Facials: Should I Steam My Face Before or After Cleansing?

 Facials: Should I Steam My Face Before or After Cleansing?

A facial is an excellent way to restore your skin’s youthful appearance and just relax, but you shouldn’t have to worry if the components of your facial are in the right order. So let’s take a look at how facials work and whether you should steam your face before or after cleansing during a facial.

What to Know About Facials

What Can Facials Treat?

Facials are by far best known for how relaxing and rejuvenating they can be for our skin. A good facial is like a massage and a deep clean all in one, and it can really benefit your mental health in addition to your skin health. When you feel comfortable in your own skin, your mood can improve. So what can facials do besides help us relax?

There are some conditions facials can be fine tuned to treat or improve, including acne. Acne is an unsightly and annoying condition that can cause painful swelling and garish pimples. Acne facials are designed to treat the underlying causes of acne. While the goal of any facial is to cleanse the skin, acne cleanses use the big guns. During the exfoliation stage of your facial, salicylic or glycolic acid may be used. These acids help to destroy dead skin, flush out pores, and reduce the amount of oil on the skin’s surface.

An acne facial won’t be able to stop severe acne, but it can grant a reprieve for mild symptoms or a new breakout. Facials can also help to restore a youthful glow to aging skin. Many anti-aging facials employ alpha hydroxy acid or retinoids during the moisturizing phase. These can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and even out blemishes on the skin caused by aging.

Proper Facial Treatment: What Happens When?

A facial is made up of many different steps, and knowing the proper order can help ensure that your skin is getting the best results. So let’s answer the big question: should I steam my face before or after cleansing?

The first step of any facial is cleansing, so that means that cleansing comes first. A cleanse is the first phase of a facial, with steaming to follow after a few other steps. A cleanse is done first to get all of the dirt, oil, and dead skin cells off of the surface of your skin. If you steamed prior to a cleanse, the dirt and oil could actually be brought into the pores and cause more clogging and acne.

The second component of a facial is exfoliation. Exfoliation is all about balance. We exfoliate to help remove dead skin that’s still lingering after a cleanse, but over-exfoliating or exfoliating with something too abrasive can cause irritation. Like in acne facials, acids can be used to exfoliate.

Next comes the steam. Steaming your face during a facial helps to open up pores, making them easier to clean and more ready to absorb the useful substances applied in the mask and moisturizer. A mask is often applied next, though a mask isn’t always used during facials. This mask is applied and left on for a predetermined amount of time. Specialized masks can be used to help boost the effects of an acne facial.

Finally, once the mask has been removed, your skin will be moisturized and massaged. Moisturizer is great for the skin because hydrated skin is less prone to appearing wrinkled or dry. A massage is also just a really nice way to wrap up a facial that’s already a very relaxing way to practice self care. And that’s the trajectory of a normal facial. While they can be different, facials most often follow this path.


Ready to get your first facial, or interested in changing things up and getting a specialized facial? We’re ready for your call at Northeast Dermatology Associates, so reach out and schedule your facial today.

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