Your face—it’s the lovely, loyal catch-all for whatever the environment throws your way. And what does it get in return? Some days, it might get two-day-old makeup and eight hours of unprotected fun in the sun, which is why it’s so important to maintain a healthy skincare regime. That includes the benefits of a warm, 15- to 20-minute facial steam every week! Hydrating your skin through this process allows you to safely remove blackheads, dirt, and other impurities from pores. We’ll guide you through our favorite facial steamers to help you choose the best model for your lifestyle.
Why buy a facial steamer?
A facial steamer is basically a compact version of a sauna—imagine the steam room at your spa or gym but small enough to store with your beauty items at home or tableside at a professional spa. Facial steamers are devices that generate a warm mist to help soften the skin before a facial treatment, like extracting blackheads. Using a steamer on your face exposes the skin to water vapor from hot water, which can help soften and loosen whatever dirt and grime your face has collected throughout the day, preparing your pores for extraction. These handy tools come in tons of shapes, colors, and uses, some even doubling as humidifiers for seasonally dry spaces. You’ll also find steaming kits that include the facial steamer, plus skin-extraction tools or an extendable arm attachment. These devices can elevate your skincare routine dramatically and make you feel like you’re in a spa, even if you’re just in your bathroom.
What should you look for when picking out a steamer?
It’s important to pay attention to these items even though they might seem like minor details:
- Auto Shut-Off: For your safety, look for an “auto shut-off” feature when shopping for your steamer; high-quality, intuitive models should automatically shut down by themselves as a precaution.
- Tank Volume and Capacity: The amount of water your steamer holds will determine the length of your session. For one 15- to 20-minute session a week (a safe rule of thumb), you’ll need a tank that holds 85 to 100 milliliters of water.
- Vaporizer: Remember to make sure your new facial steamer uses a vaporizer to produce mist. Quality of steam is important, and vaporizers help produce the tiniest droplets of steam to help your skin better absorb the moisture.
What are the benefits of steaming your face?
Investing in the right steamer can help you achieve the following:
- Happier Skin: Steaming your face will loosen and help release bacteria, dead skin cells, and dirt—everyday grease and grime that clog your pores and lead to acne breakouts. It can also help promote collagen and elastin to give your skin a younger glow.
- Relaxation: There’s something about a hot, steamy room that helps create the ultimate de-stressing vibes. Use a facial steamer to recreate the steam room at home, producing your own cloud of warm, soothing mist with your favorite essential oils or herbs.
- Better Circulation: Exposing your face to hot water vapor increases your skin’s temperature, which can boost blood circulation, helping skincare products (like serums, masks, and creams) absorb even deeper into your multiple layers of skin.
- Open Sinuses: Like humidifiers, facial steamers can loosen your sinuses and help soothe those awful headaches. You can even add your own oils to the water, like lavender or peppermint, for an elevated experience.
NanoSteamer Large 3-in-1 Nano Ionic Facial Steamer
This facial steamer comes with a five-piece kit of stainless steel tools.
Pros: This innovative, three-in-one nano-ionic steamer, humidifier, and towel warmer by Pure Daily Care boast a traditional heating element elevated by a modern ultrasonic vaporizer that produces “nano steam” (the newest craze in steam) carrying negatively charged ionic particles. These negative ions can be up to 10 times more effective in reaching your skin’s layers for a deeper clean, helping soften any gunk residing in your pores. It’s an in-demand feature of today’s steamers. Its BPA-free build holds twice our recommended amount of water, up to 200 milliliters, and its mist stream is strong and steady, so you won’t have to lean into the device. Just sit back and relax. When you’re not using the NanoSteamer to hydrate your skin (or to heat washcloths in its convenient warming chamber), you can set it to the humidifier setting to add more moisture to your living space, especially in dry, sinus-attacking weather. This device includes a skincare pouch complete with stainless steel tools to help you extract blackheads and other impurities after a rejuvenating steam session.
