Time-Honored Remedy, Face Steaming 101


Tis the season for face steaming. If you enjoy getting facials, you might have noticed that at times steam is involved in the process. Your aesthetician steams your face in order to open up the pores. Did you know that this is an old wellness practice shared by many cultures? The first time I encountered the face sauna was when I was just a little girl living in Slovakia. My sisters and I all caught a cold and in order to prove relief, my mother boiled a large pot of water and filled it with chamomile flowers. We huddled under a warm blanket steaming our faces off. The scent of chamomile was pleasing and still remains to be one of my favorite scents. Even as a child I could tell that it allowed me to breathe easier and cleared up my sinuses, although I admit that at that time I did not enjoy the feeling of a mini hot sauna.

Today, I remember this cold remedy fondly. As a sinus headache sufferer and at-home facial enthusiast, I use it often. Every time I steam my face, it brings back memories of my mother brewing and handling herbs with ease. If you plan on embracing face steaming, don’t be afraid to look silly. Be in the moment and enjoy practicing this classic remedy in silence.

Face Steaming 101

Step 1.

Unless you are buying your herbal mixture from an herbalist or a skincare brand, keep it simple. I prefer chamomile, but at times I include eucalyptus and rose.

Step 2.

Find a place, such as your kitchen counter or table, where you can hover over the water comfortably and inhale. This is where you will place your pot of hot mixture so make sure it is a heat-proof surface. I like to place a cutting board under my hot water.

Step 3.

Boil water in a medium pot. (If you prefer transfer your boiled water to a large ceramic mixing boil instead of using a pot, however this step is unnecessary.) Once the water boils, drop in your herbs and you are ready to steam. Allow it to steep for a moment. Be careful when handling the pot, always grab it with a towel.

Step 4.

Cover your head with a blanket and immerse your freshly cleaned face in the steam. Make sure to not get too close to the water. Simply inhale and exhale with ease. Keep covered so you can get all the benefits and the steam does not escape. Do this for 10 minutes.

Step. 5

Splash your face with cold water afterwards and remember to moisturize.

Extra Tip: It is especially calming and beneficial when combined with a clay mask afterwards. Doing this will draw out dirt and allow your skin to breathe.

There are many skin benefits that can result from a facial steam: increased circulation, rejuvenation, hydration, clear skin and of course that much-desired skin glow.

Image via Thinkstock

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