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Home / Blog / What is an Oxygen Facial? – By Jeffrey Gibson, MD

What is an Oxygen Facial? – By Jeffrey Gibson, MD

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The oxygen facial is a new option being offered at spas for younger looking skin, but does it really work?

If you’ve never heard about an oxygen facial, it’s important to understand how this procedure works, before spending a lot of money on one. If you are considering the oxygen facial, it’s a good idea to have your expectations in the right place before you have a treatment. Although there are possibly a few benefits to having an oxygen facial, it is not a treatment that will replace a good facial, work a miracle overnight and it does not take place of a good skin care regimen.

Oxygen facials can be performed by any spa employee, since they are a non-medical procedure. Typically, after an exfoliation and a mild facial steam, the spa professional will use a machine that introduces oxygen directly into the skin’s pores with an air pen type device. The oxygen used is usually treated with a number of supplements that are good for the skin, such as vitamins, to help the skin retain its firmness and decrease wrinkles. The procedure is painless; it’s just like air being blown on to your face. The only issue is there is no evidence that this procedure works. As an oxygen tissue researcher myself I know intact skin does not absorb oxygen. The oxygen may kill some skin bacteria and the vitamins and the spray may benefit the skin in some fashion.

Unlike microdermabrasion, oxygen facials don’t usually cause any side effects, such as stinging, itching, or burning. The belief by spas is that infusion of oxygen and vitamins is good for the skin because it can possibly encourage the growth of new cells as well as collagen. One of the reasons why this treatment has become so popular is because an oxygen facial has little to no risk of serious side effects, but it also may be doing very little to help your skin.

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