If you’re looking to make a difference to your skin this year, the best face steamers for home use are a great way to go and I have learned a significant amount about them in recent years.
If you love to visit the spa and bring your skin back to life after a hard few weeks in the office, you know just how helpful at home face steam treatments can be for both texture and appearance, let alone relaxation. With steam, the pores are unblocked, impurities are removed, and it doesn’t take long for somebody to notice a new glow in the smile.
When used with other skin treatments, such as facial scrubs, steam can also be great for acne, allergies, dry sinuses, stuffy sinuses, runny noses, chronic acne, and, of course, dry skin.
If you were to look on the market, you’d find a range of different face steaming models for home use as well as devices you can find at the local spa.
At myawesomebeauty.com you know we do take our reviews and testing very seriously. This is what we did to find the ideal steam machine for face. You will also learn here along the way how it works, the main benefits, tips for use, and a whole lot more so you can rejuvenate your skin and grab the attention from the crowd as you walk by! haha.
So if you wonder : What are the best face steamers ? what is the best facial steamer brand ? how do we know if it is worth it? what to check? Let’s dive in right away.
WHAT IS THE BEST FACIAL STEAMER FOR HOME USE AMONG HUNDREDS OF BRANDS ?
If you are looking for the best face steamer, I know it can be pretty overwhelming to pick up the one that would suit you best, as there are so many models out there.
We were also quite lost at first to be honest. So we first listed all the available models in the market and shortlisted 10 models we would put to the test for 2-3 weeks following our specific list of criteria, to write our at home facial steamer reviews .
This is how we finally got our TOP 3 picks, which should help you save you some time in your decision-making.
From our testing the best at home facial steamer is this machine here from kingdombeauty but if you don’t think you will use it for hair steaming treatment, then don’t bother and get a better deal with our 2nd or 3rd best home facial steamer here.
There is no need to spend more money if you don’t do hair steaming like me haha.
HOW DOES A FACIAL STEAMER WORK?
First and foremost, a question I receive often is ‘how do they work?’ and this is a fair question.
However, they are actually quite simple as water is added in the reservoir before, then being heated to the point where it becomes steam.
If you want to create an aromatherapy session, it would be possible with face steamers that are compatible with essential oils, this would boost skin health even more.
In addition to this, essential oils might help you to relax, relieve headaches, and keep sinuses from being blocked. Note that a face steam machine can also be called a facial humidifier as it helps bring moisture to your skin.
At this point, we should note that the majority of manufacturers will suggest mineral or distilled water and this is because it removes the possibility of bacteria within the steam. By doing this, you can also limit the potential of chemical buildup which is always a risk with tap water.
HOW I DISCOVERED THE POWER OF A FACIAL STEAMER ?
As so many of you can relate, three years ago saw me get a fresh wave of motivation for working out and getting back into shape. This time, I was more determined than ever though and visited the gym three times a week; after each session, I’d relax in the sauna as a treat.
Soon after, I started to notice a difference in my skin; after one week alone, I looked healthier and started to glow. At this time, I actually changed facial products so I couldn’t be sure whether the steam was actually responsible. However, as we all seem to do, I lost motivation for the gym and noticed my skin returning to its dryer and duller look.
Instantly, I connected the jigsaw and found my lack of gym time responsible for the change. Days after, I found a new gym facility, signed up, and got started again but my healthy skin didn’t return. As you may have guessed, this new facility didn’t have a sauna and it was at this moment I recognized the missing piece.
I started doing face steaming with a bowl of hot water. It worked great!! I was a big fan.
But with technology moving so fast these days, I was sure there had to be a much easier method of receiving steam treatment and this is when I found the existence of facial steamers for home use. After testing it myself and with my friends, we fell in love and now we all have our own model!
WHY YOU SHOULD USE A FACIAL STEAMER ?
Before we show you the main benefits, we should note that this is not a new idea.
In fact, in ancient times, people used to hold a towel in front of their face before then leaning over a steaming pot. Nowadays, the process is easier and less dangerous but the idea is the same.
With a cut-off point for most devices, there’s very little risk of being burned and the device will also close off when the water levels drop to nothing to prevent burning out.
With this in mind, there are some key benefits to using a device such as these :
- Allows sweating and therefore helps remove toxins.
