After basking in the humidity of beautiful places like Southern France and New York for most of last month, my skin really misses having some moisture in the air. I know I’m a bit of an oddity, but I love humidity and heat—especially when they’re combined. I feel like I’m walking around in a steam room and it makes me oh-so-happy (I suppose we all like what we don’t have? I was surprised by things moulding in a matter of days, which doesn’t really happen here in Calgary…). Anywho, ten days back in Alberta has me back on the lotion train, craving some humidity. And with my big, beautiful rose bush in full bloom I was feeling a bit inspired.
Believe it or not, I don’t think I’ve ever done a facial steam before. If I have, it’s been a decade or so since my last one. As a teenager I remember watching my dad do them to help clear his sinuses whenever he had a cold (I’m fairly confident that he wasn’t spiking his with flowers, though), and in general, the idea just sounded rather lovely. Facial steams help open up your pores to set you up for some awesome deep pore cleansing, and they’re also rather relaxing (bordering on boring). They help hydrate the skin (though that’s fairly short-lived) and loosen blockages in your pores, as well as in your sinuses. And that’s just the steam! Adding herbs helps boost the benefits.
I started with rose petals as my rose bush is in full bloom and I love roses. The essential oil is crazy pricey, so it’s nice to get some rose goodness for free, courtesy of my garden. If you don’t have access to clean, pesticide-free fresh rose petals, use dried ones instead (any maybe plant a rose bush for next year, haha). Roses are said to help calm and refresh the complexion, as well as being relaxing.
Next up I added some dried mint leaves (mine was just pure spearmint tea, so if you’ve got a mint tea just add a bag or two of that!) for a bright, refreshing note, and some calming chamomile (which you might also already have as plain chamomile tea). I finished the blend off with some spicy ginger root, which helps ease congestion and prevent acne (it totally looks like chunks of pineapple in the photos but I swear it’s ginger root!).
The final steam blend smells lovely; distinctly herbal with notes of warm grass, mint, and spice. After a ten minute steam my face felt wonderfully hydrated and open; perfectly primed for a face mask to do a bit of post-travel deep cleaning. #TreatYoSelf!
Calming Rose and Chamomile Facial Steam
1 fresh rose, petals plucked or 1/4 cup dried rose petals
1 tbsp dried mint leaves
1 tbsp dried chamomile flowers
1 tbsp fresh ginger root, sliced
1 litre | 1 quart just-boiled water
Before you get started, prepare your face-steaming area. Clear an area on your kitchen table and grab a comfy chair. Lay out a bath towel to create a tent to trap the steam, and queue up an interesting podcast to listen to. You’ll likely also want to put down some sort of place mat or hot pad to insulate the table from the heat of the bowl.
Measure the rose petals, mint leaves, chamomile flowers, and ginger root out into a medium sized mixing bowl. Place that bowl on the table where you intend to do your steaming, and pour the boiling water into it.
To steam, lean over the bowl of steaming herbal goodness and pop the towel over top of your head so it drapes down onto the table and helps trap the steam so it can open up your pores. If it gets a bit too warm for you, just lift the towel a bit to get some more fresh air circulating and vent out some of the heat.
I steamed for about ten minutes while listening to No Such Thing as a Fish (my favourite podcast!). Even with the audio entertainment it got a bit dull, and my neck started to get a bit stiff at that point.
Post-steam your pores will be wide open, so it’s a great time to do a face mask or use some toner to vacuum out your pores and/or help close them back up. I used a bit of the now-herb-infused water from the steam to hydrate my face mask 🙂 I thought about drinking the infused water when I was done, but changed my mind as I started to sweat over it and my nose started to drip a bit!