Call it a trend or a fad, but if you extend your esthetician services to include oxygen therapy, you’ll definitely call it brilliant.
Oxygen therapy isn’t anything new. Hospitals have been using hyperbaric chambers (pressurized oxygen chambers) for decades to heal wounds and burns. But in the form of a facial, oxygen therapy is a relatively new offering. This natural, noninvasive service may a lucrative addition to your esthetics business.
What is Oxygen Therapy?
Oxygen therapy in skincare stems from the premise that the delivery of stable oxygen to the skin increases cell metabolism. Earlier methods of oxygen therapy delivery consisted of a face mask. However, researchers soon found that applying oxygen via liquid solutions (usually serums or hydrosols) facilitates the delivery of oxygen to the epidermis.
Today oxygen therapy is most often delivered via nebulizers, which administer the oxygen solution directly to the skin to detoxify skin, unclog pores, and create a smoother, brighter complexion. The goal of a nebulizer is to create a very fine mist of particulate solution that aids in the infusion of oxygen to the skin.
What’s great about oxygen infusion through a nebulizer is that you can deliver a number of topicals at the same time. Within plant topicals are phytochemicals that have been shown to:
- Reduce bacterial levels
- Tone blood vessels
- Alleviate inflammation
- Neutralize free radicals
- Improve circulation
- Improve cell membrane function
The combination of topical oxygen therapy and plant-based hydrosol has been shown to promote optimal skin function.
Estheticians have also begun offering peptides as part of oxygen therapy because of their benefits in the field of anti-aging, including the minimization of fine lines and wrinkles. Many of today’s hydrosols contain a mixture of both plants and peptides, thus allowing estheticians to cleanse, purify, and decongest pores while stimulating healthy cell turnover.
What Estheticians Need to Know When Performing Oxygen Therapy
When it comes to oxygen skincare, it’s all in the application. If you want to offer oxygen therapy to your clients, you should educate yourself on the optimal amount of time to deliver oxygen to the skin, the optimal liquid flow rate, and the proper ratio of oxygen to liquid solution.
Another important factor in the application of oxygen therapy is known as etching – the process of working targeted lines and wrinkles. Longer contact time with the oxygen solution may achieve better results.
The nebulizer tools used to perform oxygen therapy are called concentrators, which are capable of delivering upwards of 95 percent oxygen. Commercial concentrators used by estheticians are designed to extract oxygen, filter particulates, and reduce indoor air pollutants.
Factors to keep in mind when using oxygen therapy:
- Check with your state’s rules and regulations regarding oxygen delivery devices. Some states do not allow medical grade tanked oxygen in esthetics settings.
- About 25 pounds of pressure is required for an oxygen nebulizer to work properly. Make sure the nebulizer you choose can deliver this type of pressure.
- A large oxygen outflow rating is not vital when choosing an oxygen concentrator, as only a small amount of oxygen can be pushed through a nebulizer at any given time.
- Pay attention to the amount of noise created by the oxygen therapy machine you choose. A loud machine may cause a distraction in a rather quiet spa setting.
- Consider offering a number of hydrosol formulations—anti-aging, brightening, rejuvenating, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, etc.—to accommodate your clients’ needs.
- Consider offering topicals to your clients for at-home use following their oxygen therapy.
- Oxygen concentrators may be referred to as facial oxygen machines, oxygen facial infusion systems, and oxygen injection facial machines
- Spa-quality oxygen machines range from $1,000 to $2,000, while smaller, portable machines range from $300-$500; a number of machines serve dual purposes, often combining oxygen therapy with microdermabrasion systems
Advanced Training in Oxygen Therapy
Providing oxygen therapy as part of your esthetician services is a great way to offer your clients the latest trend in facials. A comprehensive esthetician program that meets the requirements for state licensure as an esthetician will include advanced training in facials.
However, because oxygen concentrators/nebulizers are unique machines, estheticians may require additional training in the art of providing oxygen therapy.
Many manufacturers/distributors of oxygen therapy machines provide a number of support services, including on-site training, online and phone support, training DVDs, and refresher training.
If you work at a spa or esthetics practice where oxygen therapy is used, a course of training by a designated trainer will likely be offered. If you want to add oxygen therapy to your own esthetics business, look for distributors who offer a full range of support services.