- Melts hardened sebum and removes blackheads/whiteheads.
- Removes congestion in the sinuses.
- Naturally deep cleansing to purify the skin.
- Boosts blood circulation and prevents the signs of ageing.
- Opens the pores, removes toxins and other debris, and therefore helps with acne.
- Fight dry skin by adding moisture.
- Opens the skin for other treatments (becomes more receptive).
- Prevents you from having to pay for expensive spa treatments (or gym memberships haha).
- Adds moisture to your room so acts as a humidifier.
- Allows you to forget the stress of the day for a while.
Now that we had a look at the reasons why you should buy a face steamer, let’s check all the criteria that we used to find the best face steamers for home use.
HOW TO FIND THE BEST FACIAL STEAMER : THE 10 CRITERIA
To do our testing and write all our facial steamer reviews, we followed a precise list of criteria to be able to compare the 10 steam machines we preselected and find our top 3 picks.
If you want to keep searching, make sure to follow our criteria list or add more to it to find the best facial steamer for home use depending on your needs. Here are our 10 simple criteria.
One of the criteria I would check first is the volume of the water tank. The bigger the chamber the longer you will get steam. Facial steamers create that steam by boiling water. So, to get a longer face sauna session without needing to refill, you need a large enough tank.
What volume should you look for?
First, keep in mind a face sauna session usually lasts about 10 – 18 mn.
Most beautycians recommend 15 mn as the ideal timeframe to let your skin get the most out of the session. You can surely make it shorter but believe me once you start feeling the benefits, you will tell me that 10 mn is too short. Besides I also like to do a hair treatment too right after the face steaming, so it usually takes me 20mn – 30mn of steam.
To get at least 10 mn of hot steam, you would then need at least a 90 ml water tank.
Anything under would not give you a optimal session. Of course, it isn’t set in stone depending on the steam machine efficiency. But from our tests, this 90 ml capacity rule is pretty reliable.
Of course if you know me, you know that I like to have a machine that gives me some leeway to get a longer session or to invite my friends to do a spa session at home with me, so a larger tank is more convenient and won’t require a refill.
Keep also in mind that a larger tank is also perfect if you intend to use it as a humidifier. The bigger the room, the more steam you need.
That is why to get more versatility, stick with a face steamer with a water tank ranging from 400ml to 200ml. If you don’t think you will use it other than for facial sauna, 100 ml – 90 ml will be enough.
QUALITY OF STEAM: FLOW AND “SIZE” OF STEAM
The other factor worth checking is the quality of steam. I mean I used to be a big fan of the bowl of steaming water, but after trying a facial steamer, I can tell you it is so much more effective.
Because the face steamers use a ceramic heating element with an ultrasonic vaporizer that generates superfine nano size steam that is more easily absorbed through skin, which means it can moisturize your skin more quickly and efficiently.
The water particles are said to be up to 10 times more effective for penetrating skin. I am not sure about that 10 times factor which might be a little over the top (marketing pitch haha) but I can say I can feel the difference on my skin when using a face steamer or the old water bowl method.
Aside the quality of steam for skin penetration, we also checked if the flow of steam was strong, smooth and uniformly distributed.
The good thing is that for every machine we tested, all had that nano vaporizer and delivered a similar consistent and uniform steam. So this is not the most decisive criterion here with the steam machines we tested.
Just as a reminder, steam temperature is 100°C but obviously, you don’t want to let your skin be in contact with that steam otherwise you would burn it.
That is why we recommend you leave a minimum distance between the steamer and your face of about 8’’ ( 20cm) when steaming, so the steam can cool down and your skin is in contact with mist at the ideal temperature of 40-45°C. You can get closer if you think you can stand higher temperature but be careful. This temperature is really the ideal temperature to get your skin sweating without the burning side effects.
This is another criterion we came across when testing the different machines. Not all machines do have that function.
What is it for? The ultraviolet ozone function is said to purify and sterilize the steam via a UV lamp.
You know I am pretty straightforward. In my opinion, this ozone function here is more a marketing gimmick especially within the price range of these machines.
- You don’t really need to sterilize the steam as steam itself at 100°C is free of most germs. Besides if you regularly clean your device and always throw away the water left in the water tank after your facial sauna, you will be fine.
