Growing up, I and my sisters always read Good Housekeeping. Thanks to my mum, who religiously bought the magazine each time we visited India. And hence began my interest in aesthetic living spaces and basic beauty and skin care rules.
Once, while skimming through the monthly mag, I came across a beauty tip that remains ingrained into my subconscious to this day.
“Never steam skin or squeeze spots.”
And I grew up believing half of that rule. Mainly because I can’t not squeeze spots. It’s an urge – a horrible one, but something I’ve always struggled with.
However, in recent times, I’ve come across a basic K beauty ritual – steaming – and as I read further into it, I realized how ill-informed I was.
WHAT IS FACIAL STEAMING?
A super simple, homeopathic cleansing ritual that cleanses, nourishes, and feels luxurious on the skin. The best part? DIY!
According to dermatologist, Dr. Dennis Gross, steam will “open your pores, increase circulation, and help get rid of surface debris.”
- Steam opens up your pores and helps loosen any buildup of dirt for a deeper cleanse. It also softens blackheads, making them easier to remove.
- It promotes circulation and promotes the production of collagen and elastin. As a result, natural healthy glow.
- Facial steaming is exfoliating since the process gently removes any dirt or dead skin cells blocking your pores.
- Steam hydrates the skin by helping to increase oil production, naturally moisturizing the face.
- It helps your skin absorb skin care products better.
- Blocked sinuses? You’re in luck. Steaming unclogs not just your pores, but your sinuses too.
HOW DO YOU STEAM?
You can either spend your dolla bills on the Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer. Safe, controlled steaming – the temperature and time are already pre-set – and it’s super easy and fuss-free to use.
The other way is a very simple DIY.
- Fill a large bowl with distilled boiling water.
- Leave the boiling water for approximately 3 minutes. This will allow it time to cool down so that it won’t burn your face.
- Drape your towel over your head and the bowl, and hold your face 6 inches above the water.
- Steam your face for 5-10 minutes.
You can also steam your face using hot towels.
TIPS AND TRICKS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR FACIAL STEAMING SESH
- Beauty teas offer health benefits that are good for you from the inside out, like antioxidants. So skip the regular water, and use herbal tea as a base instead.
- Add dried herbs and oils to your steam for the extra oomph. Chamomile is great for sensitive skin, and lavender is fantastic for dry skin. Tea Tree Oil is great whenever you’re breaking out.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
- Drinking water before exposing yourself to heat of any kind is a good idea, so drink up.
- Wash your face using a gentle cleanser, so your skin is ready to reap all the rewards of steaming.
During the steam
- Keep your eyes closed.
- Keep your face 6 to 10 inches away. You don’t want to get too close to the bowl or sink and risk getting burned.
- Follow directions if using a facial steamer.
- Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry. Your skin will be extra sensitive, so you don’t want to irritate it by rubbing with a towel.
- Apply a moisturizing cream or serum.
- Massage your face. Gently massage your forehead, cheeks, and neck using upward strokes. Unless you have oily or sensitive skin, you can use a bit of facial oil to enhance your massage.
Possible side effects and risks
Steam can cause serious burns, so keeping a safe distance from the source of the steam is a must. If 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. The heat dilates blood vessels, which contribute to redness.
People with very dry skin and eczema should use extra caution. Limit steam sessions to just a couple of minutes to avoid irritation.
Unwind. And look fantastic in the process!