Finding a suitable skin care routine in today’s world can be daunting. Being constantly bombarded with the latest treatments, products and quick fixes promising to remedy all issues you may have can be overwhelming.
Personally, I have suffered with blackheads, oily skin and blemishes since my early teenage years, and I have spent more time and money than I can bear to try and tally up sampling every cream, exfoliante, tip, trick and elixir that promised a clear and flawless complexion.
If you’re looking to add something to your skincare routine or reduce it to a more simple programme, look no further than facial steaming.
What is Facial Steaming?
Facial steaming is the process of applying steam or water vapour to the face as a natural, chemical free way to open and relax your pores, brighten your skin and aid overall skin health.
There are many benefits to regularly steaming your face as well as many methods to do so.
You won’t be hard pressed to find a wide range of facial steamers on the market. A hot towel or cotton cloth can produce the similar results as well.
In this article, we will answer some of the big questions relating to steaming your face so you can best decide how to incorporate facial steaming into your own skin care routine… Including how often you should steam your face and for how long.
How Often Should You Steam Your Face?
Ideally, you should steam your face once a week as this will give your skin time to recover between sessions.
You can opt to increase this to 2-3 times a week if you wish for an initially more intense treatment; however, you should only do this every other week to give those first layers of skin cells the time to recover between uses.
How Long Should I Steam My Face?
The amount of time you need to spend steaming your face will vary depending on your skin type and desired results.
If, like me, you have quite oily skin, the ideal amount of time to steam your face each time is about 10-15 minutes.
If you have normal or combination skin, it is best to steam your face for 5- 10 minutes and for dryer skin, steam for no more than five minutes each time so as not to encourage any more dehydration to the skin.
Can I Steam My Face Every Day?
Even after just one session, you will see the benefits of steaming: a clearer, brighter complexion and a fresher-feeling face. Regardless of your skin type, it is not recommended to expose heat and steam to your face every day.
Such frequent treatments and prolonged exposure to the heat and steam can end up drying out your skin and causing damage that may have a lasting effect.
Should I Wash My Face After Steaming?
You may feel that once your pores are relaxed and open, that washing your face afterwards would naturally be the next step.Personally, I like to wash my face beforehand removing any makeup and dirt making it the perfect surface to start drawing out any blackheads and oil.
There is no need to wash your face post steaming as gently wiping your face with a cotton or muslin cloth will give you a smooth and clear complexion.
If you wish to wash your face afterwards, it is recommended to use a very gentle, non abrasive cleanser with warm or lukewarm water. After steaming, your face will be more receptive and will easily absorb your favourite moisturiser, serum or toner.
Can I Use a Mask After Steaming My Face?
Each individual has their own skin care routine depending on skin type and what may work best for you. Not only does steaming your face bring many benefits such as dilating pores, helping to draw out any excess oils and helping to exfoliate and brighten skin, you will feel like you have had a mini spa treatment making you feel a little bit pampered after a treatment of just five to ten minutes.
After steaming your face, you can prolong the pampered feeling by applying a fask mask. Again, the type of face mask or product you use will depend on the type of skin you have and what your skin needs.
Once your pores are more open, your skin will easily absorb whatever you apply to it. If you do have dry skin, a moisturising face mask will saturate your skin making it soft and supple. Those with dry and combination skin should apply a clay based mask which will help draw out any excess moisture to create a more matte and even complexion.
7 Skincare Products You Should Be Using
As mentioned, steaming your face is a fantastic way to open your pores and get rid of unwanted debris, sebum, and more. These 7 skincare products you should be using are the perfect accompaniments to a relaxing steaming face care routine:
- Number one on this list is SPF or Sun Protection Factor. Harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun can cause untold damage to the skin including breakdown of tissues causing sagging, brown spots, burning and even skin cancer. While it is recommended the best way to avoid these effects is to stay out of the sun, products with an SPF of 15 or above will help project your skin.
- Retinol has been hailed as a miracle ingredient for many skin types, although especially for those which suffer with acne or recurring spots and blemishes. Retinol can aid the healing process and encourage skin cell rejuvenation.
- If you have particularly problem skin, anything with high concentrations of Vitamin E such as products fortified with Argan oil, will have a calming effect.
- Vitamin C will have a brightening effect on the skin, enhancing your natural glow.
- A muslin cloth is an essential item to have in your skin care arsenal as a natural and gentle way to exfoliate your skin waking up your natural radiance.
- If you are prone to acne and breakouts, Salycilic acid is a must have with its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties it will look after your skin and is commonly used as an acne treatment.
Finally, stay fragrance-free. Although the flowery, fruity smelling products may seem like a good option, many artificial fragrances will exacerbate any existing skin problems and may even cause more damage to your complexion