Oxygen Bars: Worth It?

Oxygen bars were first opened in the US in the late 1990’s and the trend has caught on with customers increasingly paying to sniff 40% oxygen through a plastic hose inserted into their nostrils.  You can even pay a little extra to choose a flavour of oxygen including peppermint, cranberry and scented candles.The oxygen experience in a bar can last from a few minutes to about 20 minutes, depending on customers’ preferences and how much they’re willing to pay.
Oxygen bar owners are careful not to make any medical claims for their products, as there have been no conclusive studies or research into any potential medical benefits from using the oxygen. They claim it is only for recreational purposes and rely on testimonies from customers who believe that there are benefits. Legally, according to the American Government, dispensed oxygen is deemed as a prescription drug and many are fighting for stricter controls and the presence of medical personnel within these oxygen bars.
Oxygen_Bar_interior,_showing_flavors
Healthy or Just Hype?
Testimonials from regular oxygen bar users claim that their visits help to reduce stress, relieve symptoms from pollution, increase energy and alertness, improve hangovers and help with headaches and sinus problems. However there are no long-term, well-controlled scientific studies that support any of these claims for oxygen in healthy people. The other argument is that people with healthy lungs don’t need additional oxygen, although how many of us have our lungs at the peak of their ability?!
The American Lung Association states that there is unlikely to be any beneficial physiological effects for healthy people inhaling oxygen but also states that there is no evidence that inhaling oxygen would be harmful either.
What if your lungs are unhealthy or suffering with a medical condition? Sufferers would inhale oxygen at home anyway so is this not the same thing? Medical professionals have agreed that sufferers should not attend these oxygen bars, as each individual has unique oxygen requirements that require monitoring and adapting by their doctor and this cannot be regulated at these bars and maybe unsafe or impairing upon treatment, in some cases too much oxygen is dangerous or could stop someone breathing.
One of the biggest concerns about oxygen bars is the use of “flavoured” oxygen. Each flavour is made by bubbling oxygen through bottles containing aromatic solutions, and then pumping the vaporized scent through the hose. Some bars use oil-free, food-grade particles to produce the aroma, but others may use aroma oils. Inhaling oily substances can lead to a serious inflammation of the lungs, known as lipoid pneumonia. Even if an oil-free medium is used, the purity or sterility of the scent cannot be guaranteed. Susceptible customers run the risk of inhaling allergens or irritants that may cause them to wheeze. Inhalation of live contaminants such as bacteria or other pathogens may also lead to infection. Some of these bars are also located in casinos and nightclubs where smoking is common and there is a risk as oxygen fuels combustion and there are no strict policies regulating this.
It seems that oxygen bars require a lot more testing, research and regulation as well as medical input before they can be deemed safe to use for healthy individuals. For sufferers of medical conditions whereby they use oxygen therapy, it is believed at the moment to be medically unsafe to mess around with your treatment regime. The testimonials may in the future be proven to be correct or perhaps they are just psychosomatic. The truth is still yet to be discovered.
References: http://www.medicinenet.com and http://www.webmd.com

Do Oxygen Facials Work?

Oxygen facial therapy is a new anti-aging treatment that has been supported by many celebrities and is increasing in popularity. However is it just yet another beauty fad or is there any scientific basis and proof that it works?
The basic idea behind the therapy is to apply oxygen to the skin along with other cosmetic ingredients to rejuvenate the skin’s appearance and to create a more radiant look.
Oxygen facials can be done on men and women and promises to offer benefits such as firming up the skin, softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making expression lines less obvious, and improving blood circulation to give your face more colour and an improved complexion.

Why Apply Oxygen to the Skin?

Cells in your body function optimally when fully oxygenated, which we achieve by breathing oxygen in from the air, which reaches the cells via our blood circulation system. The theory is that oxygen can also be applied externally to increase this process of oxygenation and ensure our skin cells are fully oxygenated. The blood circulation worsens in our body with increasing age which means that our oxygenation potential also diminishes, therefore applying oxygen directly to the skin helps to maintain oxygen levels and keep your skin looking younger for longer.
Most treatments also use some kind of anti-ageing serum which contains vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and moisturisers, as it’s believed that oxygen can be used as a delivery mechanism to enhance the absorption of these ingredients which are beneficial to the skin.
Oxygen can also be used to kill bacteria, and so it can be useful for helping to give the skin a clearer looking complexion or for treating skin disorders such as acne.

Procedure

Microdermabrasion is carried out first which removes dead skin cells and cleanses pores which can allow the oxygen therapy to be more effective.
The therapy is usually carried out with a small pen like device called an airbrush, which blasts pure oxygen at high pressure into the uppermost layer of the skin along with the anti-ageing ingredients. As it is at high pressure it can be blasted deeper into the skin where it can be absorbed more effectively and produce greater effects.
One of the biggest advantages of oxygen facials over topical administration is that many of the skin care ingredients are made up of molecules i.e Hyaluronic acid, that are too large to pass into the deeper layers of skin. The ingredients themselves work but by applying them as a cream onto the skin, they don’t penetrate very far into the skin and therefore the results are limited. However if applied via high pressure and at a lower molecular weight they can pass deeper and stands a better chance of producing results.
An oxygen facial also involves no pain and no downtime.
A facial can take 30-60 mins and your skin should feel smoother, hydrated and plumper as well as seeing a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. You should also notice an improved colour and glowing radiance to your skin, with a clearer complexion due to increased blood circulation and higher tissue oxygenation levels.
facial
The initial results usually only last about seven days however with multiple treatments the effects are cumulative and after 6 treatments of one a week the results will last 1-3 months.

Do Oxygen Facials Work?

However most of this is all theory and based on personal stories and recommendations and there isn’t actually any scientific evidence as yet to prove that oxygen facials work.
Critics of the therapy have suggested that the plumping effect of the skin is actually caused by localised inflammation caused by the high pressure liquid oxygen spray being blasted at the skin’s surface. If it is due to inflammation, then this could actually be harmful to the skin in the long run, as prolonged inflammation is known to be one of the major causes of ageing and disease. However many other anti-ageing treatments work by causing localised inflammation as this inflammation stimulates collagen production which is good for our skin.
Furthermore, pumping oxygen into the skin may result in the production of free radicals which could further contribute towards premature aging. However if your anti-ageing serum contains vitamins E, C and green tea extract then these are known to protect against free-radical damage.
Finally, it is possible to increase the oxygen levels of your skin naturally and for free by doing aerobic exercises. This increases blood circulation throughout the whole of the body, which is why your skin tends to look better after a good workout.
 
 
References:
http://www.eruptingmind.com/oxygen-facial-therapy and http://www.thedermreview.com/oxygen-facial/