Celebrities and the super-rich may be able to fork over hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a single anti-aging procedure in hopes of a positive result, but if you don’t have that kind of petty cash at your disposable, consider oxygen facials as a effective method of age prevention.
An oxygen facial is a treatment that focuses a spray of compressed, medical grade oxygen on the face, usually with an addition of vitamins or nutrients advertised as being beneficial to the top layers of the skin. The esthetician places the facial wand directly on the skin to cleanse and nourish it. Proponents of the facial report a look of smoother and plumper skin that can last as long as 48 hours after the procedure.
There is some evidence that the inflammation caused by the treatment can create a smoother appearance but none that suggests that serums or other nutrients used in some oxygen facials are actually received by the skin.
The cost of an oxygen facial typically starts at 200 dollars and above. If the results only last 48 hours, at best, it doesn’t take a math wizard to see that the regular treatments required to maintain any benefits are costly.
As of 2011, the FDA has not approved the procedure or the devices used to administer oxygen facials. In fact, some practitioners may be violating FDA regulations by dispensing medical grade oxygen without proper licensing. Some medical professionals point to the fact that the skin, by nature’s design, is meant to be waterproof and limits our exposure to the elements, including oxygen, as a means of protection. In addition, there's no evidence to suggest our bodies require any further oxygenation beyond what the respiratory system provides.
Beware of practitioners who advertise their oxygen facials as being “hyperbaric treatments.” Hyperbaric oxygen treatments are defined as inhalation treatments received inside a pressurized chamber. Treatments focused on the skin or any one section of the body cannot be considered hyperbaric.
Because there’s no evidence that serums or vitamin treatments are even absorbed by the skin during an oxygen facial, consumers are strongly cautioned against paying high fees for miracle concoctions to accompany the treatments.
If you have a special event for which you’d like to look a bit fresher and younger, receiving an oxygen facial may help achieve that goal. However, there’s no medical evidence to support theories that oxygen facials are a good long-term solution for fighting the natural signs of aging. If you can afford the expense these facials and want to give one a try, use caution with practitioners who try to pressure you into paying for a series of treatments “for the best results.” There’s no evidence that a series of treatments are any more effective than a single one. When scheduling an appointment, ask about the practitioners experience and certifications for administering the treatment. It may also be wise to check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been lodged against the salon regarding oxygen facials.