Skin Care

The Benefits of Facial Steaming for Healthy Skin

Oct 16, 2018
The Benefits of Facial Steaming for Healthy Skin

Facial steaming has amazing overall benefits to your skin's health and can improve the effectiveness of some of the steps you take for your skin care as cleansing, exfoliating, toning and moisturizing your skin. Add steaming to your skin care routine to improve your skin and to get that glorious glow on without having to find a spa.

what Facial Steaming Is

Facial steaming or facial sauna is simply when you let steam absorb into your face for several minutes using either a face steamer, or a bowl of very hot water.

For the most effective results, most people have a towel over their head so that as much steam as possible is directed towards their face. Note that some would even use hot towels directly on your face but I don't find it really comfortable.

The Benefits of Steaming Face for Beauty and Health

Whether you use an electric face steamer or the old bowl method, there are plenty of advantages. If you are ready, let's discuss about the benefits of face steaming for your skin and health.

Benefit 1 : Deep Cleanses Your Skin

One of the most known facial sauna benefits is the cleansing. With facial steaming, you are able to have your skin deep cleansed naturally. This is because the heat that is given from steam can open up your pores and as a result, dirt and bacteria can easily be removed with the use of a cleanser or a scrub. On top of that, dead skin cells can be removed easier.

Benefit 2: Removes Toxins

We know that toxins are bad for your skin. With facial steaming, toxins are removed much faster. Why? When you sweat (whether it be from exercise or from a hot shower), toxins are released due to the heat. In fact, steam causes your skin to sweat a lot more than usual and as a result, a lot of toxins are released. Your face is no different from any other part of your body - if steam is applied, toxins will be released at a faster rate via the skin pores.

Benefit 3: Helps Prevent Acne

Facial steaming is also specifically helpful to preventing acne breakouts from occurring and if you've suffered from acne and haven't found a remedy, which works, then facial steaming is worth giving a shot.

The main factor, which contributes to acne breakouts, is clogged pores. With clogged pores, your skin gets irritated and in some cases, becomes infected. Even if you don't suffer from acne, facial steaming is a great way to keep your skin pores clean.

When hot steam makes contact with your face, you begin to sweat and as a result, your pores open up. This helps to break away the hard sebum stuck in your pores, and release any dirt and bacteria that would have contributed to an acne breakout.

Benefit 4: Get rid of whiteheads and blackheads

Both whiteheads and blackheads are a huge pain to deal with. It's not as simple as getting rid of a pimple but fortunately, facial steaming can be an effective way of getting rid of them  (or preventing them).

Your skin, by nature, produces something called sebum which keeps your skin lubricated and protects it. However, when this sebum gets stuck inside of a follicle, a breakout will happen and lead to what we call a blackhead.

When you apply steam to your face, the pores begin to open up and the blackhead plug will soften. In other words, steam will help melt the hardened sebum, and let it run out from your pores... I hope you were not having lunch or dinner.... haha.

Benefit 5: Fights Back Signs of Aging Skin

With the help of facial steaming, you can improve the blood circulation in your face. Without overcomplicating things, when you steam your face you are triggering a "thermoregulating" response which causes your skin blood vessels to dilate. This promotes blood flow throughout your skin cells. As a result, an increase in nutrients and oxygen from that blood flow is being delivered to your skin cells. This leads to what may have once been slowly wrinkling cheeks becoming rosy and glowy. In a nutshell, you get a better complexion (Which means less make up and more money in your wallet.)

In fact, according to the author of ''Ageless: Living Younger Longer( on Amazon)", Doctor Ben H. Douglas, sweating is to your skin what exercise is to your muscles.

When your body sweats, it is bringing nutrients and minerals to your skin. With this in mind, sweat is able to help promote healthy collagen structures, which as a result, leads to a reduction in wrinkly skin and sagging skin. If you do facial steaming regularly you'll quickly see that vitality is being restored to your skin.

Moreover, the more you age, the slower your body will produce new skin cells and the less effective it will be at removing dead skin cells. This is what leads to your skin looking dull and discoloured.

Regular facial steaming can actually help stimulate your skin to combat this problem. How? It helps soften the surface layer of dead skin cells which means that you can more easily exfoliate that dead skin layer and reveal the fresh, new skin layer underneath. This also helps to improve blood circulation in the face, which encourages faster skin cell turnover. As a result, your skin looks firmer and younger.

All in all, if you're looking to fight back against ageing skin, facial steaming is the way to go.

Benefit 6: Makes Your Skin Receptive to Other Treatments

Here is another example of the benefits of steaming face. If you want to step up your skincare game and use a range of different treatments, facial steaming can help you have a lot more success with other treatments.

