Benefits of Facial Steaming for Ultimate Skin Health!
Are you ready for some double duty Beauty to recharge your entire skin routine?? Not only is Facial Steaming a beautiful self-care ritual that feels cleansing to the soul, it also serves to supercharge the skincare you apply afterwards! Read on to learn ALL about this natural remedy that truly does WONDERS for ultimate skin health, acne, and hyperpigmentation!
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I have to admit, when I first heard about facial steaming, it just seemed like yet another step in one’s skincare routine and for many, many years, I was never one to go above and beyond with my skincare. Partially out of laziness, being “too busy” or “too tired” and also because I’ve been battling chronic acne since puberty (literally 23 years of acne!), which made me sort of resent the whole skincare process and my skin, in general… This year I’ve decided to focus on enhancing the overall health of my skin, rather than battling the acne, in particular. Read on to see this new theory in action!
It wasn’t until I won a giveaway from Earthwise Beauty where I literally fell in LOVE with natural skincare and the entire process of applying my skincare became a total ZEN experience to wake me up in the morning and help me unwind at night. This is when I really got into educating myself about healing the skin rather than “treating my skin” with harsh topicals that were doing more harm than good.
Facial Steaming is fascinating because the way it works is the perfect example of WHY and HOW natural skincare performs in a holistic manner: healing skin issues from the source, strengthening the skin’s delicate microbiome, and establishing overall balance on the skin’s surface.
What is Facial Steaming?
Facial Steaming utilizes the steam from boiling water and herbs that are placed into the boiling water release their healing nutrients into the steam, thus making the actual steam more effective. This is key! For the longest time, I thought I could gain the same benefits of actual facial steaming if I just took a hot shower and “steamed” my pores that way. After having zero success with simply trying to do a water-only facial steam in the shower, I can confidently relay that facial steaming the RIGHT away will yield much different results over time!
The steam from the herb-infused water serves to open the pores on the skin to clear out ALL the trapped gunk, the oil, dead skin cells, toxic buildup from dirt & pollution, bacteria, and literally anything that may be clogging your pores at the time. While the steam is opening your pores, loosening blackheads, and releasing dead skin cells that can get trapped in the tiny hair follicles on our faces, the specific herbs in your facial steam blend will serve to balance and protect your skin on a cellular level with added antioxidants, anti-aging, Anti-inflammatory & antibacterial properties!
Another plus side to opening one’s pores in this manner is that once you’re done facial steaming, your skin will more readily absorb all of that glorious natural skincare you’ve carefully selected for your skin type and concerns! Now your skincare is even MORE effective at doing its job! 👍😀
Achillea millefolium (white yarrow) flowers†, Chrysanthemum indicum flowers (organic when available), Centaurea cyanus (cornflowers)† or *, Calendula officinalis flowers (* or organic), Camellia sinensis (green tea) leaves, Symphytum officinale (comfrey) leaf (* or organic), Plantago major (plantain) leaves†.
*Certified organic. †Responsibly wildcrafted.
Certified cruelty free, vegan, handcrafted, small batch. Gluten free.
I LOVE this blend because Ava, the owner of Earthwise Beauty, carefully selected each herb for this blend that naturally “heals acne (yet are nondrying and nonirritant), reduce inflammation, cool, refresh, and soothe the skin” (Ava’s words to describe this blend). Selene Facial Steam’s amazing herbal benefits:
White yarrow flowers: “The healing properties are strongly anti-inflammatory, acne reducing, analgesic (pain reducing, which comes in handy if one has painful breakouts), cooling, and refreshing. Yarrow has a special affinity for the skin (renowned American herbalists Matthew Wood and Michael Moore recommend yarrow for wrinkles, acne, psoriasis, and to speed healing of wounds) and as a vascular system regulator (yarrow’s benefits in this area include the ability to stop bleeding, to improve the strength of capillaries, to make a reddened complexion appear less red by drawing blood away from the skin, and also the opposite, to improve coloring in very pale complexions).
On a psychic level, yarrow seals our aura so that we sense a protective shield around us and are not as vulnerable to negative energies; our center, our composure, remains intact.”
Chrysanthemum flowers: “Chrysanthemum flowers are highly cooling and anti-inflammatory, with a delicate floral aroma. They are also used traditionally for firming the skin (Ava came across historic accounts of Persian women daily splashing their décolleté and breasts with cooled chrysanthemum tea before retiring for bed to maintain firm and youthful breasts into their old age)”——Fascinating!!! I love little historical facts like this! 😍🤗👍
Comfrey: “Western herbalists consider comfrey to be the best plant for tissue regeneration. Its healing properties make it ideal for soothing dry skin, as well as skin that is scarred or does not heal quickly. Comfrey and calendula are both especially effective healers for skin that is sensitive to topical products.”
