How to Do a DIY Steam Facial At Home

June 22, 2022
Cortne Bonilla
By: Cortne Bonilla | by L'Oréal
person wearing skincare face mask

The steam room is often the first stop during a spa day — and for good reason. When used before a facial, five to ten minutes in the steam room can help open your pores and prep your skin. Most of us can agree, however, that visiting an esthetician or facialist at a spa can be pricey. 

That’s where at-home steam facials come in. Giving yourself a steam facial at home can help rid your pores of dirt and toxins, soften your skin and prime your complexion for the rest of your skincare products. Interested in learning how to give yourself a spa-inspired DIY steam facial? Keep reading and prepare to be truly relaxed.

Tips for an At-Home Steam Facial

1. Steam Before Your Facial

Whether you’re at home or at the spa, always steam before your facial, never after. Steaming before prepares your skin to soak up all the benefits in the skincare products you’ll use — from serums and masks to moisturizers — while steaming after can potentially wash them all away.

2. Drink Lots of Water

Drink a lot of water and avoid alcohol. This rule is especially important when steaming at the spa, but it can apply to home facials, too. Steam rooms naturally make you sweat, which can lead to dehydration if you’re not drinking enough water or imbibing liquids that can be dehydrating.

3. Keep Time in Mind

Always steam for five to ten minutes at most.

Ready to steam? Here are seven steps that will take you through the entire process:

How to Practice a Steam Facial At Home 

1. Cleanse and Exfoliate

Before you steam your face, get your skin as clean as possible. Wash your face with a gentle exfoliating face wash, like the Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash, which removes makeup, dirt, impurities and dead skin cell buildup.

2. Prep the Steam

Bring a small pot or bowl of water to a boil in the microwave or on the stove. You'll only need a few cups of water. When the water is thoroughly heated, carefully transfer it to a ceramic bowl and allow it to cool down a bit. As for what type of water to use, tap water is fine. Distilled or spring water is easy to find if you’d like to use that instead.

3. Add Essential Oils

To enhance your DIY steam facial with a spa-like perk, add essential oils to your water. Essential oils can deliver a relaxing aroma and make your steam facial even more enjoyable. Three to five drops of an essential oil are more than enough. Before steaming your face, decide on the aromatherapy experience you’d like to have and select the right essential oils:

To feel invigorated: Try citrus-scented essential oils

To feel relaxed: Try lavender or chamomile essential oils

To feel uplifted: Try rose essential oil

For the ultimate spa experience: Try eucalyptus oil

4. Steam Your Face

Stand over the bowl or container with your face about a foot away from the steam. Drape a sheet or towel over your head and shoulders to create a steam tent. For five to ten minutes (no longer), inhale and exhale slowly as you let the warm, soothing steam hit your face. To avoid irritation, keep your eyes closed. If you feel uncomfortable at any point, remove the towel and move away from the steam.

fingers dipped in face cream

5. Add a Mask

After you’ve steamed, clarify your skin further with a clay face mask or cleanser to wipe out any excess impurities and gunk. We love the SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Mask For Acne Prone Skin or the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Minimizing Cleansing Clay Mask

6. Use a Toner

Once you’re done with your post-steam facial mask, sweep a gentle toner like the CeraVe Hydrating Toner all over your skin with a cotton pad. If you have acne-prone skin, try the Pixi Clarity Tonic with salicylic acid.

7. Rub an Ice Cube All Over Your Face and Neck

To contrast the warmth during the steam facial, follow with an ice cube face mask to cool off. 

8. Moisturize

All good skincare routines call for moisturizing. For normal to dry skin, reach for something nourishing yet lightweight, like the Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream. If you have an oily complexion, try the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Matte Face Moisturizer For Oily Skin, which will help lock in hydration while keeping excess shine at bay.

Editor’s note: At-home steam facials should be a treat, not a daily occurrence. Talk to your dermatologist or skincare provider about the right frequency for your skin.

person applying skincare face mask
Photo: Saq Idrees

Read more

Back to top