Is Facial Steam Good or Bad?

Steam Facial

Benefits: 

  1. It's cleansing. Steam opens up pores and helps loosen any buildup of dirt for a deeper cleanse. Opening up your pores also softens blackheads which make them easier to remove. 
  2. It promotes circulation. The combination of the warm steam and an increase in perspiration dilates blood vessels and increases circulation. This boost of blood flow nourishes the skin and delivers oxygen, resulting in a natural, healthy glow. 
  3. It releases acne-causing bacteria and cells. Opening up pores allows a release of dead skin cells, bacteria, and other impurities that clog pores and contribute to acne. 
  4. It releases trapped sebum. This naturally occurring oil is produced by the skin sebaceous glands to lubricate skin and hair. When sebum gets trapped beneath the skin's surface, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria which causes acne and blackheads. 
  5. It's hydrating. Steam hydrates the skin by increasing oil production which naturally moisturizes the face. 
  6. It helps your skin better absorb skin care products. Steam increases the skin's permeability, enabling it to better absorb topical creams or serums. This means you get more benefits from skin care products when applied after a steam.
  7. It's soothing. The feeling of warm steam on your face is relaxing, in addition to using soothing scents such as herbs or essential oils for aromatherapy for added relaxation. 
  8. It helps with sinus congestion. Steam can help relieve sinus congestion and headaches caused by congestion. Adding certain essential oils to the steam can boost the effect. 
  9. It's affordable and accessible. Facial steaming can be done at home using household items. 

Disadvantages: 

It can aggravate sensitive skin, or if you suffer from rosacea or eczema, the heat and steam may trigger "facial flushing", so anyone prone to redness should avoid it.

Dr. Hu's Recommendations: 

  1. For acne patients with clogged pores, it can be a great method for unclogging the pores and decrease the acne-inducing bacteria. Once or twice a week can be beneficial. 
  2. For rosacea or eczema patients, it is definitely not recommended to use steam. 
  3. For patients with normal skin and want to benefit from anti-aging or other products, once or twice a week can be beneficial in addition to applying products, such as Vitamin C cream or TNS serum right after steaming. 

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