With a tabletop facial sauna or even as an extra benefit of a full-body sauna session, you can give yourself a spa-quality facial treatment, say skin care experts Annet King, director of global education for the International Dermal Institute, and licensed esthetician Sharnell Scheurer. The steam from a sauna softens the pores, deep cleans the skin and makes it easy to extract blackheads, whiteheads and oils from each pore without scarring.
Fill your tabletop facial sauna with water and turn it on so it can begin producing steam, or prepare to enter a heated full-body sauna. Apply cleanser to your face. Use your fingertips and spread the product with upward and circular motions. Remove the cleanser with warm water.
Insert your face into opening of the tabletop facial sauna, or enter the full-body sauna and pour a small amount of water on the sauna rocks to produce steam. Allow the warm steam to open your pores for several minutes. Move away from the sauna. Clean your face a second time with a facial brush to exfoliate the skin. If you don't have a brush, use a facial scrub or product designed to remove dead skin cells. Remove the cleanser or scrub and pat your face with cotton towel dipped in warm water.
Steam your face a second time for at least 10 minutes. Prepare to begin removing blackheads and other impurities with your pore extractor. If you don't have an extractor, you can wrap facial tissues around your index fingers and use them to stretch and roll the skin to extract the blackheads, King says. After extracting the impurities, apply a cotton pad soaked with witch hazel or an antiseptic to the pores.
Apply a treatment mask. The mask ingredients should target your skin type and condition, Scheurer says. King recommends using a clay mask that will help purify the skin, tighten the pores and refine the surface of the skin. Let the mask stay on for at least 10 minutes. Remove the mask with a towel soaked in warm water.
Apply toner and moisturizer to your face in sweeping, upward strokes, King says. Use products designed to soak up oil, help refine the skin, reduce the buildup of dead cells and conceal the area while your skin is healing.
If you have sensitive skin, make an appointment with a professionally trained skin care therapist to ensure that your face doesn't incur damage or scarring.
If you have difficulty extracting blackheads from a pore, move on to other areas, King says. Stubborn extractions may require stronger exfoliation with an overnight treatment. Forcing the extraction can irritate the pore and result in a blemish or an infection.