Ahhh! The feeling of hot steam over your face and neck area is… nothing short of amazing! But what of the benefits? Facial steaming is both relaxing and invigorating. It’s an ideal way to treat yourself to a little tender loving care while unclogging your pores. And after every short treatment, your skin always feels better and glows brighter.
With face steaming, you have several options – including professional spa treatments. There are far less expensive ways to reap the face steaming benefits of a salon-like facial, however. You could even do it at home with a few basics you already have on hand. There’s really no need to shell out any extra money to enjoy the advantages of a more radiant and youthful glow.
In this article, we’ll look at exactly what are the benefits of steaming face and how you can do it at home.
Is Steaming Good For Your Face?
Include as Part of a Good Skin Care Regimen
Facial steaming is most effective as part of an overall skincare program. As a process, steaming the face can help improve the health of your skin. It offers a plethora of useful benefits including boosting circulation and cleansing the pores. It also helps to reduce and control acne breakouts.
What Kind Of Skin Is It Good For?
While face steaming benefits are plentiful (for most people), it’s not a treatment for everyone.
Those who should steer clear of the process of applying hot steam to the skin include anyone with rosacea, fungal infections, severe acne, dry, or sensitive skin.
A good rule of thumb, if you have any redness in the skin, steam will make it worse. If you don’t suffer from any such skin condition, you’re probably good to go.
When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to check with your family doctor or dermatologist.
What Does Steaming the Face Do?
Face steaming actually softens the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin while increasing its temperature. This, in turn, helps loosen dead skin cells and causes you to sweat out the dirt, bacteria, and other toxins from your pores. It also makes it easier to apply skin products – like cleansers, exfoliants, and moisturizers – and have them do their job more effectively.
9 Benefits of Face Steaming
No. 1: Facial Steaming Helps Cleanse the Skin
One of the main benefits of steaming face is cleansing. Applying steam to the face and neck area helps to open up the pores and loosen the buildup of impurities that tend to clog them. Both the heat from the steam as well as the water vapor also softens blackheads, making them easier to get rid of, resulting in a deeper cleanse.
No. 2: Face Steaming Hydrates the Skin
Steam helps with hydration. This increases the skin’s own oil production – which, in turn, serves as a natural moisturizer.
No. 3: Steaming Helps Loosen and Release Acne Causing Bacteria
When you open up the pores of the skin, it allows for the release of bacteria, dead skin cells, and other impurities. These are the impurities that otherwise clog the pores and contribute to a variety of blemishes.
No. 4: Improves Blood Circulation In The Face
Hot steam applied – plus the increase in perspiration that results – tends to dilate the blood vessels and increase circulation. Any improvement in circulation boosts the delivery of oxygen to your cells. With better blood flow, you’re getting more nourishment to the skin – something that leads to a healthier, more natural, and youthful glow.
No. 5: Helps Free Trapped Sebum Produced By the Sebaceous Glands
Sebum is the natural oil found in your skin and hair. When this substance gets blocked beneath the surface of the skin, it creates an oily environment where bacteria and other impurities often lead to acne and blemishes. As hot steam helps to open the pores, excess sebum has an opportunity to exit, reducing the chances of it creating skin problems.
No. 6: Facial Steaming Encourages the Production of Collagen and Elastin
Improved circulation means there’s an increase in blood flow throughout the face and neck area. This helps facilitate the production of greater amounts of collagen and elastin – two essentials to creating firmer-looking skin that can make you look years younger.
No. 7: Steaming Face Can Ease Sinus Congestion
If you ever experience a bad cold, and you’re stuffed up due to a sinus condition – steaming can really be helpful in clearing your congestion and helping you breathe easier and more naturally. Adding a few drops of an essential oil, like eucalyptus – for example – can significantly enhance results.
No. 8: It’s Relaxing and Comforting
Few things are as soothing as a relaxing and warm steam bath on your face. The feeling is invigorating and comforting as you give yourself a skincare treatment. Taking just ten minutes to relax in your own little bubble helps you achieve a greater degree of calm and tranquility. These health benefits alone make it so worthwhile to do.
No. 9: You Can Do Your Own Face Steaming – Without Spending Any Money
There’s nothing more you need (that you don’t already have) to give yourself a relaxing steam facial at home.
