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Steamy solutions? Is steam good or bad for the skin?

Some people swear by the effects of steam on the skin, but is it just a lot of hot air?

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31 MAY 2010

Most of us enjoy soaking in a hot bath, and find the moist atmosphere the water vapour creates both relaxing and enjoyable. Certainly steam is a simple enough beauty aid, but how can you be sure it's really good for you?

It's good:
If you want to make a deep-cleansing face mask really effective, use it after you've had a hot bath or shower. The steam will have opened your pores allowing the product to penetrate deeper to eliminate the dead cells and impurities that accumulate in the pores making your skin dull and lifeless and causing spots. You'll find the effect of a cleansing treatment is accentuated if you use it on clean skin, and after – or during – your bath is an ideal time.

It's not so good:
Although steam from hot water helps to open the pores and eliminate dirt and impurities, it can have an irritating effect on some skin types. If you have sensitive or delicate skin, it's better to avoid steamy baths as they may make the problems worse. This can be a particularly true if you suffer from dry skin, eczema or rosacea.

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