There's nothing I like better than being a beauty guinea pig, so when I was invited to try the new OxyGeneo facial, the answer was obviously yes (duh!). When they call something a "Super-Facial", do you even hesitate? No, no you do not.
Now, if you read my primer on oxygen facials, you're familiar with the concept of oxygen to treat the skin. The first-generation oxygen treatments, which came out in the 2000s and are still wildly popular at dermatologist's offices and medi-spas, involve a pressurized stream of oxygen that delivers active ingredients to the skin. Celebs love 'em because they give you a instant glow like you wouldn't believe. They're the perfect pre-game beauty boost to get your skin looking radiant before an important event, party, wedding, etc.
So can it get any better than that? I say yes.
What is OxyGeneo?
The three aspects of an OxyGeneo treatment are:
- Exfoliation: It removes the upper layer of dead skin cells, similar to a gentle microdermabrasion.
- Skin rejuvenation: It infuses the skin with active ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides and antioxidants (just like the first-gen oxygen facials).
- Oxygenation: It produces carbon dioxide bubbles that gently burst on the skin's surface, which then stimulates oxygen-rich blood flow to the area and greater absorption of the actives.
There are two choices of actives. NeoRevive is for all-around rejuventation and anti-aging, and NeoBright is for brightening and texture improvement. The aesthetician who did my treatment, Katie, recommended NeoBright for me.
How OxyGeneo is different from a regular oxygen facial
Before I get to how the treatment felt, I should jump in here and emphasize how it's different from a regular oxygen facial.
Exfoliation: Obviously there is the additional exfoliation step. Remember my Peel, Mask, Moisturize post? Getting that dead top layer off—which acts like a barrier to the absorption of the good stuff—is key.
Non-Vacuum Hand Piece: Then there is the device itself, which looks like this:
It's a non-vacuum, vibrating hand piece so there's no suction action at all (which can be irritating). I know Intraceuticals, the original oxygen facial company, says their wand doesn't have any suction, but those treatments have always felt very vacuum-like to me. In comparison, the OxyGeneo device is just buffing all over your face instead of sucking it in wherever it touches. It's extremely gentle and can be used on sensitive skin and all over the face, including around the eyes, mouth and nose.
Oxygenation: The last thing that's different is how the treatment actually oxygenates. While standard oxygen facials have a stream of pressurized oxygen hitting the skin, OxyGeneo's oxygenation effect happens internally.
For the exfoliation part of the treatment, the hand piece is fitted with a "Capsugen" capsule on the end, which is a soft exfoliating head made of sodium bicarbonate, citric acid and magnesium. When it touches the NeoRevive or NeoBright treatment gel on your skin, it creates carbon dioxide bubbles, which causes oxygen-enriched blood to come to the surface. There's no external energy involved—just a really cool ingredient interaction.
How an OxyGeneo treatment feels
The process is similar to a regular oxygen facial, except I found it less stimulating to my skin (a good thing) and very, very fast. The entire treatment takes 30 minutes or less.
Step 1: Cleansing.
Step 2: Exfoliation. This step takes about six minutes. Your aesthetician paints the treatment gel (NeoRevive or NeoBright) all over your skin. Then, she fits the hand piece with a Capsugen (each client gets a fresh, hygienic one) and starts buffing it all over your face, causing some gentle foaming. She can also concentrate on areas of concern, such as the comedones around the nose or areas of hyperpigmentation. You feel a mild tingle, but nothing irritating or uncomfortable. My face also felt warm and looked a bit pink, which Katie told me was the oxygenated blood coming to the surface. Cool!
Step 3: Dermal infusion. Then the foam is washed off and more NeoRevive or NeoBright gel is applied for the dermal infusion step (about eight minutes). Your aesthetician removes the used Capsugen capsule and uses a massage tip on the hand piece, gently going over all areas of the face to help the treatment gel absorb. I found this part a little more relaxing, since there was no bubbling or tingling.
Step 4: Hand massage. The last part was a final massage by hand of the remaining gel on my face, to get every last drop into my skin.
Then your aesthetician hands you a mirror so you can admire your plumped-up, dewy glow!
Why I like OxyGeneo better than regular oxygen facials
My conclusion: it really is a "Super-Facial." I feel like you get all the benefits of a regular oxygen facial (glowing, hydrated skin infused with actives) and then some, in a much safer delivery system.
I love that it's a non-vacuum device and that the oxygenation happens internally, via carbon dioxide, instead of via the pressurized stream of oxygen that's used in other facials. I expressed some of my concerns about oxygen here, including the possibility that the oxygen increases free radical damage. I don't have that concern with the OxyGeneo system, and feel it's much safer. (In fact, it's safe for ALL skin types, is non-irritating and extremely hydrating.)
As for the results, from one treatment only you can expect an improved texture and increased radiance that should last several days. I thought I got a slight plumping effect as well. You'd need a series of treatments to get the long-term benefits, including improvements to acne, elasticity and brown spots. Here are a couple of impressive before and afters:
Want to see it in action? I'll leave you with two vids featuring the same aesthetician, Katie, who did my treatment (she is lovely and one of those very RARE non-judgemental facialists!).