Well, hello there! I'm Rachel 🙂
Before I Iaunch into my comprehensive guide on everything to do with this exfoliation topic, I understand that some people don't have time to read an entire guide. Some people simply just want to to know which face steamer is the best.
That's no problem! Simply click on the link below and you’ll see a summary table of the three machines that we at the Health Base believe are the bets on the today's market.
As always, though, I recommend that you read the entire guide in order to get the full benefit of our research.
- Changeable Nozzle
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There are many ways to care for your skin. A method that is quickly gaining traction in the healthcare niche is that of face steaming. This method is a relatively new cleansing technique – in terms of being mainstream.
As a result, there has been a recent explosion of new products as companies and brands try to capitalize on this newly popular niche.
Before the recent home DIY product boom, you would have to go to a spa or specialist in order to get such a cleansing session. If, like me, you have experienced such a visit then you will no doubt attest to the benefits.
Not too long ago, availing of such a treatment used to be a novel thing.
It used to be a treat – a day out at the local spa. However, now, thanks to modern technology, you can enjoy the benefits and pleasure of a hot cleanse from the comfort of your home. So, the question is…how to know which is the best product? How to sift through the fake and over branded rubbish in order to find the gem? That’s where we, the dedicated Health Base Team, enter into the equation.
To cut straight to the point – we’ve done the legwork so you won’t have to. It’s as simple as that. We’ve done the necessary research and testing so that you can buy a product without worrying about trying to gauge its quality.
Now, we always advise that people do their own research before committing to buying a product. Who has the time though? There are so many products in every niche imaginable that it’s just not feasible to crawl through all the reviews. That’s why we have an entire team to do it!!
Therefore, without further ado, we at the Health Base present the Comprehensive Guide to Facial Steaming. This guide, as alluded to already, will help you navigate the plethora of products that are available nowadays. We have narrowed down this mountain of brands to three that we believe are the leading contenders.
In addition, we will also address everything and anything that you might need to know about this cleansing method. This includes such things like how the process actually works; the benefits it bestows upon your complexion; the ins and outs of the actual machines; some vital tips; and a lot more must know knowledge.
So, let’s get to it!
How Does it Work?
Essentially, it works the same way as any exfoliating process. The machine in question pumps out warm steam which works to open the pores of your skin in a clean, healthy manner. This means you can then remove any impurities from your pores.
Once you have one of these home machines/kits at your disposal, the only other ingredient that you need is water. The water needs to be added to the steamer’s water tank before the process can begin.
Pretty much all the leading brands will advise that you only use mineral or distilled water. And if they don’t, then we at the Health Base would strongly advise you to look elsewhere when you're purchasing!
The reason for this is simple – impure water will result in impure mist as well as a possible chemical buildup within your new machine. Neither of which will help with your exfoliation process.
So, that's how this cleansing process actually works. But the question remains...should you use this technique? Is it worth the effort and, more importantly, is it worth the financial investment! Well, up next I'll explain that yes is the answer to both these questions!
The benefits of this cleansing method are as numerous as they are varying. Below we have compiled a list of the top benefits. We believe that they are ample proof that this exfoliation method is an essential healthcare activity.
1st Benefit - Vital for the Exfoliation Process
In order to exfoliate properly, one thing has to be done first. This is that your pores have to be opened. Without doing this, you won’t be able to clean out the array of gunk that can clog up these pores.
Such things like dead cells, sebum/oil, hair follicles, and dirt lead to our pores becoming blocked. This in turn can then lead to acne or skin blemishes.
The exfoliation process works to prevent this by cleaning out pores.
In terms of opening pores, there is nothing better than warm mist which works far better than water as it can seep into the skin on a more penetrating level.
2nd Benefit - Removes Unwanted Substances
Helps with the removal of unwanted substances – as we go about our daily lives, our complexions get dirty. That might not be the most pleasant thought, but it’s a true one! Our faces are the part of the body that are eternally exposed to the world. Therefore, we’re going to get grubby faced every now and again! 🙂
A good steam helps to soften and remove some of these substances. When sebum/oil is exuded from our pores, it can then harden on the skin’s surface once exposed to air. Cleansing with warm mist helps to soften this build up and even remove it. This also works similarly for existing black- and whiteheads.
3rd Benefit - Increases Blood Circulation
- Warm water or mist helps to increase the blood flow to the area of the body that it comes in contact with. This is why your face turns red when you have a hot shower!
- Increased blood circulation has the incredible benefit of expediting the healing process. With regards to your face, this means that steaming helps with the healing of any acne or other possible blemishes. This, overall, stimulates anti-aging processes to occur in your skin.
