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The benefits of steam

Trapped oil and sebum are a pesky cause for acne, breakouts, and whiteheads. Debris in your pores need a way out. Cleansers may get rid of some of that guck, but if you have oily skin, by the time your cleanser comes around, the dirt is more deeply embedded in your pores, and the trapped particles need a more forceful exit. Unfortunately, large pores are many times a consequence of trapped oil—an ‘optical illusion’ of sorts. In reality, the pores are smaller, but they appear larger due to the stuff underneath. This is where steam comes in handy: by gifting your pores with a hot, deep clean you are ostensibly sloughing the trapped debris. Once the debris is gone, pores return to a tighter size, thus appearing smaller.

Steam also fights mild acne. Because it helps unclog pores and control sebum buildup, two “reasons” acne happens in the first place, steam is a great natural way to combat pimples. Steam also removes toxins and metal deposits, stimulates blood circulation, and aids healing. Steam also hydrates the skin and promotes collagen and elastin production—two very important proteins that result in firmer, younger-looking skin.

What is a facial steam?

Facial steam is either effected by utilizing a device, with a purpose-built facial steamer or you can give yourself a DIY facial steam, such as bending over a ceramic bowl filled with hot water with a cloth over your face. You can also steam with warm towels. Companies sell facial saunas and steamers to be used at home. This method is gentle and very effective. The steam basically encourages your pores to open naturally with the warmth. The heat increases your circulation and your skin’s temperature so that your pores perspire. The steam also softens the guck stuck inside, and the sweat helps push the debris out. It is important to maintain a safe distance when steaming, as the temperature of steam is actually higher than that of boiling water. Make sure to cleanse your face before applying the steam of your choice! And most important, do not steam for more than the recommended ten minutes. This procedure should ideally be performed once a week.

Skin treatments for skin while steaming

Steaming your face renders your skin more receptive to beauty products. It is a great time to apply a hydrating, collagen, or clay mask after having steamed your face. Skin-balancing clay masks are an excellent choice because they absorb impurities, aiding with clear skin. Apply the clay with your cleansed hands and let it absorb and harden. Once it dries sufficiently, you can rinse it all with water. You can also opt for a facial massage with rose oil, unless you have really oily skin, in which case you may want to use rosemary oil, which may be a good option or you can skip this step altogether. Either way, after steaming rinse with lukewarm water or even cold water to help minimize pores.

Possible risks

People who suffer from rosacea are not recommended to use facial steamers. The heat will dilate blood vessels, which will contribute to redness instead of diminishing it.

Steam can cause serious burns, so make sure to keep a safe distance (6-10 inches away). Listen to your skin. It will let you know what’s safe and what’s not. If you suffer from very dry skin or eczema, use extra caution. Limit the session to a couple of minutes instead of the recommended ten to avoid irritation.

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