With all the beauty and personal care products out there, adding plain old water to your skincare routine might seem a bit anticlimactic.
But facial steaming is an underdog technique boasting some impressive hydration benefits your skin won’t want to miss. Plus, since all you need are hot water, a towel and a (preferably cute) basin, facial steaming might just be the easiest next step to boost your skin’s health and appearance.
What is facial steaming?
Facial steaming is as simple as the name suggests: face + steam = facial steaming. The easiest way to do it is to position your face over a bowl of steaming hot water, drape a towel over your head to ensure none of that precious steam gets away, then settle in as those water vapors rise and penetrate your skin.
The benefits of steaming your face
Beyond feeling just plain heavenly, steaming your face helps your skin by:
- Boosting circulation, which sends more nutrients to the area
- Softening and opening up pores, which helps loosen up dirt and bacteria
- Improving the efficacy of other skincare products (especially ones containing active-ingredients)
- Possibly soothing maskne
When and how often should you use a facial steamer?
Depending on your schedule, some experimentation might be in order to determine when and how often you should steam your face. To start, aim for a steaming session at least once per week in the evenings, just before bed. Because it’s such a relaxing treatment, it might help you get a better night’s sleep.
Facial steaming options
From purchasing a professional steamer online to hitting the sauna at the gym, options are plentiful for those looking for a quick steam if they are short on time.
If you have an extra half hour to spare, read on for how to steam your face at home!
How to steam your face at home
Beyond a hot, steamy shower, you can reap the benefits of facial steaming with a DIY facial steaming spa.
To help set the mood, switch on some soothing tunes, or some relaxing white noise like wind chimes, birdsong or the distant ocean. Pour yourself a tall, cold glass of lemon water to sip from to stay hydrated.
Now dive in, because it’s time for an all-natural, soothing facial steam for softer, dewier skin.
Step 1: Start with a steam
- Bring a small pot of water to boil (you only need a few cups for a good steam). While the water is heating, head to the bathroom to cleanse your face and neck. Wash off any makeup, dirt and grime from the day, then pat your face dry. You might even want to exfoliate your skin for an even deeper clean – and a more well-rounded spa experience!
- Pour that boiling water into a wide-brimmed glass or ceramic bowl, then set that bowl on top of the kitchen table. Grab a big fluffy towel, tie your hair back, then place the towel over your head as you move your face over the hot water bowl.
–> For an added aromatherapy benefit, add in some herbs or a few drops of relaxing essential oils to the hot water like lemongrass, lavender, eucalyptus or mint. Be careful to add only a small amount, as the heat may increase the potency of the oils. Tossing in a few tea bags will also work!
Step 2: Draw out impurities
- Close your eyes, breathe deeply and relax, allowing that hot, moist air to open your pores and unravel your nerves. It might be a bit uncomfortable at first – since it will be quite warm and your head will be covered – but try to stay under that towel for at least 10 minutes. And be careful to stay about six inches away from the steam so you don’t burn your face.
- Once the 10 minutes is up, exit your steam and grab some bentonite clay – because it’s time for a good old-fashioned mud-mask! Clay masks work wonders at naturally drawing out impurities from the skin; so, mix it up, slather it on and allow it to sit on your face for another 10 to 15 minutes.
–> Be careful to not steam your face for too long, or get too close to that hot water, as it could potentially cause inflammation on your skin. For this reason, those struggling with rosacia should beware of facial steaming.
Step 3: Tone and moisturize
- After your mud mask is dry and ready to come off, rinse with warm water to gently remove the clay mask. Pat your face dry, and then apply a toner to seal up those squeaky clean pores.
- Finally, to finish your facial steam treatment off, slather on your favorite, ultra-hydrating facial moisturizer to help your skin retain all that added hydration. Voila! Now the only thing left to do is to relax your evening away!