4th Benefit - Eases Sinus Problems
This particular benefit was one that instantly appealed to me. For years I struggled (badly) with sinus issues. Even to the point where I considered getting surgery. Thankfully, I pursed some other options first. One of these options was facial steaming. I soon found that it worked super for my sinuses. The warm mist almost instantly opens up my nasal passages as the moisture heats the nasal blood vessels. This causes them to be less restricted.
On top of this, the warm water also clears out any allergens that may have accumulated in the interior of my nasal passage. These allergens are what cause your nose to close up in the first place.
Steaming also helps with headaches or other forms of congestion that can occur from allergies. If you are unfortunate enough to be like me, and to be allergy prone, then I strongly recommend that you try this cleansing technique. It provides instant relief and is a real life saver when your allergies are at their worst.
5th Benefit - Works as a Humidifier
The benefits of owning a humidifier are numerous. They are hugely beneficial for your health; your skin; and indeed your home. In layman terms, humidifiers work to put moisture back into the air. These machines help to regulate the humidity of a certain environment. This can result in many advantages.
Humidifiers are most commonly used in the winter time when the air is dry. A prominent benefit of humidifiers can be seen in a highly researched study that was produced in 2013. This study, which has been accredited by many institutions, showed that the lower the humidity in an environment then the more likelihood of viruses and infections spreading.
This body of research categorically proved that by raising the humidity of an environment, this worked to decrease the impact of the aforementioned ailments. The best way to raise humidity in a place is by using a humidifier.
There’s nothing worse than being sick in winter. The days are darker for longer. The weather is bleak and unforgiving. So the last thing you need is for your health to suffer as well! Face steamers with humidifying capabilities can greatly reduce the occurrence of this. This is definitely something to keep in mind when purchasing a home machine.
6th Benefit - Induces Relaxation
This benefit is a personal favorite of mine! Yes, there are a lot of physical benefits to a facial steam. The ones we have covered thus far and many more. However, and this often goes unacknowledged, these machines also offer an incredible benefit of a psychological nature. What am I talking about? The vital act of relaxation, of course!!
In the modern world, relaxing is something that is very much underrated. Life is hectic, the older you get the more that this becomes apparent. The stress, responsibilities, and frantic pace of life can really be quite tough. This is the case for everyone! Now, I’ve heard some people use the saying that they’ll ‘rest when they’re dead’. This sounds so impressive. It sounds so admirable. It also sounds like a sure way of having a mid-life crisis!! You, me, everyone, needs to relax every now and again. Only be doing this can we allow the stress and strain of the day to melt out of our bodies.
The cleansing method I'm discussing here today is a fantastic way of achieving this. No matter how bad or hectic your day has been, to have the ability to unwind is something that everyone should have in their lives. A home unit allows you to do just this – to close your eyes for half an hour or so and just unwind.
The warm mist will soothe your mind and ease the tension that’s been gradually building at your temple all day. It will leave you refreshed and re-energized, ready for the next challenge. Trust me, there have been days and weeks where I’ve been completely reliant on a good steaming session to get me through till the weekend!
For a more thorough look at the benefits of this technique, feel free to check out my article where I discuss the Top 10 Benefits!
Home Facial Steamers - The Quality Checklist
As with every product, there are things that you should be checking before you make your purchase. The same goes for this product – boxes need to be ticked or else you shouldn’t be buying!
We at the Health Base call this the Quality Checklist. Basically, as we do our research on a product, we compile a list of things that the product in question needs to have. This list, depending on how many boxes are checked, will decide whether the product is one of quality or lacking thereof.
When it came to home machines, we judged that there were eleven boxes that needed ticking for a brand to gain our approval of their product. Well, in reality, eight or nine ticked boxes are more than sufficient to deliver a quality product.
Box 1 – Pricing
Up first is arguably the most important factor of all when it comes to purchasing products. How much does it cost? And is the product worth that price?
Essentially, the question that needs to be answered here is whether or not the product is cost effective. Does its value mirror its cost and is it the best cost per value version of this product on the market.
When it comes to a home unit, there are an abundance of products out there. To make matters even more confusing, they all appear to offer the same services at different valuations!! The good news is that you won’t have to sell your car in order to afford a good one.
There are a lot of home machines that go for $100+….STEAR CLEAR!!! These products are ridiculously overpriced. Often a brand with a worldwide known name will add on an extra 20% to their cost price. They do this because they know a certain percentage of people will buy their product for the brand name alone. Cough Panasonic cough. 😉
Our advice is to stay away from such clear rip offs. Instead, stick with brands that have a reputable name but not one that’s going to take advantage of you. This is the case for the three brands that we have chosen. Their products are well priced without any extra add-ons.
