How To Steam Your Face To Remove Blackheads

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Got a blackhead problem? Well, you’re not alone. Blackheads are a common problem for people of all ages. Although they are not painful, they might cause pimples or an infection. And of course, they don’t look good!

In this article, we’ll look at how to steam your face to remove blackheads.

We’ll explain what blackheads are and how to steam them away, fast!


What Is A Blackhead?

Blackheads look like small bumps on the skin and they are also known as open comedones. They are clogged pores and they differ from whiteheads because of their distinctive black color. The pores become clogged with sebum and some other dead skin cells. 

Contrary to what most people think, the black color is not due to trapped dirt. Instead, it is due to oxidized melanin.

The oxidized melanin comes from the dead skin cells that react to the oxygen and turn black. As we’ve said, the blackheads are open comedones so this allows for the interaction of oxygen with the trapped melanin. 

Blackheads aren’t necessarily due to poor hygiene. They usually occur due to hormonal changes in the body, which causes higher production of sebum. If you have blackheads, trying to scrub them off excessively will make them worse. So instead of that, use steam.

How Does Steaming Remove Blackheads?

As we’ve discussed earlier, blackheads are due to trapped sebum, dead skin cells, and other particles in the pores. In order to remove the appearance of the blackhead, we need to remove the ones that are blocking the pore. 

Steaming does that effectively. The increase in temperature of the skin due to the process helps improve the blood circulation to the pores. When that happens, the pores dilate. Some people consider this dilation as the pore opening up. 

Additionally, the warm steam softens the plugin of the pores. The softer clog is now easier to remove. Also, the warmth of the steam helps you sweat. When pores release sweat, they also release the softened sebum and dead skin cells that block the pores. 

However, some blackheads are just too stubborn that simple steaming won’t get rid of them entirely. Sometimes, you might need to add additional steps to your steaming routine to successfully remove them and prevent them from coming. We’ll discuss more of those optional additional steps below. 

How To Steam Your Face To Remove Blackheads

Steaming is an effective way to remove blackheads. However, you should do them properly or else, you can worsen your blackheads problem. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to properly steam your face.

Step 1: Clean Your Face

Micellar Water

Cleaning your face is the very first step to the steaming procedure. It is a very important procedure and shouldn’t be skipped. If you are wearing makeup, use a makeup remover like Micellar Water to make sure there is none left on your skin.

Then wash your face to make sure that it is clean. 

If you use a steamer without cleaning your face, some of the dirt, oils, and dead skin cells that are already on the face can add to the clog on your pores. This is a very important step that you shouldn’t miss. 

Some people take the pre-steaming prep a step further by exfoliating their faces. Exfoliating the face removes the dead skin cells in it. Most prefer to exfoliate before steaming, though we should mention that some like to exfoliate after the steaming procedure.

This is optional and you may or may not do it. Just don’t overdo it. 

Step 2: Steam Your Face

Pure Daily Care NanoSteamer

You can steam your face by using a bowl of hot water, a towel soaked in hot water, or a facial steamer like the Pure Daily Care shown above.

For those using a bowl, all you need to do is to boil some water, place it in the bowl and position your head over it. Make sure to keep a distance between your face and the steam.

Your goal is to heat-up your skin and not burn it. 

Alternatively, you can use the towel method.

In this method, you’d be soaking a towel in hot water. Wring out the excess water and place it over your face. You can get multiple towels so that when the towel gets colder, you can change it immediately.

Be careful when with the water you use here and make sure that the towel isn’t too hot or you’ll also burn your skin. 

Newbealer Facial Steamer

The alternative is to use something like the Newbealer Facial Steamer. This is a device specifically designed for steaming the face. There are many different methods available today. But most of them now use nano ionic technology to produce steam with the tiniest particles.

The nano-ionic system helps hydrate the face.

Some combine this steam with herbs to enhance the experience.

Step 3: Pat Your Face Dry Or Rinse With Water

Through steaming, it is possible that the blackhead has already been removed. All you have to do is to clean your face. You can use a towel to pat dry the face. Avoid rubbing it with the towel, as this can cause the flushed out oils and skin cells to get trapped in the pores again. 

You can also rinse your face with water instead of patting it dry. The clean water removes the oils and dirt that came out of the pores. Rinsing can also help with gradually cooling down the skin.

With clean skin, you can now apply serums or moisturizers as you would in your usual skincare routine.

How Long Do You Steam Your Face For Blackheads?

Regardless of the method you choose steam your face, you should only do expose it to steam for about 8-15 minutes. Too much steaming can actually dry out your skin! So avoid doing that.

Also, make sure to keep a little distance from the source of steam. It can be too hot and you could burn the skin on your face. 

Salon professionals and enthusiasts may want to check out a professional facial steamer. And note that a humidifier is different from a steamer.

Optional Steps For Removing Blackheads After Steaming

Girl Looking at Camera

If you’ve still got the blackheads, there’s still more you can do to try to remove them. You can try exfoliating the skin, applying toner, using an extractor tool, or using a mask. These steps are optional, and you shouldn’t do them all at once because your skin might get irritated and damaged. 

Exfoliating the skin after steaming is a step that some people prefer to do. If you haven’t exfoliated before steaming, you can do it afterward.

This step makes use of an exfoliator that would remove the dead skin cells on the topmost layer. After this, you can rinse the face and apply other serums or moisturizers. 

Facial Toner

Alternatively, you can also use a toner like this Mario Badescu Witch Hazel Toner. Some also choose to use apple cider vinegar. Either would act as a gentle exfoliator and would aid in removing whatever was released by the pores.

The anti-bacterial properties of apple cider vinegar and it’s pH also help kill harmful bacteria and balance the pH of the skin. After this, you can apply moisturizer.

Comedone Extractor

Another optional step is to manually remove the blackhead by using a comedone extractor. Usually only light pressure is enough to remove the blackhead because it is already softened by the heat from the steaming.

If you’re unsure about this procedure, just skip it and leave it in the hands of a professional. You can easily cause more harm than help by using a comedone extractor.

Blackhead Vacuum

Another option is to use a blackhead vacuum or microdermabrasion machine after steaming to suck up a blackhead. They work pretty well to remove blackheads, especially when combined with a steamer. If you run into blackhead vacuum hickey problems, see our pore vacuum bruise remedies.

Lastly, you may also choose to use a mask over the pores. You can choose any mask but make sure that it is capable of removing the blackhead plug. Also, check the ingredients and see if it contains any that could dissolve the dead skin cells. This will help better remove and clean the pore entirely. 

Final Thoughts

Steaming the face is an effective way to remove blackheads. Follow the procedures, and with luck, you’ll get the blackhead out. Be gentle!

In a worst-case scenario, you may even cause more damage to your skin if you don’t steam your face properly for blackhead removal.

There are additional steps (such as face masks) you can do to better remove blackheads. But these are optional. You will already benefit from regular steaming, so you may not want to do these.

In some cases, the blackhead can refill, and in some cases, blackhead removal can leave a hole. It will go away with time and care.

As a repeat reminder, always take precautions when steaming the face because you are dealing with high temperatures. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).