What to do After Steaming Your Face: Post-Steaming Pore Care

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Treating yourself to a facial spa day feels terrific afterward. You’re refreshed, rejuvenated, relaxed, and simply more confident. But getting to the spa can be difficult and costly! Picking up an at-home facial steamer is a great alternative. You can pamper your skin at home!

But you need to know how to work the steam into your beauty routine. In this article, we’re focused on what to do after steaming your face.

This will help you have a better experience and get the most out of your facial steamer. 

Steaming your face brings benefits, and you can get the most out of it if you can take advantage of the skin during the post-steaming state.

Let’s dive in!


What To Do After Steaming Your Face At Home

There are two things you can immediately do to your face after your steaming session. You can either rinse it with water or use an extractor kit. Note that some facial steamers include an extractor kit in the package.

After that, you can proceed with the other procedures of your skincare routine.

1. Wash Your Face After Steaming

First, rinse your face either with lukewarm or cool water.

Some prefer lukewarm water because they don’t want to shock their skin with sudden changes in temperature. With lukewarm water, your face can gradually cool down upon exposure to air.

Some love cool water because they believe that it closes the pores (which is technically a myth because pores don’t open or close at all, however they can dilate). 

The pores will stretch as a result of build-up due to the clog. The pores are designed as openings where sebum can pass. But when they are blocked, they dilate and look bigger to allow the sebum to pass.

Steaming will loosen the block. 

No matter what temperature you prefer, rinsing your face will wash away any of the oils that have been released by the pores because of the effect of the heat. There could also be trapped skin cells in them and that can also be removed by simply rinsing your face.

By removing them, you’d prevent them from blocking the pores again. This also helps prevent you from developing more blackheads. 

2. Gently Dry With a Towel

Gently is a key word here!

Pat your face dry with a soft towel. However, don’t rub your skin vigorously with your towel. Extensive rubbing could damage your skin and work as an exfoliator. It has already been through the heat, and you generally want to exfoliate your skin before steaming

3. Use A Comedone Extractor

Simply rinsing your face after steaming is a great start. However, if you think you still need to do something to clean up your pores more thoroughly, you can use a comedone extractor or blackhead vacuum

If you plan to use the extractor or vacuum (vacuums do work well!), you may do it right after your facial steam. This is especially true for those whose main concerns are blackheads and acne.

See our article on steaming your face to clear blackheads for more info.

Steam helps relax the pore so it isn’t tightened, encourages the release of excess oil, and helps soften any irritants blocking the pores. This makes it much easier to remove the blocks and unclog pores. 

Some facial steamers add a free extractor kit that you can use right after your face steaming.

When using extractors, you have to be very careful.

Not all dermatologists would want you to use them — and for good reason. They can cause as many problems as they fix!

Some people haphazardly use them and end up developing other skin problems. The key to successfully using comedone extractors is to know how to use them properly. 

Using a Comedone Extractor

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When using comedone extractors, make sure that you are not applying too much pressure on your skin. Gentle pressure will get those blocks and skin irritants out if you do it right.

Try to move the comedone extractors at different angles and apply light pressure. Also, don’t use them to scrape your skin. You can easily damage your skin. 

Some comedone extractors also have one end that’s pointed and quite sharp. These are used when the pore is totally blocked and can’t easily be squeezed out. Some prick the topmost part of the block to make it easier to squeeze out the content of the pore.

However, you should be very careful about doing this. Also, steaming softens up the blocks and most of the time, you won’t need to prick the pore to easily squeeze out. 

Additionally, always remember to sterilize the comedone extractor you are going to use before and after using it. That will help prevent you from getting your skin infected and developing pimples or more blackheads. 

4. Apply a Hydration Serum

After rinsing your face, it’s time to hydrate and moisturize! You can now use any good moisturizer or serum that you regularly use for skincare. Extra hydration will help hydrate the skin. Using a steaming machine can enhance the effect of the serum and other skincare products, so use products that target the skin issues you want to improve. 

If you want to boost hydration, use serums like Neutrogena HydroBoost Serum with hyaluronic acid. Any lactic acid or hyaluronic acid serum will work well here (but avoid those with retinol for this purpose).

You can also choose those with anti-aging properties for a collagen boos,t if your main concern is to help slow down the aging process of your skin. 

Check out our look at Anti-Aging Devices for more ideas to add to your beauty routine.

5. Use A Mask

Depending on your skin type, you can use a mask before or after the steaming procedure. Those who have dry skin can benefit well from using a moisturizing mask like this Green Tea Mud Mask before steaming. 

For other masks like clay masks, you can use them after steaming as the steaming process will also enhance the absorption of the various ingredients in the mask.

You can also use sheet masks after the face steaming session. The cool temperature of the sheet masks will help further help your skin. 

We’ve put together a list of our favorite homemade face masks for after steaming.

6. Moisturize Your Skin

More moisturization!

Moisturizing your skin with a Vitamin E Cream or moisturizing lotion like this Clinique Dramatically Different is important after steaming. Steaming can dry out the skin, though it seems counterintuitive.

And if you don’t moisturize, your skin will compensate by producing more oil. That can lead to further blocking of your pores and irritation. So remember to moisturize your skin after steaming or after applying your serums and masks. 

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7. Massage Your Face

After applying skincare products after steaming, it is also a good idea to massage your face. A gentle massage can really soothe the skin and have you looking and feeling fresher.

You can do this with your fingers, by gently tapping on your face. Tapping on your face gently helps with blood circulation all over the face, and it also helps the skincare products to be absorbed better. 

