A breath of fresh air for our skin. Or, more properly termed, an organic oxygen facial. Used by scores of celebrities from Madonna to Emma Stone, this much talked-about procedure is said to immediately hydrate the skin, making the face appear smoother and plumper.
But does it really? Could oxygen be the simple solution for youthful skin? There was only one way to find out: I was going under the brush — the oxygen airbrush — for myself.
When I arrived at Ildi Pekar‘s spa in midtown Manhattan, relaxing music and a friendly aesthetician greeted me at the door. Pekar, a native of Budapest who commonly provides the oxygen facial to Victoria’s Secret models before runway shows, began by explaining exactly what was about to be done to my face.
“The oxygen facial works by using a hyperbaric pressurized machine that distributes pure oxygen to stimulate deep into your dermal layers,” Pekar says. “Never underestimate the power of oxygen. It contains the power to heal your skin tissues and prevent bacterias and infections from growing. It is also anti-aging,” she adds.
With a smile, I happily put my skin in her hands.
Light Exfoliation: Pekar began with a light exfoliation to remove any make-up and excess dry skin. Doing so helps prepare the skin for the penetration with the oxygen serum.
Moisturizer: She then applied a light organic moisturizer to my skin. The moisturizer was comprised of hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, pure organic honey, and vitamin B.
The Oxygen Serum: When the oxygen was administered to my face, the air and serum effect was, in fact, very relaxing. This is the lengthy part of the facial in that the serum and oxygen need to be administered very carefully to ensure an even penetration. The oxygen serum contains hyaluronic acid and a powerful blend of vitamins and antioxidants to promote cell regeneration for youthful skin. “The serum helps to instantly hydrate the skin, resulting in increased firmness, and reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” Pekar says.
The oxygen helps speeds up the process of cell turnover. The science behind this: The faster the new cells replace the old cells, the younger-looking the skin becomes. The oxygen is also infused with hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, green tea, and vitamins A, C, and E.
The hyaluronic acid is used to penetrate the upper layers of the skin and increase the volume to help the tissues absorb moisture and reduce your wrinkles. The vitamins and anti-oxidants help give instant results to increase firmness, boost collagen, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Customized lymphatic massage: The last step is for relaxation. While inhaling aromatherapy oxygen, a lymphatic massage is administered over the temples, the center of the forehead and the face.
After the hour and fifteen minute procedure, I was relaxed, glowing, and confident I’d be back for another oxygen facial.
It’s for everyone: Although ‘aged’ skin reveals more prominent results, Pekar says that you can’t go wrong with an oxygen facial no matter your skin type, age or gender. It’s also safe for pregnant women. And, if you go more frequently, the results will be more dramatic, but after just one session, I noticed a difference. (I tend to have dry skin and I felt a fresh glow afterwards.)
No downtime: There is zero recovery time to this facial, which is a huge plus. In other words, there is no waiting period to start back on your regular routine — you can put on your makeup or hit the gym right afterward.
Perfect for events: If you have an upcoming event, or a wedding to attend, you can’t go wrong with an oxygen facial. This treatment is recommended for anyone with tired, dull, skin that needs an instant pick-me-up and/or quick results.
Found nationwide: The oxygen facial can be done at most skincare salons across the nation. In order to find a reputable esthetician, research oxygen facials in your area and check your local spas.