While some have already scheduled beauty treatments for their long-awaited glow-up, a number of us are opting to stay home until the coast is clear. So far, we’ve experimented with DIY eyelash extensions and introduced a brow serum in our routine to fluff up lashes and arches. But there’s still one thing that’s difficult to replicate at home: a post-facial glow.
Now, if you’ve ever had a professional facial, you’ll know that a good facial steam plays an essential part – and it’s not just because it feels incredibly relaxing. Today, we’ll be talking all about facial steamers, from the way they work to finding one for your skincare routine.
How a facial steamer works
A facial steamer is a gadget that’s not unlike a clothing steamer, but instead of releasing wrinkles from fabric, it releases gunk from pores. Steam increases the temperature of your skin, which in turn heats the buildup of debris in your pores. Think of the dirt, bacteria, and oils clogging your pores as hard butter. When you introduce a little steam to it, they can be melted to a softer butter.
Once your pores are open, it’s easier to clean the skin and get rid of any congestion, which is why estheticians use facial steamers to prep the skin for the extraction process. At-home steamers provide a similar benefit, helping to unclog pores for clearer, healthier skin.
The skincare benefits of using a facial steamer
Apart from getting rid of blackheads and whiteheads, one of the main benefits of using a facial steamer is that it increases blood circulation to the skin. When you raise your skin’s temperature, oxygen flows to the surface and feeds your skin cells with new nutrients. That is why your complexion appears fresh and glowing after a pampering session at the spa.
Steam can also give your skin a boost of moisture and transform it into the perfect canvas for product application. Since skin cells are much more permeable when they’re damp, your go-to toner, serum, or moisturiser will be able to penetrate deeper into your skin after a steam session. Make sure you apply those products within a minute after you’ve stopped steaming your face. Otherwise, evaporation can occur quickly and lead to dehydration.
Incorporating a session of facial steaming into your routine is a great way to practise self-care at home too. It’s the perfect way to unwind at the end of a long day, thereby lowering your stress levels.
How and when to use a facial steamer
After cleansing your face at the sink or in the shower, turn on the facial steamer and position your face at a comfortable distance for 10 minutes. Then, you can finish your routine with a toner, essence, serum, or moisturiser.
For a touch of aromatherapy, you can add two to three drops of essential oil into your facial steamer. We like tea tree oil for its soothing, antibacterial properties, which works best for those with oily, acne-prone skin. You can also make a spa day out of it by following up with a clarifying or hydrating face mask.
While the benefits are something to look forward to, the key to using a facial steamer is to not overdo it. Start by limiting your usage to once or twice a week, so you can monitor your skin for any signs of irritation. To prevent any injuries, don’t go too close or set your machine at the highest level of heat. And if you have rosacea or incredibly reactive skin, it’s best to steer clear of facial steamers.
Ready to get glowing? Then recreate that luxurious spa experience in the comfort of your own home with our top facial steamer recommendations.
Facial steamers to help you get that glow
1. POPO Face Steaming Device (Best value for money!)
Perhaps the most value-for-money device on our list, POPO’s facial steamer offers you a spa-like treatment at a fraction of the price. The soothing steam it produces deep cleanses your pores to remove dirt, bacteria, and makeup residue for cleaner, smoother skin. It also comes with a nasal attachment to soothe sinuses in the morning.
POPO Face Steaming Device retails for S$14.73 at Lazada.
2. True Glow by Conair Moisturizing Mist Facial Sauna System
Easy on your credit card and complexion, Conair’s facial steamer covers your pores in a warm, cleansing mist. It goes deep into your pores to loosen and extract impurities. Each set also includes the brand’s facial cleansing brush to buff away dirt and excess oils when you cleanse your face before the steam.
You can also swap out the brush head for the sponge to apply moisturiser. When you use the cleansing brush, steam, and sponge in that order, what you’re left with is smooth, clear skin that’s plump and glowing. If those features weren’t enough, the steamer also comes with a narrow cone that can be used to ease your sinuses.
True Glow by Conair Moisturizing Mist Facial Sauna System retails for S$39.33 at Amazon.
3. ECVISION Nano Ionic Warm Mist Facial Steamer
For many reviewers, the ECVISION Nano Ionic Warm Mist Facial Steamer is incredibly easy to use. The back of the device features a removable water cartridge, so you can fill it with water and pop it back in place. It takes less than a minute for the water to get steamy, after which, you can position or hold the steamer away from your face and let it do its job for 12 minutes.
The steamer comes with five extraction tools of different sizes, so you can get rid of blackheads and comedones after your steam session. There’s also a built-in UV light that sterilises the steam so your skin receives the purest air.
ECVISION Nano Ionic Warm Mist Facial Steamer retails for S$51.30 at Amazon. It comes in gold and purple.
