How to Do a Steam Facial at Home
This self facial technique can increase glow, soften skin, and eliminate acne
An at-home steam facial can be an excellent way to amp up your winter skincare regime without breaking the bank. All it takes is a few everyday items, and some plant-based add-ins for extra fragrance and pampering. With these you can seriously boost hydration and skin tautness, while simultaneously removing toxins and buildup from your pores that contribute to dullness, flaking, and uneven pigmentation.
Benefits of a Steam Facial - and How It Works
There are a number of super nourishing benefits you can reap from an at-home steam facial, and a variety of ways to customize your procedure, depending on your skin needs. First off, steaming is an excellent strategy for softening skin and promoting that coveted inner glow. The combination of warm steam and increased perspiration enhances circulation to your face, meaning heightened blood flow and higher levels of oxygen. This in turn promotes glowy and soft skin with a healthy flush and active skin cell turnover.
Another benefit to steaming? It releases acneic bacteria and impurities, as well as trapped sebum that’s lingering deep below the surface of your skin, waiting to erupt into active comedones in a month or so. By opening up your pores, steaming encourages trapped debri to rise to the surface of your dermis, where it can be cleansed away or extracted through exfoliation. In other words, steaming speeds up the process by which pores self-cleanse, effectively releasing and relieving bacterial or lipid based pore plugs for smoother and blemish free skin.
Because of this, steaming is the perfect first step skin-prep to do before applying an exfoliating or hydrating mask, or anti-aging topical. With pores effectively opened up during a steam, your skin is left in a prime state to absorb active products, like fruits acids or plant-based collagen serums–topicals applied post steam will penetrate deep into your dermis and will work to their maximum potential. Similarly, post-steam is a great time to manually buff away dead skin cells and bacteria with a natural sea sponge or brush, again because your pores are in a prime state for elimination.
An at-home steam facial works in much the same way as a spa version does, only with DIY swap ins. A ‘steam facial’ is simply the (ultra relaxing) practice of immersing your face in a concentrated environment of steam–so a high humidity environment (maybe with an added boost of nourishing essential oils or flower essence, which your pores will happily absorb). You can go to a sauna or professional spa, or can do it yourself, keep things budget-friendly, and customize to your heart’s desire.
Performing a DIY Steam Facial in 4 Simple Steps
For the at-home version of a steamy self facial, you’ll need: a bowl, a towel, sprigs of flowers and herbs, and a few drops of an essential oil of your choice.
Start with filling a deep bowl with boiling water, making sure the bowl is large enough so that you can put your face close to the water without touching your skin to it.
Add in a few sprigs of dried flowers and herbs–we recommend dried lavender for a super soothing experience and reduced inflammation. Or for something slightly more clarifying, try adding a few drops of tea tree oil or witch hazel into the water.
Let the water cool slightly, before placing a towel over your head (to keep the steam concentrated) then placing your head down over the bowl. You can steam for as long as you like, but likely the water will begin to cool at the fifteen minute mark.
Don’t touch your nose to the boiling water–you could scald your pores and cause burning and irritation.
Don’t put too much essential oil in the water, as it will diffuse into vapour and potentially irritate your eyes and skin (especially if it’s an ultra clarifying add-in like witch hazel or citrus-based oils).
Don’t steam your face before you’ve properly cleansed it! The point of a steam is to open up your pores, but if you have residual makeup or impurities from the day on your outer epidermis, a steam could actually cause pore blockages and deep blemishes.
Do always start with a thorough cleanse and tone before you do an at-home steam facial. This will allow your pores to fully open up and effectively clear away dirt, bacteria and dead skins cells. The purpose of a toner is to act as a water-based pre-hydration step: think of it as your skin’s pre-steam primer.
Do make aftercare a priority. Because heat and moisture make your pores more absorbent, a steam facial enables your skin to fully drink up any hydrating and moisturizing products your apply post-steam. Try applying Puristry’s Restorative Facial Oil post-steam to reap the antioxidant benefits of rosehip oil. Your skin will be ultra permeable, meaning intense penetration of essential fatty acids from the cold-pressed oils in our formula, for tissue and cell regeneration in your skin’s deepest layers.
Do give yourself a facial massage post-steam, for increased circulation, relaxation, and benefits like tauter skin and a more lifted jawline. For a facial massage tutorial, check out our recent article, 7 Techniques for Facial Massage.
Do create a spa-worthy ambience for your self facial by putting some work into you pre-steam setup. Try using a diffuser to waft essential oil vapour around your space (self-pampering is all in the details.) Try diffusing roman chamomile for an ultra soothing session, or lemon oil for something bright and invigorating. Turn off your phone and computer for a minute, and mini digital-detox. Voila! Your kitchen is a spa.
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