Top Five Benefits Of Facial Steaming

If you’ve ever taken a look at this site before, you know I’m completely crazy about facial steaming. I mean, it’s what the majority of the site is about, LOL! I love being able to turn people on to this treatment because I feel so lucky to have found it for myself, and I’ll tell you why. Here’s my Top Five Benefits Of Facial Steaming!

panasonic ionic steamer

1. It Makes Me Look Younger

While this actually wasn’t the reason I started doing it, I’m sure now that it has definitely had an anti-aging effect on me. As with most everyone, as I’ve gotten older my skin has lost some of its ability to hold moisture, which leads to decreased elasticity and worse, wrinkles!

Facial steam therapy helps moisturize your skin, improving elasticity and texture, and yeah, reducing wrinkles!

Not just that, it helps cleanse your skin more deeply than possible with just water in non-steamed format, getting rid of the crap you don’t want (namely makeup, dirt, and oil). I feel like my face absolutely glows after a treatment!

Incidentally, I haven’t had an acne outbreak since I started facial steaming, either 😉

2. It Helps Me Breathe Better

Now this is the reason I actually tried facial steaming in the first place. You know how breathing the steam in a hot shower can really help clear out your sinuses? Well, this is like that except you get the steam directly, so you get more of it and without having to get in the shower to do it!

3. It’s SO Relaxing

I love a hot shower after work, and a facial steam has the same relaxing effect. It’s like a mini trip to the spa for some kind of expensive luxury treatment, except you can get it done in a few minutes whenever you want and costs almost nothing per session.

When the steam hits my face, I feel a wave of relaxation go through my muscles as the heat improves the circulation. It’s such a rejuvenating feeling, I can feel the tension melt off 🙂

Secura Hot/Cold Steamer

4. It’s Just One Hundred Percent, All Natural Water

Instead of wiping down your face with alcohol, oils, acids and assorted chemicals with names you can’t pronounce, you’re just using regular old water! Nothing extra to damage your skin!

I always feel like if you use a lot of “beauty” products, you’re trading a tiny bit of beauty now for a little ugly later. While they might make you look pretty today, who knows what years of using alcohol and chemicals on your face will do to it later. Better to be safe than sorry, IMHO!

5. Each Session Costs Almost Nothing

Once you have a decent facial steamer, the only thing you pay for is the regular water you put in it and the tiny amount of electricity it takes to run. Basically, it costs about as much as washing your hands, which is, you know, nothing. Compare that to a day at the spa! Talk about easy on the wallet!

So there you go, folks! My Top Five Benefits of Facial Steaming! If you have any other reasons why you love a nice facial sauna treatment, please leave a comment below! If you want to know more about it or find the best tool for the job, check out my review of my favorite face steamer!

The New Best Steam: My Panasonic Ionic Facial Steamer Review

eh-sa31vp price link

I got an email not long ago about how my favorite facial steamer, the Panasonic Ionic one I’ve been recommending the last year or so, was no longer in production. This kind of shocked me, because it truly is the best steam therapy device I’ve found on the market, so I wasn’t terribly surprised when I found out recently they released a new, updated, and more affordable version of this awesome gadget (technically called the EH-SA31VP). I had to get my hands on one immediately! Did it live up to my expectations?I’ll tell you all about it in this Panasonic Facial Ionic Steamer Review 🙂

Check the current price and see other reviews and ratings here!

I Like The Looks Of This

The first thing I noticed about the Panasonic’s new Ionic Steamer is that it looks nicer than the old one. It’s less bulky, more streamlined. Operation is simple- add water, turn it on, and stick your face in steam.

There are fill lines to show you how much to fill it up for a full session (approximately 6 minutes) or a half session (you guessed it, about 3 minutes). The manual says it takes about a minute to get steaming, but after filling it up it was steaming just a few seconds after turning it on.

The nozzle releases a nice cloud of steam, and I moved my face around in it about 6 to 12 inches away from the device (the manual says stay 8 inches away, but use your own judgement). If you’ve used cheaper steamers, you know they typically require you to hunch over it in an awkward way and stick your face in a cone that stinks of plastic, and the ionic steam cloud is about a million times more comfortable than that.

The heat has an immediate comforting and relaxing effect, and I have to say, I really love the feel of the steam on my face as it penetrates into my pores. I can feel it cleansing my skin in a deep but gentle way. I also love the sensation of inhaling the steam and feeling my sinuses clear out 🙂

panasonic facial steamer in action

But What Are The Benefits Of Ionic Steam Therapy, Specifically?