4. LONOVE Nano Ionic Face Steamer
LONOVE’s Nano Ionic Face Steamer uses a sonic atomiser to produce steam with negatively charged ionic particles. The result? Smaller water particles that are 10 times more effective in penetrating the skin, giving it a surge of hydration.
It delivers continuous steam for 10 minutes – a good amount for such a small device. Just like the ECVISION steamer, this one comes with extraction tools as well. It’s also lightweight in build, so you can have a pampering treatment in your bedroom, living room, or bathroom.
LONOVE Nano Ionic Face Steamer retails for S$51.30 at Amazon.
5. EZBASICS Nano Ionic Face Steamer
Whether you’re looking for a steamer to use regularly or just to pull out on special occasions, the specs and price on this one can’t be beaten. Like the aforementioned devices, this EZBASICS facial steamer produces nano ionic steam that’s more easily absorbed by your skin. You’ll notice supple, more hydrated skin with continued use. Thanks to the intense pore cleaning, blackheads won’t stand a chance with this too.
You can adjust the nozzle and steam flow to your liking. And if you need a pleasant scent to create the perfect ambience, simply drip a few drops of essential oil onto the aromatherapy cotton pads provided. Then, place them on the machine’s built-in tablet.
EZBASICS Nano Ionic Face Steamer retails for S$51.30 at Amazon. It comes in pink and blue.
6. Pure Daily Care 3-in-1 Ionic Nano Ionic Facial Steamer
A facial steamer, towel warmer, and humidifier in one, Pure Daily Care’s device has three interchangeable settings that do it all. The steamer lasts for up to 30 minutes of quiet steam time, where charged ionic particles penetrate the skin deeply to hydrate, unclog pores, and clear blackheads.
It comes with a bonus five-piece set of blackhead and blemish extractors to remove impurities from the surface. We adore the fact that it comes with a chamber to keep towels warm – it really helps to create a spa-like vibe at home.
Pure Daily Care 3-in-1 Ionic Nano Ionic Facial Steamer retails for S$66.93 at Amazon.
7. Vanity Planet Aira Ionic Facial Steamer (Most chic option!)
Vanity Planet’s Aira Ionic Facial Steamer is the perfect marriage of essential features and chic aesthetic. This steamer ionises the water molecules, which helps to hydrate and soften the skin faster. This way, you can detoxify your pores and boost circulation in a shorter amount of time.
Reviewers love how quickly the steam kicks in too. It feels warm and soothing on the face, and you don’t have to bend your neck too far to feel its power. To turn your steam session into an even more spa-like experience, we recommend adding your favourite essential oil into the steamer.
Vanity Planet Aira Ionic Facial Steamer retails for US$79.99 (~S$111.50) at Vanity Planet. It comes in rose gold and beige.
8. Sarah Chapman Pro Hydro-Mist Facial Steamer
If you’re trying to kick your costly spa habit but you’re hesitant to forgo your frequent facials, Sarah Chapman’s Pro Hydro-Mist Facial Steamer is a happy compromise. While the S$206.76 price tag seems a tad indulgent, you’ll realise that it’s much easier on the wallet compared to regular facials.
The Pro Hydro-Mist Facial Steamer looks much smaller once it’s out of the packaging, but it really packs a punch. Inspired by the professional steamers used in her clinic, this pore-purifying, ultrasonic mist vaporiser emits microscopic steam to cleanse the pores. Your skin will feel silky, supple, and hydrated with continuous use.
Sarah Chapman Pro Hydro-Mist Facial Steamer retails for £119 (S$206.76) at FeelUnique.
9. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Pro Facial Steamer (Very portable!)
Hollywood’s favourite dermatologist has launched a facial steamer to keep our skin in tip-top shape at home. The beauty of Dr. Dennis Gross’ version lies in its simplicity. It’s a one-piece design that’s lightweight and compact, so you don’t have to lug it around the house. It comes with a convenient handle for portability too.
The micro-steam technology used in the Pro Facial Steamer goes to work fast. In fact, a full cycle takes just nine minutes to hydrate and purify the skin effectively. Plus, it has a wide nozzle for complete and even coverage.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Pro Facial Steamer retails for S$208 at Net-a-Porter.
10. Panasonic Facial Steamer EH-XS01
Size truly matters when it comes to water droplets, as proven once again in Panasonic’s facial steamer. It uses nano-ionic technology to boost moisture levels by up to 130% and reduce the depth of wrinkles by 19%. The steam reaches into your pores and clears the gunk out, leaving you with clearer, dewier skin.
With three settings to choose from, you can select a three, six, or 12-minute steam cycle, so you can treat yourself to an express or deep-cleansing steam whenever you like. Be sure to follow up with a serum or moisturiser afterwards to seal in the hydration.
Panasonic Facial Steamer EH-XS01 retails for £129.99 (~S$225.79) at Cult Beauty.