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  • Fresh Skincare Studio-Regina Thomas

Blowing off Steam.

I'll just start by saying that one of the reasons I love being an Esthetician is that there are endless ways to go about treating the skin and, in some cases, there's no 'wrong' answer. I also love that I work for myself, so I get to decide what I believe is best for my clients and their well-being.

Which brings me to this post: I kicked my steamer out of my treatment room!

I've honestly always had mixed feelings about using steam during treatments because I personally do not like steam when I'm getting a facial service. I think it's suffocating, it smells weird, and it makes me feel sweaty haha. So, when my steamer started acting a fool, I began doing some research about whether or not it was worth replacing.

The answer is no.

Here are some reasons why:

-Steam machines are notorious for breeding bacteria. Water sits and collects within the machine and, even with regular vinegar cleanings, grows bacteria.

-Ozone is a known lung irritant. You can read a lengthy (and boring) article about it here. Have you ever left a facial with steam and had a cough, stuffy/runny nose, chest tightness, or headache? That's the ozone. Ozone is included with most facial steam units to limit bacteria, which is necessary (see point uno above lol), but the side effects aren't worth it.

-Steam can cause burns. If the steam is too close, or causes a reaction with products used during treatment, you can get a heat burn and/or a chemical burn.

Also, I recently heard a horror story of an Esthetician not using the correct water and cleaning method in her machine, which caused mineral build-up. That mineral build up caused the steam machine to spit large drops of boiling water onto her client's face.

-Steam is dehydrating to the skin. It's a myth that steam is moisturizing. Have you ever taken a hot shower and skipped moisturizer and then experienced tight and uncomfortable skin? That's the heat taking away your natural moisture barrier. Also, steam doesn't "open" pores, pores aren't muscles, they can't open or close. Steam loosens the oils in your skin (which is why it's dehydrating).

-Steam is bad for acne, sensitive skin, skin with Rosacea, skin with dilated capillaries, and dry skin. So basically, it's bad for most skin types. I was led to believe that steam was necessary for extractions. Turns out, a good product, a hot towel, and good technique does the trick without exacerbating breakouts.

-Steam machines are clunky and ugly. Okay, so maybe that's not a solid argument for kicking mine out of my room, but my room does look way better lol.

Phew, goodness me, it felt so great to get all of that off my chest! I truly want to provide the most relaxing, luxurious, pampering treatments possible, but I don't want to do anything that could endanger my clients. I know that some people really enjoy steam and find it therapeutic, but for me, the risks outweigh the benefits. I may throw in a couple extra hot towels to ease the loss of the steam during my facials!

Thank you for reading!



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