6 Benefits of Facial Steaming and How to Steam Your Face for Acne and Blackheads

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Benefits of Facial Steaming 

There are several benefits of facial steaming that are often not recognized by people who need to do this the most. It is a type of skin treatment that you can do by yourself at home by yourself if you want to save money and have some privacy. However, this can also be done at a spa or beauty salon if you prefer to get a beautician to do it for you. 

Some of the benefits of facial steaming include:

1. Facial skin Cleansing: Facial steaming helps in opening up your skin pores which makes it easy to debris clogging skin pores to be removed easily. Typically, the skin pores (the skin generally) responds to heat by opening up skin pores so that sweat can be excreted easily which can bring about cooling relief.

This clears out the skin pores of any blockade from dead skin cells and accumulated sebum.

2. Improved Circulation: Blood vessels also typically expand when the skin is exposed to heat, a process known as vasodilation. This leads to improved circulation of blood to the skin surface and increased excretion of sweat. That is one of the reasons why you sweat when you are steaming your face.

This improved circulation of blood to the skin also brings about improved supply of nutrients needed by skin cells which results in better skin quality and health.

3. Prevents Acne: Facial steaming also has the benefit of preventing acne by opening up the skin pores. Acne usually occurs when accumulated debris from dead skin cells and sebum clogs the skin pores forming a suitable environment for bacteria to grow.

Facial steam usually causes dilation of skin pores making it easy for clogged pores to get cleansed. Hence, you can prevent acne from forming on your face if you do this regularly. 

4. Skin Hydration and Increased Product Absorption: Another great benefit of facial steaming is that it helps in hydrating and moisturizing the skin especially delicate facial skin. When steaming causes dilation of skin pores, it becomes relatively easier for the skin to absorb moisture, especially for dry skin.

This makes the skin supple, hydrated, and product absorption into the skin increases significantly. That is why it is often recommended that beauty products like lotions, creams etc. should be applied while the skin is still moisturized. 

5. Improved Skin Elasticity and Collagen Production: Collagen is very essential in maintaining healthy, smooth and younger-looking skin. The increased blood flow to the skin also stimulates collagen production which improves your skin elasticity and reduces the formation of wrinkles.

This results in younger-looking skin. This can really be helpful if you are experiencing mild wrinkles on your face. You can also use collagen creams to help the skin produce more collagen, and the best time to apply it maybe shortly after your facial steaming.  

6. Stress Relief: Many people have also reported that the time for facial steaming is a period where they relax with steam basking in their face and this helps them to feel calm and relaxed. Some people have also said it is a good time to reflect and meditate as well when steaming especially if you plan to do it up to five minutes. All of these actions can help in relieving your stress significantly. 

How to Steam Your Face (Facial Steaming Techniques)

There are several techniques that you can use if you want to steam your face to remove blackheads. Almost all of these techniques will produce good results for your facial skin but you should use a technique that you are comfortable with and one that is compatible with your facial steamer

Which Facial Steaming Method is Better – Boiling Water Bowl or Facial Steaming Machine?

You can either steam your face with a bowl of hot water (just put your face over the steam from the water) or using a warm/hot towel. You may get some results but these methods are not really safe and the results may not be very effective. The best method for facial steaming is to use a facial steamer.

This is considered the best method because most facial steamers are designed to breakdown water particles into nano (very tiny) particles and emit nano steam which is more effective in penetrating the skin layer (dermis), moisturizing and hydrating the skin than ordinary steam from boiling water. 

Facial steamers usually come with an owners manual that provides guidance and instructions on how to use it. Follow the instructions in the guide booklet to do your steaming session at home. 

Comfort is very important so always try to be in a comfortable position (either sitting or lying down). Ensure that you properly tie and cover (or clip) your hair together to prevent it from getting into your face. You can use headbands like this one to make it easy tying your hair together easy. 

Always ensure that your face is at least 5 inches away from the steam because getting too close to the steam may burn your face. 

Duration and Frequency of Facial Steaming

A reasonable duration for facial steaming should be between 5 -15 minutes and up to 20 minutes (in rare cases) depending on your heat tolerance. You can also take small breaks if you can’t steam for up to 10 minutes. 

Consider steaming your face at least every 5-7 days if you are wondering how often you should be steaming your face. This will keep your facial pores free from any blockages that may cause acne and blackheads especially if you have oily skin. 

Essential Oils for Facial Steaming

Essential oils are very useful for facial steaming and they can significantly enhance the results that you get from steaming your face. 

Some essential oils are useful in acne treatments (e.g. tea tree and rosemary), others may be effective in preventing inflammation, while some others may be useful for people with sensitive skin. Essential oils have way more benefits than those related to facial steaming. Some of the best essential oils to use for facial steaming treatments include:

Tea Tree Oil: Tea Tree oils are very effective in the treatment of acne because it contains antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. All of these properties work together to prevent acne flare-ups and any skin irritations that may result in acne

Rosemary Oil: Rosemary essential oil also has amazing properties that can produce great results when combined or used with facial steaming. It has the ability to reduce excess oil in oily skin, it also has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce or clear out skin redness from irritations and inflammation. It can also improve blood circulation to the skin as well.  