Calendula: “One of herbalists’ most-used flowers for skin concerns, from cold sores to acne to dry or thin skin, calendula offers unsurpassed skin-balancing properties. The flowers soften the skin, soothe dryness, and reinvigorate dull or tired-looking complexions.”
Cornflowers: “There is a surge of interest in cornflowers as a skin-enhancing herb, particularly for their cooling and anti-inflammatory properties.”
Plantain leaves: “The drawing properties of plantain leaves makes them an ideal herb for blackhead- and acne-prone skin types. They help to clarify the pores without any drying effects.”
Whether or not you choose to use Selene Facial Steam, I just had to include Ava’s beautiful, inspiring descriptions of all the wonderful benefits that plant-healing can provide in natural skincare on a holistic level!
Now let’s get to the actual PROCESS of facial steaming! 🙌🌺
How to Facial Steam:
First figure out where you’ll be doing your facial steaming where you’ll be comfortable and where you can place a boiling pot of water or bowl of water in a safe space while leaning over it. You can go all out and use a fancy bowl just for your facial steaming or you can simply use a Pyrex glass container, which is small, portable and does the trick. It’s also good to use something that you can easily re-heat for longer facial steaming sessions where the infusion will inevitably cool off.
I boil a small pot of water on the stove (4-6 cups or less depending on how big of a bowl you’re using).
Once the water is boiling, I add a generous handful of herbs from Earthwise Beauty’s Selene Facial Steam and stir gently (four to five tablespoons). Reduce the heat, cover, and let boil for a few minutes (I usually set a timer for 3-5 minutes).
Remove from heat and pour into your bowl of choice. You can also add a few drops of one or more essential oils at this time for added Aromatherapy Benefits. My favorite essential oils to add are lavender, geranium, & bergamot, or the Soothe Synergy Blend by Plant Therapy. 👌🌺✨
Then grab your big towel and drape it over your head. Position your head about half a foot away from the bowl to isolate the warmth and steam in the vicinity of your face. If you feel the need to let in some cool air from time to time, just lift up a corner of your towel.
I like to take deep breathes as I inhale the mild, soothing scent of the herbs from the blend. This is a perfect opportunity to unwind, relax, decompress, practice mindfulness by just focusing on all five senses of the experience. You can also take this time to think of what you’re grateful for, think positive thoughts, and recite affirmations. This is NOT the time to make a mental “to do” list, which is the exact opposite of being mindfully present in the moment 😅. We need to seize these little moments of bliss when we can! ✨
How long you decide to make your facial steam last is up to you, although the longer, the better! The hot steam will help open the skin’s pores and the herbs will penetrate deeper to enhance the purifying, healing, and moisturizing benefits. Ideally, steam your face for 15 to 30 minutes (reheat the infused tea if needed halfway through the session).
For the ultimate skin-healing facial at home, follow facial steaming with a face mask of your choice (I love mixing together Twinkle Apothecary’s Green Tea + Aloe mask (✨save $5 off your first order through my referral links for Twinkle Apothecary!✨) with Earthwise Beauty’s Catharsis Face Mask. Lastly, I generously mist my face with lavender hydrosol and/or Toning Mist from Twinkle Apothecary (I also do this to extend the wear-time of my facial mask). Then, I apply a deep-acting serum, such as the much raved about Nap in the Meadow Face Serum (Full Review HERE) mixed with 3-4 drops of Black Locust Firming Concentrate (full Review HERE) from Earthwise Beauty.
I literally wake up to glowing skin like I never dreamed possible and this whole process allows me to honor the body I’m in, rather than loathing the finicky nature of my skin.
The best part is that after you’ve done your facial steaming and have completed your spa-day-at-home for a restorative self-care ritual that works on healing both the mind AND your skin, you can re-purpose this beautiful herbal infusion! Here’s how!
Simply strain the herbs, pour into any preferred container of choice (I love keeping clean, glass spray bottles from used-up skincare for purposes like this) and refrigerate the infusion for up to 2 days. You can either use it as a toner, a hydrosol mist right out of the refrigerator, which feels heavenly on hot summer days! Ava recommends warming the leftover infusion to use as a “face mist, facial compress, or hair rinse for all hair types, or add it to your bath. Store away from direct light exposure to protect the fragile botanicals within.”
✨✨✨My Experience & RESULTS:✨✨✨👇
The past few years have been brutal on my skin with a combo of oily skin, chronic adult acne, hormonal acne that’s deep, painful cysts, and lots and lots of clogged, under the surface pores that left my skin feeling bumpy even when it looked clear in certain areas. Then I thought I may have fungal acne, in addition to traditional acne, which I attempted to treat with topicals that completely destroyed by skin’s lipid barrier and I suffered from the WORST case of atopic dermatitis I had never imagined was even possible in December of 2019.