VERDICT: In-between $30 to $70 is all that you should be spending on this particular product. The KingdomBeauty and KingdomCares are exceptional value for money. The Okachi model is slightly more expensive but still very affordable for what you get – it all depends on your preference.
Box 2 – Capacity/Volume
The next important element is the capacity of the water container that is attached to the overall unit. It is simple enough to calculate what you should be looking for. The bigger the water container then the longer your session can be.
A key misconception that people make is that they go for the one with the biggest container possible. Sounds good? Wrong. The massive container usually only equates to unnecessarily overpriced product!
This is the case for two reasons. Firstly, a sauna session should only last for 15-20 mins max. This is the agreed upon time by beauty professionals. This is when you get the maximum benefits out of the session. Any longer is really just a waste of time and effort and it may cause your skin to become irritated.
Secondly, you should never leave excess water in your steamer when you're done. You should always empty it when the session is finished, allowing the machine and container to dry. Therefore, why would you need a container that contains enough water for two hours’ worth of steaming? Simply put, you don’t!
From our tests, an 80 ml – 100 ml tank is ideal for a such a session. Anything less than this and you won’t get your 15-20 minutes worth of mist. Anything more and you’ll just be wasting water!
VERDICT: All three machines tick the box when it comes to the correct water container capacity. 80-100ml delivers a great session so you cannot go wrong with any of these products in that regard. The Okachi model is 20ml smaller, but we did find that the mist it emitted was of a better quality.
This is a contentious one. The supposed aim of the ozone function is to sterilize the mist that is being emitted from your home machine. This is done via a UV lamp built into the machine. It’s meant to ensure that there are no impurities present.
However, it is disputed amongst enthusiasts of this topic (and even amongst the Health Base Team) as to whether this is legit. Is it really needed? Or is it a gimmick brands incorporate in order to raise the price?
On one hand, the mist that comes out of these machines measures at 100 degrees Celsius – surely hot enough to kill any germs or bacteria? In addition to this, if you were to clean your device on a regular basis and empty it after every use then that should really be enough in terms of keeping it hygienic.
The argument to this would be, why take the risk? What happens if you forget to clean it? Or something happens out of your control that contaminates the machine? Then surely wouldn’t it be reassuring to know you have the ozone function as a last line of defense?
Look, it’s a tricky one! I personally can’t make up my mind. It really is up to you to decide. I think these units are perfectly safe without the ozone function, but then again what’s the harm once it doesn’t cost you extra money.
VERDICT: Funnily enough, the KingdomBeauty and –Cares units have the ozone function, yet cost less than the Okachi! As stated before, though, it really is up to your own judgement in terms of this box. Tick? Leave unticked? I personally don’t think it matters a great deal either way.
Box 4 – Steam Quality
This obviously is a key element of this whole enterprise. Before the actual units came onto the market in such numbers, people were reliant on more mundane methods to exfoliate via steam. The usual method was to simply fill a bowl with boiling water, put a towel over your head, then lean over the bowl with your eyes closed. Sure, it’s a cheap way to do it, but not exactly super effective!!
So then, what makes these machines more effective? Well, simply, because they’ve been scientifically manufactured to be so. These products use heat from ceramic elements along with an ultrasonic vaporizer. This results in superfine nano-steam that works its way into our skin in a smooth fashion. This makes the opening of pores and exfoliation process super quick as well as super effective.
I personally have experimented with a variety of different exfoliating techniques…and yes, this includes the head over the bowl trick!! What I’ve found is that these home machines deliver a far purer and comprehensive cleansing experience. No other method I’ve tried can really compare.
A secondary element of mist quality lies in the speed in which the mist is emitted from the steamer. An ideal flow is steady and strong. Once there are no disturbances in the flow then you are onto a winner.
WARNING: the mist that comes from face steamers registers at roughly 100 degrees Celsius. It therefore goes without saying that you do not want such a hot substance coming in contact with your bare skin.
When I’m using my own unit, I usually keep a distance of about 10 inches/ 25.5 centimeters. This allows for the projecting steam to cool down sufficiently before it reaches my skin. This distance results in the mist being roughly 40-50 degrees Celsius – the ideal temperature.
Of course, there is an element of subjectivity to this as well. Some people may like a hotter experience and move that little closer. While others may find 10 inches too uncomfortable and prefer to take a step back. The main thing to keep in mind is to take care and apply some common sense!
VERDICT: I have given the Okachi Gliya the slight edge over the Kingdom Beauty and –Cares models. I found that the Okachi’s mist was just that little bit better in terms of flow and quality. Though, it must be noted that the other two are also of a very high quality.
