The advantage of a good steam facial cleansing is that it leaves you feeling refreshed and invigorated. Incorporating facial steaming as part of your weekly pamper routine is a good practice in healthy skin care. A good steaming lets your skin “throw out” accumulated impurities and helps unclog your pores. Clean pores reduce the risk of sebum collection thereby reducing the appearance of pimples and acne.
The importance of steaming one’s face cannot be diminished. However, pre-steaming regimen is equally important. Without preparing your face, steaming may prove ineffective or worse, damaging.
A clean face without make-up and oil is a must before steam application. Depending on your skin type, you might want to use baby soap or mild cleansers for moderate to sensitive skin. Do not use anything harsh on your face such as a coarse-grain exfoliating agent, as this might irritate your skin during steaming. Some skin-types which are acne-prone or dry and patchy could suffer heat damage if they are exfoliated prior to steaming.
Once you’re done with washing and cleaning, gently pat down your face with a clean and non-abrasive towel. Do not rub or scrub your face with the towel as it may irritate your skin.
Make sure to prepare the steamer or boiling water during your face cleanse. You would want to jump in to the next step immediately.
After your face is cleaned and dried, gently place your face above the steamer or water bowl. If you’d want a more intense steaming session, you can cover your head and the steamer or pot with a towel. Many steamers also come with spouts that direct steam in a single directional stream.
For a luxurious spa experience, you could add a few drops of essential oils and fragrances to the steam. You could use rose essence for a whimsical romantic lie-in, or lemongrass or lavender for an energetic day ahead!
Always remember to test in small doses and patches as some oils or pigments may cause allergies or breathing difficulties.
Just like pre-steaming sessions and routines are important to prepare your face, post-steaming sessions are important to retain the effects. Steaming expands pores that push out the “junk” that your skin has collected due to exposure to traffic, pollution, oils, and make-up. If the pores aren’t minimized to lock in moisture, impurities can lodge themselves in and create a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Most beauticians suggest toners after steaming followed by light moisturizer. In the absence of a toner, you could splash your face with cold water (use clean hands!). Remember to always moisturize your face after steaming as it tends to leave your face dry.
Do remember NOT to steam your face every day. Steaming depends on individual skin types, weather and climatic conditions, and time of year. Don’t overdo a good thing! Stick to one steaming a fortnight or at the maximum, once a week. Be careful about the steam temperature to avoid burns and irritation. Happy steaming!