I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
Facials usually follows a certain flow: makeup is removed, skin is cleansed, massaged, exfoliated, peeled, masked, and you can always add other treatments, such as light or oxygen therapies. Those oxygenation treatments are something that come on the radar every awards season, and I knew I just had to try them when the opportunity arose!
In NYC, there are quite a few places that offer oxygen treatments, but since it usually simultaneously works with serums, I went to a practitioner who also has her own product line: Cecilia Wong.
Her Flatiron spa is spacious and classy, the perfect place for her combined approach to skin, herbal knowledge and scientific knowledge. Her main focus is on treating the skin with vitamin C, oxygen, and microdermabrasion on a regular basis to keep skin clear, toned, and unblemished. I'm already a big fan of her Vitamin C Cleanser and Serum Spray, so I wanted to see what her services are like.
Let’s just say all the other parts of my facial with Cecilia were 100% on point. We covered everything from extractions to massage and it was all still relaxing without being a slow-mo type of facial, which is ADHD hell for me. Things moved quickly but what I would call purposeful, and by the time the oxygen machine got used, I was so excited that it was hard to stay quiet and enjoy.
Oxygen machines are a variation on that hyperbaric chamber thing that I tried at Erno Laszlo. It’s an oxygen spray that uses an airbrush-like nozzle to simultaneously mist serum and oxygen. It feels pretty interesting—a little cooling, a little pressure, nothing unpleasant or uncomfortable. My skin is greasy and dry at the same time, and this settled in and softened without making me shiny or over-creamed, kind of like an instant sheet mask.
I asked Cecilia a few questions about the process...
xoDani: In your opinion, what is the ideal timing for this treatment? Is it better to use it weekly, monthly, or as budget allows?
CW: Oxygen therapy is a fantastic treatment as it benefits the skin without any negative side-effects. Because of this, it could be done on a daily basis (if budget allows) without causing any epidermal discomfort. However, to maximize results, we recommend oxygen therapy on a biweekly basis.
xoDani: I've read that Madonna uses one daily. Is this really safe (if you can afford it)?
CW: Yes! Oxygen therapy is a very safe treatment. Our skin is deprived of oxygen on a daily basis, and replenishing it through oxygen therapy, while infusing nutrient-rich serums deep into the cells, simply ensures that the complexion is refreshed, plumped and hydrated.
xoDani: What is the concentration of the vitamin C serum you are using?
CW: The maximum concentration level of vitamin C we use is 20%. It is combined with hyaluronic acid and our signature Black Currant Serum. This combination brightens and hydrates, diminishes dryness and increases cell renewal, sans irritation.
xoDani: Do you ever use other active ingredients for this treatment?
CW: Yes, our infused serum is a combination of hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and our Black Currant Serum, which features anti-inflammatory and anti-aging black currant seed oil, elasticity-boosting blueberry seed oil, hydrating cranberry seed oil, antioxidant-rich red raspberry seed oil, healing argan oil, and regenerating rosa damascene oil.
xoDani: What are some benefits someone could expect to see after a number of these treatments?
CW: After oxygen therapy treatment, skin is visibly more taut and plump, fine lines and wrinkles are diminished, the complexion is brightened, pores less visible, and cells are left in a healthy and hydrated state.
xoDani: Are there any people who shouldn't get this treatment?
CW: Almost anyone can benefit from this treatment. Oxygen therapy is not only a powerful anti-aging treatment, but it also heals wounds and kills bacteria, making it extremely beneficial to those with acne scars or acne-prone skin.
The treatment causes miniscule epidermal irritation, like a Dermaroller but with less trauma and risk of contamination. In fact, the oxygen actually kills bacteria, so this treatment is great if for bad breakouts.
Afterward, my skin was cliché baby-soft, with that really smooth and tight feeling you get on an icy winter morning. I hate winter, but damn, that chill has skin-plumping skills!
Things are calm and soft afterward; this isn't a service that requires recovery time. I would love to do this again someday, perhaps with some vitamin A. I can't be the only one that would get this done every single day if I were Scrooge McDuck's mistress, right?