In a professional facial, an esthetician will use a steamer post-cleanse to open up the pores and make it easier for them to perform extractions. You won’t be doing any self-surgery here (extraction at home is a no-go), but facial steaming comes with a host of other benefits. For instance, the warmth from the steam opens up the pores and loosens trapped dirt, bacteria, and sebum, which can make your exfoliating and hydrating products work even better.
“Facial steaming also dilates your skin blood vessels, which promotes healthy circulation to the skin,” board-certified dermatologist Kim Nichols, M.D., founder of NicholsMD of Greenwich previously told mbg. Just make sure you’re steaming correctly—you can find our full guide here.
However, not every step is appropriate for all skin types: Those with rosacea or melasma should avoid steaming as it can worsen these conditions.
Feel free to use a proper facial steamer if you have one, or you can use the DIY bowl method: “Use a bowl filled with hot water and place a towel over your head to trap in steam,” says Thornton. You can also simply wrap your face with a hot, steamy towel. You have options!