6 Face Steaming Benefits That Prove It's Worth Adding to Your Routine

From increased circulation to hydrated skin.

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Model lays down wearing a green face mask and has their eyes closed while steam hits their face.

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If you've ever gotten a facial at a spa before, then you know the moment your esthetician wraps a steaming hot towel around your face is arguably the best part. It feels like a warm hug that simultaneously refreshes your skin. And the reason that sensation feels so good is that it's similar to steaming your face.

Whether done professionally or at home, steaming your face is an indulgent experience that can seriously benefit the skin — but only when done correctly.

To find out more, we asked two experts to break down everything there is to know about steaming our faces. Their expert answers are below.

What is facial steaming?

As the name implies, it's the act of allowing steam to cover your face. This can be done with a special at-home device, or while getting a professional treatment done at a spa. In both cases, the steam should be warm and close enough to your skin that you can feel its warmth, but far enough that you're not in danger of burning your skin.

Are there any potential side effects to steaming your skin?

"Steam can cause serious burns, so it's very important to keep your face a safe distance away from the source of the steam," says Dr. Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. "It's best to keep your face six to 10 inches away from the steamer."

What's the best way to incorporate facial steaming into a skincare routine?

You should only steam your face around two times a week, maximum, for about five to seven minutes, adds Taylor Worden, a celebrity esthetician and founder of Taylor Worden Skin. Anything more than this can have the opposite effect on your complexion.

When it comes to how to use facial steamer, first start by washing and drying your face. Then fill your steamer with water and wait for it to start, well, steaming. Stand with your face around eight to 12 inches away from the steam and let it work its magic for anywhere between two to eight minutes.

What are the benefits of steaming your skin?

1. Helps With Skin Hydration

There's a difference between hydrating and moisturizing your skin. When your skin is dry, it lacks oil and sebum, so moisturizers and skincare ingredients can help to replenish it.

When your skin is dehydrated, however, that means it lacks water. All skin types can experience dehydrated skin, and therefore can benefit from extra hydration.

Facial steaming offers an additional method to provide your skin with the water that it needs to remain plump and hydrated.

2. Promotes Better Product Absorption

Stephanie Diliberto, a licensed esthetician, shared with Cleveland Clinic that facial steaming makes the skin more permeable, which helps with product absorption.

"By hydrating the skin, facial steaming also helps increase penetration of active ingredients applied topically immediately after steaming," confirms Dr. King. "Active ingredients, like retinol or vitamin C, can penetrate better and become more effective."

3. Softens the Skin

In addition to making the skin more hydrated and permeable, the heat and water from facial steaming can soften the skin, which can make skincare extractions a bit less painful. "Facial steaming primes the skin for extractions, so clogged comedones (pores) will be much easier to extract," says Dr. King.

4. Loosens Trapped Sebum

If you have acne-prone or oily skin, facial steaming can help unclog your pores. The steam helps to loosen up any oils, bacteria, or dirt trapped in the skin that can cause acne. And if you steam your face after cleansing, it offers a deeper cleanse and allows your acne-fighting skincare to penetrate deeper into the skin and target those breakouts.

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5. Promotes Circulation

"Proper blood flow helps skin build collagen and elastin, which give skin a plump, bouncy look," reports the Cleveland Clinic. The heat from facial steaming increases this natural process, says Dr. King.

Not only does the increased blood flow promote a smooth, glowing, and firm-looking complexion, but it also helps pimples and cysts come to a head, which is necessary for the removal process.

6. Feels Soothing

Above all else, facial steaming is a soothing experience. Consider adding it to your self-care Sunday routine to reap the skincare benefits, and offer yourself a few minutes of relaxation. You can either try the DIY methods of facial steaming with a pot of boiling water or invest in a facial steamer that brings the spa to your home. Some to try are the celeb-loved Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer ($149, drdennisgross.com) and the Skin Gym The Voda Facial Steamer ($70, amazon.com).

From non-toxic makeup and skincare to sustainability practices, Clean Slate is an exploration of all things in the green beauty space. Find out what's really in your products — and what's being left out.

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