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C M
New member
Username: Ceeme

Post Number: 4
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Friday, June 08, 2007 - 08:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

What are your thoughts on face steaming, Tom? I get a bit of "steaming" when I wash my face using the oil cleansing method (http://www.forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=5612). So far, I have liked this method but I was wondering whether it'd be a good idea to invest in a face steamer. What do you think?
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Thomas Hagerty
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 34
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 09, 2007 - 10:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

C M:

Take a look at these face steamers on Amazon.com. The price range is from $24.99 to $685. But the serious question is - are face steamers really beneficial to the long-term health of the skin?

I would intuitively think that because they "deep clean" the pores, getting rid of toxins and metabolic build-up that they are beneficial to the skin. People knowledgeable about skin health express other views though. Even though I disagree with Paula Begoun about the benefits of facial exercise, I agree with almost everything she says in The Beauty Bible. Here's a long quotation from this excellent book:
Because irritation is a problem for skin, anything that irritates the skin should be avoided as much as possible. Heat is one of those things that should be avoided. As good as hot water, direct steam, or dry saunas feel on the skin, they end up causing more problems for the health of the skin. For years, I have recommended washing the face with tepid water. This is because hot water burns the skin and cold water shocks it, and both leave it irritated and dry. These two temperature extremes can also injure skin cells, dehydrate the skin, and cause capillaries to surface. Extreme temperatures in any form cause problems for the skin...

Paula talks more about dry heat (saunas) and wet heat (face steaming) in her book - page 105. None of what she says would encourage me to rush out and buy a face steamer:
Because the surface layer of the skin likes water so much, hot water can enter the skin, stay there, and cause a burn-like reaction. As a general rule, if water feels hot to the touch, it's too hot for the skin, especially the face.

I think that sweating that naturally occurs while exercising is great for the skin. I'd much prefer this to steam baths, saunas, and facial steamers.

Oil cleansing certainly can't hurt your skin. It might even help temporarily lubricate dried-out skin. Probably not much long-term benefit though. I'd rather use that extra virgin olive oil on a salad.

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