Photo by CRYSTALWEED on Unsplash

One of my favourite and most used, gadgets finally conked out on me, my Sensio Spa Complete Hydrotherapy Facial Steamer.

I’m not surprised really, we flogged that steamer to death for seven years. I used it for facials and hair treatments and Mark used it whenever he had a cold to help clear his sinuses.

I made my two boys (teenagers then) wear clay masks and plonked them in front of it until surprisingly, they asked me when they could next use the steamer. They loved it, it was very calming and relaxing, I think it’s because you can’t do anything when you’re in front of one, except just enjoy it.

The steam was robust to the end, the only reason I had to bin it was that the water tank started to leak.

Sadly it’s no longer available, but facial steamers are very popular now and at all price points.Sensio Spa Complete Hydrotherapy Facial Steamer

I spotted the Sarah Chapman one online (and read the glowing reviews) and thought it looked like a jazzed-up version of my old one.


This innovative, purifying facial steamer emits ionic, nano-sized steam particles that deeply penetrate the skin, effectively cleansing and declogging the pores whilst removing dulling dead skin cells to brighten the complexion.

With cleansing options ranging from 5-10 minutes, moisture levels are rapidly restored to deeply hydrate and smooth the skin, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Inspired by professional facial steamers used in my Skinesis Clinic, this pore-purifying, ultrasonic mist vaporiser emits microscopic steam particles to deeply cleanse the pores, declog the skin and impart a natural, dewy glow.

Skin moisture levels are rapidly supplemented to leave skin firm with fine lines and wrinkles minimised. Skin feels silky, supple and full of elasticity following your steam treatment.


  • Cleanse face thoroughly before or during your steam.
  • Ensure the steamer is positioned on a flat and stable surface.
  • Fill the water reservoir at the back with distilled or filtered water only and press the power button on the front to switch it on.
  • Position face in front of the nozzle at a distance of approx. 20cm. The steam will begin to emit in seconds.
  • Relax for the five-minute treatment time, after which the steamer will automatically switch off. For a deeper steam, press the power button again for an additional five-minute boost.
  • Follow with your regular moisturiser or serum to prolong the hydrating benefits of the steam or cleanse skin again to decongest.

We suggest using for a maximum of two to three times a week, for 10 minutes per session.

This product is not suitable to use when wearing false eyelashes – the steam will melt the glue!


I bought this blind ie online. Going by the official photos I was expecting it to be at least similar in size to my Sensio one, but it’s not even half as big. At its tallest point it’s only 6 inches high (15cm), 4 inches across (10cm), and 7 inches (18cm) deep, it’s dinky!

Admittedly, I was initially disappointed, for all its sleek and sophisticated looks, it’s lightweight and plastic. There’s a slim perspex carry handle but I’m not sure how long that’s going to last. The ‘chrome’ front plate is silver-coloured plastic.

Comparing it to my previous workhorse steamer, I felt it was a poor imitation and it was a good 3 weeks before I finally used it.


The clear plastic water tank is thick and solid, it’s not going to leak any time soon and pops out easily at the touch of a button. The power cord is located just under the water tank but is very secure. Looking at it more closely the steamer is actually very well made.

There’s a 5 or 10-minute steam treatment option and the steamer will automatically switch off when the time is up.

The small tank is to be filled with distilled water to prevent mineral build-up. But, in place of distilled water, I have always used Carplan De-ionised water. I buy it from the garage, but it’s much cheaper to get it from Asda, 5 litres for £2.50.

Distilled and De-ionised water are types of extremely pure water, filtered in different ways. Distilled is purer, but I’ve never had any problems with Carplan water. At a pinch, you could use bottled spring water, such as Glaceau Smartwater, but never use tap water.

De-Ionised water

The Sarah Chapman steamer produces a dense, fine mist almost immediately, there’s no funky ‘machine’ smell, it feels indulgent like a professional treatment. The mechanics have been well thought out and suddenly it feels like a very good investment.

Its compact form which I complained about, is actually a bonus, it makes it easy to store, which in turn will encourage you to use it regularly (twice a week tops), as it won’t be so cumbersome to bring out and put away.

I don’t sit too close to it, I have a few tiny broken capillaries on my face so I’m gentle with steam exposure. Even from a distance, the mist is strong enough to cleanse, hydrate, or prep my skin for serum, moisturiser, face, and hair masks. Skin drinks everything in after a short steam treatment.

The steamer was £119.00, but when I checked the receipt I had been charged £109.00. John Lewis must have been running a special promotion which kicked in when I bought it.

However, checking the price just now I’ve found it on Look Fantastic * for £89.25.

Look Fantastic Sarah Chapman Steamer


Sarah Chapman Pro Hydro-Mist Steamer £119.00. On sale at Look Fantastic for £89.25 *


I’m definitely going to have to buy a cheapy steamer, I really don’t want the rest of the family to use this one as they will be far too rough with it. Fortunately, there are lots of reasonably priced, albeit slightly less glamorous, facial steamers on sale.

Magnitone Steamahead Hydrating Facial Micro Steamer £30.00 MAGNITONE (some excellent reviews, it sold out on Look Fantastic as I was typing this.)

Magnitone Steamahead Hydrating Facial Micro Steamer

Rio Facial Sauna & Steamer with Steam Inhaler £24.99 ARGOS (no frills, fairly basic)

Argos also sells an updated version for £34.99 with a steam inhaler attachment to use with essential oils.

Rio Facial Sauna & Steamer with Steam Inhaler

One step up from a bowl of hot water and a towel over your head is the Visiq Facial Sauna £19.99 at ARGOS. I’m no snob, if it works, it works!

Visiq Facial Sauna

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