As any good spa professional can tell you, open pores make all the difference in the world when it comes to cleansing and applying product. Why? Open pores mean a greater opportunity for whole-face scrubbing, and more opportunity for products to really soak into the skin, rather than simply lying atop it.
For this reason, both professional spas and homes are increasingly often equipped with face steamers. These devices typically have a cone or face-conforming shield to frame the user’s visage, and steam is applied via the base of the unit. Whether you spend only five minutes under the spray of steam, or sit for a good half hour depends on the degree of cleansing you require and your personal preference.
As with most products, face steamers are widely varied. Some are larger and more powerful, and are intended for multiple-person use over a long period of time, while others are small and compact, and are created for the sole purpose of home use.
Facial steamers often look extremely different from one another, but all perform the same basic function. Typically, choosing one steamer over the other depends more upon
- Consistency of Use
- Desired Power
Each of the top facial steamers below offers different aspects of each of these categories. Whatever your needs, one of the three is sure to fit.
First Up: MIRA Nano Ionic Steamer
The MIRA Nano is a visually appealing steamer. It is a smaller unit, and is easily stored beneath bathroom counters, or even on bedside tables. The unit boasts a small, removable water reservoir in the back of the machine, and a wide-mouthed spout used to disperse water. The base of the unit is white, while the spout is a rich pink—a color scheme more tailored toward women than men.
That being said, the unit runs continuously for ten minutes before the reservoir requires a refill, and can even be used as a small humidifier, if customers are seeking a more hands-off approach in imbuing their skin with moisture. At only $35, the MIRA is certainly a budget-friendly choice, and operates using a simple “On/Off” switch.
Users are overwhelmingly pleased with MIRA’s steamer. The greatest source of praise was the way users’ skin felt after use; most were able to see a marked increase in skin’s moisture content, allowing them to not only forego heavy creams, but watch a significant decrease in the onset of blackheads and enlarged pores. One user, in particular, was happy to find that it functioned well as a facial steamer, as well as a humidifier; while sick, she was able to add eucalyptus oil to the water reservoir, giving herself a facial and clearing her sinuses simultaneously.
Although most customers were happy with MIRA’s product, some expressed frustration. This was due, in part, to confusing instructions (most noted that they seemed to be translated directly from another language), and in part to a handful of users receiving defective products that broke after only 3-4 uses. Fortunately, most were able to either return the product for a refund or receive a new device without any hassle.
KINGA Nano Ionic Steamer
KINGA’s steamer offering is similar in appearance to the MIRA steamer; it, too, boasts a white base and deep pink spout, with the addition of a handle. Like the MIRA, a full reservoir lasts approximately 10 minutes, and the unit is operated using a simple “On/Off” switch. At a slightly higher price point ($40 versus $35), the KINGA does have more positive reviews (90% of users rated the product highly), heats up water in 30 seconds rather than 40, and possesses the easy-carry handle, but is largely the same in terms of function and durability as the MIRA model. The unit is intended to be used with distilled water alone, as tap or even filtered water can cause mineral deposits and deplete the unit’s lifespan. This is the second of excellent home facial steamers.
As mentioned above, users are extremely impressed with KINGA’s facial steamer. Again, users were pleased with how moisturized and clean their skin felt after use. One woman found that the unit was useful for waking her up in the morning; the stream of steam was relaxing, but her skin felt refreshed and vibrant, and she noticed fewer dark circles and puffy eyes with consistent use. Still others saw a drastic reduction in acne (including blackheads), and were able to go longer between deep scrubs and exfoliants when using the machine 2-3 times per week.
Although the vast majority of users were pleased, a few customers experienced some difficulty. These users were not pleased with the heat provided by the steamer, and felt that the steam was far too hot to be useful. It is important to note that the manufacturer recommends keeping your face 8-12 inches away from the mouth of the unit to prevent burns or injury.
Jocasta Professional Facial Steamer
As its name suggests, the Jocasta is the professional facial steamer of the three, and boasts both a larger size and a more powerful source of steam. The unit comes equipped with a wheeled base and movable arm, allowing you to apply it more directly to a client’s visage, with greater distance, or even as a makeshift sauna for relaxation and detoxification when placed in a small room. This particular unit is equipped with two different functions: the first is a general steam function, while the second is an ozone function, or a type of steaming in which the water is first treated using UV light to ensure no bacteria or unpleasant organism survives within the water. Both functions will stop automatically once the water reservoir has reached the end of its cycle. Distilled water is recommended for use, and manufacturer instructions warn against utilizing essential oils or aromas within the water reservoir.
Significant portions of Jocasta users report a pleasant experience with the device. Users varied between professional estheticians and at-home users, though most novice users were 50 years old and older. Pleased users noted that the unit works well, delivering a solid jet of steam without drips or leaks, and lasts for at least 20 minutes before shutting off. One user purchased for friends and family, and was pleased with the unit’s sturdy construction and overall performance, citing it as the best machine she’d seen in her professional experience.
Although there were many pleased customers, there was also a larger-than-average number of unhappy users. This was due to these customers receiving machines that stopped working in as little as two uses—a feature that was decidedly unpleasant for a $100 machine. Some users were able to receive new products, while others could not get a hold of the company for a replacement, and simply lost $100.
Ultimately, the MIRA and KINGA possessed far happier customer reviews than the Jocasta. If professional use is what you seek, the smaller models are unlikely to work for you. If, however, you are seeking the best face steamer suited for personal use, either of these models with work well—you simply must decide if you’d rather spend an extra $5 for a handle and slightly higher reviews, or go with a slightly less expensive model that still comes highly recommended.