Looking for a steam room glow? Treat your skin to an at-home facial with the best facial steamers
A facial steamer is a tiny spa treatment you can stash in a bathroom cupboard – and yes, it reaches far deeper than regular cleansing. A fine mist of steam hydrates and softens the skin and opens up the pores to remove the oil, makeup, and grime that gets stuck there throughout the day. The result? Pore-clogging impurities make way for a clear complexion that looks naturally flushed and healthy.
Facialists often use facial steaming on acne-prone skin for safe and easy extraction but that’s not to say you’ll only notice a benefit on congested skin. A facial steamer can be used on most skin types. Not only will it turf out nasties but it’ll perk up dull and tired skin, moisturise the lower dermis and smooth out fine lines. All that means cleaner, fresher skin that can better absorb your serums and lotions. That’s especially beneficial for city dwellers that are suffering from a dull and congested complexion.
But trust us, the best facial steamers are a far cry from hovering over a bowl of boiling water with a towel slung over your head. Offering different temperature settings, ‘spa’ modes and even built-in oil vapourisers to help make your experience even more relaxing, these feature-packed facial steamers are sure to leave you and your skin feeling well-balanced and soothed.
How to choose the right facial steamer for you
How do facial steamers work?
Facial steamers product a warm condensation that flushes away the toxins and dirt that are clogging the skin by opening up your pores and making you sweat. For best results — and to be sure no nasties are making their way back into your pores — wash your face with a cleansing facial wash before and immediately after using a steamer. This is most important for acne-prone skin since sweating can lead to further breakouts if the skin isn’t properly cleaned.
What’s better, facial steamers are a great way to improve circulation and clear blocked sinuses if you’re feeling a little bunged-up. Look out for models that are compatible with essential oils to really feel the benefit.
What features should I look out for?
Basic facial steamers cost under £20 but we’d recommend spending a little extra to make the most of some handy features. For starters, it’s worth investing in a facial steamer that comes with a built-in timer to save you from exposing overheating your skin or keeping an eye on the clock. If you’ve got sensitive skin, an appliance with an adjustable steam control might prove useful, while inhaler attachments are great if you suffer from blocked sinuses a lot.
Is it safe to use on my skin?
As mentioned above, steaming your face benefits most skin types (whether you’re dry, oily or a bit of both). However, those that suffer from rosacea, eczema or redness might find that the hot steam will exacerbate their condition even more. Before including a facial steamer in your skincare routine it’s worth checking with your doctor or dermatologist.
How we test facial steamers
At Expert Reviews, we know that hands-on testing delivers the most complete information about a product. As such, we personally test all the facial steamers we review, following the instructions in the manual.
We start by confirming the weight and dimensions of the product, any additional items included in the box, and any recommendations for use. We highlight any different time and temperature modes, too. Then we move on to using the steamer as directed on clean skin, evaluating how comfortable it is in use (using the different settings, if applicable) and how effective the steamer proves at cleansing and hydrating the face. As well as evaluating how the skin feels immediately after use, and following a few hours, we note the benefits – if any – to skin clarity, hydration and health with repeated use.
The best facial steamers you can buy in 2023
1. Visiq Facial Sauna: Best budget facial steamer
Price: £20 | Buy now from Argos
To save your skin from getting dehydrated and turning pink (never a good look), the Visiq Facial Sauna features an LED indicator that’ll let you know when your skin is close to overheating. You won’t find different modes that’ll tailor the time and temperature on this steamer but there’s the option to adjust how steamy your treatment is (ranging from 1 to 3). We’d advise starting on 1 and working your way up to give your skin a chance to adjust.
But how does it perform? After a few treatments your skin should look clear and radiant with a smoother texture and fewer acne flare-ups. To keep your pores in tip-top condition, you should follow treatment with a salicylic acid cleanser and toner to rebalance your skin and make sure it’s squeaky clean, and naturally whatever moisturiser or serum that’s best suited to your skin type. There’s no need to fork out on facials when you can do it yourself with the Visiq Facial Sauna – all for just £20, too.
2. Panasonic EH-XS01 Facial Steamer: Best all-round facial steamer
Price: £129 | Buy now from Boots
Looking for an at-home spa experience? The Panasonic EH-XS01 gets closer than most. There are three treatments to choose from, including a three-minute ‘Deep Cleanse’ that can be incorporated into your daily skincare routine, a six-minute steam for an extra boost of hydration and a twelve-minute ‘Spa Treatment’ for days you fancy pampering yourself. Plus, the device will direct a concentrated plume of steam toward your face to prevent you from uncomfortably craning your neck.
Simply fill the tank with water, turn the dial and enjoy; the facial steamer will rid your skin of toxins, balance moisture levels and help to stimulate collagen production and elastin growth. While we understand that spending over a hundred pounds on a steamer may seem excessive, considering two facials will set you back a similar price we think it’s an investment your skin will eventually thank you for.
3. Rio Facial Sauna Steamer: Best facial steamer with accessories
Price: £25 | Buy now from Argos
Clogged pores and blocked sinuses have met their match with the Rio Facial Sauna. Combining a purifying treatment and flu therapy in one, the facial steamer directs warm condensation toward your nasal passages to ease congestion and relieve any pressure that you’re feeling. Top tip: To really feel the benefit of clearer airways, we’d advise infusing the steam with a few drops of eucalyptus or albas essential oil through the vaporizer.
The essential oil vaporizer is a luxurious addition to your facial steam, too. Lavender oil is great for winding down after a stressful day, while tea tree oil can help speed up the healing process if you’re suffering from a hormonal breakout. The Facial Sauna is great for your skin, too, you can expect soft and smooth skin that’s well-balanced and look its best.
4. Beurer FC72 Pureo Ionic Hydration Facial Sauna: Best-looking facial steamer
Price: £59 | Buy now from Amazon
This steaming device from Beurer looks the part and delivers the goods. We’re a fan of the compact and stylish design and with a simple on/off feature there’s no need to grapple with an instruction manual. Using the same ionic-steam technology as the HoMedics number above, Beurer claim that the smaller water droplets allow easier absorption by the skin, even by tight pores. These tiny particles will give your skin a thorough cleanse, deep hydration and improve blood circulation for a more radiant complexion. If you wish to target your steam toward specific areas – whether that’s a breakout on your check or around your nose during a cold – you – just adjust the nozzle.