With the current high cost of living and social media platforms (particularly TikTok) espousing a bevy of skincare DIY tips, it’s little wonder that skin steaming is trending so significantly right now; and according to award-winning skin and dermal therapist, Isabella Loneragan, skin steaming is not just a whole lot of hot air.
“Skin steaming has been used for centuries and it’s still used today because it actually does work. An at-home steam facial definitely can be a beneficial and cost-savvy way to glowing skin – if used effectively,” explains Isabella.
“Unlike skin steaming for internal health purposes such as treating chest or sinus ailments, skin steaming for external skin brightness is most effective if coupled with an exfoliation system that is fruit enzyme-based.
“Simply exposing your face to steam won’t do you a whole lot of good – but when skin steaming is correctly used in conjunction with a fruit enzyme-based exfoliation system, the effects are incredible because the steam works to open the pores and really enhance the power of skincare products.
“Importantly though, don’t use scrub-based exfoliators. Generatitions past considered scrub-based or granular exfoliators with things like apricot kernels as best but actually, they’re a ‘no-no’ with skin steaming in particular.
“For the best results, use an exfoliation system that contains ingredients like papain from papaya or fruit bromelain from pineapple; but it is absolutely key to avoid scrubs.
“At-home skin steamers typically cost anywhere from $40 – $200 and are widely available. They’re far more effective than using boiling water in a bowl or pot because the skin steamer consistently produces steam versus sitting hot water which will cool down quickly.
“Please do not skin steam with a kettle! I cannot stress this enough. Doing so will put you at a high risk of burning your face! A good skin steamer can be used over and over so it’s worth the modest investment and will keep the steam at a safe temperature.
“The way to use a skin steamer is to simply place it on a bench or table and position your face about 30-40 centimetres from the steamer. Simultaneously steam and exfoliate your face for three to five minutes.
“The steam will activate the fruit enzymes in your exfoliation product to gently dissolve dead skin build-up; and then any products you use after the process, such as serums or moisturisers, will absorb into your skin far better – giving you more bang for buck out of your skincare products,” adds Isabella.
When it comes to how often to skin steam, Isabella says that the answer depends on a person’s unique skin conditions and the results he or she is looking to achieve.
“Those with flaring temperature skin conditions like rosacea should consult with a qualified dermatologist before incorporating skin steaming into their skincare routine because the heat from skin steaming will increase inflammatory mediators in the skin which can worsen rosacea redness.
“Those with acne should skin steam twice a week. Those who skin steam for more general rejuvenation and anti-ageing purposes should skin steam just once a week.
“The benefits of skin steaming with a fruit enzyme-based exfoliation system are numerous and include increased hydration for dry skin, a release of trapped sebum which prevents bacteria from breeding and thus preventing acne and blackheads, increased skin elasticity from better absorption of skincare products, better collagen production and better circulation which results in a healthy glow,” adds Isabella.
Isabella Loneragan’s fruit-derived exfoliator, Exfoliate Elite, is available for purchase via the Ragan Skin website.
Isabella Loneragan holds a Bachelor of Behavioural Health Science & Psychology, with a Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Dermal Science.
Award-winning and internationally trained with more than 15 years of experience in dermatology and cosmeceuticals, Isabella is the creator of Ragan Skin and is renowned for her offering of bespoke intuitive facial treatments, including The Intrinsic Facial®. Isabella operates a private clinic in Bowral NSW called: Isabella Loneragan Skin.
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