Oxygen Skin Treatments: Nothing But Hot Air!

We all need oxygen to survive, but when it comes to your skin, you’re better off giving oxygen facials the blow off.

Endorsed by celebrities like Madonna, who believe they make their complexions look better on high-definition TV, oxygen facials have been cropping up on the treatment menus of high-end beauty spas—not to mention some prominent dermatologists—over the past few years.

The facials are administered via a pricey machine that uses pressurized oxygen to blast the skin with atomized moisturizers. While proponents claim the result in plumper, more hydrated skin, any visible results are temporary and are probably caused by swelling due to irritation. To my knowledge, there have been no clinical trials to prove the effectiveness of these machines and, because the manufacturers don’t make any medical claims, they are not required to go through FDA approval.

What’s worse, the treatment can cause damaging free radicals to go haywire, because free radicals have an uneven number of electrons, and oxygen wants an even number. This is significant because if an oxygen electron is unpaired, it will try to "steal" electrons from vital structures like DNA and cell membranes, which could lead to wrinkles and even skin cancer.

The same goes for “oxygen-infused” creams. There is absolutely no evidence that topically applied oxygen is good for your skin; and, even if there were, your skin is exposed to oxygen every moment of the day regardless! What’s more, oxygen is a gas and needs to be stabilized with irritation-causing ingredients like hydrogen peroxide to be delivered in cream form. Hydrogen peroxide itself causes free radicals, making matters worse. My advice is to stay away from these oxygen treatments.

Wishing you great skin!

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Dr. Baumann is author of the best-selling book, "The Skin Type Solution." To learn more about her revolutionary skin typing system, visit her Web Site, SkinTypeSolutions.com.  

All of Dr. Baumann's recommended skin care products are available online, and a portion of proceeds goes to The Dermatology Foundation.

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