How to Steam Your Face for Clear, Hydrated Skin

woman showing how to steam your face using a towel and bowl of hot water

At-home facial steaming is a beneficial step in any skin care regime; Image: Getty

We’re familiar with how a steamy shower can soothe a stressed-out mind or overworked body. Steam can also be an effective (and free!) decongestant. And when used as part of a beauty routine, facial steaming also help detoxify skin by removing dead cells and impurities, leaving it with a healthy, dewy glow.

Face steaming is not a new concept. According to Leigh Casbourne, brand and product trainer for Lush Cosmetics North America, steaming and steam baths have existed since ancient Greece. Despite the advances in beauty (see sheet masks and bubbling face masks), facial steaming is still worth including in your skin care routine. If you’re curious about how to steam your face, there are a number of options including professional treatments, facial steaming devices and at-home kits. At-home kits usually contain dried herbs and flowers, but even using a plain bowl of steamy water and a towel will work.

No matter the option, there are many benefits to facial steaming. It increases hydration, detoxifies, helps with product absorbency, boosts radiance and more. Not to mention that it often helps clear the mind as well as the pores. Medical esthetician Tiffany Andersen recommends facial steaming for all skin types, especially those struggling with acne because the steam helps deep clean skin and release built-up sebum and debris.

Emily Cunningham, co-founder of True Moringa, cautions about getting too close to the steamer or overdoing it because too much heat can damage skin, especially sensitive skin and conditions like rosacea. Prior to a DIY treatment, she advises consulting a professional dermatologist or esthetician. Try to limit facial steaming sessions to once or twice a week. Katherine Tomasso, Yon-Ka Paris national director of education, warns that steaming your face too often can weaken skin’s capillaries leading to damage and dehydration. Try not to doze off during the steam, either, as a few minutes are often all that is needed.

Prior to a DIY facial steaming treatment, Tomasso suggests applying a soft exfoliating and hydrating treatment, such as a gommage, to aid the facial steaming’s exfoliating properties. After treatment, mask fans can take advantage of the steam’s effects by applying a face mask or serum.

Ready to get steamy? Scroll through the gallery to see facial steaming products.

Facial Steaming: How to Steam Your Face for Clear, Hydrated Skin