SUGGESTED USE: Two to three times per week.
A thorough steam session (exactly what it sounds like) can be done in-office or at home to emulsify the sebum and dirt in the pores and bring it up to the surface. Anis notes that the best time to extract blackheads is post steam, but that only your skin care professional should handle them—in other words, resist the urge to squeeze.
For DIY steaming, bring a small pot of water to a boil, then pour the water into a small glass or ceramic bowl and hold your face 10 inches away (with a towel placed over your head to keep the vapor contained) for up to 10 minutes. But don’t exceed the magic ten, de Sousa warns.
Heat can cause inflammation if exposure is too high. “Cover your eyes with your hands, and ideally apply some kind of mask first for increased benefits,” she recommends. “I prefer an enzymatic mask, which brings out newer and plumper cells. It makes skin even softer when combined with the increased sweating from the steam.