As the oxygen facial continues to become one of the most booked facial treatments, spa owners are looking for new and innovative ways to capitalize and expand on its popularity. From breathing in pure air at an oxygen bar to taking a bath in its steam, clients can’t seem to get enough O2 for its many health and beauty benefits.
BUBBLE PURE AIR
Remède Spa at St. Regis Aspen Resort in Aspen, Colo., is launching Bubble Pure Air as a pop-up spa experience at the Aspen Ideas Festival, a thinktank conference, this summer. It’s a plastic portable bubble dome that fits one average treatment room with a heated treatment table featuring a tray for products and relaxing spa music in an environment that is 99.995 percent pure oxygen.
The benefits of breathing in pure include hydration, detoxification, mental clarity, hangover relief, headache relief and stress relief, and it diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
For the event, Remède Spa is offering their Oxygen Facial (60 minutes, $265) with an eye treatment inside the Bubble Pure Air. “It’s like a two-in-one oxygen treatment because you are getting the direct oxygen on your skin with the facial, but the oxygen in the air has no dust or pollutants so it makes your face look 10 times better than if you did the same treatment in a regular treatment room,” says spa director Irisha Steele. “Guests feel so relaxed and their face looks instantly refreshed and glowing.”
Selling oxygen to people might seem like selling snow to Eskimos, but the air we normally breathe contains about 21 percent oxygen, while the rest is nitrogen, argon and other trace gasses. Oxygen bars provide nearly pure oxygen, which clients breathe in either through a small tube inserted into the nostrils called a cannula or a headpiece from a filtered machine with a tank.
“Our oxygen bar is between 90 and 92 percent oxygen, allowing the customer to breathe four to five times the normal amount of oxygen. Oxygen is also a proven detoxifier and has antiaging properties. Younger clients like to come in after a little too much drinking to detox,” explains Jamie Pettiette Rhone, owner of Jamie’s Therapeutic Touch in Palestine, Texas, who charges $15 for 30 minutes or monthly unlimited packages for $60 and offers the addition of essential oils for aromatherapy as well.
Similarly, the Oxygen Lounge is among one of the most popular amenities guests of the Remède Spa get to enjoy. “We’ve had 4,000 guests come in last year just for oxygen without booking a service, but many who book services do the oxygen lounge too,” says Steele. “Our New Year’s Day numbers were very high because it’s popular with people who drink too much alcohol.”
SUPER-ENRICHED OXYGEN STEAM BATH
In the Super-Enriched Oxygen Steam Bath (30 minutes, $80) at La Casa Spa & Wellness Center in New York, clients relax in a steam cabinet as their pores absorb the activated O3 oxygen.
It’s a detox bath that kills bacteria, viruses, yeast and fungi, but it also helps to increase circulation, regulate metabolism, increase production of collagen and cartilage, purify blood, reduce inflammation and pain, and more.
“We have many clients who come in for ozone with Lyme disease and with cancer, and it helps to relieve pain and inflammation. It works on so many afflictions because it operates at the foundational level of the body: the cell,” says Jane Goldberg, Ph.D., founder of La Casa Spa & Wellness Center.
During Oxidative Exercise (referred to as EWOT = Exercise with Oxygen Therapy) at La Casa Spa & Wellness Center (15 minutes, $50), clients work out while breathing in oxygen, which increases the amount of oxygen in the blood plasma.
Clients stand on a vibrating platform that moves gently so it doesn’t feel like exercise at all. “But, what it does is move all your tissues and organs on a deep level,” says Dr. Goldberg.
“As this is happening, clients breathe in oxygen from a mask, which gives the body a super-charge like nothing else.”
Dr. Goldberg adds that most people are oxygen deficient internally. So any means of getting more oxygen into the body is useful. “Over 90 percent of the body’s energy is created by oxygen. Oxygen deficient cells cannot repair themselves. The more oxygen we have in our system, the more energy we are able to produce. In fact, a good definition of vitality is the body’s ability to assimilate oxygen,” she adds.
Though not new, oxygen facials are certainly growing in popularity and have become, for many spas, the most popular facial treatment on the menu. Lila Castellanos, owner of Doll Face Skincare Studio in Los Angeles, Calif., says her Oxygen Facial (50 minutes, $175) is one of the most popular facials because there are visible effects after just one treatment.
“It appeals most to clients with dry, dehydrated skin and those looking to minimize environmental damage with an effective anti-aging treatment,” she says. “It’s also extremely popular for brides and anyone headed to a special event.”
Collagen and elastin production are encouraged through the infusion of oxygen and vitamins into the skin, which helps to provide a visual plumping of the skin and restore volume and firmness to skin that has lost elasticity.
“Researchers believe that the infusion of oxygen into the skin may help the skin increase its rate of cellular turnover, creating new skin cells at a faster pace. By increasing blood flow, the number of blood cells is increased and this helps to elevate cellular energy and decreases cellular stress. This increased cell regeneration may assist with acne and the healing of facial scars,” she adds.
Steele says The Oxygen Facial is Remède Spa’s most popular facial — they performed 850 of them in 2016 and, again, it was popular on New Year’s Day with people who overindulged the night before.
“It’s intensely hydrating and gentle enough that you can do it the day of a big event,” says Steele. “When I go out to an event, I have one of our estheticians hit me with some oxygen because it instantly makes you look refreshed, glowing and radiant. It’s popular with every age group.”
A popular facial add-on at Skin Apeel Day Spa in Boca Raton, Fla., is the Oxygen Blast (10 minutes, $50), which serves as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial tool, therefore making a treatment outcome difference with aging and acne alike.
“We use a blast of pneumatic oxygen with a medical grade device that converts and compresses oxygen from the air, saving on the expense and bulk of replacing old-style oxygen tanks,” explains owner Kim Knapp. “Ours combines heavy water with O2 gas. We boost the oxygen effect by adding heavy water rather to the air brush gun attachment.”
Knapp says this add-on appeals to “everyone.” “It’s soothing, cooling and hydrating,” she says. “Oxygen seals in the benefits of any skin treatment and with the addition of heavy water and offers an environmental barrier. It’s one of our best custom add-ons without a doubt. Clients enjoy their experience, as it gently revives them after being ‘spa stoned’ and leaves skin dewy and fresh.”