Box 5 – Maximum Steam Duration
This relates to how long the machine will operate for with a full water container. As said before, the ideal steaming process should last 15-20 mins. Therefore, this is the time range that you should be looking for.
It must be noted that if you’re looking for a session that doesn’t just include your face – like perhaps also your hair – then a larger tank would be needed. Also, if you intend to use your unit for aromatherapy purposes then, again, a larger container would probably better suit you.
OPERATING TIME W/ FULL TANK
VERDICT: All three brands deliver an ideal cleansing time period without wasting any water.
Box 6 – Warmup Time
This is very important if you happen to be a busy person or perhaps one short on patience! In a world where we have so much going on and so little time in which to work with, speed is fast (no pun intended!) becoming a top priority.
The same goes for steaming. You really don’t want to be waiting half an hour just for your home kit to warm up to the necessary level. A top of the range version should take no longer than three minutes to warm up. It should then be in prime condition for a thorough steaming session.
This also goes back to the water container capacity. The larger the container, then the longer the time it will take to heat. So, not only is getting a unit with a massive container pointless in terms of a the actual session, it’s also counterproductive in terms of warm up time.
TOP TIP: if you’re in a real rush, then simply use warm water. This will significantly quicken up the warming up process.
VERDICT: as can be seen, the Okachi and KingdomCare units take roughly half the time to warm up than the KingdomBeauty model. Though, waiting one or two minutes instead of 30 seconds or so isn’t exactly worthy of a negative mark.
Box 7 – Automatic Shutoff Function
The vast majority of home machines have this function incorporated into their design. They will shut off automatically as soon as the water container has emptied. In saying that, it is still prudent to tick this box.
Why? Well, there is an inherent danger involved with buying such a product that does not have the Automatic Shutoff function. This danger lies in the potential damage that could be caused to the unit if it was left running without any water. Not to mention the waste of electricity!
In addition, it’s not uncommon for people to nod off during a steaming session – such is the relaxation provided. Therefore, the Automatic Shutoff function delivers peace of mind as well.
VERDICT: All three of our top picks have the Auto Shutoff function so no problems on that front.
Box 8 – Optional Features
When you buy such a machine, your sole preoccupation should be whether or not it delivers a professional experience. This, after all, is the whole purpose.
However, in an effort to boost attractiveness and thus their sales, some brands include optional features to try and entice customers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Being given extra stuff is always welcome…once you’re aware as to the reason behind that extra stuff. Don’t be charmed into buying an inferior product, or perhaps an overpriced one, just because you get a whole load of add-ons with it.
Below are some potential optional features and what we thought about them:
- Changeable nozzle – this allows you to redirect the mist in whatever direction suits you. This is a handy feature but certainly not something that is vital.
- Hair steaming – a special attachment comes with certain unit that allows for hair steaming. Basically, it’s a shower cap that attaches to the machine via a plug. Again, this is a useful feature but not vital if you’re only interested in a facial steam. Also, it’s important to note that if you want to steam both your face and hair in the same session then you’d have to refill the water container (if it’s an 80-100ml machine) or purchase a unit with a larger container.
- Mirror – this feature is exactly what it sounds like! Why would you want/need a mirror? I’m still not exactly sure!
- Humidifier and towel warmer – such is the heat that the home machines emit; they can also be used to warm/dry towels, or be used as humidifiers. As we have noted already, adding a humidifier to your household can have massive benefits for your standard of living – especially in the winter time.
- Aromatherapy compatibility – for more on this please look at our section that discusses the relevant product. Be sure to also check out our article on the Best 5 essential oils.
- Changeable nozzle
VERDICT: to be honest, this part of the criteria isn’t one that I’m particularly fussed about. These optional features really are just gimmicks that shouldn’t come into the equation when you’re thinking about purchasing a steamer. There are far more important things to consider!
What do I mean by durability? Well, when you buy a product, any product, you want to have peace of mind that it will last the test of time. It’s no good if it falls to pieces after a few months!
The problem lies in the fact that it’s very hard to judge durability without a thorough testing period. The product may indeed look the real deal. It may look like it could stop a bullet. It also, in reality, could be made of cheap, breakable materials!
Unless you understand the manufacturing process and components involved, then it can be quite hard to gauge the durability of something. So, in order to ensure durability, we at the Health Base made it our mission to understand what was needed in the physical composition of a face steamer so as to guarantee durability.
Another element to take into consideration is the weight. Yes, you want a home unit that is durable and sturdy. But you also want one that is light enough to easily transport or move from room to room. Asking for too much? Nonsense!
Nowadays, there are continual breakthroughs in every field. Therefore, it is more than reasonable to expect a product such as the one we're examining here to consist of materials that are both light and durable. Don’t let any limiting beliefs diminish your expectations!
