One of the most common things you’ll hear people say is that steaming the face “opens your pores” so debris can come out more easily. But, in reality, pores cannot open or close. So, what does steaming the face actually do?
What do steam facials do?
Steaming the face is a common technique used by estheticians before facials and extractions. In addition to providing moisture and softening, facial steaming loosens blackheads, whiteheads, and sebaceous filaments (etc.). Steaming is a simple way to rejuvenate the skin and elevate your cleansing routine. And if you want to do it at home, here are a few tips for creating a skincare routine with facial steaming.
Do: Learn the best way of adding face steaming to your skincare routine.
To begin with, don’t put your face over a pot of water that’s been boiled. This could cause burns and irritation. Instead, look for a facial steamer that has a hot and cool setting.
The hot setting is better for oily-prone skin, and the cool setting is better for drier skin because it doesn't dehydrate the skin as much.
While in a professional setting, both settings would provide moisture to the skin and prep the skin for extractions, you won’t want to do any extractions at home. Doing so might lead to further irritation, scarring, and breakouts.
Do: Cleanse before your steam facial
Speaking of preventing breakouts, cleansing before a steam facial is an even more effective way to renew the skin. When you cleanse the face before steaming, you are removing makeup, sunscreen, dirt, and pollutants. Steaming the face without cleansing can increase the skin’s oiliness. On the other hand, it can also cause dryness if it’s not a part of an actual skincare routine, and we want to avoid that – especially on dry skin. Plus, you’ll want to cleanse so you can apply your serums, skin treatments, and moisturizers afterward. Steaming allows these products to penetrate the skin better.
Also, some say that you should cleanse after steaming as well. Steaming provides gentle exfoliation, and some suggest doing a light cleanse afterward to remove any dead skin cells.
Do: Add facial massages
Facial massages are professional esthetician techniques that you can do at home. You can do a facial massage while cleansing or when you apply your moisturizer. Doing so while steaming on a hot setting can cause excess flushing and redness. So, it’s better to do it while you cleanse or moisturize. If you do this with a serum or essence, it might dry or evaporate too quickly. Make sure you don't scratch yourself as well.
What are the benefits of facial massage?
Like steaming, facial massages boost circulation, reduce redness over time, reduce puffiness, and drain lymphatic fluid. Facial massages also help skincare products to penetrate better. So, adding a facial massage to this routine is a great way to get a glow. Here are three types of massages you can do at home.
This is a very effortless massage, and it's basically just gliding your fingers in a stroking motion. You take your three middle fingers and massage the face to promote circulation.
Petrissage is a massage along the jawline and the chin with two fingers, mostly the middle and pointer fingers. As you massage, you catch or grab your face between the fingers in a gentle, pinching motion. When Cassandra has really bad acne, this stimulates blood flow, and it can help with light oiliness. It doesn't make your skin less oily or cause your skin to produce less oil. But, it can help bring some oil to the surface so it can be washed away.
This is when you do a tapping motion on the face. Tapotement is meant to increase blood circulation and help tissues heal.
Facial acupressure massage
Pioneered by Traditional Chinese Medicine, an acupressure facial massage is when you take two fingers and vibrate them on pressure points of your face. You can also move the fingers in small, circular movements. This massage improves circulation, and most of all, it’s extremely relaxing.
Do: Add a face masks
As the last step in your routine, you can apply a gel mask or cream mask. You can cool the mask, heat it in a towel warmer, or put the mask container in warm water. Do not put it in the microwave as this can degrade or ruin the mask. Doing a facial mask after steaming will truly elevate your skin’s hydration and suppleness. It will further reduce puffiness, and it can help shrink the appearance of veins, fine lines, and discoloration even more.
So, if you would like to do a spa day at home, deeply hydrate your skin, or increase your skincare’s efficacy, doing a steam facial with pro techniques is a wonderful method that’s so relaxing!