  • Deep cleansing of pores
  • Moisturizing
  • Increasing skin elasticity and smoothing of wrinkles
  • Improvement of skin texture and luster
  • Alcohol, fragrance, oil, soap and chemical free
  • Clears sinuses, too!

The thing that really makes this unit better than cheaper facial steamers is that it doesn’t just heat water up so you can stick your face in some steam. It actually releases teeny-tiny, ultra-fine nano-particles of water that are 4,000 times finer than normal steam!

In practical terms, what this means is that instead of mostly just condensing on your face and dripping off, much more of the steam penetrates deeply into your pores, opening them up and helping to flush them of excess oil, dirt, and makeup. After a session that only takes a few minutes, the skin on my face feels great- super clean, refreshed, and renewed!

It’s not just about cleanliness, either. Since the ionic particles ease absorption of moisture, your skin regains some elasticity giving the Panasonic Ion Steamer powerful anti-aging benefits! This helps smooth out wrinkles and improve the overall texture and luster of your skin.

nano-ionic steam

I’ve been doing ionic facial steaming for over a year now, and I really do feel that it helps give me a more youthful look. I always see people trying to use various chemicals on their face to fight the effects of age, and I feel like they’re trading a little bit of benefit today for some bad skin tomorrow. The nano-steam is all natural, so you get the benefits of the steam AND the benefits of being able to avoid those chemicals 🙂

Oh, and I should mention, when I first started using facial steamers, I did it to help clear out my sinuses, and this will also definitely help with that. Seriously, this time of year it’s not only beneficial for my appearance, it’s practically a necessity to keep my sinuses clear. (I will say that if this is the main reason you want a steamer, you can save some money and get a cheaper model.)

My Tips For Getting The Most Out Of This Steamer

The ionic steam the EH-SA31VP puts out does feel and work the same as their older ionic steamer, so I’ve actually been using the same process they used to recommend with that model. What I do is a short 3 minute cleanse with it, at which point I wipe or rinse my face off, refill it, and then do a longer steam. The second time I usually fill it to the “full treatment” line, which they say is about 6 minutes, but I usually get 7 or 8, which is in line with what the older model used to do.

They also recommend that you use distilled or purified water. I don’t think it matters much with cheaper facial steamers, but I think it does matter with the ionic nano-particle technique. I have a PUR water filter installed on my kitchen tap, anyway, so it helps me save not only on drinking water but water for the steamer, too.

I also like to use the steam on my hair, which seems to really help keep my hair from getting dry and brittle. (I haven’t heard of many people doing this, so if you’ve tried it, please leave a comment and let me know how it’s working out for you!)

Finally, start out slow. I do it almost every day, but I’ve been doing these treatments for over a year with the older model so I’m used to it. The manual says only use it 2-3 times a week for the first month, and that seems reasonable. The first time my sister used it, she broke out a little bit, but she loves it now.

ion steam therapy

Worth It? I’d Say So!

The new Panasonic Facial Ionic Steamer is truly the top of the line when it comes to home facial saunas. It’s more comfortable than other devices intended for this purpose, and the nano-particles make it much more efficient at giving you the beautifying, anti-aging effects most users are after. The EH-SA31VP is more than a hundred bucks cheaper than the older model and works just as well, so I think it’s a great value, too.

Read more Panasonic Ion Steamer reviews and check the price over at Amazon!

The Best Portable Infrared Sauna? My Therasage Ps2002 Review


We’ll get right back to our regular scheduled facial steamer reviews, but I wanted to take a minute to write about the AWESOME Christmas gift my even awesomer husband bought me. A year ago I wrote about the Fit For Good Far Infrared Sauna, which I loved and used countless times last year. It’s still working fine, but I was absolutely thrilled when I unwrapped a present that turned out to be the Therasage Ps2002 Portable Far Infrared Sauna. I’ve been eyeballing this thing online for a while. I’ve grown to love this kind of beauty and health treatment, and this is like the Cadillac of personal saunas. Did it live up to my expectations? Well, let me tell you all about it in my Therasage Ps2002 review 🙂

Read what other customers have to say or see how low Amazon has dropped the price here!

Just What The Heck Is This Thing?

