One of the most common treatments that comes up when researching treatments for blackheads and acne is facial steaming. The idea is to use steam to open the pores, and it will help cleanse them. Sounds ideal for anyone with blemishes right? Of course it does, but the question becomes whether it’s the right treatment for you. Does it work
The easy answer: Yes it does. But it’s complicated. What sort of results you get depend entirely on your skin, and unfortunately everyone’s skin is different.
That’s why I’m writing this post – to share the pros and cons of facial steamer. Then, it is up to you to decide if you should try using facial steamer.
The Pros of using Facial Steamer
Pros: Cleaner Skin
One of the most obvious benefits to using a facial steamer is the ability to have cleaner pores. Whether you’re using doing it at home with a bowl and a towel over your head or a dedicated device, the results are very similar. You will usually see anything that may have been clogging your pores being if not pushed out entirely, then pushed very close to the surface of the skin for easier removal.
In fact, some of the premium dedicated devices have droplets that comes out thousands of times smaller than actual steam which allows for a much deeper cleanse. Some devices even claim to have “atomized steam” which offers steam that is so small is cools your face as it works.
Pros: Better Skin Tone
Steaming increases the blood flow to your skin, gets oxygen and nutrients into those areas. The benefits of that is widely debated. Many will say it helps heal the skin, and if you’re an acne sufferer, what that will mean for you in the very least is smoother skin. These results wouldn’t be seen overnight, but something you would see over time with regular use.
Some regular users have reported such results. Though some of that can be attributed to the fact that facial steamers help remove dead skin. That would results in softer skin, and a smoother appearance. If you have blackheads, smoothing out the textured appearance that can sometimes accompany breakouts can be helpful.
Pros: More Effective Treatments
This is twofold in the benefit. First, some people may have a reaction to topical treatments, such as dryness and irritation. So using a facial steamer may be a natural alternative to treating blemishes that might work for you to avoid those irritations.
On the other hand, if you do use topical treatments you may find that those very treatments effectiveness will be greatly enhanced by using them in conjunction with steaming. Generally, people will steam their face after they have cleansed (and sometimes exfoliated). The best time to apply a mask has been proven to be after steaming your face. The same holds true for other treatments. If you are using a facial steamer that recommends daily use, you can try using some of your other treatments after steaming. That could be a topical treatment for a blemish, or special moisturizer under the eye.
The Cons of using Facial Steamer
Cons: Different Causes for Blemishes
While it holds true that skin type, and skin sensitivities will affect your use, if you’re using this to treat your blemishes you may run into issues. Some have found that the underlying cause of their acne or other skin problems sometimes determine how effective steaming will be for them.
Remember that there are many causes for skin problems, such as blackheads, and sometimes it starts with hormonal issues such as the onset of puberty. It may also come around during menstruation. There are those with genetic issues that affect the production of oil in their skin or other issues. Sometimes it’s just down to the makeup you’re using causing blemishes. Other times it may just be stress that causes you breakouts.
What this all means however, is that using a facial steamer may not instantly guarantee you the results you’re looking for. Yes, it may help you clear out your pores. But it won’t necessarily treat the underlying cause of your acne or other skin blemishes. If that’s the case, it may not help you at all.
Cons: Skin Irritation
Those with ore sensitive skin may find the hot steam too irritating on their skin. It is common in the use of commercial dedicated steamers for the face to turn red after initial use. Many have found that using them at night helps, as the redness usually clears by morning. But for many that irritation is much more lasting. It can develop into more severe dryness. Especially if they have initially tried overusing it. Some have found that using a facial steamer once or twice a month solved the issue, but not everyone. If your skin is too sensitive, you may not find facial steaming to your liking.
Cons: Can Make Problems Worse
This is related to skin irritation, but in a different way. Some people’s skin just doesn’t react well to the heat in facial steaming. Facial steaming can cause broken capillaries if the heat of the steam is too high. For some with sensitive skin, the regular heat of a facial steamer will be too hot for their skin type and cause similar reactions. With regular application of this, it would likely cause dryness and sometimes sagging in those areas (depending on your age).
It can also have the effect of making your blemishes appear worse than they were. If your skin becomes irritated, it can become red and swollen. Any blemish you had will appear inflamed and your acne will seem worse to you. Some say you shouldn’t use steam on skin that has broken skin, and perhaps that’s a problem with some people using it. But for most it really just comes down to an issue of their skin type not being able to handle this treatment.
What’s the best decision?
It really will be up to you in deciding what is going to be best for you. For me personally, I find that dedicated steamers are much too hot for my delicate skin. I can’t tolerate the heat very well. I do find that steaming from a bowl where I can hold my face further away works fine for me, but only so long as I don’t do it too often. I get the same benefits from it as using a commercial steamer without the problems. My sister on the other hand loves her hand held device and uses it regularly to treat her blemishes, and to help with old acne scars. So weighing the pros and cons, is it the best treatment for you?