We are all constantly looking for ways to make our skin look its best — oxygen is one of the latest thought-to-be frontiers on this battle. But does it work? And how can you best make it work for you?
Once upon a time, oxygen was used topically, to quicken the healing of burns. Pressurized oxygen is still used for this purpose in hospitals — it’s all built around the idea that an influx of healthy, stable oxygen increases skin cell metabolism.
“Skin suffering from too little oxygen can often become dull, wrinkled and virtually lifeless. Contrarily, studies suggest when skin is treated with oxygen, it becomes more vibrant, plump and youthful-looking. Keeping this in mind, Sonya Dakar Skincare has developed an Oxygen Eye Cream that is O2 infused and works to revive damaged tissue, increase cellular turnover and soothe symptoms of tired or aging under eyes. The results are improved elasticity, greater collagen production and an overall more bright-eyed appearance,” says Sarah Dakar, Beauty Director of Sonya Dakar Skincare.
Pretty as a princess
Whatever Kate Middleton does is just fine by us, and it just so happens oxygen-infused skin care is one of her beauty secrets — this is a great option to try if you are looking for intense hydration without the heavy feeling of a cream.
“Many oxygen skin care creams are also packed with skin healing ingredients such as jojoba and vitamin E. I personally love these creams under makeup, since they keep the skin moisturized without a residue that most heavier creams leave behind. Try: Pevonia Oxygenating O2ptimal Dry Cream or Peter Thomas Roth Radiance Oxygen Mask!” says Christina Farrell of TheMakeupBlogger.com.
And one of our favorites out there is quite popular among the beauty editors who have tried ’em all. “I’ve long been a fan of the Bliss Triple Oxygen Energizing Mask. I slather it on in my hotel room post long plane rides and it never ceases to brighten up my complexion and psychologically make me feel less jet-lagged,” says Amber Katz of BeautyBloggingJunkie.com.
Jeannine Morris of BeautySweetSpot.com concurs: “My favorite oxygen-infused skin care is an oldie but goodie from Bliss. Their Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask. It’s not just the skin care, but the experience that makes it one of my all around favorite face masks. Immediately upon applying, the mask begins to bubble and creates a cool, frothy-like texture (that looks like the top of a cappuccino), which instantly wakes up your skin.”
Dr. Gary Goldenberg of Goldenberg Dermatology shares the enthusiasm, to a degree. “Oxygen is an ingredient in more and more skin care products, such as moisturizers, serums, cosmetics and masks. These products, including the one I tried using, deliver dissolved oxygen to the skin. The hope is that oxygen will revitalize the epidermis, increase cellular turn over and help erase signs of aging.” Some also claim that oxygen can help with acne and rosacea by killing bacteria implicated in these conditions. Some spas also offer an oxygen mask at the end of your treatment. This delivers a high concentration of oxygen to your skin in order to increase the glow of your skin.
But does it work?
“From a purely scientific point of view, I am not convinced that a gaseous substance can be delivered in a cream form,” says Goldenberg. And surely, our skin is in constant contact with oxygen that’s in the air. And even if it’s true, that these products can deliver oxygen to the skin, what happens to it then is unclear. When we think about more oxygen being delivered to the skin, what we really mean to say is that the red blood cells that carry oxygen in our bodies can deliver more to our organs, the skin being the largest organ in the body. But to increase oxygenation that way, one would have to be in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber or increase the number of red blood cells in the body (blood doping, essentially). Not deliver oxygen topically.”
“Truth is that I am still a skeptic. Having said that, dissolved oxygen in your makeup, moisturizer, serum and spa treatment cannot do anything to harm your skin (your wallet may be a different story). So if you like the way the products feel, go ahead and use them. I know I will,” says Goldenberg.