Do I Need to Invest In a Facial Steamer? Yes, You Do.

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When you’re mapping out a self-care moment, even with the best face masks and massaging rollers, your pamper session won’t feel complete until a facial steamer is in the mix. Also used by licensed estheticians, facial steamers are beloved for their numerous relaxation and beauty benefits, including opening up your pores, allowing products to penetrate deeper, and brightening the skin. Translation: Using a facial steamer at home is a great way to achieve that salon-worthy glow without paying full price for a professional facial every few months.

To get all the details on the benefits of facial steamers and how to best use them, we consulted a range of experts for advice. Below, see their answers to all your most pressing questions, and shop some of their favorite facial steamer picks.

What are the benefits of facial steaming?

Boosts circulation: “One of the main benefits of using a facial steamer at home is that it increases blood circulation to the skin by raising the skin’s internal temperature,” explains Renée Rouleau, celebrity esthetician and founder of Renée Rouleau Skin Care. When you increase the skin’s temperature, oxygen flows to the surface and “feeds the skin cells with new nutrients,” Rouleau adds. When doing your routine, Rouleau advises you should always cleanse, steam, apply serum, and then finish with a moisturizer.

Opens up pores and preps them for extractions: When using a facial steamer, steam increases the temperature of your skin, which in turn heats the debris in your pores. The dirt and oils clogging your pores are usually the consistency of hard butter, but with a little heat, they can be melted to soft butter. “It only stays soft as long as the skin is moist,” adds Rouleau. Once your pores are open, it’s easier to clean the skin and rid it of any congestion.

Prevents acne: By making it easier to remove debris from pores, facial steaming also helps reduce acne, says Roberta Moradfar, celebrity aesthetic nurse practitioner and founder of EFFACÈ Aesthetics. Additionally, she notes that facial steaming softens dead skin cells on the outermost layer of skin to reveal a clearer, more radiant complexion.

Brings pimples to a head: If a pimple (or two) has already cropped up, facial steaming can also help clear breakouts faster. “When skin begins to perspire from the moist steam, the perspiration can bring up the sebum from down within, and the pores (now softened) are open to release it all.”

Increases product absorption: “In addition to opening up your pores, the heat from steam causes your blood vessels to dilate, which leads to a boost in circulation and oxygenation to your skin,” says Moradfar. “This helps increase your skin’s permeability, allowing serums to absorb better and deeper.” Once you’ve completed your steaming session, she recommends using a nourishing hyaluronic acid serum to further lock in moisture.

Hydrates skin: According to Moradfar, facial steaming can hydrate the skin by promoting the skin’s natural oil production—but only if you steam up to a few times a week. “Frequent or excessive steaming can deliver too much heat to the skin, over-drying it and causing damage to collagen fibers,” she warns.

How often should you use a facial steamer?

“Those with normal to combination skin can steam their face once to three times weekly,” says Moradfar. “Those with oily skin tend to have thicker skin and can tolerate more steaming than those with thin to normal skin. Meanwhile, anyone with sensitive skin should limit their steaming to once a week.”

And if you have certain skin conditions such as rosacea or eczema, Moradfar advises avoiding steaming altogether. “Steaming further dilates facial blood vessels, which contributes to worsening the appearance of rosacea. Those with dry skin conditions such as eczema should also avoid steaming to prevent over-drying the skin.”

People who may benefit from facial steaming should use their device no more than 10 minutes at a time to avoid any adverse effects, she says. Additionally, it’s best to test your skin’s tolerance to steaming before increasing the frequency of your steaming sessions.

What’s the best way to use a facial steamer at home?

“Make sure your face isn’t too close to the steam and stay away from high heat settings to avoid a potential steam burn,” notes Moradfar.

If you’re thinking of taking matters into your own hands, you should invest in a quality facial steamer. The beauty tool can bring the spa experience to your home bathroom.

Ahead, more skin experts share their personal favorite facial steamers.

Expert’s Favorite

Ionic Facial Steamer

Aira Ionic Facial Steamer
Credit: Courtesy

Nicole Simpson, the founder of Amethyst Skincare, says that this steamer is great because you don’t have to bend your neck too far to feel its power. “The steamer ionizes the water molecules, which helps hydrate the skin a bit faster,” she says. “Ionized water typically delivers the best results without the need for a timely process. I caution against over-steaming as it can dehydrate the skin, and that’s what you want to avoid.”

Splurge-Worthy

Pro Facial Steamer

Dr Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer
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The beauty of this facial steamer is its simplicity. “It’s a simple, one-piece design that is lightweight and compact,” NYC-based dermatologist Dr. Marnie Nussbaum says. “The micro-steam technology hydrates and purifies my skin effectively in just 9 minutes.”

Best Affordable Option

Facial Sauna System with Facial Cleansing Brush

Conair Facial Sauna System with Facial Cleansing Brush
Credit: Courtesy

Dr. Marina Peredo suggests investing in Conair’s steamer because it “comes with a gentle brush that you can use to exfoliate your skin before steaming for best results.” But she warns that at-home users should be careful when extracting. “When extractions are done improperly, they can cause scarring and more harm than the blackhead itself. The skin is fragile, so extractions are best left to a professional,” she explains.

Nano Ionic One-Touch Operation Facial Steamer

Panasonic Nano Ionic One-Touch Operation Facial Steamer

Now 21% Off

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Panasonic’s popular steamer is usually sold out and for good reason. Los Angeles-based esthetician Tracy Hudson is a fan of the steamer for its long-lasting power and wallet-friendly price point. 

Best for Travel

Mini Face Mist Sprayer

Okachi Gliya Mini Face Mist Sprayer

Now 40% Off

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All that traveling leaving your skin feeling parched? Throw this bite-sized facial mister in your bag to enhance your vacation skincare routine. 

Best For Masking

Portable 3 In 1 Hair and Facial Steamer

Nova Microdermabrasion Portable 3 In 1 Hair and Facial Steamer
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NYC’s celebrity esthetician Vanessa Marc says you get your best results when you incorporate a mask. “I usually lay down for 10 mins under the steamer,” she says. “Once my face is steamed, I would apply organic honey as a mask after, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to help with acne, honey eliminates dead skins, and honey helps hydrates the skin.”

Best 2-In-1

2 in 1 Ozone Facial Steamer

Kingsteam 2 in 1 Ozone Facial Steamer

Now 34% Off

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“I personally recommend the Kingsteam facial steamer because it elevates the results of my products and keeps my skin hydrated in my dry apartment,” NYC-based esthetician Essence Moore explains. Plus, it also comes with a hair steamer. But most importantly, “it’s affordable and has an ozone feature which is great for purifying the skin.”

Best for a DIY Spa Feel

3-in-1 Nano Ionic Facial Steamer

Pure Daily Care 3-in-1 Nano Ionic Facial Steamer

Now 48% Off

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This isn’t an Amazon best-seller for no reason. This steamer comes with tools to give you the best at-home facial (just be gentle), but also comes equipped with a towel warmer and doubles as a humidifier. 

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