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
Dr. Gary Goldenberg ofGoldenberg Dermatologyshares 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.
"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.
* Not actual article *
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