Beauty

Is steaming the new beauty hack?

Is steaming the new beauty hack?

Steaming – that thing your mum used to make you do when you had a blocked nose, right? The ancient holistic remedy – known for its full body benefits, which (yes, mum) includes decongestion, has long been prevalent across the world. But, more recently its efficacy within our beauty regime is what’s getting people talking. That’s right, steaming your face can have a wealth of benefits for your skin, from clearing your pores to brightening your complexion. ‘Steam rooms or sauna therapy has been used for centuries as not only a sanctuary of relaxation, but also for physical medical benefit,’ explains Dr Rupert Critchley BM MRCGP, founder and director of Viva Skin Clinics. We take a look at beauty’s newest hack.

The benefits

When used appropriately, steaming can significantly improve general skin health. ‘Steam opens and clears congested skin pores and improves peripheral circulation which helps to improve skin complexion,’ Dr. Critchley explains. Steam also increases circulation which allows the blood to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Clean, open pores are also much more receptive to products, so your post-steaming mask or cream will be much better absorbed. What’s more, the process can be useful to those who suffer with mild acne or oily skin. That’s because the increased circulation caused by steam can also aid in flowing away sebum, the skin’s natural oil which can sometimes be produced in excess.

You can even steam yourself younger – 10 years or so, according to Dr. Critchley. Visible skin is dead skin, but when we are young cells turnover rapidly. This results in surface skin being replaced quickly, giving a young, fresh look. As we age, the dead cells on the surface shed less quickly, making the skin look older and tired. Cue steam, which helps loosen dead skin cells and unlock a younger look. Not to mention that post-warmth dewy, rosy glow…

How to?

There are three main ways to steam at home. You can steam with warm towels (hot towels left to cool slightly and then placed on the face), make a DIY steam ‘tent’ (boil a bowl of water and lean over it with a tea towel over your head, making a tent to trap the steam), or buy an at-home steamer. All methods yield results, but for beginners there are some factors to consider. Facial steamers may be the pricier option, but they’re probably also the safest, delivering the right amount of steam for the right amount of time. Over-steaming can damage the skin – dryness and broken capillaries are just a couple of side effects – so it’s important to steam no more than once a week and for no longer than ten minutes at a time. Between five and ten minutes is ideal.

Full steam ahead

Steaming is gaining traction in the beauty industry. So much so, steam gadgets for the home have been growing in popularity as a result of the beneficial effects. Insignia, the UK’s leading manufacturer of steam showers and steam units, for example, has seen sales for their ranges up by more then 52 per cent over the last three years. ‘Steam technology for the home is really growing in popularity as prices have come down and more Brits are investing in the technology for the associated health benefits,’ explains Leon Maclean, Founder and CEO at Insignia. ‘Not only is steam great for skin health, it can improve metabolism, boost your immune system, alleviate pain and aid relaxation.’

And it’s no longer just facial steamers that are proving popular. According to Leon, more and more Brits are opting to change traditional showers for steam showers. ‘With changes in costs and technology, Brits are opting to bring a health and spa experience to the home and create a haven of relaxation in their bathroom,’ he said. ‘In particular, we are seeing more people opting to replace the traditional shower with a steam shower. In fact our most popular shower ranges are the ones that offer a tri jet steam system, combined with an Aromatherapy Modular Injection system (AMI), which allows you to infuse your steam with a formulated blend of essential oils, directly from inside the cabin.’

Ready to give it a go? We’ll see you in the steam room!

Want more? Try these 10 easy detoxing tips or learn about the health benefits of pine!