- Real ozone therapy requires a high-grade ozone generator and a high purity oxygen source to create ozone. Other than that I still need to be convinced that you can get visible results without those.
That is the problem : some manufacturers like to use fancy words to make their machine look even more attractive even if it does not mean much in real life…
So this is not for us a valid factor here for our ranking. That would be different if we were talking about professional machines with real ozone therapy, which usually cost more than $1000.
SPEED OF USE
My friends know that I am very impatient and I need things to be quick. That is what I look for with a good face steam machine. I don’t want to wait too long to get the steam going.
The best facial steamers should only take a few minutes to heat up and start convert room temperature water into hot steam. So that if you are the type who likes to get steam in the morning, you don’t waste time waiting.
Remember the discussion we had about the water tank capacity.
Bear in mind that the larger the tank, the more water you need to heat up, the longer it will take to generate steam.
In our facial sauna reviews and testing, we only kept machines that would require between 30 s and 5 minutes to get the steam pumping.
Note that it would also depend on the initial water temperature and the room temperature where you use the steamer.
Tip: to speed up the process, use warmer water instead.
Even if the steaming session is only around 10- 20 minutes, I prefer to get a facial steamer that stays silent, otherwise I would not be able to use it anytime I want. It would compel me to use it only during certain periods of time.
We do sometimes have a hectic schedule so if you want to use it later at night, you won’t disturb your husband, boyfriend or children haha.
Moreover, if I want to benefit from a relaxation session, and put some calm and soothing music, a silent machine would be best lol.
All the machines we tested are pretty silent. Only one device was too noisy but it did not make it to the top 3 of our best facial sauna machine ranking.
Every device that I buy has to be robust enough to be able to work for some years. It is like my cell phone haha ok ok I should not start on this.
So back to the facial steamer, we want robust machines that can last a few years if possible. We did not keep any device that would feel a bit fragile or be made up of weak material because we don’t want to spend our hard earned money on devices that we can only use a few times.
Most face steam machines we tested are made up of hard plastic, which are solid enough and at the same time light enough to make them easily portable from one room of your house to another.
Of course, it must be resistant to at least a temperature of 100°C to generate hot steam.
AUTOMATIC SHUT OFF
Most at home face steamers will automatically be switched off after the water is used.
This is pretty handy, as you don’t need to be constantly checking the water level and be worried about damaging the machine if it runs without any water.
Besides, I admit I sometimes happen to relax so much during the face sauna session that I can fall asleep… so that automatic power off is super convenient in that case, let alone the safety issue.
Depending on the steam machine for face you pick, you can benefit from optional features that will be more or less useful for you such as:
- A Built in Mirror: it can be pretty handy but be careful as it is fragile and can easily break.
- Compatibility with essential oils for aromatherapy: Most devices are compatible with essential oils. They have a specific spot or reservoir for that, with a pad where you would add a few drops of essential oils near the steaming noozle. This is great to get a good aromatherapy session. Please make sure to use only water and not to mix the water with any other substance, such as essential oils, which could damage the machine.
- Hair steaming : you can convert with a special attachment your facial steamer into a hair steamer, which is a feature that I really like. It is a hair care cap that you plug instead of the noozle. I usually apply hair mask or a conditionner and then would use the hair steam to boost the hair product effect for additional moisturization. I would read my favorite magazine in the meantime haha. Love it!!
- Multiangle noozle: With some steam machines you can change the noozle angle so you can adjust the steam angle however you want it to be. So you can get steam even if you lie down as in a real spa salon.
- Water mist: some machines can also vaporize water and generate mist without heating it. This is handy but I personally don’t find it that useful. What matters most with facial steamers is the heat that will stimulate your face skin. You would sometimes use cooler mist to wake up your skin after the face sauna session but it would only be a few second mist which is easy to get with a simple bottle with a vaporizer and cold water in it. I thought at first this mist function was a great idea but in everyday life, I did not really use it so I feel it is like wasted money. I wish the manufacturers would improve even more the heating system instead of spending money on this mist function. Just my opinion.
The best face steamers usually have a combination of those optional features.
