Skin Care

By Danielle Belopotosky

“Age defying,” “anti-aging,” “look youthful” – all promises of many night creams, peels, and facials. With products boasting ingredients from white tea, green tea, and ginkgo biloba (also known as Maidenhair Tree) to magnesium oxide crystals, Vitamin C crystals, and hydrogen peroxide, it’s difficult to figure out which ingredients actually combat the skin’s own axis of evil: the sun, pollution, and the natural aging process. As it turns out, the Fountain of Youth is as elusive as Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction.

The latest trend in anti-aging skincare is oxygen-based products. The theory is that oxygen will get to the cellular level of skin, therefore promoting faster cell renewal. Conducting a Google search will bring up pills, peels, creams, and facials. I know that oxygen is essential for healthy skin, but does oxygen in fancy formulas really work?

According to Dr. Jerry Whitmore, a biochemist for Robanda ™ Anti-Aging Skincare, “Most oxygen creams on the market are ineffective due to the fact that contrary to the claims they make, you simply can’t add oxygen from the outside of the skin in any way.”

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Robanda ™ Oxygen Boost Night Therapy, $42.
Not tested on animals.

But Robanda recently introduced its Oxygen Boost Night Therapy cream, which utilizes a patented ingredient, Saccramyces Lysate that claims to aid cell respiration. The difference between Robanda’s oxygen-based cream and the others, said Dr. Whitmore, is this ingredient. “Using Sacchramyces Lysate extract has been proven to increase the completeness of the individual cell utilization of the oxyhemoglobin.” Soaking into the skin, this product helps in cellular metabolism. It does not contain hydrogen peroxide.

My skin is starting to show my age (thirty-something). My eyes appear haggard at times, my wrinkles are the houseguests that never leave, and with the wind that accompanies winter in the city, my skin has been dry.

I tested this cream every night for two weeks, and I have to admit that my skin looked smoother, healthier, and softer. The product was designed for all skin types and for those who want to improve the look and feel of their skin. While a cream like this cannot prevent damage due to sun exposure (as it does not contain any sun protection), it claims that it can “be used in the aid of restoring and rejuvenating the skin.” In my early tests, there was a visible difference.

Remède, Peter Thomas Roth, and Philosophy also offer oxygen-based creams, masques, and peels, which contain hydrogen peroxide.

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Laboratoire Remède Oxygenating Active Amplifier, $70

Aside from home remedies, oxygen facials are now offered at exclusive spas around New York City. The spa treatments utilize an oxygen spray mist, typically with Vitamins A, C, D E and B-complex. The sprays are able to penetrate the skin, giving skin instant gratification and revitalization.

Bliss Spa offers an Oxygen Blast facial, $80 for 30 minutes. Bliss’s oxygenation treatment uses a “stabilized hydrogen peroxide emulsion and a liquid oxygen spray,” which aims to cure “post-flight, pre-date, mid-life” dullness.

Janet Sartin offers its New York Facial + Oxygen. At $160 for 90 minutes, it promises to jump-start “the dullest complexion.” Advanced Skin Care Day Spa offers a range of oxygen facials and therapies, from $20 for a 10-minute Oxygen Mist Therapy to $210 for the super-duper Oxygen Forte.

While some women prefer a more natural approach to fighting the inevitable, I say fight it for all your worth. Some people are still out on whether oxygen-based facials and products work better than Glycine-based products. Find what product is best suited for your skin type, and age gracefully, if at all.

As Katherine Graham (one of my heroines) once said, “No one can avoid aging, but aging productively is something else.”

Originally published March 2004
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