Facial Steaming: The All-Natural Ritual That Will Renew Your Skin
At-home aromatherapy facial steaming can be an integral part of your skin care regimen. Here are just some of it's many benefits:
- Helps to deep cleanse the skin
- Loosens and dislodges dirt and unclogs pores
- Improves facial circulation
- Encourages relaxation
- Helps skin look renewed
Like anything beneficial, too much of a good thing can tip the scale in the wrong direction for your face, so make sure not to overdo it. If you have normal skin, I recommend steaming weekly. Dry skin should steam every other week, for oily skin can steam once or twice a week, and sensitive skin should only steam once a month (but if you have very sensitive skin or are prone to broken capillaries, avoid steaming all together*).
Ready to get your steam on? Here's how:
- Filtered, boiled water
- For normal skin: 1/2 cup of mixed, dried rose petals, lavender buds, linden flowers, calendula, camomile
- For dry skin: 1/2 cup of mixed, dried rose petals, fennel seeds, lemon verbena, elderflower, calendula
- For oil skin: 1/2 cup of mixed, dried lavender, peppermint, yarrow, calendula, lemon balm, rosemary leaves
- For sensitive skin: 1/2 cup of mixed, dried rose petals, camomile, calendula, nettle, lavender
- For acne-prone skin: 1/2 cup of mixed, dried camomile, dandelion, lavender, rosemary Leaves
As with any special treatment, there are a few things to consider: if you don't take your time to perform the treatment properly, your skin could end up more irritated than when you began. You don't want your haste to damage your delicate complexion!
Thoroughly cleanse your face of all makeup and skin care products.
Use a heatproof bowl strong enough to withstand boiling water. Make sure the bowl sits securely on a table with clear surroundings.
Add the mixed, dried herbs and flowers into the large bowl. Along with the dried herbs/flowers, I also add a drop or two of essential oil depending on what I'm trying to achieve in terms of skin benefits and aromatherapy.
Let the water cool slightly, then carefully pour over the herb and flower mixture. Gently stir with a wooden spoon and let the mixture steep for 1-2 minutes.
Tie your hair back, then position your face about 12 inches above the bowl (make sure not to get too close, steam burns are possible!). Drape a large scarf or light towel over your head to tent the steam in for one minute. If at any point the steam becomes too much or you find it difficult to breath, stop!
Remove the scarf/towel and take your face away from the steam. Breathe deeply. You can repeat this process for a total of three minutes. Finish with a splash of cool water or your favorite toner to close your pores.
Finally, after you've toned your face and are feeling the benefits of deep aromatherapy relaxation, gently apply your favorite natural facial serum in upward circular motion. If you're headed off to sleep, enjoy the sweetest of dreams! When you awake to refreshed skin, you may wonder how you ever lived without aromatherapy facials.
*Aromatherapy facial steam can aggravate very sensitive skin and severe acne conditions. Avoid using facial steams if you have these conditions. If you have any questions, consult with your dermatologist to be sure facial steams are recommended.
**If you have asthma or are pregnant, consult with your physician before using any essential oils.
Photo courtesy of the author
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