Many women and men who follow a strict skincare regimen have probably asked themselves this question at some point. While you may be doing everything right – cleansing, exfoliating, toning, moisturizing and applying sunscreen, you are doing yourself a disservice by not steaming your face enough. The benefits of adding this simple task to your skincare regimen include unclogging your pores, making your skin more receptive to other treatments, improving circulation, removing toxins and promoting relaxation. Steaming your face is akin to taking a bath from the inside out since it helps cleanse clogged pores that can cause acne. The best part about steaming is that you don’t need any specialized skills or equipment. Let’s find out more about this often neglected beauty tip.
The Right Frequency to Steam Your Face and Why
Steaming your face regularly is an excellent skincare treatment that helps with the deep cleansing of pores. It increases blood circulation to the face which gives you a glowing complexion. So when and how often should I steam my face?
You can steam your face about 2 times a week without worrying about skin damage. If your skincare regimen includes a facial mask or serum, then you should steam your face just before applying the mask or serum. This way, the mask will be able to penetrate deeper into the skin.
If you have sensitive skin, you should only do a steam facial once a month for not longer than 5 minutes per session.
Methods for Steaming Your Face
Step 1 – Boil some water in a pot. You will not require much else since a steaming session involves nothing else but your skin and water. You won’t need lots of water. 1 or 2 cups should be enough.
Step 2 – As the water heats up, use a gentle cleanser to wash your face. Before you steam your face, you need to make sure that your skin is clean. Make sure to remove any dirt, makeup, oil or sweat sitting on the surface of your skin. This step is important because steaming causes your pores to open up wide so dirt can penetrate the skin and cause irritation.
Note: Avoid washing your face with harsh soap or exfoliating scrub. Use mild cleaners instead to reduce chances of skin irritation. Once you’re done, pat down your face with a soft towel.
Step 3 – Get a glass or ceramic bowl and pour in the boiling hot water. Get some towels and place them on top of a table along with the bowl of hot water. Avoid using a plastic bowl since it can melt.
Step 4 – Add herbs or essential oils to the water. You will be able to enjoy the unique scents as you steam your face. The steaming session will double up as an aromatherapy session. If you’re using essential oils, add just a few drops. A little goes a long way. You don’t have to add any exotic herbs or special oils. You can simply use tea bags.
Step 5 – Drape a towel over your head and let it drop to either side of your head. Lower your head into the bowl such that the towel traps the steam. Ensure your face is as close enough to the water as possible. If you get too close to the water, you will feel a burning sensation on your skin and will have trouble breathing. Just get close enough to make the most of the steaming session. Steam your face for about 10 minutes. If you suffer from acne, don’t stay too long. The skin can react to overexposure to heat.
What to Do after Steaming Your Face
Put on a Face Mask
Steaming your face leaves your pores wide open. This is the best time to try and draw out as much dirt and impurities as possible. Using a clay mask just after the steam treatment is the best way to achieve this. Apply the mask on your face and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Use warm water to wash it off. If you don’t have a clay mask, substitute with plain honey or a mixture of oatmeal and honey. In case you’re not interested in doing the mask, simply wash your face with warm water after you’re done with the steaming session.
Tone Your Skin
Once you’ve rinsed the face mask away, use a toner to help close your pores. Use a cotton ball to apply it to your face with gentle strokes. You don’t have to buy a toner. You can use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Mix a table spoon of either of them with a cup of water and you will be good to go.
Steaming can cause your skin to dry out, so it is vital to wind up the steaming session with a good moisturizer. Use a quality product that contains aloe, soothing oils and butters to prevent your skin from drying up. Let the moisturizer sit for a few minutes before applying any make up. This will give it sufficient time to get absorbed into the skin.
Besides how often should I steam my face, here are more things to know:
Avoid using strong exfoliants on your skin immediately after the steaming session. You face will be swollen from the treatment and your pores will be wide open, Scrubbing can cause inflammation.
Add some peppermint herb root or a single drop of peppermint oil for maximum pore cleansing.
Make sure to use astringent such as rosemary, basil leaves, licorice root, lemongrass and lavender on your face after the steaming session to avoid debris and dirt from clogging up your pores again. Astringents help with oily skin and eliminate bacteria.