A little over a month ago, the influencer and model Summer Dawn outlined her daily bathing ritual in great detail. That's when I learned to bathe for the summer consists of half a bottle of epsom salts, and a full bottle of hydrogen peroxide. & # 39; A full bottle ?! "I use the whole bottle," Dawn says, before adding, "my bath is so crazy." Was summer something big? After all, oxygenation has grown with increasing frequency in spa treatments and facial creams over the past few years. Or was it another case of assuming the beauty industry – at best harmless and at worst dangerous? I have a team of experts, including master aestheticist Joomee Song, cosmetic chemist Marie Veronique Nadeau, and a clinic-certified dermatologist, Dr. Morgan Rabach, called in New York to come to an end.
The first thing is first: what does oxygen do to the skin?
Quick science lesson! After your lungs have inhaled oxygen, oxygenated blood is transferred to the heart and then pumped throughout the body, which includes your skin. “By delivering oxygen directly into the skin increases cell metabolism, & # 39; explains Dr. Rabach, & # 39; which means it helps the skin to remove dead cells faster and replace it with newer, healthier ones. & # 39; In other words, it speeds up cellular turnover – the same thing you're trying to achieve with your AHA serums and retinol treatments.
As we age, Nadeau explains, the skin loses the ability to turn cells around so quickly. Song notes that the oxygen-containing skin "must be visibly hydrated, clear and stiff, with fewer fractions, less water retention and less inflammation." On the other hand, Dr. Rabach notes that lack Oxygen leads to numbness, eruptions and premature aging. She cites smokers as a good example of how oxygen plays a role in this – they have less oxygen available in their bodies, which contributes to the aging effects associated with cigarettes.
Are oxygen-containing treatments something?
Medically speaking, the treatment to oxygenate your entire body is called hyperbaric oxygen therapy. It takes place in a room with a lot of pressure under air, where the air, unlike naturally occurring air, is especially oxygen rich. Dr. Rabach explains that it brings a lot of oxygen to the skin and heals wounds from the inside and outside. But she also adds that it is used exclusively to treat people whose veins cannot naturally transport enough oxygen to their cells, in other words only in emergencies.
Wait, many spas offer oxygen treatments – you know, those with a pen or dome. What about those?
"There is no medical evidence at this stage to support oxygen treatments with a pen or dome in the spa," says Dr. Rabach.
Can I rub oxygen on my skin? Like a cream?
Oxygen is a gas, and to make it a liquid, chemists combine it with hydrogen, which in turn becomes hydrogen peroxide. Although hydrogen peroxide is a good wound healer, it can do more harm if applied to normal skin. Because in that case, it turns into water with an extra oxygen atom, and this extra atom starts acting like a free radical, which is bad! it oxidize, to expedite visible signs of aging such as wrinkles and pigmentation. If you attract an antioxidant serum and follow it with an oxygen treatment, you will disappear approximately zero.
Are you still wondering about this summer's hydrogen peroxide bath? Dr. Rabach explains: "In a bath with hydrogen peroxide, the skin does not really absorb a large amount of oxygen. & # 39; She also emphasizes that using strong concentrations of the stuff can be corrosive to the skin.
So there is no way to oxygenate the skin from the outside in ??
All three experts agree that massage is an excellent way to oxygenate the skin. "Massage releases muscles into the muscles to stimulate more circulation and blood flow," says Song. Increased blood flow means more oxygen-rich blood is brought to the skin surface. The specific facial massage that Song is known for contains conductive micro-flow gloves (yes, it's a thing) and movements derived from deep tissue Shiatsu massage techniques – but any form of massage does the homework. If you are not sure what to do with your hands, you can also use a tool – a gua sha stone or a face half tool that mimics finger movements – the best for that.
Are there other ways to get oxygen into the skin?
"When you wash away from exercise, it is your body that brings oxygen to your face," says Dr. Rabach. & # 39; A good excuse to go to the gym if you were looking for one. Here's another: "Bend in the middle and hold the posture until you can no longer hold it, but hold your breath," Nadeau says. & # 39; Models often do this just before they go on camera. & # 39; And in a pinch (pun intended), a quick push is always a good advantage.
Photo via ITG