Since 2020 began, my skin started out as SUPER SENSITIVE since my horrific bout of atopic dermatitis, which basically made me pair down my skincare to the most gentle products imaginable. I stopped constantly trying new products all at once (if I did try something new, I was careful to add one new product at a time and really see how my skin responded). And my skincare routine became heavily focused on HEALING my skin and controlling chronic inflammation in my skin with anti-inflammatory herbs.
My tried and true Earthwise Beauty products that literally transformed my skin, as well as DEEP, indented scarring, & hyperpigmentation are Nap in the Meadow Face Serum for the ultimate, aloe-based, noncomedogenic anti-inflammatory facial serum that is MIRACULOUS. I did a WHOLE blog post dedicated to my results with this serum prior to my skin issues this year. Keep reading to see my current before and after photos!
The second product from Earthwise Beauty that no other facial oil can ever hold a candle to that harnesses the power of Nature’s Retinol, known as, Bakuchiol, for instant skin plumping, collagen production, suppleness, and anti-aging skin health that truly healed my skin and the dryness that was underlying the overproduction of oil in my skin is Black Locust Firming Concentrate, which I also dedicated a full blog post to (I literally felt compelled to share my experience with the world after decades of searching for a facial oil blend that didn’t make my skin worse!). ✨You can always save an extra 15% at Earthwise Beauty using the coupon code Clarity15!💞✨
I started facial steaming about 5 months ago and WOW, I’ve been missing out! For the longest time, I knew I needed to exfoliate my skin in order to keep my pores from getting clogged with dead skin cells and oil. Physical exfoliation, such as a facial brush like the clarisonic or using facial scrubs with small, abrasive particles always made my acne worse because it just angered my skin and smeared around harmful bacteria. The Konjac sponge is an exception to this because it’s much more mild. It was helping, but not quite doing the trick. And exfoliating with chemical exfoliants such as glycolic acid, other AHA’s & BHA, created a very fine line in being “too much” where it was just stripping my skin.
Facial Steaming ended up being the NATURAL SOLUTION TO EXFOLIATION! The key is to facial steam regularly at least once per week! Due to the fact that the very act of facial steaming serves to open up the pores to de-gunk all the things that are clogging one’s skin, you have to stick with it over time so the magic can happen.
This allows all the benefits of the ingredients I apply topically to fully penetrate the deepest layers of my skin to heal on a totally new level! Then, throughout the week maintaining this clarity by double cleansing at least once per day, using a mild astringent toner, and a facial mask applied twice per week (once directly after facial steaming and the second time the very next day if I can, which seems to be a super effective trick I learned in the past few months 👌).
✨✨✨Here are my Before & After Photos!👇🙌✨✨✨
This is my skin in December, 2019 after the horrific bout of atopic dermatitis that was the stuff of nightmares! 😢🤦♀️👇
This is what it looked like after the dermatitis healed in late January 2020, but I still had severe scarring left behind with huge pores and lots of under the surface clogged pores.
And this is my skin today, in July 2020 with one healing breakout on my forehead from constantly sweating from exercising or just from this wicked heat 😅:
Overall, I’m totally sold on facial steaming and I just had to share about my experience! 👌😀 This has been a strange and trying year on so many levels, it’s nice to finally share something POSITIVE with you all! 🎉 In uncertain times, or throughout life, in general, it’s so important to find little moments of zen and bliss. We just have to create space to make room for these moments and to take it all in.. On a less philosophical level 😊 my overall pore size has reduced, my oil production is more under control, even during the hottest months of the year! AND my chronic acne is FINALLY under control without any form of harsh topicals or chemicals!!! 🙌
I can’t say many “good” things about the current pandemic we’re in, however, the one thing that this period of uncertainty has taught me is how to make only mindful, carefully thought out purchases on things I really, truly NEED. Being really strapped for cash has taught me that spending more on one or two products that actually work is better than buying one “cheaper” item after another until I have so many things, I have no idea what’s actually working and what isn’t and then I just end up wasting a lot of everything, which ends up costing more money and frustration in the end!
My skincare routine has been paired down so much that I KNOW without a doubt what’s doing what and which products are truly worth their price, perform as they claim to, and what I would actually repurchase over and over again, as opposed to constantly moving to trying the next “supposedly best thing”. This process has made me FALL IN LOVE with applying skincare, and honoring the time and love that went into the creation of each beautifully crafted formula. I’ve also actually been using products up and when I feel excited to repurchase the same product again, I know it’s a skincare match made in heaven and I feel good about supporting the small businesses that have won my heart!
Let me know if you’d like to see a full, updated skincare routine that goes into depth with what I’ve done to heal my chronic adult acne using ONLY plant-based, natural products!
I hope you’ve found this post on Facial Steaming helpful and inspiring! Let me know in the comments below if you decide to give it a go!
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