In your quest to find the best facial steamer, this is something you should always check because you never know what can happen, or if you get a faulty machine.
The usual warranty period is between 1-year warranty and 2 year warranty.I usually stick with devices with the longest warranty to be on the safe side. Moreover when manufacturers offer a most extensive warranty, it usually means that they have more confidence in their product longevity
There are so many face steamers in the market that it was not easy to preselect those we would test. But what our testing taught us is that you can definitely get a good face steamer with a small budget. Anyone who tells you that you need to pay at least $100 don’t know anything about facial steamers or is far from being honest.
The one we liked best is about $63 as it can be used as a face steamer and a hair steamer so it is like having 2 machines in one but if you are not into hair treatment, you can also get a good face steamer with $35, with our second choice which really does the job too.
Of course there are certain machines that we think are way too expensive for what it is such as the Panasonic one here. $130? For just a basic machine without any optional features? And with such a tiny weeny water tank of 50 ml which will only give you 4-5 minutes of steam…I am sorry, that really drives me crazy.
HOW TO USE A FACE STEAMER
After discussing the criteria of the best facial steamers, let’s talk about how you can use your steam machine for face.
Often, people make the mistake of jumping right in but you will need to prepare your skin before anything else.
You need to use a mild cleanser so to remove all dirt and makeup from your skin before your face sauna session.
But how do we use a face steamer?
Just to make everything more confusing, every manufacturer will offer their own instructions for their own particular model but they have the same general idea. Depending on the device, you might have to place your face above a cone shaped element or you might have a small nozzle where the steam leaves the device.
To get started, plug the machine in. Pour mineral or distilled water into the water chamber then switch it on and wait a few minutes.
With some models, they’ll take a little while to warm up so give it time until steam starts to emit from the top. Once ready, lean your face above the nozzle or above the cone to let the steam penetrate your pores.
Of course, I should address safety at this point because we don’t want you having to take a trip to the hospital. Ideally, you should remain AT LEAST 8 inches or 20 cm from the steam nozzle to prevent irritation and burning. After this, limit your session to 3-5minutes (maximum!) for the first few times. Take a break so you can see the reaction in your skin and look for any irritation. Of course, with blood rushing to the face, you can expect a perfectly normal ‘rosy glow’ but nothing excessive.
Once you feel your skin is used to the steam, you can increase the duration of the treatment depending on how your skin is tolerating the steam. Most people don’t have any problem but we never know, better be safe than sorry.
If you want to increase the sauna effect, you can place a towel over your head in a tent like style.
When your treatment is over, switch off the steamer and use a towel to pat your face dry, gently removing any loose dirt from your pores.
After the face steaming, it is the perfect moment to exfoliate to remove dead skin cells (which have been softened by the heat). The best option is to stick with scrubs with round beads because they don’t have the rough edges (and therefore won’t hurt or damage your skin!).
You could then apply a facial mask and leave it on for twenty minutes, or you can skip the mask and go straight to your serum and moisturizer which will lock in the moisture.
Don’t wait too long after the face sauna session as it is the best time to apply your skin care products. This is when you skin is the most receptive.
Finally, I should also note that you should always speak to your doctor or dermatologist if you have any skin-related issues including dermatitis, severe acne, rosacea, or eczema.
FACIAL STEAMER FREQUENCY GUIDELINES
After speaking with other beauty experts and checking with some manufacturers, here is a loose guide you can follow depending on your skin type.
- Regular Skin – Once every one or two weeks; around 12 minutes.
- Dry Skin – Every two weeks; around 12-18 minutes.
- Acne-Prone or Oily Skin – Twice a week; around 12 minutes.
If you have sensitive skin, I would always recommend talking to your dermatologist. Also, remember that these guidelines are not set in stone and that your body/skin will always tell you more than I can here.
A FEW TIPS FOR FACIAL STEAMERS
As promised, here are a few tips that I have learned along the way and they should come in handy for you too.
- Due to the sweating, you will lose significant amounts of fluid so drink water before and after the treatment to replenish this amount.
- If you have not used your device just yet, allow it to run with a full chamber of water. By doing this, you can remove the plastic smell that might come with these types of products. If necessary, go a second and even third time until you’re happy to go ahead.