It looks a little funny, especially when someone is sitting in it with their head and arms poking out, but the Therasage Ps2002 is actually a pretty cool little personal sauna. It uses Far Infrared technology to gently blast heat deep into your body for a great feeling and very relaxing spa-style sauna treatment in the comfort of your own home. In fact, I typically use it in my living room while watching TV or reading a book (it takes about 2 minutes to set up and put away, conveniently folding up to fit behind my TV).

The Ps2002 has 5 heat settings, and even though they’re not labeled with temperatures, it goes up to around 140 degrees. There’s a built-in timer with an auto-shutoff so you don’t cook yourself. I typically use it for about 30-45 minutes of the 3rd or 4th heat setting, bringing plenty of towels in with me and keeping a glass of cold water at hand.

It comes with a decent little camping chair that fits inside for you to sit on, though I replaced it with another chair I had. Some people recommend pulling your body all the way inside and putting a towel on top to treat your whole body. I don’t typically do this, but it is a nice treat from time to time, like sitting in a Native American sweathouse.

For a machine that heats you up so well, it uses less electricity than even a hair dryer! This a great, especially right now in the winter, when I feel cold and don’t want to have a huge power bill for turning the heat up and taking too much showers. LOL!

Also, the heating panels have tourmaline discs, which I think are a big part of what makes this the best far infrared sauna, and I’ll explain why later in this review.

Some Benefits Of Far Infrared Saunas

You know how you can feel the heat of the sun on your skin even on a cool day? Or how that same heat, on the same cool day, can make your car unbearably hot? This is because the sun releases infrared waves of heat. Rather than direct heat like in a traditional dry or steam sauna, far infrared saunas heat your body with deep-penetrating infrared waves. It’s an incredibly efficient way of transferring heat into your body, and you can really feel it getting into your body, even though no part of the Therasage Ps2002 gets too hot to touch.

The heat put off by one of these makes your body sweat, helping release the bad stuff you’ve been accumulating, making it a great, all-natural way of detoxifying your body.

In fact, on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Oz said these “might be the best natural detox product available.”

Your body also responds to the far infrared in other ways that are similar to what you get through exercising. For one, your circulation is improved, which is good for basically your entire body. I feel energized after a 30-minute treatment. It also boosts your metabolism, helping you burn calories even though you’re just sitting there reading a book or watching TV. Therasage claims their product can burn up to 600 calories an hour, and while I can’t vouch for that number precisely, I have lost a few pounds of that extra Christmas weight in the month I’ve been using this!

In addition to being incredibly relaxing like traditional saunas, the tourmaline (which is a semi-precious stone, BTW) in the heating panels not only help distribute heat evenly, but help release negative ions, which help improve mood, reduce stress, and even help you breathe more easily. I can attest to this- doing infrared sauna treatments on the regular seems to greatly improve my mood and general outlook on life. It helps puts me in a happy place 🙂

It’s also great for pain relief. I sit in a desk all day, typing and mousing on a computer, and sometimes I come home with a sore back and aching wrists, and I absolutely CRAVE the feel of the Ps2002’s gentle but powerful heat penetrating into my muscles. It’s kind of like taking a hot shower after work, except the heat goes 2 or 3 inches into your skin instead of just running down the surface.

Oh, and of course I had to mention how great it is for my skin. I’m sure it’s a combination of sweating out the toxins and bringing moisture to my skin, but my skin looks and feels better. It’s softer and smoother and doesn’t get dry and scaly like it used to, even in the winter.


Sounds Good, But Is This One Worth The Money?

Okay, so this all sounds good, but if you’ve looked around, you know that other portable saunas are considerably cheaper. Is the Therasage Ps2002 really worth the extra cash? I’ll post a far infrared sauna comparison soon (my other one happens to be the most popular available right now), but in short, yes, if you have the money I think this one is worth it.

The most immediate thing I noticed out of the box was that it has a higher build quality than my Fit For Good sauna and is clearly made of better materials. Now, I’m not saying the old sauna was bad or falling apart, but the Therasage feels sturdier and looks better. It’s like getting a new Coach purse when you’re used to knock-offs from the flea market.

Another obvious thing was that this one is a little more roomy and comfortable than my old one. I’m not sure this will be an issue for everyone, but my husband is considerably bigger than me and very much prefers the Therasage sauna.

The size thing may not be a seller for everyone, but since many folks are using this not just for luxuriating, but for health, it’s important to note that Therasage is very proud of the fact that their products do not give off EMF radiation.

