Extreme Beauty: The oxygen facial
Each fortnight Extreme Beauty investigates what's new and cutting edge in the battle to remain young and beautiful. This week, disappointed with not having baby smooth skin, I've been in the salon for a Crystal Clear Oxygen Facial.
What is it?
The Crystal Clear Oxygen facial uses a serum which is absorbed into the skin using compressed air. Said to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, the serum penetrates deep into the fibroblasts of the basal layer where it works to replenish skin cells, keeping skin plump, firm and younger looking .
Sounds divine ... isn't this extreme beauty?
Oh yes, I was getting to that bit. As nicely as it reads in the brochure, the compressed air bit really does exactly as it says on the tin. Although hydrating and suitable for acne and rosacea prone skin, it does involve having your face manipulated inch by inch with what feels and looks like something you clean the driveway with.
What's the procedure?
Skin is cleansed and exfoliated with a gentle foam before a serum is applied to small patches of skin. The coated skin is then stretched and blasted step by step using an oxygen gun until the serum has been absorbed fully and all areas have been covered. A face and neck massage is then given and a mask applied. The final peel then reveals a more youthful you lurking underneath.
Who likes it?
All the usual suspects are reported to enjoy this one. Madge, Gwyneth, Kate Moss and, quite surprisingly, Dido. All, at some point or other, are said to have sampled the Oxygen Facial.
How does it feel?
It's the beauty equivalent of good cop, bad cop. Dr Jekyll in the form of the cleanser and the face massage, Mr Hyde by way of being stretched, pulled and blasted with the oxygen gun.
The benefits .... real or imagined?
Quite real. Despite the stretching, blasting, prodding and pulling, the end result is much less abrasive than the treatment might suggest.
As the bulk of the facial is done in sections, you can see a visible difference between treated and untreated skin. I found the end result to be hydrated, firm and surprisingly plump.
Not for the squeamish. The blasting bit feels like being tickled and the part where the skin is manipulated for the oxygen to take effect is a little unsettling.
Not so bad in the end although I suspect that may be because I was in expert hands. If this one ever got out to the wrong therapist I wouldn't like to see the consequences. All in all a little discomfort seemed worth the end result.
I'm in ... where to now ?
The treatment is available at Metro Spa on Clarendon Street, Dublin, and is priced at €120. Call 01 6714403 to book.