Do You Need A Facial Steamer? Benefits, Risks & How To Use It


Yes, facial steamers have their fair share of benefits—but they’re not without their drawbacks.  

For instance, while steaming can effectively rehydrate the skin, it can also cause dehydration if you do it too often. “Just like over-exfoliating, over-steaming may trigger a process called trans-epidermal water loss,” says Nicohls. “This is when water passes from the dermis through the epidermis and evaporates from the skin’s surface.” 

Over-steaming can also strip the skin of its natural oils, which can leave the skin so parched that it over-produces even more oil to compensate.

And dilating blood vessels can promote circulation and lead to a brighter skin tone, but, again, you don’t want to over-do it. “Applying too much heat can damage the skin, possibly causing hyperpigmentation. You’ll lose the benefits if you’re not careful or it’s too hot,” Rodney warns. Frequently flushing your facial skin can even lead to broken capillaries or a ruddy complexion over time, Rachel Nazarian, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC, previously told mbg. 

Finally, steaming is not for everyone—some people just can’t tolerate the heat, even sparingly. “If you have conditions like eczema, rosacea, or melasma, it can exacerbate them, so steer clear of steaming,” Rodney notes, since that heat can trigger inflammation. (If you have sensitive skin in general, you might also want to avoid steamers.) 

“You should also steer clear of steaming as a solution if you have acne. The skin is already inflamed, and applying heat will make things worse,” she adds. Yes, steaming can prep the skin for extractions in a professional setting, but only comedones like blackheads or whiteheads. Estheticians will not touch inflamed mounds (and neither should you).  


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