Facial steaming gets rid of deep-down oils and dirt from your face. Not only that, a facial steamer is also a great way to prepare for your facial. By softening your skin and increasing its permeability, it makes it much easier for nourishing and moisturising products to penetrate deep into the skin.
If you already have a professional salon facial steamer at home or are planning to buy one, here’s how to make sure you are getting the most out of it.
How to use a facial steamer
1. Prepare your skin
You’ll get better results from the steamer if your skin is already free of most of the surface gunk and dirt. The moisture will penetrate deeper and hydrate your skin more effectively.
At the very least use a mild face cleanser to wipe off dirt and oils from your face. It’s also a good idea to exfoliate using a facial scrub or a clay mask. This gets rid of dead skin cells, giving way to the steam unclog your pores.
Do not apply any product such as a moisturizer before steaming. That comes after.
2. Set up the steamer
If your steamer takes around 5 minutes before it starts spewing steam, set it up as you prepare your skin. If it takes a couple of minutes or less, wait until you are ready to start steaming before you switch it on.
Make sure your steamer is clean; you should have washed it after you finished using it the last time. If it’s new, check the manual for instructions on how to wash it.
Place it on a raised and flat surface such as a table and add the recommended amount of distilled water to the tank. Some steamers come with a measuring cup which makes it easier to add the precise amount of water required.
Close the tank, make sure the top part where you place your face is securely attached and then plug it in and wait for the steam.
3. Get steaming but with caution
When there is a steady stream of steam, gently lower your face until it rests on the contoured top opening. Go slowly to get a feel of how hot the steam is.
If it’s too hot, hold your face slightly higher above the opening or turn down the steam output/temperature if your steamer has that option.
If your steamer has a timer, set it to between 5 and 20 minutes. If it doesn’t, use your phone or clock to time yourself. You should steam for a minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 20 minutes.
As you steam, you may find it more effective to place a towel over your head. This traps all the steam inside. But be careful that it doesn’t get too hot under the towel.
4. Wipe off your face and finish your facial
When steaming, you’ll sweat a lot. This is good. It gets rid of dirt and oils that had accumulated in the pores.
When you finish, just wipe off the moisture from your face using a soft towel. Now your face is primed for a full facial. With the skin softened, products will penetrate deeper and get locked in.
Apply a serum and a moisturizer. You can also put on a moisturising face mask.
You’ll notice that these products are more effective after steaming. Your face feels softer for longer, appears smoother and has a certain glow to it. Steaming even helps get rid of blackheads and whiteheads.
- Make sure you clean your steamer every time you use it. Let it cool down first and then discard any remaining water. Follow the instructions in the manual to clean it.
- Only use distilled water. Tap water has too many minerals that could affect how the steamer works.
- ‘Listen’ to your skin as you steam especially if you have the sensitive type. If you start feeling any irritation or burning sensation stop steaming or lift your face higher above the opening where the steam is cooler.
- Don’t use the steamer every day. Most dermatologists recommend steaming only once a week to avoid stressing your skin. You can also do it twice a week if your skin gets especially dirty. But only do it for 5-10 minutes.
If you follow these tips, you’ll soon find out that facial steamers really work.