There aren’t many experiences that beat the feeling of visiting a steam room and sauna. It is calming, soothing, and stress-relieving. When you get out of there, you feel energized and ready to face the world. But aside from this, there are numerous health benefits of steaming, including both physiological benefits and psychological benefits.
As a person who has nasal allergies, I have had to seek home remedies to prevent infection of the common cold or flu. Steaming is very effective in opening your nasal pathways and helping you to breathe easier. The problem is we don’t always have the time, resources and ability to visit a steam room. That’s where steaming your face comes in. You can reap some of the benefits from home-made steam as you do in a proper steam room.
The good thing is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. It is possible to buy a proper facial steamer from a shop, but then again you can also improvise one at home. What you do is boil water and then pour it into a small bucket or bowl. You can add essential oils such as eucalyptus or even a balm such as Vicks vaporub. These are known to make you feel relaxed and trick your brain so you feel like you’re breathing through an unclogged nose and thereby relieving the symptoms of nasal congestion. You immerse your head in this mixture of hot boiling water and Vicks vaporub and cover yourself with a towel to contain the steam. Inhale this for a few minutes and you will find yourself feeling much better. This homemade steam is effective and it works perfectly.
Note that a steam burn is more damaging than a burn from boiling water, so you need to be especially careful when steaming your face. To lower your risk of burns, avoid putting your face too close to the steam. Increase the distance as needed for you to be comfortable. Water should be warm, not hot if you’re using the towel method.
Here are the benefits of steam inhalation.
- It reduces acne
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It often causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples, and usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders. Steaming reduces acne inflammation. It releases the acne-causing bacteria and cells. This is done by opening up your pores to allow the release of dead skin cells, bacteria, and other impurities that clog the pores and contribute to acne. When sebum gets trapped beneath your skin’s surface, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria and causes acne and blackheads. Steaming releases the excess sebum. Beauty: How To Take Care Of Acne Prone Skin
- It increases the skin’s permeability
Permeability is the ability of a substance to allow liquids or gases to go through it. When it comes to skin, permeability allows for the absorption of moisture and other skincare products. By doing so you reap the benefits of these products. Steaming enables the skin to absorb the chemicals better, and your skin starts to look moisturized, fresh, hydrated and glowing. It increases the temperature of the skin, which can cause increased blood circulation. With increased blood circulation, products can more easily pass through the skin barrier.
- Helps with sinus and chest (asthma) congestion
If you suffer from nasal allergies to cold, dust, or pollen, then your sinuses get easily inflamed as they’re trying to flush out “allergens.” It can be extremely uncomfortable. Luckily, you have this affordable and easy method to help with sinus congestion. Using steam to open the passages in the nose can help to relieve sinus pressure. The moisture helps to thin the mucus in your sinuses which allows them to empty more easily.
According to Mrsteam.com, Asthma causes swelling of the airways of your lungs and throat. Inhaling steam causes mucosal secretions and opens up airways. When you reduce respiration resistance, you reduce inflammation and congestion. Steam therapy prevents mucous membranes from drying and initiates the discharge of mucous from the throat and lungs. Health: 12 Natural Remedies For Chest Congestion And Asthma
- Temporary relief for the common cold, flu, and bronchitis
Having a cold or flu can be super irritating. The pain and irritation can even hinder you from performing your daily activities. This is where steaming comes in. It relieves some of these symptoms. You can loosen up your stuffy nose if you breathe in some steam. On top of this, the combination of warm steam and an increase in perspiration dilates your blood vessels and increases circulation. This allows more blood to flow into the area and bring more white blood cells to fight the virus.
- It is soothing
Lastly, steaming is soothing and relaxing. If you add some essential oils such as lavender oil you will feel more at ease and your mind will be more at peace. Read about The Science Of Smell – Understanding The Benefits Of Aromatherapy
Research shows that steaming can boost a person’s mood. How does this work? Steam therapy helps to release endorphins which are hormones that can have a pleasurable effect, and help reduce pain and discomfort. On top of this, steaming can also decrease the level of cortisol which is the hormone released in response to stress. When the cortisol level drops, people can feel more in control, relaxed, and rejuvenated.
Read about The Benefits Of Deep Breathing Exercises