Cons: Because steaming requires hot, hot water, there’s a chance of getting too close to your device. As long as you’re mindful of the process of steaming and keep your face and hands away from any openings, you’ll avoid painful encounters. Many products have that—well—new-product smell, but if that plastic smell is too intense for you after multiple uses, maybe look into other products. This steamer also doesn’t allow you to add your own essential oils or herbs to the container, so you’re stuck with a more basic steaming experience.
Bottom Line: This is one of the most popular three-in-one facial steamers on the market today. It’s great whether your skin is begging for deeper levels of hydration or you need help easing a headache from dry, stuffy sinuses. It’s safe, intuitive, and doesn’t require you to sit and stare into the mister for good results. Plus, it comes with a neat, useful tool kit similar to ones you’ll see on those popular pimple-popping social media accounts, providing an end-to-end steaming and extracting solution.
Kingsteam Facial Steamer with Extendable Arm
The adjustable arm and 360-degree sprayer provide extra comfort.
Pros: The 400-milliliter Kingsteam nano-ionic facial steamer with an automatic shutdown is a super flexible addition to your home or spa. With an adjustable arm and a rotating, 360-degree sprayer, you can adjust the device’s reach and angle, allowing you to sit, stand, or lie down for up to one hour of uninterrupted steaming. Its sophisticated positive ceramic heating (PTC) feature maintains heat levels using ceramic, which allows for a longer, more effective steam. Its high-tech ozone feature works as a germicide, giving sterilizing and anti-inflammatory aid to your skin, potentially removing dead skin cells and helping support Vitamin D production. This model also allows you to humidify your space or diffuse it with a diffuser option for your favorite scents.
Cons: As far as safety goes, the auto shut-off is terrific, but the product can randomly spit hot water from its sprayer arm, so be aware and careful, especially when attaching and removing the arm extension. Just make sure the steamer is turned off first. And, although you can angle and extend the arm for a comfier session, your face needs to be within 5 to 10 inches of the sprayer to feel its effects. Feel free to lie down or sit, but make sure you remain close by. Its humidifier option isn’t as strong as other models.
Bottom Line: Just like with other facial steamers, you face the risk of getting splashed with a little hot water, but don’t hold it against this Kingsteam model. Overall, it’s a high-quality steamer with pretty cool, innovative options, like adding your own fragrances or using the ozone mode to promote cleaner, more productive steaming. It includes a lot of flexibility and features that help create the maximum spa experience for a minimal price and in the comfort of your home.
Facial Steamer SPA+ by Microderm GLO
An ultra-slim facial steamer great for home or on the go.
Pros: Microderm GLO manufactures professional-grade dermatological solutions led by skincare experts, providing more purchase confidence off the bat. Their Spa+ compact tabletop facial steamer is another ion-based nano-steamer that releases negatively charged particles to aid in skin hydration and extraction—up to 1.8 million hydrating particles every minute from its 75-milliliter water tank. The Spa+ also uses an advanced, stabilizing PTC heating method that produces a mist safe for various skin types. Its slim body features an easy, one-touch sensor for operation, automatic-off function to promote safety, and a suction-style grip on the bottom for added stability. If you want a more realistic spa experience at home, you can add your favorite essential oils to a small plastic insert for a diffuser experience. And, to make your life a tad easier, the steamer’s plastic tank is dishwasher-friendly.
Cons: The water tank for the Facial Steamer Spa+ is constructed from flimsier plastic than other models, so it may crack or break. Because it’s a smaller steamer, it comes with a smaller spray nozzle that doesn’t promise 360 degrees of hydration like other designs.
Bottom Line: This is a safe, space-saving product for your home that serves its purpose with quick, weekly face-steaming sessions, as long as you don’t plan on handling its plastic body and steaming five days a week (which is a skincare no-no, anyway). Its PTC heat technology will maintain stream temperature so you can focus on hydrating and getting back to your day. Just add a couple of drops of essential oil, breathe in, and enjoy.
