One of the simplest and most popular natural treatments is steam for acne removal. But does it work, and how? Read on for the pros and cons of steam treatment for acne.
There are two ways to take a steam bath for your acne. One is to use a sauna or steam room. The other, for facial acne only, is to steam at home. Let’s take the second one first.
Steam At Home Acne Treatment
This is a very simple treatment where you take a bowl of hot water and a sheet or large cloth. Never use plastic – this is very important – you could suffocate if you put plastic over your head. Only use fabric that you can breathe through.
Fill the bowl with hot water and put your head over it, facing the water. Put the cloth over your head to hold in the steam.
Don’t have the water too hot. This means do not use boiling water from the kettle. Only use hot water from the tap.
You can stay for about 10 minutes (but just 5 minutes the first time to check for any adverse reaction). Then wipe your face with an astringent such as witch hazel or apple cider vinegar to clean off any oils that have been drawn out of the pores by the steam and close the pores. Test for any allergy to these products by applying them to a small area first. Cold water can also act as an astringent.
Steam Room Acne Treatment
If you want a more controlled way of treating acne with steam, you can either take a sauna that will treat the whole body, or you can take a facial steam treatment from a specialist.
If you like to use a sauna, be sure to wash or rinse away all the impurities from the skin and then close the pores with cold water.
Professional treatments are available from some dermatologists, beauty parlors or commercial saunas. These will have you lie on your back with the eyes and hair protected, and steam will be directed at your face. The advantage of this is that the temperature is controlled at the best level for acne.
The professional steam session will usually be followed by cleansing and perhaps a face mask whose properties will be selected to suit your skin type.
How Does Acne Steam Treatment Work?
Steam treatment can help cases of acne in two ways:
First, it opens the pores and hair follicles and causes sweating that can wash away any dirt and bacteria in the pores.
Second, it stimulates blood circulation to the skin. This brings oxygen and nutrients to the skin which helps it to resist infection.
Are There Any Bad Effects of Acne Steam Treatment?
A few people with very sensitive skin may find they have a bad reaction to the steam, especially if it is too hot. In a very small number of cases it can even aggravate the acne. Consult a dermatologist to check if steam is recommended for your own acne.
It is normal for the skin to be red straight after. The redness should disappear within about a half hour, but this can vary from person to person. So do not plan any social events immediately after your steam for acne treatment.