Skin Care MYTHS: Steaming the skin is beneficial to opening the pores before treatment.

Written by Tina Zillmann, L.E., C.L.H.R.P., founder and executive director of Advanced Rejuvenating Concepts

STATEMENT: Steaming the skin is beneficial to opening the pores before treatment.

Facts: Think twice before using steam in facial procedures. It may be more harmful than helpful. Clients with broken capillaries, facial redness, acne, or sensitive skin can experience adverse reactions from steaming, as it causes the skin to swell and sweat and the capillaries to dilate.
Acneic and oily skin types may experience an increase in breakouts and inflammation from steaming facials. They do not need steam to assist with extractions. Light chemical peels such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or a modified Jessner dissolve dead skin and reduce oil to help make extractions easy. Regular use of a chemical exfoliant at home can also help reduce the occurrence of acne blemishes and manage oil.
Clients with sensitive skin or rosacea may also experience increased inflammation from steam. Rosacea skin concerns or clients with broken capillaries present on the skin surface should not be subjected to steam or microdermabrasion. These facial tools can increase redness and worsen capillary damage. Opt for light chemical peels or ultrasonic therapy to help manage their skin.
In addition to skin concerns, there are topical products that can cause sensitivity. Prescription retinoids, cosmeceutical exfoliants, and products formulated for acne management can trigger sensitivity or topical dermatitis. In these cases, skin care professionals should exercise great caution before administering steam, enzymes, peels, or even basic facial waxing services to the skin. Always err on the side of caution to help give clients beneficial results and perpetuate good business referrals.

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