While a good foundation can cover skin blemishes and provide a smooth finish, some people aren’t fans of concealing their skin with makeup. One woman found an easy, at-home remedy to reap the benefits of coverage without sacrificing her natural glow.
“I never felt like myself when I was wearing tons of makeup. It felt like I had a mask on. As I got older, the foundation was enhancing my wrinkles rather than hiding them,” Hillary Muscatello, 36, told Newsweek.
The self-employed designer from Missouri said that her beauty regime is inexpensive and user-friendly. All you need is an exfoliator, hot water and lots of ice.
During her viral clip on Instagram, the mom of three shows herself steaming her face using a cooking pot filled with hot water while wearing a towel over her head. She then massages a mixture of olive and caster oil into her pores before dunking her face into a bowl of icy water for about five seconds.
“At home hydra facials minimize pore visibility by removing dirt and get your skin glowing. The more clean your skin is, the less makeup coverage [is] needed,” Muscatello said in the caption.
Dr. Babak Ashrafi, a doctor who works for the United Kingdom-based health and beauty retailer, Superdrug spoke to Newsweek about the benefits of Muscatello’s regime.
What Are the Benefits of Steaming the Face?
“Face steaming offers a range of benefits that contribute to healthier and more vibrant skin,” Ashrafi told Newsweek. “By exposing the face to warm steam, the pores are gently opened, allowing for thorough cleansing and the removal of impurities such as dirt, excess oil and trapped bacteria that build up throughout the day
“This process will not only help prevent breakouts and reduce acne flare-ups but also unclogs pores, reducing the appearance of blackheads and whiteheads,” he said.
The warmth of the steam will improve blood circulation, enhancing the skin’s natural glow and zeal,” Ashrafi added.
“It also serves as a great preparation step for a more in-depth skincare routine, allowing serums and moisturizers to penetrate more effectively. This can be particularly beneficial for those with dry skin,” he said.
What Are the Benefits of Cold Exposure to the Face?
Muscatello told Newsweek that her skin felt tightened almost instantly after the first time she exposed it to the cold.
“After opening your pores through steaming, the next step is to expose your face to cold, through cold water or ice. The sudden cold will temporarily tighten and constrict the skin’s pores, making them appear smaller.
“By constricting blood vessels, cold exposure reduces inflammation and redness, alleviating puffiness and restoring a refreshed look. Cold exposure is particularly helpful for those who have irritable skin through the constriction of blood vessels alleviating swelling and flushes,” Ashrafi told Newsweek.
Can Steaming and Cold Exposure Reduce Wrinkles?
“The combination of steaming and cold exposure in skincare can contribute to the temporary reduction of wrinkles and promote a more youthful complexion,” Ashrafi said.
It’s harder to reverse than prevent youthful skin.
Steaming can temporarily plump fine lines and wrinkles creating a smoother surface, as steaming opens the pores and allows better product absorption.
“Following the steaming session, the application of cold exposure induces the narrowing of blood vessels, reducing inflammation and tightening the skin. This effect can lead to a firming sensation on the skin, diminishing the visibility of fine lines and promoting a ‘plumper’ appearance,” Ashrafi explained.
Muscatello used to fork out $200 per year on foundation whereas now she uses that money to buy exfoliator products that aim to remove dead skin cells from the surface of skin.
She told Newsweek: “It doesn’t have to be expensive to get clean and good-looking skin. I started taking better care of my skin as soon as I hit 30; some people say I shouldn’t worry as I’m not even 40 but it’s harder to reverse than prevent youthful skin.”
Muscatello spends no more than 10 minutes on her skincare regime and only does it twice a month.
However, Ashrafi warns people to be prudent when trialing new skincare routines as not everyone has the same skin type.
“It’s important to note that while vasoconstriction (the constriction of blood vessels caused by cooling) can offer certain benefits, excessive vasoconstriction by other means can potentially reduce oxygen and nutrient delivery to the skin which will reverse the desired effect,” he said.
“Additionally, vasoconstriction can cause temporary paleness in the skin due to reduced blood flow. As with any skincare technique, moderation is key to achieving the desired results.”
So far, the video has racked up 163,000 likes. One Instagram user commented: “I choose sunscreen over foundation.”
“Your videos are so inspiring to take care of skin naturally without opting for expensive procedures and layering tons of expensive skin care products,” another person commented after watching Muscatello’s clip.
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