Steam can be a very relaxing part of a facial. Besides being relaxing, I think the actual benefits of steaming during a facial are nonessential when compared to the benefits one can achieve without steam.
So what are the benefits of using steam during a facial? One of the main benefits is the increase in blood circulation. Increased blood circulation brings nutrients to the skin and carries away toxins. This can also be achieved with facial massage, microcurrent, and LED light therapy to name a few. Another benefit, steaming the skin softens the stratum corneum which can be moderately helpful in removing dead skin cells. Although, again, there are better methods now available and widely used like chemical peels that have no down time or epidermal leveling.
Now let’s talk about the biggie: the widely believed view that steam softens the pores and makes extractions easier. While it does soften the top layer of the skin, I can assure you, having done thousands of facials, this isn’t exactly true. First, if your skin is dehydrated, 10 – 15 minutes of steam is not going to do anything to get that stuck sebum out from under that hard layer of dry skin. Additionally, more than15 minutes of steam will further dry your skin out. Secondly, well hydrated skin extracts more easily. But once the moisture from the steam dries and the skin cools, after about 2 minutes, the skin hardens up (so to speak) again. To my clients that find they need excessive extractions done during every facial,that their home care product regime needs to be re-examined. And usually they will need to add an exfoliating product to their line-up. Oh… and please, please stop saying that steam ‘opens the pores’. Pores don’t open and close like a window.
Using wet heat to prepare the skin for exfoliation is an antiquated method. Estheticians now have advanced products and equipment that does away with the need for steaming and older techniques. For example estheticians now have access to a variety of chemical peels. We know chemical peels, however mild, provide significantly better exfoliation than steaming with a scrub or mask. Peels also have the added benefits of being anti-bacterial, brightening, softening lines, refining the look of pores, lightening up pigmentation and much more.
One of the biggest down sides to steaming during a facial treatment is heating up the skin. Adding heat to skin that is fragile, menopausal, sensitive, has inflamed acne, rosacea, or that would benefit far more from a peel, all for some small but insignificant benefit/s, doesn’t really make sense. As well as, steam heat creates inflammation. And inflammation is a major contributing factor in the aging process. Isn’t it our goal to rejuvenate the skin during a facial and fend off the signs of age? So the advantages to not using steam in a facial treatment far outweigh the small andTags: Acne Treatments, Healthy Skin, Industry Trends