What Is Oxygenating Skincare and How Does It Work?

What Is Oxygenating Skincare and How Does It Work?You can live without many things, but water and oxygen are not among them. Oxygen takes part in cellular respiration, which makes it essential for normal cell metabolism, including the cells of your skin. Normally, oxygen enters the body when we breathe and travels to the cells via the bloodstream. But what if you try to deliver oxygen directly to your skin to boost its metabolism? Well, judging by all the oxygenating skincare products offered by various brands, this is actually possible.

Oxygen is widely used as a medical treatment for a variety of conditions, including cluster headaches, carbon monoxide toxicity, low blood oxygen, and a number of heart and respiratory disorders. In addition, oxygen has been demonstrated to improve wound healing and reduce infection, but there isn’t much research on the topic.

Some spas and cosmetic clinics use the ability of oxygen to boost cell metabolism and skin renewal in oxygen facials. During the procedure, the skin is treated with a pressurized stream of oxygen that helps deliver the active ingredients contained in the serum that the aesthetician applies your skin. In addition, oxygen produces a cooling and calming effect as well as inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria on the surface of your skin.

However, there are some concerns about oxygen facials. While oxygen boosts skin cell metabolism, it also promotes the formation of free radicals which accumulate in cells and cause their aging (that’s why so many skincare products contain antioxidant ingredients that prevent oxidation and the subsequent formation of free radicals). Although there’s no evidence that oxygen facials cause immediate free radical damage, too much oxygen can be bad for your skin.

That’s when oxygenating skincare products enter the arena. The trend started in Korea with the now-famous bubble masks and quickly spread across the world. Today, many brands offer facial masks and other products that are infused with carbon dioxide or other oxygen-containing compounds. When such products come in contact with skin, they start to release oxygen, creating a nice tingling sensation.

Supposedly, oxygen helps deliver vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other active ingredients into the epidermis, making the skin look fresh and glowing. But is this really so or is it just a marketing trick? Well, this depends on the type of the product.

For example, facial masks formulated with carbon dioxide (it can be listed as carbonated water on the ingredient list) don’t carry oxygen to the skin cells that well; most of the oxygen is just released into the atmosphere while the mask bubbles and foams. However, this doesn’t mean that they are completely useless. Tiny oxygen bubbles gently massage the skin and boost microcirculation, which is definitely good for the skin. Besides, many people think that bubble masks feel nice and fun.

If you’re looking for a strong oxygen boost, you need products containing perfluorocarbon. Fluorocarbons (perfluorocarbons, PFCs) are chemical compounds that are able to dissolve relatively high volumes of gases, including oxygen. Due to this (and being non-toxic), they are used in medical procedures during which oxygen is delivered to the body in the form of an oxygen-rich liquid that mimics the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to the cells (the so-called liquid breathing).

Oxygenating products with PFCs are based on the same principle. Unlike carbon dioxide, perfluorocarbon effectively delivers oxygen to the skin cells. This ingredient is said to boost moisture in the skin, promote collagen production, reduce acne, and improve skin healing.

So, what’s the verdict? While oxygen is indeed important for your skin and some oxygenating skincare products are indeed able to transport oxygen directly to your skin cells, they are not magical. But they are definitely worth checking out, because you never know whether you like something till you try!





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