It says in plain English in the manual that the Ps2002 does not give off harmful EMF waves- can the cheaper portable infrared saunas make the same claim?

The biggest selling point for me, though, and the thing I think makes it really worth the extra cash is the tourmaline discs they use for the heating panels. As I mentioned, tourmaline is a semi-precious stone, but that by itself doesn’t mean anything. What does matter is how they work.

The tourmaline discs heat quickly, efficiently, and very evenly, delivering infrared heat consistently and deeply into every part of your body within the Therasage PS2002.

When I get into this thing, after letting it heat up for 5-10 minutes, I can immediately feel the infrared waves going to work on my body. It’s almost like stepping into some kind of otherworldly hot tub, except it’s dry until I start sweating. My other sauna gives a similar feeling, but doesn’t feel like it penetrates nearly as deeply, and certainly not as evenly. It seems to work much more effectively on my after-work discomfort I get in my body.

And don’t forget those mood-boosting negative ions that I mentioned earlier. Negative ions are typically found mostly outdoors, and are generated by things like waterfalls and rain. I believe this is another reason why a treatment in one of these feels so rejuvenating compared to the cheaper sauna.

Honestly, the worst thing I can say about it is that it’s more expensive than my old portable infrared sauna (click here to see last year’s review of that one), and also has a vague plastic shower curtain smell the first couple times you use it. Overall, though, I think the Therasage PS2002 is a great device for anybody who wants to do these kind of sauna treatments on the regular. It’s worth the money, especially if you consider how much infrared sauna treatments cost at the spa.

Click HERE to see more user reviews or try one out for yourself!


Heating Up At Home: My Portable Far Infrared Sauna Review

FIR Portable Spa Sauna

Knowing how much I love the spa experience whenever I can get it, my husband set out to buy me a portable steam sauna for Christmas. While he was doing research, though, he found that something called a portable Far Infrared sauna, made by a company called Fit For Good. It was seemingly a lot more popular with people looking for a home sauna experience. After reading a bunch of positive reviews on Amazon, he bought me one. Though it’s not a steam device like the focus of most of this website, I thought it was close enough that my readers here would be interested in my Far Infrared sauna review.

If you want to see or purchase the unit I’ll be talking about and read other user reviews, click here to check it out at Amazon, where you’ll also get the lowest price!

What Are Some Far Infrared Sauna Benefits?

With Far Infrared, or FIR, heat is generated by using a specific wavelength of light that actually penetrates very deeply into the skin so the cells underneath can get the full benefit. This makes it superior to traditional steam or dry saunas that you are probably use to, but still gives the full benefit of making you sweat like a pig 🙂

Far infrared helps stimulate the metabolism and active the cardiovascular system. It’s useful for detoxification, pain relief and tissue regeneration. This is on top of what the heat and sweating will also accomplish in these same areas.

My Own FIR Sauna Experience

The package sat under the Christmas tree for a couple weeks. It was about the size of two pizza boxes put together, and shake it as I might, I simply could not figure out what was inside. When I opened it up on Christmas, I was pretty excited to find out it was a portable sauna, and couldn’t wait to use it.

Now, I’ll say that the one I got wasn’t made of the best materials, but hubby did his research and made sure it wasn’t some fly-by-night deal that was going to crap out on me immediately. As of this writing it has about 85 mostly very positive reviews on Amazon. And my husband told me if I like it, and it doesn’t last forever, he’ll buy me a pricier, fancier model (Update- read my review of that model here!)

The instructions were written in some pretty hilarious broken English, but it’s such a simple machine that it doesn’t really matter. We spent a few minutes figuring out how to set it up, but it wasn’t a problem. It doesn’t come with a chair, but we already had a little shower stool that fit perfectly.

The portable far infrared sauna has FIR heat panels on the back and sides which heat the unit up in about 5 minutes. The panels get pretty hot, so it’s important to stay away from them. There’s a hole on the top to stick your head through, which is great for me because I never liked breathing the hot, dry air in a non-steam sauna (some reviews recommend putting a towel over the hole and just sitting in there with your whole body inside. This is probably great for some folks, but not for me!) There are also arm holes which I don’t typically use, but you could if you wanted to read or something while you use it. (Use a towel to deal with the zippers, because they get hot!)