After using facial steaming to clear away any dirt or bacteria that is in your pores, and exfoliating the dead skin cells, you get rid of the obstacles that "cover" your skin and prevent your beauty products to better penetrate your skin.  So, your skin is more able to benefit from the beauty products you might use, such as a serum, lotions, or a facial mask.

Benefit 7: Prevents Dry Skin

Because both heat and moisture can help make your skin more absorbent, steam is perfect for enabling nourishing and hydrating skin care products to penetrate more deeply to help fight dry skin.

However, remember that if you facial steam too frequently or for prolonged periods of time, you could make your skin drier because of excessive sweating so don't go over board.

For those who intend on facial steaming regularly, avoid drinking alcohol or taking supplements, which reduce sweating and more importantly, after each facial steaming session, drink a few glasses of water. This will rehydrate your body and your skin.

Benefit 8: Prevents Sinus Problems

The other good thing about face steaming is that you convert water into a very moisturizing mist that helps to fight the harmful effects of dry air on your sinuses. They become moist so you can inhale and exhale more easily. I usually add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to add that extra soothing and refreshing effect to quickly improve your breathing. It would also work if you sinuses were congested, the essential oils would help too.

Benefit 9: Helps to Relax

Because of the heat, facial steaming is a very relaxing experience. Steam is very common in relaxation treatments and if you're looking to add to this relaxation, try adding essential oils. When you add essential oils to the equation, you're creating a homemade aromatherapy session that you'll look forward to each week.

Benefit 10: Saves money

The last point about the steaming face benefits is about your wallet. Whether you use the hot water in a bowl method or a facial steamer, you don't have to spend any money for this beneficial treatment. Other than the small amount of water and electricity that is required to use the steamer, or to heat up the water, you can enjoy a relaxing facial sauna. In fact, you don't need to spend your money at a spa, so doing your own facial steaming helps you to save money. Yeah, give it a try, it's totally worth it.

Now that you know all the benefits of steaming face, let's see how to get a facial sauna session.

How to steam your face at home

If you are going to be doing facial steaming from home, there are three methods that you can try:

  • Facial steamer
  • Bowl of hot water
  • Hot towels

Method 1: Facial Steamer

If you are used to getting a facial steaming from a spa then using a facial steamer is what you want. You can easily buy a facial steamer online or from a beautician store.

The facial steamer benefits are the same as the benefits of Face steaming, but we can add a few more to the list.

Facial steamers are easy to use and cleaning them afterwards is also very easy. The most important thing is that they can provide the exact amount of steam that you need for a facial steaming without burning or damaging the skin itself. On top of that, facial steamers are capable of creating ultra-micronized steam droplets, which can effectively penetrate your pores more easily than with regular steam. All in all, this will increase the overall effectiveness of facial steaming.

Some facial steamers will also let you use essential oils which, depending on the type of skin you have, could bost the effectiveness of your facial steaming.

The other advantage to use a facial steamer: if the water chamber is empty the face steamer will automatically turn off. This is convenient and means that you don't have to keep track of time.

This is really convenient and worth the investment. All my family members use it. We sometimes have to fight to be able to use it haha.

Lastly, aside using this as a facial steamer, you can also use it in your room as a humidifier. As you know, our skin can also benefit from adequate moisture in the air.

Method 2: Bowl of Hot Water

This is one of the most popular facial steaming methods because it doesn't require you to purchase a facial steamer.

Start with a bowl of boiling water (either from a kettle or from a pot). Let it cool down slightly for a few minutes before placing a towel over your head and over the bowl. Make sure that your face is close enough to the bowl, but not too close that you get burnt.

Method 3: Hot Towels

This method isn't as popular as the others although nonetheless, it can get the job done. The risk with using warm towels is that you have to make sure that the towels are clean; otherwise you risk transferring bacteria from the towel onto your face.

For this method, start by letting towels soak in hot water for a few minutes before wringing them out and hanging letting them cool to a hot temperature that you're comfortable with. Once they've cooled down, place them over your face.

If you have sensitive skin then given how rough towels can be, it's best to avoid this method.

How Often Should you steam your Face

It's recommended that if you want to add facial steaming to your skin care routine, you should do it a maximum of once a week. That being said, if you feel as though your pores are very clogged, you can try facial steaming twice a week although only do this temporarily until your skin improves - in the long run, twice a week can cause dry skin with oversweating.

How long you should steam your face depends on the type of skin you have.