VERDICT: We were quite taken with the design and durability of the Okachi Gliya. So much so, that we very nearly did some extreme tests on it! Throwing it down a stairs was mentioned once, I believe. 🙂 The Kingdom Beauty and –Cares units are also very durable. Overall, we could find no manufacturing faults with any of the three products in question.
Box 10 – Sound
A key element to any type of relaxation exercise or session is the ambience. Noise, or lack thereof, plays a huge role in whether the correct ambience is created.
In regards to a facial steamer, the ideal noise level is silence! There is nothing worse than a noisy machine – especially when you’re trying to relax. Even if you’re not worried about relaxing, and instead just looking to exfoliate, silence is still preferable to a sound a machine can make when in operation.
A silent unit also allows for the addition of some soothing music. Perhaps some therapeutic undertones. Whatever you like!
VERDICT: All three brands supply a product that is pretty much undetectable when in operating mode. Tick, tick, and tick!
Box 11 – Warranty
There is one common piece of advice that we give in every guide. That is…READ THE SMALL PRINT!!! If you haven’t up to this point, then it’s time to make a change!
Seriously though, you are investing hard earned money into a product or service. You owe it to yourself to ensure that you know the full story. A key element of this is the warranty.
It’s very rare that you'll buy a faulty product. Or one that you detest to such a level that you have to bring it back. But it does happen! Just last month I was forced to bring back a toaster that insisted on cremating my toast instead of “lightly” toasting it. 🙁 These things happen. And, in the modern world where houses are using tonnes of appliances, these things will happen more often!
So, what to look for in a warranty? In terms of a home machine, nothing less than a 1 year guarantee will suffice. Anything less is useless. It’s as simple as that. You need a proper amount of time to try out the steamer to see that A) it’s working correctly, and B) it suits the need you bought it for. These questions cannot be accurately answered after just a few months of use.
VERDICT: As alluded to, when it comes to warranty then the longer the better. 1 year is plenty enough time to fully gauge a steaming unit, but 2 years does give you that extra 12 months of protection. It really does depend on your preference.
Using Your Home Kit
So far we have discussed what you should be looking for in a face steamer with our Quality Checklist. We have also covered the benefits that come with owning one of these machines.
However, none of this matters if you don’t know how to actually steam!
You may think that it's pretty self-explanatory. It is, for the most part. But there are a few pointers that can really help so we have made sure to incorporate them into our guide.
We’re aiming for “comprehensive” after all! 😉
A key mistake that people make is that they rush in. They buy one of the first products they see. They go home. They switch on the machine. They begin their session…and completely ignore the instructions supplied with the machine!
The vast majority of people discard instruction manuals, or at best skim through them. Don’t feel too bad if this sounds like you, I’m not much better! I often only open these manuals once something goes wrong!
In all honesty though, when it comes to face steamers, it really is worth your while to read the instruction manual. The reason for this is because different brands often have differing instructions in how to use their particular model.
Thankfully, though, a common set of steps covers how to use the majority of the brands on the market today. We have outlined these below. Oh, and if you follow them, it’ll probably save you the effort of reading the manuals despite my earlier advice!
Create a Home-Sauna
If you want a more sauna-like experience, then simply place a towel over your head whilst steaming. This will funnel both the heat and the impact of the mist.
Just be careful, it could get quite toasty underneath that towel!!
It’s best to begin the exfoliating process directly after your session. Your face will be at its most receptive at this time.
This will ensure that you remove the maximum amount of unwanted substances that may have accumulated on your face.
Always make sure that you visit your local doctor or dermatologist if you feel you’re suffering from any skin related maladies.
Whether it be rosacea, dermatitis, eczema, it's always best to first see your local medical expert before making any other plans
An Extra Exfoliating Step
It can be a good idea to use a mild facial cleanser before you begin your session. Some people swear by this. I’m not saying that they’re wrong, but I personally don’t adhere to this added step.
I find that steaming and then exfoliating works perfectly. However, it's worth a try if indeed you’re looking for that extra exfoliating measure.
Purify Your Machine
As with most machines, there often can be a manufacturing aftertaste when first bought. This can take the form of a plastic or chemical smell in your facial steamer.
To remove these unwanted elements, simply run your unit for its full extent before your first session. You may have to do this several times. Eventually, however, any residue will be removed from the machine.
Just as you should clean your machine before its first use, you should also always ensure to clean the unit after every session.
This is best achieved by washing your machine out and then drying it. This will make certain that no mold grows within the water container.
During your steam, it is quite natural to sweat a fair amount. The heat that accompanies a sauna/steaming session will do this to a body!