The unit goes up to 150 degrees, but I didn’t turn it up all the way. You set a timer that goes in 5 minute increments up to 40. I’ve found that about 30 minutes a day is absolutely great for my skin, it leaves my whole body feeling smooth and soft. I’m also pretty sure that it’s been helping me out with my lower back pain that I get periodically. And I just feel great after using it, which I attribute to its activation of the various body systems.

Portable FIR Sauna - back view

Is This Portable Far Infrared Sauna Worth It?

There’s a spa close to me that offers FIR sauna treatments, but they cost about $120 for 5 sessions. Hubby didn’t want me to know how much he paid for this gadget, but I mean, I HAD to find out how much it costs if I was going to write a review about it, right? Anyway, it’s under $200, which means going by the spa’s FIR sauna treatments it paid for itself within a couple weeks (I’ve been sitting in it about 4-5 times a week).

I think that the health benefits of this alone make it worth every penny, but it also just FEELS SO GOOD! Like OMG kind of good 😉 If you’re looking for a home sauna for your whole body, the Fit For Good unit is a great, cost-efficient (under 10 cents an hour to operate) and space-saving option. I highly recommend it! If you’re interested, you can grab one at Amazon for under 200 bucks with FREE Super Saver shipping.

How To Do A Facial Steam Without A Specialized Steamer

So far on this site my emphasis has been on products you can buy that will help you give yourself a nice facial steam very conveniently and easily in your home. While a couple of the higher end products have features that give superior quality steam (ionized or ultrasonically atomized micro-particles for deeper penetration and cleansing), it’s not terribly difficult to give yourself a “regular” steam facial at home with things you almost definitely already have on hand. Here are a few different methods…

The Shower Method

This is undoubtedly the easiest way to give yourself a steam facial, and you’ve probably done it before, though you may not have thought of it as “giving yourself a facial”. Basically, just hop in a hot shower for 5-10 minutes with your face in or very close to the steam. It will help open up the pores in your skin, cleansing them of built up impurities, and also help open up your nasal passages and sinuses, helping you breathe better. There are even products you can find in the cosmetics section of your local grocery/drug store that are made specifically for helping out with this kind of treatment (like Clean & Clear Steam Soft In-Shower Facial, which I LOVE!)

Of course, it’s not always convenient to take a long, hot shower, but don’t worry, because there are other methods, for example…

The Hot Towel Method

I used to see them using this method on TV when I was a kid and wondered what the deal was. Well, it’s actually pretty simple. Take a towel, drench it in nice hot water, wring it out, and then drape it over your face. If it’s sufficiently hot, it will give you a few minutes of steam to the face.

The biggest problem with this method is that the wet towel will cool rather quickly, and you’ll have to get it hot again every couple minutes to really make it work. This is why my favorite D.I.Y. facial steaming method is as follows…

The Pot And Towel Method

For this method, you start by boiling water in a pot on the stove. One of the cool things about doing it this way is that if you want to add some herbs or something to fancy it up, it’s super easy. I like to break a licorice root in the water, because it helps open up the pores a little more than just hot steam. Other people use things like mint or chamomile. (My sister knows more about herbs and aromatherapy than I do, so I’ll try to get her to write an article on the topic soon…)

When the water gets boiling, I take it off the stove and wait until the big bubbles are gone. Then it’s as simple as draping a towel over it and letting the steam do its thing. This is probably the most efficient of the D.I.Y. home methods because a pot of hot water will stay hot for a while on its own, though you do have to be careful about burning yourself. Another reason I like this method is because you can easily use distilled water, which I definitely prefer for my facial steaming.

A Couple More Tips

If it’s your first time doing this, don’t be alarmed if your skin looks red, blotchy, or blemished immediately afterwards. That’s actually your skin rejecting the bad stuff that’s been building up, and it should look and feel much better in a matter of minutes.

Also, wash your face with cool water afterwards to close the pores and complete the treatment. Some people swear by facial cleansers immediately after a steam, but frankly a big part of the appeal for me is that these kind of products aren’t nearly as necessary.

Most people find using any of these methods to not only be relaxing and an easy way of pampering yourself, but also help out in keeping the skin clear, clean and smooth, and also helping clear out the sinuses, which is a big deal in the wintertime and/or allergy season for a lot of people (myself included). If your find that you really enjoy facial steams on the regular, you can save time and energy by getting yourself a specialized gadget for the job (I can’t say enough good things about this one), but if you’re all about doing-it-yourself, I hope this article has been a big help to you!