Steam and Skin Care
The ancient Greeks and Romans harnessed steam for health and beauty much the same way we do today. At about 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius), the temperatures employed in steam treatments are enough to make you sweat -- perhaps the only time perspiration might be even a little pleasant. If you've ever been in a steam room or hot tub, you know the feeling of warmth enveloping you and steering you toward relaxation. The steam works its magic on your skin, adding moisture and helping to cleanse your body's largest organ of impurities.
Among other potential benefits, facial steaming might help control or reduce acne breakouts in some instances. It can also boost circulation and draw blood to the surface of the skin, giving your face a warm, healthy glow.
For such a simple procedure, facial steaming can offer some big benefits. If you are prone to mild acne, the biggest plus of steaming may be that your skin could end up clearer. That's because the moisture softens the surface layer of dead skins cells called the stratum corneum (from the Latin for "horned layer") This process helps to free any dead cells, dirt, bacteria or other trapped matter that could be causing breakouts, and it can allow your skin to better absorb any other products you might use after the steaming. If you have severe acne, however, steaming can sometimes make it worse, so it's good to check with your doctor before undergoing any face steaming treatment.
The warm humidity from steaming may also increase perspiration and stimulate blood circulation. As the body's natural cooling system, sweat consists mostly of water, but it's also mixed with a small amount of your body's wastes and toxins so that you can wash them away. And increasing your circulation in your facial skin can help to give you a warm, colorful glow. However, if you have certain skin conditions that are aggravated by sweating or increased blood circulation, such as rosacea or fungal infection, then facial steaming may do more harm than good for you [sources: American Academy of Dermatology].
An aromatherapy steam facial is a great way to greatly benefit your skin and sense of well-being. A steam facial can help work magic on your skin. The steam helps increase circulation and draws blood to the surface of your skin, giving it a nice warm, healthy glow. It also helps to deep clean your pores of any dirt and debris and helps to add moisture to your skin. Not only is it great for your skin—it is also very relaxing and therapeutic as well.
These are some of our favorite to use with our facials.
For oily/troubled skin: use Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lemongrass or Melaleuca
For dry skin: use Lavender, Geranium, or Frankincense
For normal skin: use Lavender, Geranium, Sandalwood, or Ylang Ylang
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Rosacea Patients Can Enjoy Some Spa Treatments." (Accessed Oct. 13, 2009)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/rosaceanet/spa_treatments.html
- Berg, Rona; Anja Kroencke; and Deborah Jaffe. "Beauty: The New Basics." Workman Publishing. 2001. (Accessed Sept. 17, 2009)http://books.google.com/books?id=qAVvUjfza9gC&pg=PA49&dq=benefits+of+facial+steam&lr=&ei=9buySuCGBZiWNeu_hLMD&client=firefox-a#v=onepage&q=benefits%20of%20facial%20steam&f=false
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- Howard, Jenni Baden. "20 bad beauty habits." Daily Mail. (Accessed Oct. 14, 2009)http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4624/20-bad-beauty-habits.html
- Mars, Brigette. "Beauty by Nature." Healthy Living Publications. 2006. (Accessed Sept. 17, 2009)http://books.google.com/books?id=3eb7OiuZIDMC&pg=PA32&dq=how+to+do+a+facial+steaming&lr=&ei=puGySqOHIJ6yNMHdjf8D&client=firefox-a#v=onepage&q=how%20to%20do%20a%20facial%20steaming&f=false
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- Ouellette, Janine. "Full Steam Ahead to Great Skin: Learn the DIY steam solution to keeping your skin beautiful." PlanetGreen. Aug. 5, 2008. (Accessed Sept. 17, 2009)http://planetgreen.discovery.com/fashion-beauty/face-steam.htm