Lavender Oil: This essential oil is a good option for treating acne by reducing skin blemishes or mild scars caused acne. It should be used in skin care products like facial cleansers, moisturizers that already contain lavender as an ingredient or you can mix lavender in your skincare products for best results. 

Herbs for Facial Steaming

Herbs can enhance the benefits of facial steaming in various ways like helping with the removal of toxins from the body (detoxification) and prevention or reduction of inflammation as well as sealing moisture in the skin. Some herbs may also be very useful in reducing under-eye puffiness as well as skin wrinkles. 

However, you may have to try using a few of them to find which one works best for you.  Some of the herbs that can be used include: 

Chamomile Herb: This herb is known to have anti-inflammatory as well as anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It is very suitable for facial steaming for people with dry irritated skin. Chamomile is also known for its wound healing properties and stress relief abilities. 

Rose Herb: The rose herb improves scars and wrinkles on the skin as well as the ability to reduce skin redness. It is a great herb to use for facial steaming if you want to reduce or make your acne scars less conspicuous. Roses are also very effective in cleansing and toning the skin and it will be very useful for people with oily skin.

Calendula Herb: Calendula herb has astringent, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties which tend to be also very beneficial for facial steaming. Using calendula with facial steaming treatments can help improve skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, while its astringent properties can be very beneficial for people with oily skin as well as acne-prone skin.

What to Do Before Facial Steaming 

Make sure you wash and cleanse your face using a mild cleanser before you do facial steaming. Do not scrub your face or use a strong cleanser because scrubbing your face may make it tender and sensitive to steam. 

Also, ensure that you remove any makeup or dirt that you have on your skin (face) especially if you have oily skin before steaming. This will make it easy to clear out your facial pores when steaming your face. 

What to Do After Facial Steaming

This is the best time to apply any facial or skincare products because the skin is supple, the facial skin pores are open and the skin is more elastic after facial steaming is completed. This makes it the perfect time to get maximum absorption of any facial product that is applied at this time. Applying the right products after your steaming session will help you to have that beautiful, wrinkle-free, glowing skin that you really desire. 

Some of the products to apply after a facial steaming treatment include: 

Facial Mask: Facial masks for steaming treatment will help to cool down your skin and enhance the removal of any dead skin cells. After removing or washing off your facial mask, you then apply other products (see below) that can help achieve your desired facial skin. There is a large selection of the best facial masks for facial steaming treatment that you can use.  

Skincare Serums: This is also the best time to apply any skincare serums that you may want to use to enhance the appearance of your facial skin. This high absorption potential or capacity of the skin after steaming makes this time the best time to get the best value or results from your serums. Also, applying it after the facial mask has removed dead skin cells (exfoliation) significantly increases the chance of achieving the best results. 

There are different skincare serums that are used for addressing specific skincare issues. Some of these serums include anti-aging serums for wrinkling (wrinkles), antioxidant serums for protecting the skin against free radicals, hydrating serums that help the skin to retain more moisture, and color-correcting serums for issues like hyperpigmentation. See examples of some of the best skincare serums that you can use after facial steaming below. 

Anti-Aging Serum: Most anti-aging serums usually contain hyaluronic acid, retinol and vitamin C or any derivatives of these compounds. Hyaluronic acid and retinol essentially work to stimulate collagen and elastin production in the skin. Collagen and elastin help in restoring elasticity and tension of the skin which results in the elimination of wrinkles and dull skin. Vitamin C, on the other hand, is an antioxidant that fights free radicals to prevent damage to skin cells.   

Hydrating Serum: Hydrating serums have the ability to help the skin retain moisture and also prevent excessive loss of moisture from the skin (transdermal moisture loss). This helps in preventing dry skin which can lead to rapid deterioration of skin condition and appearance of wrinkles.  

Color-Correcting Serum: These are skincare products that are designed to help correct or conceal skin blemishes to create a uniform skin tone. These serums are common in people with skin issues like hyperpigmentation, skin discoloration, redness etc.

Moisturizing Creams: You can also apply moisturizing creams after facial steaming especially those with retinol. These creams help your skin to remain moisturized and supple and moisturizing creams that contain retinol helps with replenishing the skin collagen which makes the skin to have a younger wrinkle-free and glowing look.   

Side Effects of Facial Steaming

As beneficial as facial steaming is, it also has side effects as well. However, the side effects are usually mild and in most people, my not even experience any of these side-effects when necessary precautions are taken. Some of these side effects include: redness of skin and people with dry skin can experience skin irritation.