If you’re following a strict skincare regimen, it probably looks something like this: cleanse, exfoliate, tone, moisturize, apply sunscreen and apply a weekly face mask. Sound familiar? Well the good news is that you’re doing a wonderful job taking care of your skin, but there’s one more important step you should consider adding to your routine that has amazing overall benefits to your skin’s health and can improve the effectiveness of some of the steps mentioned above: facial steaming.
Why Facial Steaming Is Important
- It cleanses your pores. Clogged pores are one of the key contributing factors to acne breakouts, and can lead to infection and severe skin irritation. Whether you suffer from acne or have blemish-free skin, one of the best ways to cleanse facial pores is to steam your face. The warm steam causes your face to sweat, which opens the pores and helps soften the surface layer of dead skin cells, releasing dirt and debris that could be the cause of breakouts and would otherwise stay trapped. Our skin naturally produces sebum that protects and lubricates skin, but when it becomes trapped in a follicle, a breakout can occur. One such breakout is in the form of a blackhead. When steam is applied to the face, it softens blackhead plugs, gently releasing them from follicular openings. While this process can help clear up mild acne, those who suffer from severe acne or skin conditions like rosacea should consult a doctor before trying an at home facial steam.
- It makes your skin more receptive to other skincare treatments. Once your pores have opened and the dirt and debris have been eliminated, your clean pores can now better absorb products you might use, such as a face mask or serum.
- It enhances circulation. Without getting too scientific, steaming your face triggers a thermoregulating response in which blood vessels in the skin dilate so more blood can flow to the skin, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the tissue. This is what gives tired, dull skin that rosy, dewy post-steam glow.
- It helps removes toxins. When you sweat in the steam room or take a hot detoxifying bath, your body perspires and releases toxins. Your face is no different, so facial steaming is a great way to release toxins that could be causing imbalances in your skin.
- It promotes relaxation. Steam has a calming effect on the system, and if you add essential oils or herbs to the water, you now have a soothing, healing aromatherapy session in an at home facial steam.
How To Do An At-Home Facial Steam
There are three methods for at-home steaming:
- A facial steamer. If you’re trying to recreate your spa facial experience, you can buy an at home facial steamer. There are many on the market, so do your research in order to find the perfect one for your needs. Typically, they are simple to use and require little prep and clean-up, but most importantly they deliver the right amount steam for a safe period of time so you don’t damage your skin.
- Steaming with warm towels. With this method, you submerge clean towels in hot water, wring them out, allow them to cool down to a comfortably warm temperature, and then apply them to your face.
- Bowl of steaming water. Bring a pot of water to a boil, transfer the water to a ceramic or glass bowl, drape a towel over your head and the bowl, trapping the steam. Place your face close enough to the steam so you feel it on your face, but not so close that your skin feels like it is burning or overheating.
- Steam for a minimum of 5 minutes, and no more than 10 minutes.
- Add a facial steam tea to infuse your skin with therapeutic herbs, flowers and roots.
- Steam no more than once a week for the best results.
- Remember, if you have severe acne or a serious skin condition, please consult your physician before doing an at-home facial steam.
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