In this day and age of high-tech skincare tools, like LED-enabled face masks, it’s hard to believe that there’s a place in a person’s regular routine for a device as old school as the humble facial steamer. But there’s a reason you’ll find one in an aesthetician’s treatment room as often as you will a light-up magnifying mirror. Not only does a facial steamer make the complexion dewy and soft, when used consistently, it’s actually an extremely important component of a comprehensive acne-eradicating plan.
What are the benefits of facial steaming for acne-prone skin?
There are so many! If you’ve ever had a breakout, you know it’s the result of a pore that’s blocked with dirt, oil, dead cells, and other debris. Steam helps liquify black- and whiteheads, so they slide out of pores right away. Bonus: Once a pore is free of gunk, it appears smaller because it’s no longer stretched out. Unplugging pores also releases the sebum and acne-causing bacteria trapped underneath (an additional reason steaming is so awesome for acne sufferers). Another positive effect of facial steaming is that any product or ingredient you apply to your skin afterward will absorb much more deeply and evenly because its path is unimpeded by roadblocks. And steaming is a gentle way to increase circulation, which brings oxygen and nutrients to the skin, making it look glowing and fresh.
How does a facial steamer fit into an anti-acne skincare program?
The first step before steaming, no matter what your skin type or concern, is to wash your face. If you’re prone to breakouts, try using our Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta AHA/BHA Daily Cleansing Gel, which is formulated with alpha and beta hydroxy acids to help decongest pores but won’t strip the skin’s surface in the process.
After you pat your face dry, it’s time to steam! Fill your Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer with distilled water (this filtered kind is free of the minerals contained in tap water that can corrode your steamer over time), position it 12 inches away from your face, turn your Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer on, and sit for up to nine minutes in front of the gentle stream of steam.
Post-steam sesh, treat your skin to the pore-refining power of our Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel. Packed with seven potent alpha and beta hydroxy acids that deeply exfoliate each and every pore while encouraging the cellular turnover that results in radiant, glowing skin, our Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel also contains an all-important second step that neutralizes the powerful acid blend and helps protect skin from free radicals.
Follow your peel with a layer of our Dr. Dennis Gross DRx Acne Eliminating Gel smoothed all over your face. With its two percent salicylic acid formula, our Dr. Dennis Gross DRx Acne Eliminating Gel is able to absorb deeply into your skin and break apart the clumps of dead skin cells and oil that are lurking deep in the pits of your pores. But the aloe and green tea-enriched formula also soothes your complexion simultaneously, keeping it balanced.
Since even oily skin needs hydration (no, really), top your acne treatment with our Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Moisturizer. It’s oil-free, so it won’t exacerbate your acne, but contains ingredients like squalane and ceramides that help reinforce skin’s moisture barrier. This helps prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL). By locking moisture into the tissue, you keep the skin from thinking that it needs to produce excess amounts of oil to compensate for the dryness.
Know what acne really adores? UV rays because they help turn a regular pimple into a much longer-lasting mark or scar. Don’t give acne that satisfaction! Instead, finish your regimen (if you’re doing it in the morning) with our Dr. Dennis Gross All-Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30. It’s oil-free, of course, and its mineral UV filters can both reduce inflammation and repel acne-causing bacteria. Breakout-prone complexions really have no legitimate excuse for skipping SPF.
How often should you use a facial steamer?
The typical recommendation is one to two times a week, but if you’re using your steamer as part of an acne treatment protocol, you can feel free to steam more frequently.
What other skin types can use a facial steamer?
Pretty much every complexion can benefit from some regular steaming sessions. After all, who wouldn’t want a radiant complexion with smaller-looking pores? The only types that should proceed with caution are those diagnosed with rosacea. Since their faces are already flushed, the additional blood vessel dilatation brought on by the steam heat will be too much of a good thing. However, this gets tricky is when a person is suffering from acne rosacea. Although it looks a lot like plain old acne, this skin condition needs to be treated with the kid gloves you use to resolve any type of rosacea. (If you’re unsure whether you have rosacea, read our article on the Best Skincare Routine for Rosacea to get some insights into the disease.)
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