Your Post-Shower Skincare Sesh Should Always Be In A Steamy Bathroom - Here's Why

If you treat your skincare routine like a part-time job (the kind you take pride in, not the kind you're desperate to quit), you probably already know that applying your products just after stepping out of the shower is the way to go. As board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dina Strachan told Healthline, "Some skin care products, such as moisturizers, work better when applied to damp skin as part of their function is to seal moisture in." Dr. Strachan added that damp, shower-fresh skin is already hydrated, making it easier for your moisturizing serums and creams to work their magic.


However, there's another reason why you should do your skincare routine quickly after your shower: steam. Face steaming is known to open the pores, improve circulation, and rehydrate the skin, according to WebMD. You can get a similar effect from your steamy bathroom when you take a shower. And, it turns out, all that humidity might give your skincare products a massive boost.

Steam helps moisture sink into the skin

You wouldn't choose to apply your skincare products over a layer of plastic wrap. But when the pores aren't open and absorbent, that's essentially what you're doing — swiping products on your skin and letting them sit on top. A steamy room can fix this, according to aesthetician Stephanie Diliberto. "Steaming before applying toners, serums, or moisturizers can help the products absorb better," Diliberto explained to Cleveland Clinic. "The heat and moisture make skin more permeable and ready to accept topical products." In other words, applying your skincare goodies just after your shower and while still exposed to fresh steam can enhance the products' efficacy.


This is especially true in the winter when the cold temperatures can lead to dry skin on your face. "Because the air is so dry in the winter, it looks for water wherever it can get it, and this means taking it from your skin at its most vulnerable time after cleansing," Renée Rouleau, a celebrity esthetician, revealed to Byrdie. "In the case of a hot, steamy room, the evaporation still occurs but will be slowed down slightly so it can give you a little extra time to apply your product without worrying about dehydration."

How to reap the benefits outside the bathroom

If you follow your skincare regimen twice daily but only shower once a day, how can you get the benefits of steam when you're not steaming up the entire room? You can still give your toners and essences a hand, even when you're not turning on the tap. All you have to do is fill a bowl with hot water, hold your face over the bowl, and cover your head with a towel to trap the steam. Alternatively, you can buy a facial steamer to simplify the process. Try steaming in the a.m. or p.m. (whichever time you don't typically shower) just before applying your skincare products. However, note that steaming can be irritating for those with sensitive skin or stubborn dryness, especially when done too frequently, as per WebMD. Take a break from the treatment if your skin worsens.


A room humidifier is another way to reap the benefits of steam without having to step in the shower. And while it might not open the pores as much as thick, post-shower vapor, it can still play a role in preventing moisture loss. According to Medical News Today, humidifiers are particularly useful in cold, dry weather months when heaters can leave skin feeling parched. Just make sure to clean your humidifier regularly and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Overusing or using a humidifier incorrectly could lead to other issues, such as mold growth and dust buildup.