This is why it is important to replenish your bodily fluids once you have finished. It is also wise to make sure you’re probably hydrated before you being the session.
Your Skin - Only the Best
Steaming and exfoliating work to open up your pores. This allows for the easy absorption of anything that comes into contact with your skin.
Therefore, it goes without saying that you will only want to use the best of the best when it comes to ingredients.
This includes the water you use; the essential oils; the facial scrubs; the facial masks; the aromatherapy herbs; and the moisturizer.
Avoid Possible Irritation
The majority of people will have no negative reaction at all. It is a completely natural experience so, for most of us, nothing but goodness will come from it. However, it is possible that some people might have an adverse reaction.
People who suffer from dry skin conditions may find that the mist will cause irritation as it will further dry out the surface of your face.
A handy way to avoid this is to apply some hydrating serum or even a facial mask before you start. This will give you face some added protection while still allowing you to reap the rewards of a good steam.
Fear Not the Red Face
Steaming is a natural, therapeutic process. The heat used results in an increase of the blood flow in your face. This will automatically bring a flush to the skin’s surface.
Don’t fret, though, there is no harm in this whatsoever! The redness will soon subside and your face will return to its natural shade.
What Does Nano Ionic Mean?
If you have looked into buying a face steamer you will see the same phrase popping up continuously – Nano Ionic. But what exactly does this phrase mean? And what does it mean in regards to this exfoliating method?
The word ionic has been an ever present term in the beauty industry for quite a while now. The scientific explanation of ionic is the following: the use of negative ions to diminish the effects of positively charged ions.
When this overall charge becomes neutral, a smooth session is the result. This in turn results in the perfect exfoliating environment.
Nano, on the other hand, is universally known as meaning “small”. In terms of a facial misting, it applies to the small particles that are emitted by these machines.
I know this a very simplistic explanation but hopefully this helps you understand the science a little better!
How to Clean Your Machine?
As with any machine, it’s important that you keep your unit in pristine condition. This is vital in order to keep the machine working at its optimum level. Much like ensuring that your car has enough oil or that isn’t making funny noises when you brake!! Not good.
It can be tricky cleaning some products. There are many that are quite difficult to clean, especially those of a mechanical nature. We at the Health Base have foreseen this problem and so have put together what we think is the best method of cleaning any variety of face steamer.
Step by Step Method:
How Often Should You Steam?
There is no definitive answer to this question. The best way to figure out how often to avail of this practise is to first identify which category your type of skin falls into. This will make it a lot easier to establish your exfoliating routine.
“I’m obsessed with cleanliness for myself. I will take a bath three times a day, sometimes a steam twice a day in addition to that.”
- Simon Cowell
Thankfully, not all of us have Mr. Cowell’s obsession!! Honestly, who has the time for three baths and two steams in a single day?! Luckily, the amount of sessions that your skin requires can be broken down into a more manageable routine. Take a look below to see which routine suits you best:
IMPORTANT NOTE: If your skin is of a sensitive nature, then it’s always best that you first visit a dermatologist before you begin a steaming routine. Safety first, after all!
The Two Big Myths
MYTH 1 – There are NO Detox Benefits
This is one that we constantly came across as we researched this topic. We’d hear things like “face steaming is a gimmick”; “it was invented by big brands just so that they could sell their products”; or “there is no scientific proof that it works”. Wrong, wrong, and exceptionally wrong!
For centuries people have been using all forms of warm water to open their pores so they can exfoliate. Whether this be water; steam; or mist, this method has been employed all over the world in a variety of forms.
In terms of the science, it is absolutely undisputed that steaming helps with the exfoliation process.
Actually, forget the science, it’s simply common sense!! In order to exfoliate, you first need to open your pores so you can then clean them out. Warm, prolonged steaming accomplishes this at a fast rate. Simples!
With regards to the “quick buck” conspiracy theory, it’s true that brands have capitalized on the rapid popularity in this niche by creating a whole host of products. But, well, what else were they going to do?! That’s what businesses and brands do! They spot markets that are on the rise and they apply their resources to get a bit of the pie for themselves.
It’s important to understand that the above does not equate to poor or gimmicky products. It’s in the best interest of these brands to supply top range products that actually work. Delivering anything else will only work to undermine the brand’s credibility – something that every company is keen to avoid.
Of course you’re going to get dodgy brands and unethical businesses, but thankfully these are at a minimum because of the reason I outlined above.
MYTH 2 – It DOES NOT Open Pores
As you may have guessed from Myth 1, this second one is also a load of hogwash. It has been proven in so many ways that warm moisture has a certain effect on your skin. That effect being to open up facial pores.