  • Normal Skin. Every two weeks or every week for about 12 minutes.
  • Dry Skin. Every two weeks for about 10 minutes.
  • Oily Skin. Twice a week for about 12 minutes.
  • Sensitive Skin. Anyone who has sensitive skin should discuss facial steaming with a dermatologist prior to doing it as facial steaming can cause irritation on sensitive skin.

For those who experience acne regularly, simply follow the guidelines for oily skin.

Which Essential Oils You Should Use

By adding some drops of essential oils to your facial steaming process, you are able to increase the effectiveness of your facial steaming session. Which essential oil you decide to use depends on what you are looking to improve about your skin. It is pretty simple and easy.

  • Acne. For acne, try using rosemary and tea tree.
  • Dry / Mature Skin. Because of their regenerative properties, rose and jasmine are good for dry or mature skin.
  • Sensitive Skin. Because of their soothing properties, geranium and lavender are good for sensitive skin.
  • Congested Sinuses. If you have a cold, the flu, or your sinuses are just blocked; eucalyptus oil is the one to go.

Make sure that you don't add too much essential oil as it is very powerful. About 2 or 3 drops should do it. People often make the mistake to add too much essential oil. It is useless and you also waste money at the same time.

One last thing that you can try adding to your steam, instead of an essential oil, is tea. That's right, it's not just a relaxing drink. Tea is commonly used for skin care purposes due to its skin nourishing and antioxidant properties. In particular, chamomile tea has several beneficial qualities such as anti-ageing and being anti-bacterial too, whereas green tea can reduce skin redness.

How to add Facial Steaming to Your Skin Care Routine

If you want to incorporate facial steaming into your skin care routine, fantastic! There are a lot of different methods out there although below, we've put together a short guide on the most common (and most effective) way to do so.

After following these steps, your skin will be soft and replenished.

Step #1 - Before you steam your face, cleanse your skin.
Step #2 - Although this is optional, for the best results you should apply a hydration serum beforehand. If you have sensitive skin or have a skin condition, this is a must.

Note: don't use an oily product, as this will lessen the effectiveness of facial steaming. Instead, use a light water-based product.

Step #3 - Enjoy the next 5 to 10 minutes of facial steaming!
Step #4 - Once you've steamed your face, exfoliate your skin. Make sure that you are gently scrubbing your face in a gentle circular motion as scrubbing too rough could result in damaging your skin.
Step #5 - Use cool water to rinse your face.
Step #6 - As soon as you've rinsed your face, apply to your face a generous amount of facial mist, rejuvenating serum and moisturiser. Use a little extra of each product that you usually would as your skin will be slightly drier after facial steaming.
Step #7 - You're done!

It's that simple! After a few moments of your time, your skin will look as radiant as ever.

Tips for facial steaming

  • Only steam your face for a maximum of 18-20 minutes, but not any less than 5 minutes to reap the benefits of face steaming.
  • To get all the benefits of face steaming at home, the recommended temperature that you use for facial steaming is about 40 degrees Celsius (or 104 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Drink plenty of liquids before and after you have facial steamed. This is the most important thing to remember because during the steaming you will be sweating a lot and if you don't drink enough you will be dehydrated (and so will your skin!).
  • Steam enhances skin absorption so make sure that after facial steaming, you don't use any skin care products that are toxic or potentially harmful. Only use high-quality products, which contain natural ingredients.
  • When you are facial steaming, keep your face a safe distance from the hot water. If you don't, you could risk severely burning your skin or even damaging the capillaries, which are under your skin.
  • Make sure that your face steamer is kept clean. For an effective clean, use a solution, which is made from 12-parts water and 1-part bleach. Clean the vaporizer using a sponge and rinse thoroughly afterwards.
  • Some types of skin have sensitivity towards chemicals from tap water. As a result, showering or bathing can feel rather harsh on your skin. If this sounds like you, fill the facial steamer chamber with either mineral or distilled water.
  • Use a water-based gel (or another light weight skin care product) rather than products, which are thick and oily. This is recommended as our skin removes toxins through our sweat and if a thick and oily product is used, the sweating is impaired and the facial steaming process is less effective.
  • Facial Sauna is not effective with all types of skin. It's worth noting that if you have sensitive skin, or if you suffer from either couperose or rosacea, then you could benefit from using a skin hydration serum and a masque to protect your skin during facial steaming. However, the odds are your skin will do better with minimal or no exposure to heat or steam.
  • If you struggle to sleep, try adding some lavender essential oil to your facial steamer and inhale the steam for a few minutes before going to bed. That should really help.

It is a no-brainer. The benefits of steaming your face are really worth it. However, please be careful. Don't go overboard.