The benefits of facial steaming have been lauded for eons. The practice has been known to open up the pores, enhance skin tone, and even out complexion–all while making you look like a Valkyrie from Norse mythology. But when it comes to actually incorporating facial steaming into your skincare routine, the process is less straightforward. How often should you do it? What’s the best way to go about it? And are there any precautions to take before diving in? The answers to these questions might seem fairly cryptic at first, but once you decode them, they make perfect sense. To get you on track with these tips and tricks for incorporating steam into your skincare routine, we’ve compiled all you need to know about facial steaming:
How Often Should You Steam Your Face?
The frequency of steaming your face depends on your skin type. If you have oily skin, you can steam your face every day. If you have normal or dry skin, you should steam your face two to three times a week. If you have sensitive skin, you should steam your face once a week.
What Is Facial Steaming?
- Facial steaming is a type of skin treatment, or “hot pot,” in which a moist towel is placed over your face, then heated up to a specific temperature.
- Steaming can open up the pores and help stimulate circulation and the lymphatic system by increasing blood flow to the skin.
- Steam is also known for its ability to tone and soften skin by removing excess oils and dead cells that can clog pores.
- Facial steaming can also help reduce acne breakouts because it can remove blackheads and whiteheads from the surface of the skin–and without irritating it like traditional acne-fighting methods such as physical exfoliation or peels do.
- Facial steaming has been used in Asian cultures for centuries as a natural way to cleanse and detoxify oily skin because it increases circulation in the area–a process that removes toxins from deep within pores, too!
How Does Facial Steaming Work?
- Think of it as a type of exfoliation.
- The steam opens up pores, allowing impurities and dead skin cells to leave your face more easily and more quickly than when you’re not steaming.
- Steaming also makes your skin appear brighter, smoother, softer, and younger overall, especially if you’ve had any breakouts or pigmentation issues in the past.
- Facial steaming is an effective treatment for acne-prone skin; it can help to reduce acne by removing excess oil from the pores and reducing inflammation in the skin due to the steam itself.
- Facial steaming can also help with premature aging by smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles on your face, making you look years younger than you are!
Benefits Of Facial Steaming
Clears Out Your Pores
The act of steaming your face clears out the pores, which is why it’s such a popular practice. “The steam opens up the pores and creates an environment where bacteria can’t grow,” says Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner. “It has a mild drying effect on the skin, so it helps purge out any dirt or oil that’s accumulated in the pores.”
Improves Skin Tone
Another benefit of facial steaming is that it improves your skin tone. It tones down redness, acne scars, and even dark spots, which means you’ll look younger and more radiant than ever before. “Facial steaming can help reduce post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation [commonly known as PIH] by improving your skin’s natural barrier function,” says Dr. Zeichner. This happens because when you steam your face, it opens up blocked pores and cleans out dead cells from within the pore walls, causing your skin to appear brighter and healthier overall.
Improves Collagen Production
“Facial steaming helps improve collagen production because it increases blood circulation around the facial area,” says makeup artist Julie Adair-Rohrback of Boudoir Brooklyn. “This improves cellular turnover and results in firmer skin cells.” In addition to that, facial steam also helps stimulate collagen production in general—so you’ll be looking more youthful overall while boosting collagen production in specific areas like around the eyes and lips.
Helps Eliminate Blemishes
Facial steaming also helps to eliminate blemishes, which is why it’s a great practice for those with acne-prone skin. “Facial steaming helps to relieve inflammation and encourages the skin’s natural immune response,” says Dr. Zeichner. “This can help reduce the appearance of acne, blackheads, and other blemishes.”
Improves Blood Circulation
Another benefit of facial steaming is that it improves blood circulation in your face, which means that it can help improve the appearance of your pores, as well as any dry skin you might have around your mouth area—which can cause fine lines or wrinkles around your lips. “When you steam your face, it increases circulation in the facial area so that more nutrients and oxygen can get to the skin,” says makeup artist Julie Adair-Rohrback. This not only helps to reduce puffiness but also gives you a brighter complexion overall.
How Often Should You Steam Your Face?
Steam Is Not a Skincare Product
Steam is not a skincare product. Steaming is not a skincare treatment. In fact, steam is actually just water. Water that is heated up to the point where it turns into steam. It’s what we call vaporization–essentially, water that has been heated so high that it condenses into tiny droplets of water–which are then inhaled by your nasal passages and throat, leaving you with the feeling of being stung by an angry bee or hit by a cold shower (or both).
Steam Isn’t Necessarily Good for Your Face
When you think of facial steaming, you probably assume there’s some kind of special benefit to taking in steam as opposed to other skin treatments like applying toner or applying cream or serum. But while some people prefer steaming over other methods like cleansing and moisturizing, all skin types can benefit from steaming, even if they won’t be totally clear about why they’re doing it at the time. “There’s no specific reason why one should steam their face over another,” explains cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Lita Lee. “The only thing that matters is how often you do it.” When it comes to facial steaming as part of your skincare routine, Dr. Lee recommends doing so twice per week for about 10 minutes each time: “If you have oily skin or acne-prone skin, use less time and see how it goes. If you have dry skin or sensitive skin, steam for 20-30 minutes to make sure that you get the full benefit.”
Steaming Is Not a Treatment
Steaming is not a treatment. It’s a way of using water to improve your complexion and help your skin look and feel better. “I think that people get confused between steaming and cleansing,” says Dr. Lee. “Steaming is just a way of using water to cleanse the skin, but done properly, it can also be used as a toner.” In fact, while Drs. Lee and Tzu say they recommend steaming twice per week for 10 minutes each time, they don’t recommend steaming every day (because it might cause too much drying ). Instead, you can use facial steaming as part of your skincare routine once or twice per week to balance out the effects of skincare products by cleansing away any residue from cleansers or other skin care products.
Steaming Can Be Done at Home
“I think most people do facial steaming at home because they don’t want to go to their dermatologist,” says Dr. Tzu. But while the idea behind doing facial steams at home is good–you want to give your face some extra love without having to spend tons of money on professional treatments–there are some things you need to know before trying it at home yourself: “You should not try this at home if you have sensitive skin,” says Dr. Lee. “If you have acne-prone skin, you can try it, but the steam should be very gentle, and your face should not be puffy at all.” If you do decide to try facial steaming at home, Dr. Lee suggests using a facial steamer that is safe for use on the eye area and on sensitive skin.
Facial steaming is a skincare practice that has been known to open up the pores, enhance your skin’s tone, and even out your complexion. It has been reported that steaming can increase blood flow to your face, which leads to the unclogging of pores. Furthermore, steaming has been reported to enhance your skin’s tone and complexion while facilitating collagen production, which can lead to firmer skin. If you’re looking to improve your skincare and combat aging, we recommend incorporating facial steaming into your skincare routine. Although it may seem straightforward, there are a few precautions you should keep in mind. For best results, we recommend steaming once a week with a facial steamer and a bowl of hot water, and a towel.