An herbal facial steam will hydrate your skin and allow your pores to perspire and breathe. As the steam penetrates your skin, the various herbs will soften its surface, act as an astringent, and aid in healing skin lesions. Also, any clogging from dirt of makeup will be loosened.
Herbal steams can be used regularly by those with normal, dry, or oily skin. Those of you with sensitive skin, dilated capillaries, rosacea, or sunburned skin, however, should abstain. Always cleanse your skin before steaming.
To prepare a facial steam, boils four cups of distilled water (and vinegar, of the recipe calls for it). Remove from the heat, add herbs, cover, and allow to steep for about five minutes. Place the pot in a safe, stable place where you can sit comfortably for about 10 minutes. Use a bath towel to create a tent over your head, shoulders, and the steaming herb pot; allow 10 to 12 inches between the steaming herb pot and your face to avoid burning your skin. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and relax.
All the herbs in the following blends are in dried form. If you’re using fresh herbs, double the quantity.
For Normal or Oily Skin
1 teaspoon yarro, 1 teaspoon sage, 1 teaspoon rosemary, and 1 teaspoon rosemary.
For Normal or Dry Skin
1 teaspoon orange flowers, 2 teaspoons comfrey leaves, and 1 teaspoon elder flowers.
For all Skin Types
1 teaspoon calendula, 1 teaspoon chamomile, 1 teaspoon raspberry leaves, 1 teaspoon peppermint, and 1 teaspoon strawberry leaves.
1 tablespoon crushed fennel seeds and 2 drops essential oil of rose or rose geranium. Add the essential oil to the water immediately before you steam your face.
Adapted from A Spa of Your Own by Stephanie Tourles (Storey Publishing, 2002)