How to do a facial steam or steam inhalation

herbal facial steam

Facial steams can open the pores for treating skin conditions like acne. Or steam can be used as an inhalation to help clear catarrh, and open the airways to treat respiratory problems like colds, hayfever or sinusitis.

To prepare a steam bath:

Bring a large cooking pot or pan of water to a boil. Then place the pan on a trivet or similar heat proof mat. A good method is to stand the pot in an empty sink, which also allows for ease of emptying afterwards.

Lift the lid of the pan and add herbs or essential oils as required.

Use a large towel to form a tent over the head, whilst leaning over the pan. Remove the lid from the pan, close the eyes, allowing the steam to bathe the face.

Keep the face around 450cm from the surface of the water, being careful not to allow the steam to burn the skin.

Maintain exposure to the steam for around 3 to 5 minutes. If using the steam for respiratory troubles try to gently inhale the aromatic steam.

After the three minutes are finished. Gentle splash tepid or cool water onto the face to close the pores. Alternatively a astringent herbal water such as distilled witch hazel water can be used.

The facial steam can be repeated several times per week, as needed.

Which herbs to use

Herbs that can be used as a strong infusion, in a facial steam for skin conditions such as acne. Use approximately 25g of herb to 1 litre of freshly boiled water.

  • Calendula flowers
  • Lavender flowers
  • Rosemary leaves
  • Witch hazel bark
  • Chamomile flowers

Three to five drops of essential oils can be used instead of, or as well as these herbs.

For sinus and other respiratory problems, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory herbs such as these could be used:

  • Chamomile flowers
  • Thyme leaves and flowers
  • Yarrow leaves and flowers
  • Eucalyptus leaves

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