Every Sunday I like to take a couple of hours to relax and refresh before the week starts. One of my latest favorite pampering routines is an aromatic facial herbal steam. It not only works as a little aromatherapy treatment, but it also serves as a amazing skincare step for clearer pores.
If you’re new to steaming, it’s essentially a deep cleansing method that uses hot water vapor to open your pores. What the steam does is help soften and loosen blockages (like blackheads, dead skin, and deep, embedded oil and dirt), making them easier to remove. The heat also helps improve facial circulation and gives the skin a more glowing, renewed look. And finally, because the heat opens up the pores, steaming also makes your skin more receptive to face masks, cleansers, serums, and moisturizers.
The fun part comes in when you start mixing a little herb blend. There are so many to choose from, including rose, hibiscus, and lavender flowers, along with cloves, skullcap, rosemary, turmeric, and loads more. Many of these herbs have cleansing, anti-inflammatory (to reduce puffiness), antimicrobial, antifungal, and smoothing and firming properties. As they steep in the hot water, the rising steam carries the herb’s aromas and healing properties to your skin.
Today I wanted to share a super relaxing and rejuvenating herbal facial steam recipe I concocted recently, using herbs I purchased from shops on Etsy (from two of my favorite shops – Wendy Wildcraft and Sun Soul Creations). The facial steam not only smells amazing, but also makes the skin soft and glowing! Here are the dried herb and flowers that you’ll need:
Herbal Facial Ingredients:
- 1 tsp dried lavender
- 1 tsp dried rose petals
- 1 tsp dried calendula
- 1 tsp dried chamomile flowers
- 1 tsp dried lemon verbena
- 1 tsp dried neem leaf
(Feel free to play around with different dried ingredients and make substitutions to my recipe!)
- light towel
- medium-sized, heatproof bowl
- safe, comfortable spot with a steady surface!
How to Use an Herbal Facial Steam
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then remove it from the heat.
- Pour the steaming water over the herb and flower mixture in a heatproof bowl. Gently stir with a wooden spoon and let the mixture steep for 1-2 minutes.
- Find a comfortable place to sit while you use this facial steam. Place your face about 8-12 inches above the bowl. (Make sure not to get too close, so as to not burn/damage your skin from too much heat exposure). Drape a light towel over your head.
- Relax, close your eyes and inhale the aromas while letting the steam to bathe your skin. Do this for a few seconds. (Stop if it becomes difficult to breathe, or if you start to feel dizzy or overheated.)
- Remove the towel, raise your head, and take a few breaths of fresh air.
- Repeat steps 5-6 for 3-5 minutes.
- To finish, use a cleanser, scrub, or mask if desired, and then splash your face with cool—not cold—water or toner to close your pores.
- Follow up by applying eye cream and moisturizer.
That’s all there is to it! When you’re all done, you can strain out the herbs and 1) store the remaining mixture in a spray bottle and use it as a toner. (Add a few drops of witch hazel or keep it in the fridge to extend its life for up to a week.) Or, my favorite, 2) add the mixture to your bath water!
How Often Should I Use an Herbal Facial Steam?
While facial steam treatments can be extremely beneficial for both our skin as well as our well-being, make sure not to overdo it. Here’s a breakdown of how often you should steam based on your skin type:
- Normal skin – once a week
- Dry skin – every other week
- Oily skin – once or twice a week
- Sensitive skin – once a month (*if you have very sensitive skin or are prone to broken capillaries, avoid steaming all together to avoid damage or irritation)
Have you ever tried an at-home herbal facial steam? If so, which herbs do you prefer to mix together?