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6 Reasons Why Steaming Your Face for Acne Is a Bad Idea

Many people struggling with acne often turn to a wide array of remedies in a desperate attempt to maintain clear skin. One such common practice is facial steaming, a technique that dates back to ancient times and is still quite prevalent today. While the internet is brimming with tales of the benefits of facial steaming and how the steam can help your skin achieve that coveted healthy glow, not all the facts are as rosy as they seem.

Steaming your face for acne isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. It can lead to more harm than good for certain skin types. Despite the widely praised benefits of steaming your face at home, there are numerous reasons why this might not be the best option. Here, we'll delve into six reasons why steaming your face for acne could be bad.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Steaming your face for acne can worsen certain skin conditions, including rosacea and dry skin.
  • Oversteaming or improper technique can lead to skin damage, including burns or a compromised skin barrier.
  • While facial steam might help remove surface debris, it doesn't penetrate deeply enough to effectively cleanse the pores or address the root causes of acne.
  • Exposed Skin Care offers a comprehensive alternative to facial steaming, providing deep cleansing, improved circulation, nourishing serums, and convenient at-home use with minimized skin irritation.

Woman steaming her face at home

Why You Should Not Steam Your Face for Acne

Steam can Aggravate Certain Skin Conditions

Some skin conditions can worsen with the application of steam. Rosacea, a skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels in your face, can become more prominent with facial steaming. The heat from the steam dilates your blood vessels, leading to more redness and a flare-up of the condition.

Similarly, people with dry skin may find that steaming exacerbates the dryness. While some believe that the steam helps to moisturize the skin, it can actually strip away natural oils, leaving the skin feeling drier than before.

Over-Steaming can Damage the Skin

A common misconception is that more steam equals more benefits. However, steaming too often or too long can damage skin. As the steam softens the upper layer of skin, overdoing it can result in a damaged skin barrier, which protects your skin from harmful bacteria and keeps it hydrated. Therefore, a 10-minute steam session once a week should be the maximum to reap the benefits without harming your skin.

The distance from the source of the steam is also crucial. Keeping your face 6 inches away from the steam source can still expose your skin to excessive heat, leading to potential burns or sensitivity.

Woman with damaged skin looking at mirror

Steam Alone Doesn’t Treat Acne

While steam may help soften the skin and potentially open up the pores, it isn't an effective acne treatment. Acne is caused by a combination of factors, including excess oil, bacteria, inflammation, and clogged pores. Steaming your face for acne may provide some temporary relief, but it doesn't target the root causes of acne and blackheads.

Steam can Cause Dehydration

Even though steam feels hydrating, it can ironically cause dehydration by increasing the skin's permeability. This means that the water within your skin evaporates more quickly, leading to dry, dehydrated skin. Over time, this can lead to flakiness and more pronounced fine lines and wrinkles.

Steam May Not Effectively Cleanse Pores

One of the touted benefits of steaming your face is that it helps loosen any buildup of dirt, grime, and sebum in your pores, leading to a cleaner complexion. However, according to dermatologists, steam can loosen some superficial debris, but it doesn't penetrate enough to cleanse your pores thoroughly.

Nose pores with white heads

High Temperatures can Trigger Oil Production

Contrary to popular belief, steaming your face for acne can actually exacerbate oily skin. The heat from the steam can stimulate oil production, leading to an oily face and potentially more breakouts.

Exposed Skin Care: An Effective Alternative to Steaming

If you're looking for an effective way to manage acne, consider Exposed Skin Care. This comprehensive line of products offers many benefits that can keep your skin clear and radiant.

Exposed Skin Care Ultimate Kit

Here are some of the advantages of Exposed Skin Care products:

  • Deep Cleansing: Their cleanser, similar to the effect of a facial steamer, penetrates deep into your pores, eliminating the buildup of dirt, oil, and dead skin cells that causes acne and blackheads. It's like an extraction process but gentler on the skin.
  • Increased Blood Flow: Some Exposed Skin Care line products help improve circulation, promoting healthier skin and hair.
  • Serums for Extra Care: Post-cleansing, the use of their serum can further aid in your skincare routine. Applied after a steam-like cleansing process, this serum provides deep nourishment.
  • At-Home Convenience: Just like at-home steaming or an at-home facial, Exposed Skin Care can be easily done at home, saving you time and resources.
  • Minimal Skin Irritation: This product line is designed to be gentle on the skin. Even if you're prone to redness, it is less likely to irritate compared to a hot towel or steam facial.

Remember, a consistent skincare routine can help unclog your pores and manage acne effectively. With Exposed Skin Care, you can achieve maximum benefits without the potential downsides of facial steaming.


Face steaming, often seen as a beneficial part of skincare routines, may not be the most effective treatment for those grappling with acne. The allure of a warm steam facial with a towel over your head to trap the steam, providing a soothing, spa-like experience, might seem irresistible. Yet, it's crucial to remember that while it may boost circulation and potentially assist in applying skincare products, it doesn't fully address the root causes of pimples. Sometimes, it might even exacerbate skin conditions or increase oil production.

Beyond steaming, products like Exposed Skin Care offer a more comprehensive approach to managing acne. Such alternatives provide deep cleansing, nourishment, and minimal skin irritation, underlining the importance of a consistent skincare regimen aligned with your unique skin type and condition. In the end, the path to clear skin isn't just about quick fixes like a weekly steam facial but about understanding and catering to your skin's needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Does steaming your face open your pores?

A: While it's a common belief that steam opens your pores, pores don't have muscles to open and close. However, the heat can soften the sebum and dead skin cells around the pores, making it easier to remove the surface debris.

Q: Can facial steaming lead to more acne?

A: Yes, in some cases. For individuals with oily skin, the heat from the steam can stimulate oil production, potentially leading to more breakouts. Also, steaming can cause irritation and inflammation, exacerbating acne if you have sensitive skin.

Q: Can I add essential oils or herbs to my facial steam?

A: Adding a few drops of essential oils or herbs to your steam can enhance the experience. However, be careful with your chosen oils, as some can irritate the skin. Always do a patch test first to see how your skin reacts.

Q: Can I steam my face every day?

A: No, steaming your face daily can lead to skin dehydration and damage. Dermatologists recommend a maximum of one steam session per week, lasting no longer than 10 minutes.

Q: How can I safely steam my face at home?

A: Keep a safe distance from the steam source (at least 10 inches away) to prevent burns. Limit your sessions to 10 minutes at most, and don't steam more than once a week. If you experience any discomfort or skin reactions, stop steaming immediately.