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Steam during a facial: What's truth, and what's hot air?


Steam during a facial: What's truth, and what's hot air?

Is the use of steam during a professional facial an essential part of the treatment, or unnecessary? We'll break down why estheticians steam during a facial, the benefits of facial steam and four myths about steaming your face.

Benefits of facial steam

Estheticians usually use steam during the cleanse portion of your facial. The treatment room you'll be in is equipped with a facial steam machine that allows your esthetician to adjust the position, distance, and intensity of the steam so it fits your skin's sensitivity level. Bonus: it should feel soothing and relaxing over your skin – speak up if you feel discomfort.

Steam is a crucial step because it helps soften the skin and hair follicles, while loosening up congestion. This, in turn, helps your esthetician prepare your skin for the maximum absorption of key and active ingredients later on in your facial. Steam also helps stimulate circulation and nerve endings.

In a Bioelements facial, your esthetician may choose to continue steaming your face during the exfoliation step. This depends on your sensitivity level and the method of exfoliation.

Learn about each step of a Bioelements facial by reading this article.


4 Myths about steaming your face

Even if you're a fan of steam during a facial and you love the benefits of facial steam, not everything you've heard about this heated treatment room topic is accurate. When you're talking about water that is so hot it has been vaporized, misinformation can be dangerous. Here are four steam myths we're shedding some light on:


1) Steam is all hype

Everything done during a spa treatment is done with a purpose – not for hype. Your esthetician doesn't just steam your face "for show". Steam is used in the beginning of a facial to soften skin, making it, and everything lodged in your pores, more pliable so extractions can be done safely and easily. It's also used to invigorate by stimulating microcirculation, revving up skin that might otherwise be sluggish and unresponsive, and allowing it to absorb active ingredients more effectively.


2) Steam helps open up your pores

We hate to break it to you, but pores aren't windows – you can't just open and close them. The reason steaming is often misunderstood is because of the popular misconception that you can change a pore's size. In reality, the "smallest" pore only appears that way because it is a clean pore.

The buildup of sebum, dead skin, and bacteria can oxidize in an open comedo (your pore) to form a blackhead, making the pore look larger, because it's now filled with debris. You can't actually shrink the size of a pore, but you can clear them so they appear smaller.

Thankfully, the face steaming benefits include helping your esthetician clear that debris, making your pores appear smaller. Suffer from large pores? Read this.


3) Steam can irritate your skin

Many people believe that steam can cause irritation and worsen existing skin conditions like eczema and rosacea. This myth didn't get it completely wrong. When used incorrectly, steam can cause irritation, discomfort, and even damage to the skin of those with existing conditions.

However, estheticians have years of education and training to not only recognize skin conditions like eczema and rosacea, along with so many other skin disorders a client can have, but to also know when and how to use steam safely and effectively. Since their treatment rooms are equipped with adjustable facial steam machines, they can customize the treatment to suit each client's individual needs, just every part of a Bioelements facial.

When done correctly, steam can actually help soften skin that is unusually dry and resistive, due to its unhealthy state.


4) Steaming your face at home is good

How often should you steam your face? Only when you receive a professional spa facial.

Many people think that all you need is a pot of boiling water to replicate the steam from a treatment room at home. At-home steaming is one of the steps we hear about most frequently in DIY beauty treatments. Just boil a pot of water, hold your head some distance above it, and voila! You have the benefits of professional steam, right? Wrong.

Unfortunately, this isn't just ineffective, it's dangerous. Without a skin care professional who knows your skin and how much stimulation it can take, you run the risk of overstimulation, dehydration, irritating skin conditions you might have, and even a bad burn. Given everything we just said an esthetician's professional steam facial machine can do, it's no surprise a pot of boiling water can't cut it!


Not every skin can benefit from steam during a facial, but putting yours in the hands of an expertly trained professional is the only way to know! Book a facial treatment at a Bioelements Partnership Spa today to find out.


If you have any questions about steam during a facial, sign up for our email newsletter or comment below!

4 Responses

Daisy rose
Daisy rose

Nice article I really like Myths of steaming face.


Hi!nI did a deep facial cleansing today and the aesthetician didn’t used steam on my face. Is it because I have really sensitive skin(sensitive to the point that I turned kind of red after she cleaned my face)

Teresa Grace Stenzel
Teresa Grace Stenzel

Hi Rita, how to treat your skin really depends on how seriously you burned. Is there a way you can send me a private selfie so I can see your skin as it is now? Please privately email me a snap at teresa@bioelements.com. I’m so sorry this happened to you! Once I see the condition of your skin, I’ll respond with a professional recommendation.


Hej, thank you for this informative article. I did a home steaming session with the usual hot water steam and towel over head DIY and noticed that after the steam i had pain on my skin on the cheeks and forehead and thereafter applying my Daily marykay moisturizer i noticed that the tone of my skin had darkened abit. After 2-3 Days my skin started peeling on the cheeks and when i stroke my skin i can fleeöl flakes of dry skin. I suspect that i may have gotten steam burns from the steaming.What would you recommend i do to heal my face and get back my glow and skin tone back? do you ven Think thats possible? i don’t plan to steam my face anytime soon!

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