How A Facial Steamer Works
Facial steamers are simple mechanisms that provide you with a spa-quality experience at home. Most skin types and conditions can benefit from the use of one, because they deeply moisturize the skin, removing dead cells that trap bacteria and cause acne. Facial steamers also open the pores, helping your skin absorb products. The heat of the steamer boosts circulation in your face, just like a sauna increases your body’s circulation. This is important for glowing skin, which is why many dermatologists recommend skin exercises focused on improving skin circulation.
Every facial steamer model you buy will have a water chamber and a mask, but some have advanced features like special mist settings, oversized water tanks, or oxygen-infused steam. If yours does not specify that it has an oversized water tank, then it can probably only deliver between 10 and 30 minutes of steam; models with oversized tanks can provide a full hour. Your first step is pouring water into the water chamber, along with any essential oils or products. Next, you place the mask over the base chamber — it should fit snugly into it so you don’t need to hold it. Power on the machine and the water will heat up, producing steam. Most machines heat water up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s very important that you not touch the water as it could potentially cause a burn.
While you wait for your steamer to fully heat the water, drape a towel around your shoulders. Once it’s ready, place your face directly over the mask, with the edges of the mask pressing against your cheeks, forehead, and chin. Lift the towel above your head, to trap escaping steam. Only hold your face in the mask for as long as you are comfortable. Each time you pull your face away, blot it with a towel to remove excess moisture. When you are finished, rinse your face with cold water. This is a great time to apply product because your skin will soak it up readily.
The Best Essential Oils To Add To Your Steamer
Holistic healers and skin care specialists utilize essential oils in the treatment of various ailments, from stress to digestive issues to acne. These oils come from natural sources and won’t cause the dependency issues chemically-created products can. If you already apply essential oils or herbs to your skin, you can reap their benefits even more by adding them to your steamer.
Carrot seed oil helps with cell regeneration, so it can reduce the appearance of scars, sun spots and other imperfections. Geranium oil regulates oil production and can reduce it in oily skin, preventing acne breakouts, or increase it in dry skin, smoothing out wrinkles. Geranium also improves blood flow so it can heal bruises, cuts and broken capillaries. Myrrh oil has anti-inflammatory properties and can improve skin tone, as well as minimize fine lines. It’s also effective in treating eczema.
Neroli oil contains a naturally occurring chemical called citral, which can prevent sagging and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. People suffering from more severe conditions, like dermatitis or psoriasis, benefit from patchouli oil, because it has antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Rose oil is particularly good for adding to your steamer. Studies have found that inhaling it can reduce water loss in your skin, helping it keep its natural moisture.
The History Of Steam And Beauty
The Ancient Greeks and Romans of 6th century BC were the first to harness the beauty benefits of steam. Their methods were similar to those of face steaming; they would sit in hot, vaulted rooms filled with water before rinsing off in cold water, and covering themselves in aromatic oils. The Greek philosopher Homer wrote of several popular steam-based rituals, including hot-air baths and hot water tubs. His culture was obsessed with cleansing the body daily, as a way of paying homage to the Gods.
The Spartans invented the first vapor baths, which would inspire modern day steam rooms. They used many of the ingredients that we derive essential oils from, like juniper, bay laurel, fir, and pine. They also drank hot tea to enhance sweat production. Greek bathhouses served as social settings where locals would bathe, relax and talk all day. Because of their elevated status in ancient Greek society, the houses were elaborately adorned with colorful tiles and murals.
In 300 CE, the Romans built the Baths of Diocletian, the largest bath house in the world. The baths spanned 1.5 million square feet and accommodated 3,000 to 6,000 bathers. The Baths of Diocletian flaunted some of Rome’s more advanced technologies, like aqueducts that filled the baths with water, hypocausts that channeled the hot air and smoke from the furnace through hollow chambers below the bathhouse floors, and vaulted ceilings that supported the heavy roofs necessary to insulate the rooms and trap the steam.