All you need is the ability to boil water and have a thick fluffy towel that you can use as a tent to form over your head. You can give yourself the gift of a facial sauna from the comfort of home. Other options include going to the spa for a professional treatment, or using one of those facial steamers available online.
You can even use tap water as the base for your steam facial. There’s no need for more expensive distilled water – or anything like that – since there’s no current evidence that using distilled or UV purified water is any more helpful when steaming your skin. You can, of course, use them if you like, but apparently there’s no additional benefit in doing so.
How Often Should You Steam Your Face
Can You Do It Daily?
One of the main questions people have when it comes to face steaming is how often should you do it? A big concern of course, and major reason why you wouldn’t want to overdo it is the risk of irritation and aggravating sensitive skin. Steaming is definitely not recommended daily.
Most professionals and dermatologists recommend that for best results, and for normal type skin, steaming the facial area should be done no more than once a week, with a 10 – 12 minute limit per session. For oily skin, 10 – 15 minutes per session is good and you could also steam twice per week or twice on alternate weeks.
After steaming, it’s also a good idea to clean the skin with a gentle cleanser. Then rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft towel. Your skin is much more sensitive after a treatment, so avoid rubbing the towel over your skin.
How To Do Face Steaming At Home
It’s really easy. But the first crucial requirement is setting aside 20 minutes of uninterrupted time for you. That allows for a few minutes to set everything up and to clean and dry your skin afterward. If you live with others – they need to know that this is your time to do something good for your own wellbeing and beauty.
It’s a good idea to drink plenty of water prior to your treatment. You’ll be losing water as you perspire, so it’s important to top up the tank before you begin. Wash your face with gentle cleansing soap and pat it dry. Tie your hair back, so it’s off your face completely. Applying an exfoliator to your skin can help you get the most from your facial steaming session. But it’s not a necessity.
What Do You Use To Steam The Face At Home?
What you’ll need is a large bowl or sink, comfortable chair, and a fluffy towel. The towel wraps over your head and the bowl, to form a tent. But remain alert at all times. You’re working with water that’s been brought to a boil – so vigilance is advised.
The best setup we’ve found is a pedestal sink and an adjustable chair. That way you can get in tight to the sink and adjust your seating position for maximum comfort. With a fixed sink, you don’t have to worry about the container tipping over. It’s a much safer approach instead of placing a bowl on a tabletop. With a bowl, it’s more difficult to control the experience and the water is so hot, that it can easily scald you if there’s a spill. Both can work. You just need to be extra careful when using a bowl.
Take Good Care
Whatever your setup, it’s important that you exercise caution. Take your time to get it right so you can avoid a spillage.
Bring the water to a boil and fill the sink (or large bowl). Take a seat and drape the towel over your head and sink, holding your face about six to eight inches away from the water. You can raise (or lower) your head for more or less intense heat. If you need to cool down briefly, simply lift one corner of your tent. Remain in this position for your 10-15 minute facial sauna.
Herbs For Face Steaming
You can ramp up the facial steaming experience by adding some herbs, or a few drops of essential oil to the water.
- Rosemary is a wonderfully fragrant herb that is particularly effective in treating oily skin.
- Lavender is a top choice of those with skin that tends to be on the dry side. Lavender is also very good at helping you to relax and enjoy your treatment time. It’s my go-to herb if I’m feeling anyway stressed out.
- Geranium is a natural astringent. It also helps tighten and tone the skin, making it an excellent choice to use during a facial steaming.
- Chamomile is another favorite of ours. It has a soothing effect on all types of skin and can also help with skin inflammation, as well as dermatitis.
- If you’re feeling under the weather or suffering sinus congestion, adding a little eucalyptus oil to your steam facial can make all the difference.
Side Effects of Steam on the Face – Positives and Negatives
We’ve already looked at the benefits of steaming face from really deep cleansing and relaxing to improving blood circulation and keeping skin hydrated. But what about the negatives?
Since we are all individuals, not all products or practices will agree with everyone. The first thing to be aware of is that not everyone’s skin will react positively to hot steam. When you think about it, applying hot steam will heat up and redden the face. If you have rosacea for example, steaming will likely make it worse. Likewise for very dry or sensitive skin.
However, if you don’t have any of these issues, a weekly facial steam can help you relax and unwind as well as keeping your skin soft and clean.