DIY Facial Steams (+ my favorite common plants to use)

DIY Facial Steams (+ my favorite common plants to use)

Facial steams are amazing for the skin and such a wonderful way to relax!  After a long day, simply breathing in the aroma of the flowers and herbs helps to calm, relax, and relieve tension. And, they couldn't be simpler to do...  they only require a few ingredients and 10-15 minutes to complete!

Facial steams cleanse, help remove dirt and pollutants from pores, hydrate, purify, relax muscles, and stimulate circulation. The heat encourages pores to perspire and breathe while imparting moisture deep into skin layers, bringing oxygenated blood to the surface of the skin, and helping to release impurities. Dirt, oils, makeup, and other pore-clogging impurities are dislodged so that they can be easily removed.  After using, skin feels renewed, clean, hydrated, and has a radiant, fresh, and healthy glow. 

I offer several botanical facial steam blends in the shop which have been carefully formulated to balance and benefit various skin types, conditions, and needs, but you can also make a simple facial steam with many common ingredients that are likely already in your kitchen cabinet or growing in your own yard or neighborhood.  Here are some of my favorite common botanicals that I often use in facial steams, some ideas on creating combinations with them, and a guide on how to do a facial steam.

My Favorite Common Botanicals for Facial Steams:

  • Sage: cleansing, astringent, antibacterial.
  • Rosemary: cleansing, invigorating, antiseptic.
  • Lavender: soothing, calming, relaxing, healing.
  • Chamomile: calming, soothing, relaxing, healing.
  • Roses: soothing, calming, relaxing, cleansing.
  • Strawberry, blackberry, or raspberry leaves: astringent, tone pores.
  • Green tea: astringent, toning, rich in antioxidants.
  • Conifer (sprice, fir, or pine) tips: uplifting, toning.
  • Peppermint: refreshing, stimulating, astringent, cooling.
  • Calendula flowers: healing and soothing.

Combinations that I Adore:

  • A sprig of sage, 1-2 tsp green tea, and 1-2 TBSP chamomile flowers.
  • 1-2 TBSP lavender flowers, a few berry (strawberry, raspberry, or blackberry) leaves torn into small pieces, and a sprinkle of rose petals.
  • 1-2 tsp green tea, sprig of fresh mint, and 6-10 calendula flowers.
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh conifer tips, and 1-2 TBSP chamomile flowers.
  • Sprig of sage, sprig of rosemary, a sprig of mint, and 6-10 calendula flowers.

How to:

  1. Gather botanicals and place in a large ceramic or glass bowl. If using fresh herbs, roll them between your hands or lightly mash in a mortar & pestle to release their natural oils.
  2. Boil a large pot of water.
  3. Pour boiling water into the bowl, place a towel on top, and allow to steep for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Once steeped, place the bowl on a table or other stable surface where you can comfortably sit. Hold your face over the bowl, covering your head and the bowl with a towel so that the steam can't escape.
  5. Make sure to keep your eyes closed and breathe in deeply to inhale the wonderful aromas! Breath, relax, and enjoy!
  6. Steam for 10 minutes. Take breaks as needed, and feel free to shorten the time of your facial steam if 10 minutes feels too long.
  7. Afterwards, rinse your face with cool water and gently pat dry. 
  8. Strain out and compost the herbs. The infused water will make a lovely and nourishing hair rinse!

Precautions: Do not do a facial steam if you have irritated, red, or flush skin, eczema, rosacea, or other skin conditions as the steam could cause further irritation.

Irene Wolansky Fawn Lily Botanica
Irene is the owner, founder, formulator, and chief maker at Fawn Lily Botanica. Prior to beginning Fawn Lily Botanica in 2012, she worked within the natural and herbal product industries for two decades. Her herbal medicine and skin care articles and recipes have been featured and published in national magazines, blogs, newsletters, and journals including Willow and Sage Magazine, MaryJanesFarm Magazine, Mountain Rose Herbs, the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) Journal, EarthFirst Journal, Farming Magazine, Amaze Magazine, Eugene Magazine, and the Eugene Weekly among others. In her spare time, she can be found chasing her energetic twins around and exploring Oregon’s wild places.

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