Steaming should absolutely be a part of your regular facial regimen. Estheticians and avid spa-goers understand its benefits, but you can skip the bill and do your own 10-minute at-home steam on a monthly basis. The process allows toxins to exit pores, softens skin and preps your face for a nourishing mask or fabulous moisturizer. Get to it!
Prep your face by washing with your normal cleanser. Follow up with a light exfoliation by using a scrub or a small mixture of baking soda and water.
For the over-the-stove method, bring water to a boil in a large pot. Remove, and place in an area where you’ll be able to comfortably kneel or lean over it. I suggest placing the pot on folded towels to avoid ruining your floors, counters, etc. You should also consider using a Con Air Facial Sauna System ($32), which heats up and emits steam directly onto your face.
If desired, add essentials oil to your water; three to five drops should suffice. To soften dry skin, add rose. For combination skin, add balancing grapefruit. For acne issues, add tea tree oil. Since it’s springtime, add a few drops of eucalyptus to allow your steam facial to also unclog your sinuses.
For the over-the-stove method, place a large towel over your head, and place your face 5–10 inches away from the steam. Do not, I repeat, do NOT place your face incredibly close, because you risk burning or causing your skin to swell. Do five 2-minute steaming sessions, and allow your face to breathe for a few moments between each session. Same goes for your Con Air steamer, minus the towel.
For those applying a mask, slather on your facial treat directly following your steam. An easy mask for dry, sensitive, combination or oily skin is oatmeal and honey. Simply combine raw oats, a little organic honey and warm water until it creates a slightly sticky paste.
If you want to go right to your moisturizer, apply a few splashes of cool water following your steam to close your pores (do the same when rinsing your mask). Smooth on your moisturizer to seal the deal. Oh, and don’t try to skip this step, because you’ll completely lose out on the benefits of your steam by not putting moisture back into the skin.
Note: If you’re suffering from any skin trauma, including various types of dermatitis, inflammation or severe acne, save the steam facial for another time. You run the risk of further irritating your delicate skin.