really Work?
Celebrity endorsements aside, the concept that high pressure oxygen can help the skin is not scientifically proven and has been refuted by many dermatologists and scientists including our own Professor Derek Richard. Oxygen is essential for us to live but not great for our skin or skin care.
“We live in a really harsh environment and our skin is our main defence. We need to seal in moisture to form a second barrier which protects your skin from things like pollution and oxygen, moisturisers like the Hydrating Day Defence do this.
Our skin doesn't really like oxygen and in fact it doesn’t need to ‘breathe’. Skin ‘breathing’ is related to balancing the skin’s natural processes of evaporation and doesn’t refer to the same breathing we do. We don’t need to put oxygen into our skin, however we need to balance moisture content and allow the temperature of our skin to be regulated and control how bacteria grows on our skin; the most important aspect of skin breathing,” explains Professor Richard.
It’s not just the surface of our skin that doesn’t like oxygen “Our cells try to keep oxygen away from our genetic code but sometimes a type of oxygen called free radicals gets through and when it touches DNA, it damages our code. When this happens a lot, it can drive inflammation and redness,” explains Professor Richard. So it’s true that oxygen can actually be causing damage to your skin.
Oxygen and skincare
Skin care is not a fan of oxygen either, in fact the more oxygen your skin care is exposed to, the longer it won’t last. “Every item in our range has a pump so the amount of air getting into our products is controlled and the active ingredients are not destroyed. There’s no point in putting active ingredients in products if they're going to deteriorate in an open jar sitting on your bathroom shelf” states Professor Richard.
As this is a non-invasive procedure, an oxygen facial is going to do more damage to your wallet than improve your skin.