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

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Treating yourself to a facial spa feels terrific afterward. You’ll feel refreshed, rejuvenated, relaxed, and simply more confident. However, you might not want to go to a spa or facial center nowadays because you are being cautious. Getting yourself one of the best facial steamers that you can easily use at home is a great alternative. 

But before you purchase your facial steamer, don’t forget to do some research first about how to properly use them, what to do before, and what to do after steaming your face. This will help you have a better experience and get the most out of your facial steamer. 

Today’s post is focused on what you do after your steaming session. Remember that steaming your face brings benefits and you can get the most out of it if you know what to do after your steaming session.

Also, we’ve also squeezed in a few pertinent pieces of information about the essential things to do before you start your steaming session. 

What To Do Before Steaming Your Face?

Before we discuss what you should do after steaming your face, let’s first remind you what you should do before the steaming process. One of the most important things you should do prior to steaming is to clean your face thoroughly.

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

Some people take the extra step of exfoliating their skin before steaming it. Most use a gentle exfoliating brush. This helps remove the dead skin cells on the skin.

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. 

What To Do After Steaming Your Face

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.

Wash Your Face After Steaming

First, rinse your face either with lukewarm or cold 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 cold water because they believe that it closes the pores, which is a myth because pores don’t open or close at all. 

However, they can stretch or tighten.

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 only loosen the block and wouldn’t open the pores because it is really open. 

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. 

Gently Dry With a Towel

Then, you can pat your face dry with a towel too. However, don’t rub your skin with a towel because that could damage your skin. It has already been through the heat and you wouldn’t want to cause harm to it by rubbing it with a towel. 

Use A Comedone Extractor

Simply rinsing your face after steaming is already of great help with your skin. 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 steaming session. This is especially true for those whose main concerns are blackheads.

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

Steam helps relax the pore so it isn’t tightened and it also helps soften whatever is blocking the pores. This makes it much easier to remove the blocks. 

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

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 properly use them. 

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 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 will also damage 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. 

Apply a Hydration Serum

After rinsing your face, you can now use any serum that you use for skincare. Steaming enhances the effect of the serum and other skincare products so use those that would target your current skin issues. 

If you want to boost hydration, use serums like Neutrogena HydroBoost Serum. You can also choose those with anti-aging properties, like Elizabeth Arden Prevage anti-aging system reviewed here 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.

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, 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 steaming session. The cool temperature of the sheet masks will help further soothe the skin. 

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

Moisturize Your Skin

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, oddly enough.

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

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Massage Your Face

After applying skincare products after steaming, it is also a good idea to massage your face. You can do this with your fingers. Tapping on your face gently helps with better 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. 

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.

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.

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 procedures. 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. 


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 preferred. 

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.

Salon owners, professionals, and enthusiasts may be interested in checking out a professional facial steamer to amp up their offerings.

Related Questions

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. 

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.

Written by Kayla Young

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