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Do I need to invest in a facial steamer? If you can.

When you’re planning a moment of self-care, even with the best face masks and massage rollers, your pampering session won’t feel complete until a facial steamer is in the mix. Also used by licensed estheticians, facial steamers are prized for their many relaxing effects. Y Beauty benefits, including opening of pores, allowing products to penetrate deeper, and brightening of the skin. Translation: Using an at-home facial steamer is a great way to achieve that salon-worthy glow without paying full price for a professional facial every few months.

To get all the details on the benefits of facial steamers and how to best use them, we consulted a range of experts for advice. Below, see their answers to all of your most pressing questions and shop some of your favorite facial steamer picks.

What are the benefits of facial steam?

Increases circulation: “One of the main benefits of using a facial steamer at home is that it increases blood circulation in the skin by raising the internal temperature of the skin,” explains Renée Rouleau, celebrity esthetician and founder of Renée Rouleau Skin Care. When the skin’s temperature rises, oxygen flows to the surface and “feeds the skin cells with new nutrients,” adds Rouleau. When doing her routine, Rouleau advises that she should always cleanse, steam, serum, and then finish with a moisturizer.

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Opens the pores and prepares them for extractions: When you use a facial steamer, the steam increases the temperature of your skin, which in turn heats the debris in your pores. Pore-clogging dirt and oils often have the consistency of hard butter, but with a little heat, they can melt into soft butter. “It only stays smooth as long as the skin is wet,” adds Rouleau. Once the pores are open, it is easier to cleanse the skin and remove any congestion.

Prevents acne: By making it easier to remove debris from pores, facial steaming also helps reduce acne, says Roberta Moradfar, renowned aesthetic nurse practitioner and founder of EFFACÈ Aesthetics. Plus, she notes that the facial steam softens dead skin cells on the outermost layer of skin to reveal a clearer, more radiant complexion.

Bring grains to the head: If a pimple (or two) has already popped up, facial steaming can also help clear up breakouts faster. “When the skin begins to sweat from the humid steam, the perspiration can draw the sebum from within and the (now softened) pores open to release it all.”

Increases the absorption of the product: “In addition to opening the pores, the heat from the steam causes the blood vessels to dilate, which increases circulation and oxygenation of the skin,” says Moradfar. “This helps increase the permeability of the skin, allowing the serums to absorb better and more deeply.” Once she’s completed her steam session, she recommends using a nourishing hyaluronic acid serum to further lock in moisture.

Moisturizes the skin: According to Moradfar, facial steaming can hydrate your skin by promoting the skin’s natural oil production, but only if you steam a few times a week. “Frequent or excessive steam can generate excessive heat on the skin, making it excessively dry and damaging collagen fibers,” she warns.

How often should you use a facial steamer?

“Those with normal to combination skin can steam their face one to three times a week,” says Moradfar. “Those with oily skin tend to have thicker skin and can tolerate more steam than those with thin to normal skin. In the meantime, anyone with sensitive skin should limit their steaming to once a week.”

And if you have certain skin conditions, like rosacea or eczema, Moradfar advises avoiding the steam altogether. “Steam further dilates facial blood vessels, which contributes to worsening the appearance of rosacea. People with dry skin conditions such as eczema should also avoid steam to prevent skin from becoming too dry.”

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People who may benefit from facial steaming should use their device for no more than 10 minutes at a time to avoid adverse effects, she says. Also, it’s best to test your skin’s tolerance to steam before increasing the frequency of your steam sessions.

What is the best way to use a facial steamer at home?

“Make sure your face isn’t too close to the steam, and stay away from high heat settings to avoid a potential steam burn,” Moradfar notes.

If you are thinking of taking matters into your own hands, you should invest in a quality facial steamer. The beauty tool can bring the spa experience to your home bathroom.

Ahead, more skin experts share their favorite facial steamers.

Expert’s Favorite

ionic facial steamer
Aira Ionic Facial Steamer
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Nicole Simpson, the founder of Amethyst Skincare, says this steamer is great because you don’t have to bend your neck too far to feel its power. “The steamer ionizes the water molecules, which helps hydrate the skin a little faster,” she says. “Ionized water generally gives the best results without the need for time processing. I caution against over-steaming, as it can dehydrate the skin, and that’s what to avoid.”

worth splurging

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professional facial steamer
Dr. Dennis Gross Pro Facial Steamer
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The beauty of this facial steamer is its simplicity. “It’s a simple, one-piece design that’s lightweight and compact,” says New York-based dermatologist Dr. Marnie Nussbaum. “The micro-steam technology effectively hydrates and purifies my skin in just 9 minutes.”

The best affordable option

facial sauna system with facial cleansing brush
Conair facial sauna system with facial cleansing brush
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Dr. Marina Peredo suggests investing in Conair’s steamer because “it comes with a soft brush that you can use to exfoliate your skin before steaming for best results.” But she cautions that home users should be careful when extracting. “When extractions are done incorrectly, they can cause scarring and more damage than the blackhead itself. Skin is fragile, so extractions are best left to a professional,” she explains.

Nano Ionic One-Touch Operation Facial Steamer
Panasonic Nano Ionic One-Touch Operation Facial Steamer

Now 21% discount

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Panasonic’s popular vaporizer is often out of stock and for good reason. Los Angeles esthetician Tracy Hudson is a fan of the steamer for its long-lasting power and cheap price.

The best for traveling

Mini facial mist sprayer
Okachi Gliya Mini Facial Mist Sprayer

Now 40% discount

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All that traveling leaving your skin parched? Put this bite-sized facial spray in your bag to upgrade your skincare routine while on vacation.

The best for masking

Portable 3-in-1 facial and hair steamer
Nova Microdermabrasion Portable 3-in-1 Facial and Hair Steamer
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Celebrity New York esthetician Vanessa Marc says you get the best results when you incorporate a mask. “I usually lie down for 10 minutes under the steam,” she says. “Once my face is steamed, I would apply organic honey as a mask afterwards, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to help with acne, the honey removes dead skin and the honey helps to hydrate the skin.”

Better 2 in 1

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2 in 1 ozone facial steamer
Kingsteam 2-in-1 Ozone Facial Steamer

Now 34% discount

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“I personally recommend the Kingsteam Facial Steamer because it enhances the results of my products and keeps my skin hydrated in my dry apartment,” explains New York esthetician Essence Moore. Furthermore, it also comes with a hair steamer. But most importantly, “it’s affordable and it has an ozone function which is great for purifying the skin.”

Best for a DIY Spa Feel

3 in 1 Nano Ionic Facial Steamer
Pure Daily Care 3-in-1 Nano Ionic Facial Steamer

Now 48% discount

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This is not an Amazon bestseller for no reason. This steamer comes with tools to give you the best at-home facial (just be gentle), but it also comes equipped with a heated towel rail and doubles as a humidifier.

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