It’s much the same way that cold water has the opposite ability of closing pores. That’s why it is always best to exfoliate with this bookend method – start with warm water, end with cold water.
In addition, warm water also helps to loosen dirt or excess sebum/oil on the surface of you face. This helps greatly with the exfoliation process.
Aromatherapy Facial Steamers
If you were to Google aromatherapy then you would get a definition along the lines of: Aromatherapy is the use of plant materials and oils such as essential oils and aroma compounds. It serves to increase both physical and psychological well-being.
Even though the above is quite regularly used to describe aromatherapy, there is in fact no scientific proof that aromatherapy helps with any physical or mental maladies. However, it is generally believed that the practice does indeed work to improve the general well-being of the user.
“A steamer is like an inhaler, so you can inhale this oil or frankincense or eucalyptus. Before I go onstage, I spend half an hour taking in that steam, and it saves my life!”
- Rita Ora
Perhaps it is a placebo effect? Or perhaps it is something that one day will be shown to have medical value? Nobody knows just yet. It is important, however, to know all the facts before buying an aromatherapy product.
Aromatherapy face steam machines allow for substances such as essential oils to be added to the water container. This then provides a therapeutic element to the overall session.
What are essential oils? Essentially, (pun intended this time!) these oils are substances that have been extracted from Mother Nature. Found in sources like leaves, bark, roots, fruit and flowers, these concentrated substances work to give a natural fragrance to your surroundings.
Examples of essential oils:
IMPORTANT: I must add that if you are interested in incorporating essential oils into your beauty routine, then a top quality Diffuser is a far better option. This is simply because diffusers have been specifically designed to get the best out of essential oils.
If you're new to essential oils but are intrigued, then please take a look at our review on essential oil Starter Kits.
However, if using essential oils is very much a secondary concern, but you would like to experiment with these oils, then please read the below section.
Vital Tips: Non-Aromatherapy Steamers
As stated before, this guide really just focuses on facial steaming. This therefore is represented in the home machines that we have evaluated and chosen as the best on the market today.
Saying this, there are a few vital tips that you need to know if you intend to buy a machine that isn’t set up for aromatherapy. They are as follows:
Don’t place essential oils or herbs into the water container – placing such substances into a container of warm water will cause pressure to build. This will then result in spitting water; moisture clogging the machine; or even the container cracking. This, ultimately, could prove disastrous for your steamer!
It must be added that these substances are fine as long as the machine in question has an aromatherapy function. Such products are usually equipped with an apparatus at the nozzle entrance where it’s possible to add a drop or two of your preferred essential oil or herb to the water.
Adding an aromatherapy element – if you do not possess an aromatherapy face steamer, it is still possible to add an aromatherapy element to your session. This can be achieved by simply dotting some drops of your favorite natural oil onto your hands or onto a cloth. Then simply place your hands/the cloth close to where the warm mist is being emitted. This will create a pleasant aromatherapy ambiance.
Obviously this will not have the same impact that an aromatherapy designed face steam machine will have. Nonetheless, it’s a nice trick to know if you want to experiment with aromatherapy or just try something new!
Personally, I use a drop or two of peppermint (an essential oil) or basil every now and again if I’m feeling super stressed or tired. I find that these two oils in particular really add to the relaxation element of my steaming session. Oh, and they smell great!! 🙂
Take a look at our Comprehensive Guide on Essential Oils for more information.
Beware the Brand
We live in a world obsessed with brand names. No matter how frugal or conscious of branding that you are, you cannot help but have your head turned by the top brands.
The reason for this is simple – these brands have spent millions, if not billions, of dollars on making it this way! They burn through fortunes every year with one clear goal in mind: to find out what is attractive to the human eye and then to exploit this to the fullest.
Their efforts come in the form of extensive research, testing, and trials. The end result is that we as consumers are bombarded with logos, advertisements, songs, and the other wide ranging elements that go into a promotional campaign. No expense is spared when it comes to understanding the human mind in order to appeal to the consumer nature within.
And it works big time!! The majority of us, in some regard, make our purchases based on brand name rather than any other criteria. Why? Because subconsciously we trust these massive brands! They are after all well known, household names so why wouldn’t we trust them?
However, just because a brand is world famous, this doesn’t necessarily guarantee top quality products. For the most part, the top brands usually get their production spot on – they cannot afford to make rubbish products one after the other. Yet, sometimes, a rubbish one is exactly what emerges.
Such a product is clearly evident in Panasonic’s attempt. Panasonic is a massive brand name that delivers some of the best products that dominate numerous niches. However, the steaming niche is most certainly not one of those niches.