Nova Microdermabrasion Facial Steamer
A rolling, professional-grade steamer and magnifying lamp.
Pros: Whether you’re a spa-goer, home-spa enthusiast, or own a spa, this two-in-one facial steamer and mini 5x magnifying lamp from Nova Microdermabrasion includes the works. For close to the cost of a basic tabletop version, you get not only a facial steamer but also a plastic, four-leg base that rotates 360 degrees side to side and 180 degrees up and down. Plus, it’s slim and sits on wheels for easy maneuvering around your home or salon. The height-adjustable base is equipped with a high-flow spray nozzle (extends 15 inches), a stainless-steel pipe that releases UV ozone for deeper moisturizing, and a touch panel for easy temperature control. The unit will also beep when the water level is too low, which is an important safety feature. And its ultra-magnifying lamp clamps to your table. This set comes with detailed instructions for easy setup.
Cons: The main issue with the Nova steamer is that its steam output is almost too powerful, and you’ll need to keep it at least 2 feet away from your or your client’s face to ensure a safe distance from the heat. Its height-adjustable stand only goes so high, which is part of the reason why the mist feels so strong. The steamer arm is also on the shorter side and may require you to steam half of the face first, then roll the stand to steam the other half, depending on what type of table or surface you’re working with. You’ll want to measure your table or whatever surface the steamer will need to reach to make sure its rolling base (36 inches tall) and steamer arm (15 inches long) work for your setup. Don’t put all of your dermatological faith into the magnifying lamp, as it’s smaller than you might expect.
Bottom Line: This is a unique, quality product that’s especially useful for new spa owners looking to test out facial steamers and pinch pennies while they’re at it. Or maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom who needs 15 minutes to decompress and treat yourself—and your skin—at the end of a long day. Whatever your situation, this is a cool, mobile setup with an effective output plus some bells and whistles. Just be sure to check your measurements and keep faces 2 feet away from its super steam stream.
Vanity Planet Aira Ionic Facial Steamer
Add scented oils to this steamer for an elevated experience.
Pros: This sleek, simple Vanity Planet Aira facial steamer is an adorable addition to your skin routine—it even comes with a soft, stretchy bunny-ear headband. It’s a basic, compact steamer with all of the popular features, from nano-sized water molecules for deep skin entry to a basket of three essential oils for an extra-heavenly session (including separate foam pads for each oil, so you’re not mixing scents or left with gunk in the water tank). It’s powerful enough to clear sinuses, too. This model doesn’t boast a ton of bells and whistles, which is nice because what you see is what you get with the Aira. For the size and price, it’s surprisingly strong and releases a steady flow of steam directly to your face. Plus, it’s small enough to set on your bathroom counter, chic enough to leave out when company comes, and includes a Velcro strap on the cord for easy storing.
Cons: The instruction manual is more of a features pamphlet than an instruction book, so you’ll have to research and watch videos to learn more about installing and running the steamer, unfortunately. This also includes how to use the included oils and foam soaking pads since you shouldn’t pour oils directly into the water tank. And speaking of oils, you don’t get to choose your scents, so keep your own favorites on hand, in case you’re not happy with the ones you receive.
Bottom Line: The Aira is worth the price and absence of extravagant features. Overall, it’s a reliable, stylish way to gain smooth, hydrated skin through nano-ionic steam, creating the perfect surface for extracting blackheads and other impurities. This facial steamer stands out because it includes three oils and separate soaking pads for each, which is a rare find among steamers. And the cute headband is another freebie. Just remember to look up installation and user instructions before you begin.
We’re suckers for practical, quality solutions, and something as simple and helpful as a facial steamer is one of those things that can turn your day (and skin) around with the push of a button. Each of these portable, personal steamers will hydrate and soften your skin, and some do more, doubling as humidifiers and towel warmers for a more versatile tool.