Spa Treatments: Oxygen Manicures/Pedicures

The next frontier in oxygen-based spa treatments? Nail services!

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Oxygenated water—H20 that boasts additional, pressurized oxygen—has made quite a splash on the hydrotherapy scene in recent years. Considering this fluid purportedly increases blood flow, circulation and hydration, and naturally absorbs into deeper layers of skin than does regular ol’ water, it’s no wonder that savvy spa pros have uncovered its potential to up the wellness ante of the typical mani/pedi, too.

In 2009, Denise Dubois moved her Albany, New York-based business, Complexions Day Spa, into a larger location and installed an oxygenating water system. Dubois made widespread use of her oxygenator, and soon began marketing her facials, soaks, Vichy and pedicure offerings around the use of “healing waters.” Dubois says the enhanced water “improves the therapeutic efficacy of all spa treatments,” but adds that use of oxygenated water makes particular sense within pedi tubs, as it “eliminates bacteria, serves as a powerful detoxifier and invigorates fatigued muscles.” Dubois doesn’t offer a separate service called the “Oxygen Pedicure”, but rather, informs clients, via in-spa signage and her website, that they’re entering an oasis in which exclusively healing water flows.

At Bluffton, South Carolina’s Bellis Spa, clients clamor for the Oxygen Manicure (50 min./$35), thanks to its antiaging benefits. Explains owner Eva Cooper, the service “brightens skin and boosts blood flow to the hands, helping to hide the appearance of age spots, heal cracked cuticles and strengthen nails.” In addition to using oxygenated water, Cooper has incorporated use of an oxygen mask into the protocol. “After all,” she reasons, “wrinkles are subdermal—not surface—problems, and oxygen goes deep within the skin to enhance blood flow and strengthen collagen from the inside out.” She adds that training her technicians to explain as much to recipients of “regular” manis does much to boost sales of this specialized antiaging option.

It isn’t simply aging that leaves clients deprived of oxygen. As Shelley Hepburn, spa director at Bulgari Hotel London, points out, “Factors such as air pollution and spending increased time in enclosed, air-conditioned environments means that many of us are not receiving enough oxygen during daily life.” Hepburn attests that using oxygen units to enhance Bulgari Pedicures (70 min/175£), which also incorporate oxygen-enriched products, and intensive foot and leg massage, can help to redress this imbalance. Thanks to oxygenated blood, guests leave the spa more relaxed, and with improved skin, organ and cell quality. “All of this has a positive effect on our entire body’s wellbeing,” Hepburn says. “A mere 15-minute treatment can offer the wellness benefits of two extra hours worth of sleep!” Talk about literal treatment perks!