This Panasonic machine has a capacity/volume of just 30 ml. This is a full 50 ml short of what I believe is the necessary amount of water needed for a proper cleansing session. That by itself is a staggering misstep by Panasonic. It doesn’t get any better.
In addition, the mist quality of this product is noticeably inferior to the Okachi, KingdomBeauty and –Care models. Hell, it’s noticeably inferior to numerous brands! Also, in their ‘wisdom’, Panasonic have failed to incorporate an Automatic Shutoff function into their product.
This means that you would have to physically get up to turn off the unit when it’s done. This can prove problematic if you doze off during a session – something that often happens to me. A home unit running with no water in it can be very damaging for the machine.
The worst part? “All” of this is far more expensive when compared to the cost of the KingdomBeauty and –Cares models. This is madness as the Panasonic one comes nowhere near these two in terms of quality. The only good thing about the Panasonic option is that it comes with a two year money back guarantee…something that you’ll definitely need!!
All in all, we believe that the Panasonic unit is a perfect embodiment of how brand selling power can be so negative. Here is a product that is not particularly good at what it’s supposed to do and is also well overpriced. Yet, it sells.
Our advice is simple. Be smart. Buying a product created by a well-known brand is by no means a bad idea. But it also not a sure fire way to get a quality product. Keep that in mind and you’ll be able to spot the frauds easily enough!
Which One Suits You?
Well there you have it, that completes the Health Base’s comprehensive guide into this very popular health and beauty niche. As you may now see, there is quite a bit to consider when if you're musing about purchasing . I’ve covered all the vital areas so hopefully you are now confident enough to make the correct choice.
As mentioned throughout this guide, we at the Health Base have identified the three options that we believe are the top home products in this particular market. We used the criteria and knowledge accumulated in this guide to narrow down the seemingly endless options.
Below is another quick summary of these three models and their pertinent details:
- Changeable Nozzle
*Amazon Customer Reviews
Click for Best Price on Amazon:
*These review ratings are accurate as of the time this article was published. Click on the above buttons to see the up to date ratings & reviews. Our research into, and testing of, these products consisted of a lot more than just Amazon reviews. However, in this digital age, we understand that the vast majority of people take comfort in seeing good reviews from a reputable source. Therefore, we have included Amazon’s ratings for these products.
The Health Base Verdict
Cost effectiveness: in the end of the day, this is what it comes down to. Which of these face steamers offers the best value in relation to the money that they cost? This is the question that’s at the center of every purchase.
Such a product should cost between $30 - $70. Any less and it’s probably made from inferior materials. Any more and there’s no doubt that you’re being ripped off! As stated before, aromatherapy versions, or models that are designed to do more than just a facial session,can cost a bit more. But, for a pure face steam machine, $30 - $70 is what you should be looking to spend.
With regards to our Top Three, they all fall into this price range. The KingdomBeauty and –Cares models are exceptional value and you really cannot go wrong with either.
The Okachi model is a bit more expensive but I do believe that this is because of its slightly superior mist flow and quality. This unit is also quite a bit more durable than the Kingdom duo.
In terms of additional features like the Ozone function and extra add-ons, I really do believe that these aspects should be of a secondary concern. A face steamer should be about just that – facial steaming. Perhaps you could use the extra bits to separate the different products if you were really stuck between two? I certainly wouldn’t be making my whole decision based on this, though.
Verdict: All three of these products provide a top notch cleansing experience. They all deliver exactly what they are supposed to do. So, with that said, it really does come down to personal preference!
My personal preference is the Okachi. I own one of the Gliya models and I’ve never regretted my purchase for one instance. I’ve had it for quite some time now and have had no issues. Conversely, friends of mine own the KingdomBeauty or –Cares models and they attest to the same thing!
If you like the sound of our chosen home machine, then why not check out our complete Okachi Gliya review where we go into greater detail.
Join the Health Base Community! 🙂
On behalf of the Health Base team, I hope that this guide has been helpful as well as informative. With all our guides, we aim to be as comprehensive and as complete as humanly possible. We do not publish anything that is half-hearted or knowingly lacking in insight and knowledge.
However, we are only human! We openly admit to this. 🙂 While we are always on the lookout for new information and changing trends, we can only do so much. That’s where you come in!
We would be indebted to you if you could share your own experiences in the comment section below. We’d love to hear what has worked for you, or what hasn’t. Or perhaps you have some topic or knowledge that we have not included in our guide. Even just a solitary question could be hugely beneficial. Trust me, every little helps!
With that said, we hope that you will join our burgeoning Health Base community. We’d really value your input!
Wishing you the best health,
P.S. If you liked what you have read and want to further expand your knowledge on this area, then why not check out our related posts below. We will be adding new posts periodically.