Facial steams are a great way to open your pores to more deeply cleanse the face. They are also wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating. Steam inhalation is also great for decongesting the upper respiratory system during a cold or flu.
It is best to start with a clean face. Boil one pint of well water or bottled water (you don't want to be inhaling treated water). Pour into a quart sized, heat proof bowl and place on a kitchen table or desk. Add any other ingredients at this time if you choose (see below). Sit down and slowly lower your head closer to the bowl. Be careful not to get your face too close, the steam can be hot. Using a bath towel, make a 'tent' over your head and the bowl so that the steam stays in. Remain under the steam tent for 20 min (I like to listen to relaxing music, a book on tape, or just meditate on my breathing). Now that your pores are open, it is a great time to do a masque for a deep cleaning (try Uspa's Facial Refining Mud). If a masque isn't in the cards, just rinse, tone, moisturize, and enjoy!
Some ideas for ingredients to add:
3 chamomile or mint tea bags
1-2 drops of essential oil:
mint: to perk you up
lavender or chamomile: soothing for skin & the spirit
citrus, sage, thyme or oregano: for oily and/or pimpled skin
licorice or fennel: for dry and/or mature skin
Here's a festive winter twist - add small sprigs of fresh cut greens! No, not lettuce or kale! Cedar, pine, spruce, juniper, or fir! The heat of the water will help to release their fragrant natural oils - mmmmm.....
For a real treat, arrange winter greens and candles around your bath tub then toss a bit right in the tub! There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh winter greens in your home.