- Whenever heat and moisture is involved, your skin will absorb anything and everything so only use the highest-quality products and prevent using ingredients that’ll cause irritation.
- After your treatment is finished, you’ll want to clean (and dry!) your at home facial steamer as much as possible to prevent mold growth inside the chamber.
- With over seven billion unique people in the world, there are going to be a percentage who don’t deal with this treatment very well. If you have couperose- or rosacea-prone skin, one trick is to apply beforehand a hydrating serum or skin mask that will protect your skin when exposed to steam, this often works great to allow you to still benefit from a face sauna without the side effects but I would still advise talking to your dermatologist first. If done correctly, you might be able to enjoy the treatment while remaining protected.
AN EXAMPLE OF FACE STEAMING ROUTINE
Step 1 – Be sure to cleanse your skin before anything else.
Step 2 – Although this isn’t entirely necessary, you can apply a serum or hydrating mist and this is especially useful for those with sensitive or dry skin; this being said, steer clear of oily or thick products.
Step 3 – Relax and enjoy the facial steam treatment in the comfort of your own home.
Step 4 – Gently exfoliate (using a scrub with round beads) your skin but avoid those jagged scrubs that can cause damage.
Step 5 – Splash your face with cool water to rinse.
Step 6 – Right after, choose your favorite moisturizer or serum and apply generously. After sweating profusely, your skin will need more than normal because it can actually get ‘thirsty’.
Step 7 – Well done! Your skin should improve in the coming days and you probably feel more relaxed than ever before.
To finish, I just want to take you through some of the most common questions I receive.
What type of facial steamers exist?
Currently, there are two types of face steamers dominating the market; the most common type is the home version which is small and portable. Elsewhere, you’ll also come across rolling base spa units with an ozone hood and potentially even a magnifying lamp. Although designed mainly for wellness centers and beauty salons, those with larger homes and more money to spend might be able to take advantage of these models. Regardless, you’ll easily find a model in the market taking into consideration your budget and needs.
How frequently should I complete this treatment?
Could you do it daily? Yes, but I don’t find it that useful. The benefits don’t really become more noticeable after once or twice a week. Check how frequently you should do face steaming depending on your skin types in the section above. If you still want to do it daily, make sure to moisturize your skin with good hydrating products to compensate the water loss from sweating.
Why should I buy a facial steamer?
As we have seen, steam therapy has numerous benefits including deep cleansing, enhanced penetration for skin products, improved skin texture and tone, skin hydration, and reductions in congestion, blockages, and acne. In addition to this, most home face steamers will actually double up as inhalers so can treat coughs and fevers too.
Are facial steamers dangerous?
For those with sensitive skin, they might find the steam too hot but most find it soothing. Additionally, the devices have temperature control as well as automatic shut-off systems in case the temperatures are too high. With temperature control, the steam will remain at a comfortable heat without causing damage. Of course, you also have to respect the instructions from the manufacturer to remain safe.
How long should my treatments last?
Depending on your condition and skin type, anything between 10 and 18 minutes is the optimum amount. For beginners, I recommend starting with 3-5 minutes before then increasing this as time goes on.
What distance from the steam is ideal?
All things considered, eight inches (20 cm) will prevent irritation and injury for people of all skin types (sensitive, dry, or otherwise).
Should I clean my face steamer?
If you want your steam machine for face to last the test of time, you should empty the chamber after every treatment. Whenever water is used, there’s a real risk of standing water leading to bacteria growth and mold so keep an eye on your unit and clean regularly.
Should I use products after steaming treatment?
Yes, the pores are open and dead skin cells are easier to remove, this means you should exfoliate your skin. After this, toners such as witch hazel can close the skin pores and you can nourish your skin with the right serum and moisturizer for your skin type.
Will cold water close my pores after steam treatment?
Yeah, the cold helps to close the pores. My tip is to place your usual toner in your fridge so that everytime you use it you get an additional cooling effect
With this guide presenting all our at home facial steamer reviews, I am sure you have already picked the best facial steamer for your needs, and also learned everything you need about these beauty devices, their benefits, and how to use them properly. If you want to introduce one skin treatment to your life this year, I urge you to try facial steaming as the results my friends and I have seen is nothing short of amazing!