The ins and outs of oxygen facials

Oxygen Facials

Q: I hear Madonna swears by oxygen facials—how do they work?

Despite the name, oxygen isn’t the miracle worker in these facials. “The oxygen itself doesn’t do much—it’s a vehicle to get the active ingredients into the skin,” says Dr. Sandy Skotnicki-Grant of the Bay Dermatology Centre in Toronto, the first establishment in Canada to offer Intraceuticals Oxygen Facials.

It’s the special serums that get pushed deep into the dermis (thanks to 90-percent pressurized oxygen) that set oxygen facials apart. This facial will plump your skin and it’s the perfect complement to microdermabrasion and dermal fillers. People who use dermal fillers have found that these facials help maintain the fillers, says Dr. Skotnicki-Grant.

I had a treatment with Genny Day at the Bay Dermatology Centre and chose Intraceuticals’ Rejuvenation Infusion (it’s composed of vitamins A, C, and E and green tea and hydrates your skin) over the Opulence Brightening Innovation (Madonna’s fave, this one is rich in vitamin C and gets your skin luminous). The molecules of active ingredients in these serums were developed to be much smaller than they are in the average face cream—this, along with the pressurized oxygen, is what allows them to penetrate your skin.

After the facial my skin actually did look fuller with zero redness or irritation (unlike after an overly rough microdermabrasion treatment or extractions—a reason why many brides opt for oxygen facials on their wedding day), and the results lasted for many days. Starting at about $225 a pop, though, I think Dr. Skotnicki-Grant’s recommendation for a treatment every six weeks is much easier on the beauty budget than Intraceuticals’ weekly recommendation. After all, we all can’t have our own Intraceutical device and stock of serums at home like Madonna.