So, have you seen a sliced apple that has been left out too long? It’s brown, dry, has a different texture from a fresh apple… and forget about eating it. Can you imagine how it would taste? Same for avocados, bananas, etc. The fruit becomes ultra-aged because it was exposed to “the elements” and underwent a process called oxidation. Oxidation is a fancy way of saying oxygen metabolism. As oxygen metabolizes, free radicals (the waste product of oxygen) form. Free radicals are umm… not to scare you… toxic.
Similarly, our skin does the same thing. Mostly it’s inevitable. It happens as we age and is accelerated when we expose our skin to elements that promote oxygen metabolism. Oxidation damages cell membranes, cellular protein, lipids and DNA. This is why adding antioxidants to your diet and life routine is so essential. It prevents or mitigates the damage caused by oxidation. Are you with me so far?
On the contrary, there are actions you can take that are particularly bad for oxidation. A procedure that’s been around for 15 years and still getting buzz and attention is the oxygen facial. I cannot even begin to describe how counterproductive and counter-intuitive this procedure is. If you’re not familiar with an oxygen facial, it’s essentially blasting 90-95% pure oxygen on to your face with an airbrush-type apparatus for up to 60 minutes.
Ok, so to see if you’re connecting the dots: take an apple, or avocado, or banana or whatever. Blast it with air for an hour. Do I even need to finish the thought?
Some history for you:
- Oxygen facials came onto the scene from Australia around 2002.
- As of 2013 oxygen facials were still not FDA approved.
- In 2016, the FDA issued a consumer warning against the effectiveness of oxygen facials.
When you blast your face for an hour with pure oxygen, you cause your skin to release free radicals exponentially faster, which can result in inflammation, irritation, wrinkles, premature aging and damaged skin cells. (Just think: THAT POOR APPLE, THO!)
As an esthetician, I cannot in good conscious recommend an oxygen facial. I do not think the benefits are proven, nor do I think the unproven benefits outweigh the very-proven risks. If you really want to do something great for your skin, indulge yourself in antioxidants, starting with a healthy diet, supplemented with facial vitamin infusions. Don’t. Do. Not. Go the route of promoting free radicals.