Why You Need a Facial Steamer for Clearer Skin
With the bajillion complex skincare gadgets on the market, the concept of a facial steamer almost seems too simple. But there's a reason this beauty device has such a devout following—and why you'd be hard-pressed to meet an esthetician who doesn't use one routinely.
"Facial steamers are devices that heat a tank of water into a steam mist that is then directed toward the face," says Suzanne Friedler, MD, board-certified dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC. "They are used to clean and hydrate the skin and 'open' pores."
Intrigued? Here are the top facial steamer benefits, plus five steamers that are worth trying.
Benefits of Using a Facial Steamer
As mentioned, facial steamers are used to help get a deep clean, and the light mist simultaneously adds hydration to your skin. The benefits don't stop there, though.
"Due to the heat, [facial steaming] can improve circulation because the blood vessels dilate and therefore more oxygen is able to get to your tissues," says Naana Boakye, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Bergen Dermatology.
She adds that the warmth also helps topical skincare products absorb more deeply and hydrate more effectively. And while pores don't have doors that "open" and "close," facial steamers can help pores temporarily expand and loosens up the gunk hanging out inside, lessening the chance for breakouts. This also makes it easier to sweep away debris when cleansing afterward, and in a clinical setting it softens blackheads so they're easier for your esthetician to extract.
Finally, let's not discount the fact that facial steaming itself feels so good and has a relaxing, almost therapeutic effect.
Who Shouldn't Use a Facial Steamer?
People with rosacea or very sensitive skin should steam less (or perhaps skip it entirely). Dermatologists say the heat dilates blood vessels, which can cause too much redness and flushing for skin that's prone to this sort of reaction.
How Often Should You Use a Facial Steamer?
As with most things, moderation is key when it comes to using a facial steamer. Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, says about once a week for five to 10 minutes is a great cadence for most skin types. "More than that can lead to drying out the skin," she notes, which is the inverse of what we want to achieve.
Best Facial Steamers to Try
Ready to hop aboard the facial steamer bandwagon? These are our top picks.