Facial steaming is nothing new. Even before at-home facial steamers became a trending beauty device, professional facial therapists were already using steam to clear out the pores and give the skin a dewy glow. At home, it was common to use a bowl of hot water and a towel over the head to steam the face.
However, DIY facial steaming can be quite a hassle. And it can often be tiring to hang our heads over a bowl of water for several minutes at a time. But now, portable at-home facial steamers have entered the scene, so we can now easily indulge in a quick pampering with a simple press of a button.
So, if you’re not sure if it’s worth adding a facial steamer to your regular skincare, we’re here to tell you that it is. Here’s everything you need to know about at-home facial steamers in Singapore, including how to use them and our top picks that’ll give you that “post-facial” glow!
What is a facial steamer?
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. Facial steamers heat water into steam to release onto the face, softening the pores and releasing the buildup of dirt within them. The heat and moisture dilates the pores, at the same time softening the ‘hard butter’ that is the accumulated dirt, bacteria and oils trapped inside.
These hardened oils soften and rise to the surface of the skin, sometimes falling out on their own, other times needing to be physically removed – either way, a facial steamer makes it easy to clean out the pores, thus giving the face a deep cleansing for clearer, healthier skin.
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 to use a facial steamer in Singapore
Let’s face it, one of the best ways to wind down after an exhausting day is to retreat to the bathroom to start our relaxing nighttime skincare routines. Only, facial steaming elevates skincare into an even more soothing spa experience.
But it isn’t so straightforward as just putting our face over the steam each night before we go to sleep – your skin will only reap the benefits of facial steaming when your skincare is done in the right order. So, before you charge full steam ahead, these are the steps you need to take when using a facial steamer in Singapore:
The first step to your skincare is still to cleanse your face and remove any makeup or impurities that have built up on your skin throughout the day. It’s important to make sure your skin is clean before you use your facial steamer; otherwise, with makeup on and dirt still on your face, facial steaming will only push the impurities further into your pores.
Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells and clear clogged pores, making sure that your face is squeaky clean before you begin facial steaming.
While it’s okay to use either a physical or chemical exfoliant, choosing between the two depends on your skin’s condition. People with dry and flakey skin can benefit from using a gentle physical exfoliant such as a brush with soft, silicone bristles or face scrub that will manually remove the layer of dead cells from the surface of the skin.
Otherwise, using a chemical exfoliant, which relies on ingredients like polyhydroxy acids or fruit enzymes instead of physical scrubs, is often less abrasive and gentle on the skin.
3. Steam with facial steamer
Finally, you’re ready to start using your facial steamer!
- Fill up the water tank of your facial steamer. Distilled water is more ideal than tap water because it helps you to cut down on cleaning your device and increases its lifespan – you’ll get to enjoy your steamer for many more years.
- After inserting the water tank into the steamer, let the water heat up for several minutes as your device will indicate. Facial steamers like the Vanity Planet Aira Ionic Facial Steamer even have capsules that allow you to put your favourite essential oils; you’ll get to enjoy the citrusy scents of orange and floral ylang ylang fragrances for a truly immersive spa experience.
- Turn on the facial steamer and let the steam puff over your face. Although it’s super relaxing and you may be tempted to enjoy the experience for a longer time, it’s best to keep your steaming session to about five or 10 minutes!
At a spa, the next step would be to do extractions. Facial steaming helps to soften the skin so that it’s easier to extract clogged dirt and oil that have built up deep within the pores. Even though it’s best to get your extractions done by a professional aesthetician, you can also do your extractions at home with the right tools.
Rinse your face remove any impurities that have risen to the surface of your skin after your facial steaming and extraction.
6. Put on a hydrating mask
When a facial steamer deep cleanses your face, it also preps your skin to absorb your skincare products more effectively. So, of course, you should make the most of post-facial steaming by pampering your skin with a facial mask!
7. Apply serum
A serum contains high concentrations of active ingredients that penetrate more deeply into the skin and target your specific skin issues. On one hand, facial steaming preps your skin to absorb skincare ingredients – paired with a serum, which already effectively penetrates the skin, you’ll be reaping twice the skincare benefits!
Don’t forget to lock in everything with the final step: moisturiser.
How often can I use a facial steamer?
While the benefits are something to look forward to, the key to using a facial steamer is to not overdo it. Using your facial steamer up to once or twice a week, and for no longer than 10 minutes at a time is a good gauge for you to start reaping healthy, hydrated skin.
