Acne is most often associated with the trials and tribulations of adolescence, but there are plenty of adults that deal with this affliction well into their twenties and thirties. Over the last few decades, millions of dollars have been spent by consumers trying to find an effective treatment or cure. Acne treatment products have bombarded drugstore shelves and infomercials, boasting promises of great results. In recent times, acne suffering consumers have become wise to the hazards of overexposure to chemicals and man made ingredients that might treat acne now but could pose a health risk in the long run. Natural solutions are trending and steam showers are garnishing attention for their ability to treat the signs and symptoms of this skin ailment.
Here is a sampling of the benefits of using a steam shower for acne as well as a few guidelines to produce the best results.
1. Pore Revelation
For acne sufferers, pores become little traps that hang on tightly to the oily dirt and dead skin cocktail they devour and quickly become clogged and infected. Squeezing, picking, and scrubbing hard are all tempting methods to eradicate the problem, but in the end, it only makes things worse.
A steam shower helps to slowly open pores, so their grip on grime becomes lax. The moist heat will penetrate the opened pores to soften the clog and simultaneously kills any microorganisms that are living there. The steam also loosens any dead skin cells that can then be easily wiped away instead of getting an invitation to cause more clogs.
For this benefit to be completely effective, it is important that the acne affected skin is washed thoroughly yet gently before steaming. This means the full removal of any makeup, lotions, or other products.
If there is a desire to apply a gentle product to the skin, such as witch hazel, after the steam shower, the opened pores will allow better absorption and enhance the product’s benefits.
2. Salty and Sweat
It should come as no surprise that spending time engulfed in the heat from a steam shower will trigger sweat. When it comes to acne, sweating isn’t always a helpful thing, but when done in a steam shower setting, sweating is good.
Sweating is one of the ways that our body eliminates waste by releasing toxins that tend to gradually build up over time. Some of these toxins linger on or in the skin which only adds to the acne problem. Sweating allows these toxins an exit so they can no longer wreak havoc on already irritated skin.
The other remarkable plus of sweating during a steam shower is the bacteria destroying properties of the salt found in the sweat. The salt does this by essentially dehydrating the acne causing bacteria so it cannot survive.
It is important to remember to stay hydrated because, while sweating does release toxins and kill acne bacteria, it also draws out moisture from the rest of the body, so replacing fluids and electrolytes is crucial. Coconut water is a natural way to do both.
3. Moving Restoration
Continuous blood flow is essential for life, but during a steam shower this process gets enhanced significantly. Improved blood circulation is extremely beneficial for acne sufferers because as the blood vessels become enlarged, they become a super-highway capable of transporting and delivering extra oxygen and vital nutrients that all cells need. This added dose of good stuff will aid in the repairing of tissue cells that have been ravaged by the affects of acne. Repaired cells translate into healthier skin that will look as good as it feels.
The restorative properties of a steam shower are at their best when temperature is kept under control. Steam temperatures should be kept around 110° F, and those with known heart conditions should consult their physician before starting a steam shower regimen.
4. Dry Goodbye
Dry skin becomes a true enemy for those with acne. Although acne itself produces extra oil, it can easily get stripped away with the good oils through harsh products and overexposure to the sun. The moist heat from a steam shower is a great way to impart healing moisture back into the skin while the pores are open.
Taking a steam shower once or twice per week and limiting time in the shower to ten to twenty minutes is ideal so that the skin does not get too dry. The benefits of a steam shower for acne seem like they can’t be overdone, so moderation is key, but using a steam shower with the right frequency can improve acne prone skin naturally and effectively.
This article was written by Sam Socorro from Sensual Spas. She has over 10 years’ experience in writing health related topics and specializes in the health benefits of saunas and hydrotherapy.