Just like food and water, our bodies need oxygen for basic cellular functions. Based on this fact, many skin-care professionals and product companies claim that supplementing the skin with oxygen is the key to making it gorgeous, helping to improve a wide array of concerns including wrinkles and acne.
Without oxygen, our bodies would shut down, but how do we know that our skin is deprived of oxygen? Proponents of the use of oxygen believe our skin is being suffocated by the sun, pollution and other environmental aggressors, causing it to look dull, sallow and older than it really is.
Oxygen is essential for the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy our cells need to function. In addition, “We need oxygen for good tissue repair,” says Camp Hill, PA, aesthetician Debra L. Yates, who explains that smokers don’t heal as well after surgery. It’s been proven that the nicotine, carbon monoxide and other chemicals found in cigarette smoke impair circulation and reduce oxygen delivery to the cells. This is just one reason why it’s imperative to stop smoking before any surgical procedure. Studies have also demonstrated that the oxygen that’s administered during and after surgery reduces the risk of infection.
Based on the proof that oxygen facilitates healing, some skin-care professionals and companies hypothesize that oxygen can help the skin rejuvenate itself, in turn reducing the visible signs of aging. The biggest question about the topical use of oxygen is whether or not the skin absorbs it, and if it does, is it a great enough amount to make any difference? Most physicians feel that it is not.
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