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Question: Is an at-home steam good or bad for your skin?
Skin Expert: Dr. Rocio Rivera, Director of Scientific Communications at L'Oréal Skin Expert Paris
Skin Expert Answer: If you want to have truly beautiful skin, steam may do more bad than good.
The general reason why: Steam is very hot and any extreme temperature directed toward your skin could be irritatating.
That being said, the actual answer will really come down to what you intend to do to your skin after your steam. Steam can cause your skin to sweat, when you sweat your pores open up and release some dirt and oil that may have been trapped inside. Some people will purposefully steam their skin to induce this release and then pick their pores to further extract the buildup. This is when steaming can be bad for your skin.
Dermatologists and experts advise that you should never pick your pores or attempt at-home extractions. Skin care professionals and dermatologists are much better equipped and trained, and can even look for alternative options that are not as potentially damaging to your skin’s integrity overall. When you pick your pores, you can unnecessarily negatively impact the surface of your skin. Within that time, your skin can be exposed to the sun, which will also increase the likelihood of experiencing damage on the skin, possibly leaving a dark mark.
If you happen to find yourself in a sauna after a work out or while at the spa, there are ways to make the steam session more worthwhile and less potentially harmful when it comes to your skin. After you steam try to immediately cleanse your skin. Cleansing washes away loose dirt gently – in place of harshly plucking out the buildup. Then consider using a toner or skin essence, which will further purify and freshen the area. Replenishing your skin with moisturizer after cleansing, especially if you steamed prior, is also a good idea. Your fresh face will be prepped for hydration now that it has been properly cleansed. Also, don’t forget to reapply your SPF if you are headed back outside. Your beautiful skin will need the protection.
At-home skin steaming is generally not the best idea. If you think you may be tempted to pick your pores, avoid the activity all together and seek the advice of a certified dermatologist. Their professional opinion and experience may lead you down a completely different road altogether – most likely one with far less potential skin hazards.