Skin Care Tip #2


Facial Steaming

You’ve probably seen pictures and videos of women getting steamy facials. It’s a popular procedure at beauty salons for many reasons. But don’t worry, you don’t have to loosen the purse strings too much to get one yourself.

Steaming your face opens your pores, which means it loosens all of that built-up gunk and dirt. It also gets rid of acne-causing bacteria as well. It opens your pores, which also softens blackheads, making them easier to remove. Steam is also great if you suffer from Millia: small, white bumps on your face full of oil. Facial steaming also promotes circulation. So, when you put warm steam and perspiration together (as you will sweat), this causes your blood vessels to dilate, thus increasing circulation. Such a boost in blood flow will nourish your skin and deliver oxygen to it Thus, resulting in a natural healthy glow. When your pores are open, this allows dead skin cells, bacteria, and other impurities that clog the pores causing acne to be released.

Six Benefits to Steaming Your Skin:

  • Steaming your face also warms up the surface for any facial treatments you’ll be getting, which is why estheticians like to do it before applying face masks
  • It’s hydrating. Steam is very hydrating to the skin and helps to increase oil production naturally, thereby moisturizing the face.
  • It is calming, perfect for “me time.” The feeling of warm steam on your face is relaxing. Add some soothing scents like herbs or essential oils for aromatherapy takes your “me time” moment to a whole other level of calm!
  • It promotes firmness and tightness of the skin. Increase blood flow one experiences during a steam facial results in firmer, younger-looking skin. Nice Right!
  • It helps with sinus congestion. I especially like facial a steam for this reason. Steam can help relieve sinus congestion and headaches, something I sometimes suffer. I even add essential oils to my steam to boost the effects of the facial mist. Finally, the benefit I enjoy the most is;
  • It’s affordable and accessible. You don’t need a lot of money for a home facial steam like you do when going to a spa for facial steams to reap its benefits. Doing facial steams at home using resources you already have affords you this luxury without spending the money.  You don’t have to break the bank for this luxury.  This home treatment leaves your skin feeling clean, nourished, and feeling luxurious.

Home steaming session

Although, there are several ways to do a steaming session to save money.  We will focus on “home facial steams” using the damp towel method.  First off, you need to choose whether you will do water steam, water steam with herbs, teas, or essential oils.  Using tap water or distilled water in facial steams either, in my opinion, is okay as I have not seen any research to argue or suggest otherwise. Let us take a look at some of the different types of facial steams.

Teas

Research shows that teas offer health benefits that are good for you from the inside out. The antioxidants in teas are supposed to help our bodies release those nasty toxins. Interestingly enough, research has found that Green Tea and other teas such as black tea, Matcha Green Tea( a more concentrated version of Green Tea), and hibiscus tea, to name a few, have polyphenols protective and anti-aging benefits. I don’t want to get too technical in this article. But, there is research to support polyphenols play an essential role in regulating the immune system. So, could or should you use herbal tea as your base for steaming? Absolutely.  It comes down to your personal preference and how much you want to spend on your “me time” session.

Herbs

Two herbs that come to mind and are beneficial in facial steam are Chamomile and Rosemary.  Research is available that indicates chamomile can help with skin inflammation and dermatitis, making it great for all skin types, including sensitive skin. Rosemary herb is another good option for those with oily skin because of its properties and its fragrance. Whatever herbs you choose for your steam, make sure you research their properties and benefits well.

Essential Oils

There are many essential oils to choose from for facial steams, but few will have calming or invigorating effects. My favorites for facial steams are; Lavender, Geranium, Eucalyptus, and Orange essential oils.  Hence each one having its own unique and beneficial properties works well for my facial steam.

  • Lavender Essential oil is excellent for dry skin or eczema, and it has relaxing aromatherapy benefits.
  • Geranium Essential oil is from the geranium flower, and I like it because of its astringent properties, which are excellent for tightening and toning the skin naturally.
  • Eucalyptus Essential oil is fantastic if you are dealing with acne or congestion.
  • Orange Essential has uplifting aromatherapy properties and may also help with relieving blocked pores and a dull complexion.

How Long, How Hot, How often should you have a Facial Steam?

  • For best results, I recommend steaming your face once a week. Although, there are resources that say 10-15 minutes in length. I say to avoid irritating your skin, limit each steam session to no more than 10 minutes.
  • Be careful with facial steams. A steam burn is more damaging than a burn from boiling water, so you need to be especially cautious when steaming your face. Avoid putting your face too close to the steam. It will lower your risk of being burned. Choose a comfortable distance and make sure the water is warm and not hot if you use the towel method.

Helpful tips

Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of face steaming.

  • Before your facial steam, hydrate yourself. Drinking water before exposing yourself to the heat of any kind is a good idea, so drink some water before you begin.
  • Wash your face using a gentle cleanser with an exfoliator, so your skin is ready to reap all the rewards of steaming. Our Black Facial Soap has excellent properties and would be a great gentle cleaning agent for your face.
  • During the steam, keep your eyes close.   You will be more comfortable, and you won’t risk irritating your eyes.  Closed eyes will allow your eyelids to enjoy the benefits of the steam. It is also essential to keep your face 6 to 10 inches away.  Getting too close to the bowl or sink, you risk getting burned. Be in tune with your skin and do what feels comfortable to you.  When using a facial steamer, please read the instruction booklet and carefully follow the directions.
  • Immediately following your facial steam, rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry. Your skin will be extra sensitive, so be careful not to rub it. You don’t want to irritate your skin.
  • Apply a moisturizing cream or serum after you have pat your skin dry. Our facial serum is a great after steam facial moisturizer. It’s very nourishing. If you are after youthful-looking skin, then this is a great time to try our facial serum. While we can’t guarantee anything, it will help to keep your skin soft and supple.
  • End your face steam with a massage, a great way to end your relaxing face steam. Use your fingers to gently massage your forehead, cheeks, and neck using strokes upward. Unless you have oily or sensitive skin, you can use a bit of our facial serum to enhance your massage.
  • Keep a safe distance from the source of the steam. It is a must. It can cause severe burns, so while you’re steaming your face using the damp towel method, make sure the towel is warm — not hot.
  • If you have Rosacea, you might want to skip facial steaming altogether. The heat dilates blood vessels, which contribute to redness.
  • Although steaming can be very hydrating to the skin, people with dehydrated skin and eczema should exercise caution. Limit steam sessions to just a couple of minutes to avoid irritation.
  • Having weekly face steaming is a great way to unwind and relax while also promoting healthy skin. However, be sure to check with your doctor first if you have an inflammatory skin condition.

***Consult your doctor before making any significant change(s).  This article is for informational purposes only and does not take the place of your doctor’s advice or recommendations. ***

References

Park J-H, et al. (2008). The effect of heat on skin permeability. doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2008.03.032

Shenefelt PD. (2011). Chapter 18: Herbal treatment for dermatologic disorders. In Benzie IFF, et al (eds). Herbal medicine: Biomolecular and clinical aspects. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92761/

Tabassum N, et al. (2014). Plants used to treat skin diseases. doi.org/10.4103/0973-7847.125531

White PO, et al. (2012). Protective mechanisms of green tea polyphenols in skin. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, vol. 2012, Article ID 560682, 8 pages, doi.org/10.1155/2012/560682

Why is a steam burn more damaging than a burn with boiling water of the same temperature? (2006). scienceline.ucsb.edu/getkey.php?key=1322