Why you should not steam your face so often

Face steaming

I have a phobia of having my face steamed during facials. When I close my eyes and feel the hot steam hovering over my face, I always fear the machine will malfunction and I will get hot water splashed on my face instead. Okay, that’s pretty irrational. I know. But I always have this feeling that steaming isn’t that great for my face even though it is supposed to open up the opens for better cleansing and some experts even claim steam moisturizes the outer layers of the skin.

Perhaps it’s true that the skin will feel plump and saturated with the water coming from steam but from the various books I’ve read, the heat coming from steam is actually bad for our skin. Hot water can leave skin feeling dry and irritated, plus may cause dry skin types to overproduce more oil. In addition, it will aggravate broken capillaries on the skin too.

According to Paula Begoun in The Beauty Bible, wet heat is deceptive. “Because the surface layer of skin likes water so much, hot water can enter the skin, stay there, and cause a burn-like reaction.”

In addition, I also read from the Acne Magazine that excessive facial steaming may actually leave people with acne proned skin to break out more because the steaming action may actually swell the skin’s top layer, which can trap oil, dirt and bacteria in the pores and cause acne postules to form. It can also cause inflammation.

Well, I’m not saying that you can’t steam your face but it’s best to steam in moderation.  Once a month during a facial is probably fine.  In addition, if you’re using some DIY steaming therapy, be careful that the steam is not too hot.  And frequent sessions at the suana is a bad idea as it could leave your skin more dehydrated.  

But personally, I think it’s fine not to have my face steam.  I’ll rather keep it steam free.  So what about you?

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About Sesame

Blog editor of Viva Woman, Sesame is a skin care addict who is fond of using natural & organic beauty products. She also enjoys ogling at handmade jewelry & cute stationery.



  1. I think u should not promote as negative something that u don’t like personally, Steaming it’s part of facials and saunas are part of the most luxurious spas in the world, I personally steam my face every single day and it’s the only way i keep my face acne free and look fine, Keep your Phobia of steaming for your self. Thanks.

    • Well, why don’t you keep your raves to yourself then? This is afterall, my blog.

      * After reading your comment again, I have a suspicion that you’re in a business that promotes steaming and that’s why you’re against an article like this because you’re afraid that people are going to read this.

  2. Would it a good idea if I steam my face when using benoquin cream to lighten my skin?

    • I don’t think it’s a good idea cos you’re opening your pores in that process without “closing” them properly.

  3. I myself hate getting my face steamed up so I won’t even get any facials. Anyways, I came across your blog because I’m reading a health magazine and theres an article with questions and answers from skin experts who advise not to steam your face, that steaming and extractions can be be damaging to your skin. I was quite shock to read this so I had to Google this and it seems to be true. This is a great topic to discuss and I think the person wad rude to comment and say that you were being negative when I do agree it is your blog. I guess this means we should not be going in saunas either? I avoid those, I think its nasty, everyones germs are floating in the steam.

    • I think it’s fine if we indulge in some of these once in awhile. I’ll just not recommend them as a regular treatment. However, there are people who disagree and I suppose it depends on the state of your skin really. Someone who acne skin might benefit from steaming in the short term but if your skin is normal or quite good, I would say avoid or steam in moderation.

  4. i get always pimples and acnes on my face,which r full of pus and also forming….scars.how to stop it completely….give some home remedy….and give me also idea about opening my pores naturally.i think about steaming on my face.is does it work ,is it safe…..for skin.if it is then give me details of its procedure…..and what to do after it for closing my pores again.

    • I would suggest you get some professional assessment of why you have acne. From the sound of it, they sound cystic and these are largely caused by internal issues eg. hormonal or digestive. As for steaming, it’s not something I’ll recommend especially on a DIY basis. You can easily have your pores enlarged but you may not be able to close them effectively. So seek professional help if you really want to attempt.

  5. For first time I steam my face in a week 3 times then after 3 days my face fill up with tiny bumps, my skin look so dry and old, the bumps are dry but my skin look 10 years older. I can’t resist scrub or exfoliation , but I really wist to do it , because my nose and chin are peeling , the makeup no help at all.

    • Heat can dry up your skin. I suggest you wait a while before exfoliating…like a week or two when your skin is better.

  6. Aaliyah says:

    Steaming my face has worked for me over years. My face is pimple,black head,white head,and clogged pore free thanks to steaming and exfoliating a few times a week. I have never encountered a problem, and I do have very oily, sensitive skin.

  7. I am an Esthetician and steaming, like anything in moderation, is extremely healthy for your skin. When you have a facial, we don’t just use water vapor. We used a distilled water which is filtered and an Ozone light. The Ozone light kills bacteria on the surface of the skin as well as opens pores to decongest, making it ideal for extractions to follow. Of course anything that makes you sweat and loose water will make you dehydrated. So when you finish you tone to balance the pH of your skin and put on a good moisturizer to regydrate the skin. Steaming is great and it does wonders for detoxing :-) But just as we do with everything in life, do it moderation and HYDRATE. :O

  8. Ive always had highly sensitive, acne prone skin. I started to use the steam room at the gym a couple of years a go to relax after a workout, but also noticed a huge improvment to my facial skin! It seems to clean my skin better than any face wash, scrubs, or deep cleansing masks. Acne has reduced significantly, and as long as I moisturize, hasnt dried out my skin. Steaming for me works, both short and long term.


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