With a bowl of hot water and a handful of these dried plants, you can work wonders on your complexion.
Steam has long been used as a therapeutic treatment in Eastern medicine, and it’s an excellent natural beauty hack. While facial steaming with plain old water is fine, adding dried herbs to your steam bath makes it even more therapeutic. Steam increases skin’s permeability, so your skin’s deeper layers can absorb the healing properties of the herbs—including their blemish-fighting prowess.
“Who’s your facialist?” herbs
These common kitchen herbs have head-turning beautifying powers.
Chamomile has calming effects on skin and has been found to be antiallergic. It’s great for soothing sensitive and reactive complexions. It also treats acne, as chamomile is antimicrobial and antioxidant and may have anti-inflammatory effects on red and inflamed pimples. Adding two bags of chamomile tea to a steam bath helps tailor the treatment to hypersensitive and breakout-prone skin types.
Sage is a strong antibacterial ingredient that purifies the skin. It’s astringent and clarifying, making it good for oily complexions with cystic acne. Add half a handful of loose dried sage leaves to your steam bath to infuse it with these detoxifying properties.
Green tea (from the Camellia sinensis plant) contains polyphenols that help acne-prone skin produce less facial sebum (oil). Green tea has also been found to help prevent UV damage when applied topically, and it increases skin’s immune function, improving its overall health. Adding green tea bags to your steam treatment will help protect your face against the elements and breakouts.
Estheticians often use steam during facial services to soften the skin’s surface and prepare it for pore extracting. Here’s the thing: Steaming does not need to be performed by a professional. Weekly steaming should be incorporated into your regular at-home beauty routine. Here’s why.
Steaming helps you sweat out skin impurities and toxins. It draws out pore buildup from the deeper layers of your skin, purging congestion without being invasive. Comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) are often a result of dried-out sebum that has become hard from dehydration. Facial steaming helps lubricate the skin, allowing comedones to move out of the skin more easily and preventing facial bruising and scarring.
Facial steaming can also stop comedones before they form. Regularly steaming treats dehydration—a factor in pore buildup—and increases circulation in your skin, which is key in maintaining a healthy, clear complexion. The blood feeds and oxygenates the skin and transports waste away from skin cells.
As noted above, warm steam is hydrating for the skin. Plus, skin tissue absorbs moisture from skincare products and the external environment more readily after steaming. This, along with the enhanced absorption that clean pores provide, increases your skin’s suppleness.