We’re shifting from Fall to Winter and that means colds are on the rise. Seasonal changes can wreak havoc on my system. I have to take special precautions to make sure I stay healthy and strong. This includes steaming cups of herbal teas, lots of Vitamin C, and plenty of DIY herbal face steams to clear my nasal passages.
Benefits of an Herbal Face Steam
Besides feeling really good and nourishing, there are two benefits of herbal steams especially worth noting:
Have you been to a spa (or maybe just an Equinox) and experienced steam sauna? If you have, then you know exactly what I’m talking about! Steam can open pores, soften skin, and improve circulation. Facial steaming is often incorporated in facials. But when you’re feeling sick, a steam can have have both health and beauty benefits.
Inhaling steam can help alleviate congestion and offer relief from coughing and sneezing. When I start feeling under the weather, the first I do is make a DIY facial steam bath to help clear my nasal passages. Using steam in this way is an ancient practice. This remedy has been used by lots of cultures for thousands of years.
How to Do an Herbal Face Steam
Do you have 3 minutes? Then you can whip together a quick face steam really quick.
Herbal Face Steam Ingredients
- Essential Oils (I like Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lavender, and Lemongrass) – you can also use fresh herbs but I think the oils have a more potent kick
- Option: Garlic – I hear it’s great to add to an herbal steam!
- A large bowl
- A large towel
Prepare your Herbal Face Steam
- Boil 3-4 cups of water and carefully pour into a large bowl. Make sure the bowl is on a sturdy, heat-proof, flat surface. You don’t want this hot water to spill!
- Add 3 drops of each essential oil and stir.
- Cover and Wait 1-2 minutes
Herbal Face Steam Instructions
Uncover the bowl and check the steam to make sure it’s not too hot for your face. Steam burns suck so be careful!
When you’re ready, lean over the bowl and cover your head with the towel. You’re basically creating a little tent and try not to let any air escape or enter. You want to keep all that good steam for yourself.
I like to do a variety of breathing exercises. My favorite is to inhale for 8 counts, hold for 4 counts, exhale for 8 counts. Then just repeat this 8 times.
I try to breath in through my nose and out through my mouth at first. Then I alternate an breath in through my mouth and out through my nose. This helps loosen up the congestion. This might be gross – but your nose might start to run and that’s a good thing. Just let the any mucus fall into the bowl and throw it all away when you’re done.
Be careful with how much essential herb drops you use – less is more!
Face steams are not suggested for young children, mostly because we’re dealing with pipping hot steam and water. That’s an accident waiting to happen.
Pregnant women should also be safe because herbs can have all sorts of effects – be sure to check with a medical professional if you plan on doing an herbal face steam.