If you wish, you can also use facial rollers like jade rollers that massage the face. Facial rollers also help with lymphatic drainage, so you’re likely to look puffy after.

It helps with the circulation of the lymphatic fluid when you move the jade rollers, which is to roll it towards the ear where the lymph nodes are located. 

For massaging under the eyes, it is best to use gentle taps with the fingers or gentle pressure by using the rollers. Start from your inner eye towards the outer corner. Do a similar motion like this for your eyebrows. 

8. Ice Your Face After Steaming

The steam from a facial steamer will “open” the pores. Freezing ice, on the other hand, will “close” them back up. When you’re done the steaming process, you can use ice to close up your pores and wrap up the process.

Don’t put the ice directly on your face. Use a towel or other protection to soften the chill so that it’s not too intense.


Let’s look at how steaming works based on your skin type.

What To Do After Steaming Face For Oily Skin

If you’ve got oily skin, you may find that steaming will bring out the oils in your skin. It will seem oilier than normal after you’re done steaming. A gentle toner can help counteract that oil and restore your skin’s balance.

What To Do After Steaming Face For Dry Skin

For dry skin, you want to focus on moisturizing and hydration. As mentioned above, strange as it seems, face steaming can actually lead to dry skin!

Really focus on finding the right hyaluronic acid serum to lock in moisture, and seal it all in with a high-quality moisturizer or toner.

What To Do After Steaming Face For Sensitive Skin

If you’ve got sensitive skin, finding the right products is always a challenge. Stick to using a simple cleanser with no fragrances or perfumes added, and finish with a mild toner (non-alcohol).


How Long Should You Steam Your Face?

You only need a few minutes to steam your face and reap the benefits! Usually, 5-10 minutes of facial steaming will do great for your skin. When steaming, make sure that you keep a little bit of distance from your source of steam to prevent harming your skin and drying it up. 

If you are using a bowl and some hot water, it should still feel comfortable. If not, then you should allow the water to cool down a bit. You don’t want to scald your skin.

You just want gentle heat that could help prep the skin for the next skincare procedure. If your steamer is compatible with herbs, it’s definitely worth adding some herbs to your facial steamer.


How Often Should You Steam Your Face? 

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Steaming the face is usually done once a week. It can be tempting to use your facial steamer every day, but too many steaming sessions won’t do your skin any good.

The process can dry up your face, and eventually irritate it. Some users may develop redness after steaming.

This will usually go away but it may stay if you overdo your steaming sessions. 

It is best to listen to your skin. If you feel uncomfortable, then stop and adjust. You just might need to back away or lessen the amount of time you steam your face.

Start slow and as you regularly do it, you’d be able to figure out how long your skin really needs to steam to reap the benefits. 


How Do You Close the Pores after Steaming?

The pores don’t necessarily open through steaming but the process of steaming helps unclog the pores. When the clogs on the pores are removed, they can improve the absorption of your skincare products.

They also appear smaller because there is no need for them to stretch and dilate due to the block.

It is possible to tighten the pores but it won’t necessarily close as it is designed to be open to release oils for a healthy skin barrier. Cleaning the pores will naturally tighten them.

As mentioned above, you can gently run ice over your face (with a towel) to complete the steaming process.


What Comes First, Steaming or Scrubbing?

Some people prefer steaming first before scrubbing or exfoliation while others prefer the opposite. The reason why some people believe scrubbing should be done after steaming is that it opens up the pores and makes it easier to scrub the pores. 

On the contrary, others believe that it is best to exfoliate first before steaming. This will help remove the dead skin cells that could already be on the top of the pores. Steaming aids further by softening the skin and melting the sebum so that it can easily be removed. 

Either way, both procedures help in better cleansing the skin but just make sure not to scrub too hard or steam so close to the source that you irritate the skin. Be gentle with the skin on your face because it is delicate. 


What To Do Before Facial Steaming

Now that you’ve got a good sense of what to do after steaming your face, you may want a refresher on what to do before steaming your face. We’ve put together a complete article on what to do before the steaming process, but we will touch on the main points here.

One of the most important things you should do prior to steaming is to cleanse your face thoroughly.

Try to remove as much makeup as you can and wash your face to remove the dirt and impurities on the surface of your skin. 

Some people take the extra step and scrub or exfoliate before steaming. Most use a gentle exfoliating brush.

You’ll get better results if you exfoliate. Gently exfoliate the entire face to remove dead skin cells and get all the benefits of steaming.

However, you can choose to skip this step and move on to the steaming process if you prefer. Some people also prefer to do this exfoliating step after their steaming session. 

Making sure that you clean your face before you go for a facial steaming session will help prevent substances from blocking your pores. If you do not clean your face, there is also a chance for additional makeup, oils, and dirt to get stuck in your pores.

That is why cleansing your face is very important and shouldn’t be skipped. 


Final Thoughts

Steaming the face has several effects on the skin. It can help with cleansing the skin and it could also enhance the products you use after the procedure. After the procedure, rinsing out your skin is the simplest way to clean it further (oh, and don’t forget to clean your steamer, too!)

Additional extraction procedures can also be done on the pores if you’re dealing with acne or blackheads. 

Once cleaning is done, you can apply various skincare products like serums, lotions, masks, and moisturizers. These will be better absorbed by the skin due to prepping it with steam.

However, you should also remember that steaming can be drying so limiting to once a week use is best. Moisturizing the face afterward is also a very important step.

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).