Welcome to your skin check-in with Life & Style’s resident health and beauty expert, Dr. Will Kirby, a celebrity dermatologist and Chief Medical Officer of LaserAwayEvery week, he’ll be spilling his candid thoughts and professional advice on all things skin, beauty and wellness as it relates to you — and your favorite stars.

Facial steamers are popping up all over Instagram, TikTok and Meta and influencers are swearing by the incredible results they get from them! But we all know that getting your skincare advice from unqualified strangers on social media isn’t always a prudent way to achieve glowing complexion. I reached out to five respected, board-certified dermatologists to get their direct medical feedback on the wildly popular facial steamer trend and to learn if these devices are actually good for your skin.

“Facial steamers do work well for some skin types, mainly acne or skin with clogged pores,” notes dermatologist Dr. Patrick Zito. “However, I wouldn’t recommend them for someone with dry skin, rosacea or eczema, as the facial steamer’s hotter temperatures can induce flares, discomfort and strip the skin of natural moisturizers leading to further issues. I recommend consulting with a dermatologist to determine if a facial steamer is appropriate for your skin type!”

“Many people think steam opens up pores, but pores don’t actually open and close. They’re always open!” teaches dermatologist Dr. Azadeh Shirazi. “Facial steamers are helpful in loosening up any buildup or debris in pores so they may be a reasonable option before cleansing/exfoliating occurs. They are also useful prior to moisturizing as applying creams to damp skin helps seal in moisture, improving overall skin hydration. Warm steam can also help boost circulation, but be sure to use a professional steamer to avoid risk of burns and complications.”

“Facial steamers, long employed by aestheticians in skin care salons, can also be a luxurious at-home treatment, but they are far from essential in your skin care routine,” explains dermatologist Dr. Dustin Portela. “They help aestheticians because they can soften blackheads making extractions easier, and they can do the same for you at home, but the idea that they ‘open your pores’ is incorrect.”

“Steamers do help to hydrate the skin and open up pores for deeper cleansing and improved product penetration. While those are great benefits, anyone with melasma or rosacea should avoid them as heat can be a trigger for worsening both conditions,” says dermatologist Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson. “Overall, I’d leave the steamers to the professionals, and instead set up a cool mist humidifier in your bedroom/office, or any room you’re spending a lot of time in, to add moisture to the air and support your skin during the dry winter months!”

“Facial steamers are beneficial for you skin since they open pores, release trapped oil, and can help soften blackheads before extraction,” finds dermatologist Dr. Collin Blattner. “Steamers hydrate the skin and can also help your skin better absorb products. However, if you suffer from chronic facial redness and rosacea, the heat can make it worse so it would best to avoid facial steamers in that case!”