However, you should also note that facial steaming works differently for everyone. Each person’s skin is unique and will respond differently to a facial steamer. For a person with rosacea, facial steaming isn’t the best choice: steam causes blood vessels to dilate, leading to more severe inflammation and flushing of the skin.
What you can do when you first start facial steaming is to steam your face for two minutes at a time and observe your skin in a mirror for signs of irritation. If your skin feels comfortable, then it’s okay to carry on steaming until the next interval. If your skin turns red, then it’s best to put a pause on facial steaming until your next session.
Keep this up but for a maximum of 10 minutes, otherwise, your skin may be left feeling dehydrated instead of moisturised.
To prevent any injuries, don’t go too close to the steamer and set your machine at a low level of heat before gradually turning the temperature setting up if you prefer.
Best facial steamers in Singapore
Ready to get glowing? Then recreate that luxurious spa experience in the comfort of your own home with our top facial steamer recommendations, from most affordable to highest prices.
OTHA Nano Ionic Facial Steamer Value for money
OTHA’s facial steamer is the most value-for-money device on our list. It produces soothing steam to deep cleanse your pores, removing dirt, bacteria, and other impurities to give you cleaner as well as smoother skin.
Not just the most affordable but complete with the most accessories too, the OTHA facial steamer comes with a cute blue furry-eared headband to hold your hair out of your face as you pamper, a beauty blender, and four blackhead tools to perform extraction after each facial steam.
The facial steamer even has an adjustable nozzle that allows you to control the range of the steam: you set the nozzle wider to have the steam mist over your entire face to clear your nasal passages and help you to feel refreshed. You can also drip essential oils straight through the nozzle before you start steaming to appreciate the delicious smells of grapefruit or minty peppermint.
OTHA Nano Ionic Facial Steamer retails for S$48.29 on Amazon.
Conair True Glow Moisturizing Mist Facial Sauna System With cleansing brush
Conair’s facial steamer covers your pores in a warm, cleansing mist that 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.
Conair True Glow Moisturizing Mist Facial Sauna System retails for S$54.78 on Amazon.
Pure Daily Care 3-in-1 Ionic Nano Ionic Facial Steamer With extraction tools
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 on Amazon.
Vanity Planet Aira Ionic Facial Steamer 61% discount
Vanity Planet’s Aira Ionic Facial Steamer is the perfect marriage of essential features and chic aesthetic – an elegant rose gold and beige design. 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.
Fans of this facia steamer 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 oils into the steamer.
Vanity Planet Aira Ionic Facial Steamer retails for S$72.92 instead of S$190.47 on Vanity Planet, at a 61% discount!
Okachi Gliya Facial Steamer Double mirror
Okachi Gliya Facial Steamer uses a micro-mist technology to soften and clear pores.
It also has heavy mist volume, releasing a generous amount of steam at a consistent flow. Besides being compact and elegant, the Okachi Gliya Facial Steamer also has a double-sided mirror, making it a perfect addition to your dressing table. Flip the mirror up to free the nozzle and enjoy a facial steaming, or back down when you’re done.
Panasonic Facial Ionic Steamer EH-SA31PN 20% discount
The Panasonic facial steamer releases steam in soothing six-minute cycles – just the right amount of time for your regular facial steaming sessions.
It also uses nano-sized steam particles that are thousands of times smaller than regular steam to more powerfully penetrate your skin and boost hydration.
Panasonic Facial Steamer EH-XS01 Three different time settings
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 S$176.86 on Cult Beauty.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Pro Facial Steamer Super 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 on Net-a-Porter.
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 S$220 on Selfridges.
Vanity Planet Senia Hot & Cold Facial Steamer Hot & cold steam settings
Another one from Vanity Planet, Senia is a super facial steamer that has both hot and cold steam settings – the hot mode softens pores whereas the cold steam closes pores to perfectly end your steaming session.
The facial steamer also comes with an aromatherapy essential oil basket so that you can appreciate the soothing scents of lavender as you pamper.
Best of all, the Vanity Planet Senia + Exfora set includes a microdermabrasion wand to help you with the exfoliation step in your skincare routine!
The Vanity Planet Senia + Exfora: Hot & Cold Facial Steamer + Microdermabrasion Wand retails for S$488.23 on Vanity Planet.