Oxygen Facial: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

oxygen facialWhen Madonna, the stars of Sex and the City, and other A-list celebrities partake in a new beauty trend, you know it’s going to reach the stratosphere in terms of popularity with the rest of the world, and that’s exactly what has happened with the trend of oxygen facials. Many of the ladies out there are probably already very familiar with regular facials, where the skin is analyzed, cleansed, exfoliated, extracted, and otherwise stripped of every last impurity, but this oxygenated alternative is not quite the same experience, and offers different results.

Much like any other new medical or beauty treatment, the jury is still out on the actual effectiveness of the procedure, as well as its safety, but that doesn’t seem to matter to people when it comes to looking like their favorite stars. Though not as terrifying as a Botox treatment, or some of the other extreme beauty procedures out there, oxygen facials do have their detractors, along with their proponents, both of whose points we will be discussing today, in addition to some of the other aspects of this new trend in beauty. If you’re a woman who hasn’t yet discovered the world of makeup and beauty therapy, you might want to peruse this article on makeup for beginners, as well as this course on facials, eyebrows, and eyelash treatments.

What is an Oxygen Facial?

The oxygen facial may be new to some people, but it’s been around for over a decade, and was introduced in 2002 by Australian company Intraceuticals. The machine that they invented (here is a picture of the oxygen facial machine) is their own version of the mechanism that Australian doctors were using to administer chemotherapy to skin cancer patients. The system was reconfigured to the one that’s used today, which utilizes pressurized oxygen to deliver a specialized serum to the skin. If you’d rather take care of your skincare needs yourself, this course on how to create your own natural skincare routine will help you personalize your beauty procedure.

The Procedure

So what can you expect if you decide to take the oxygen facial plunge? First off, you may not quite get the spa treatment that a normal facial will provide you. Getting an oxygen facial used to entail more of a hygienic, medical experience, as opposed to a more sensual, spa-like treatment, but now that the procedure is gaining popularity, there are many spas that offer oxygen facials.

The actual procedure consists of an airbrush-gun-like wand that emits a 90-95% oxygen, which not only helps the skin to absorb the serums going into the skin (more on that later), but the oxygen itself is antibacterial, and provides a cooling and calming effect for the patient. The procedures provides a bit of pressure on the face, but nothing painful or uncomfortable, and lasts anywhere from 30-60 minutes. The cost of a session is anywhere from $150-300. If you’re more concerned with looking good in photos, then skip paying the money and spending the time on looking good, and check out this course on beauty retouching with Photoshop, as well as this course on how to use light for beauty photography.

When the oxygen facial first appeared on the scene, it was very much a one-size-fits-all experience, with a patient coming in and receiving the same treatment as the next person and the one before. The treatment has evolved to become more like a traditional facial experience, in which the customer receives a personalized experience: their skin is first cleansed, and sometimes exfoliated, and then the skin is analyzed to figure out what kind of treatment is best.

Types of Treatments

Each of the four possible treatments that a patient will receive depends upon her skin’s needs, and the ingredients in each treatment’s serums, which contain different blends of hyaluronic acid (for moisturizing and age reversal), botanical extracts, antioxidants, peptides, and/or vitamins.

  1. Rejuvenate: This treatment is for those who need a bit of moisturizing in the skin, as well as to take care of any lines and wrinkles that may appear on the face. People with all skin types can benefit from this treatment, and they will also notice firmer and tighter skin after the treatment.
  2. Opulence: This one is for patients that have an uneven skin tone and pigmentation, and, in addition, wish brighten up their skin a bit.
  3. Clarity: Also helpful for those with moisture issues in their skin, the clarity treatment balances that issue out, as well as aids in any potential acne outbreaks.
  4. Atoxelene: Seen as a non-invasive (needle-free) alternative to a Botox treatment, the atoxelene option is an add-on to the rejuvenation and opulence treatments, and helps to soften up expression lines, as well as to firm them up. It also helps to contour the eyes, plump the lips, and smooth out wrinkles and lines, especially near the mouth and eyes, as well as on the forehead.

The Benefits and Risks of Oxygen Facials

Just like any other beauty treatments out there, there are going to be as many opinions on them as there are people that have tried them. While every experience with oxygen facials is different, there are a few pros and cons of this relatively new procedure that seem to stick out and are repeated more than some of the others.

Pros

  • Oxygen facials have a quick recovery time, and the patient can almost immediately apply makeup or lotion to their face, as opposed to a normal facial, where they must wait several hours.
  • As opposed to other types of skin treatments, such as microdermabrasion, oxygen facials leave no painful side effects, such as itching, stinging, or burning. The procedure itself is quite gentle, and those with sensitive skin, or aversion to needles, are able to undergo this procedure with no problems.
  • Some of the benefits of the facial are instantly noticeable, with patients reporting glowing, younger looking skin, and those suffering from acne and other skin issues have reported a clearing up of these issues after a while.
  • Regardless of physical benefits, the infusion of oxygen and vitamins to any part of the body is healthy, and they promote cell growth, as well as collagen growth. It also gives skin that’s been exposed to pollutants such as tobacco smoke and dirty air a bit of a cleanse.
  • While not cheap, oxygen facials are cheaper than Botox injections.

Cons

  • Oxygen facials are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nor does someone need to be a licensed dermatologist or esthetician to administer the procedure. This can result in anything from injury or discomfort due to improper technique, to a customer simply feeling like they’ve wasted their money.
  • Compared to other skin treatments, the effects of oxygen facials don’t seem to last as long, requiring more time and money to be spent to keep up with the desired effects.
  • Overindulging in this treatment can lead to the release of free radicals into the skin, resulting in wrinkles, premature aging, and destroyed skin cells.

If you find facials and other methods of beautifying the face to be too abrasive or scary (I’m looking at you, Botox), or just want to try something new to see if it works, then the oxygen facial may just what the esthetician ordered. And even if it doesn’t work, the very worst that will happen is you’ll be out a little bit of money. And if this new, healthier way of tapping into your natural beauty inspires you, then check out this course on healthy life practices to apply your new habits to every aspect of your life.