Saturday, February 12, 2011

February 12, 2011: Steam Your Face

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One of the beauty treatments I used to do religiously when younger was a steam bath for my face. It opens the pores and the scent of herbs and/or flowers is very calming. Now that my skin is aging, this feels better than ever!

Now, in the middle of winter when the air is particularly dry, is an excellent time to take a few minutes and indulge yourself with a facial steam. If you can’t afford an expensive spa treatment, this is the next best thing and it literally costs only pennies. Just be sure to do this after the kids are in bed or when you have a half hour or so to yourself because you may be ready for bed afterward!

Recipe for Steam Facial

1 quart boiling water

Remove the pot of water from the heat and add one of the following herbs, depending on skin type:

Normal to Dry Skin – Add a handful of:
Chamomile (or 6 tea bags)
Fresh or dried rose petals
Dried rosemary leaves

Oily or Acne-Prone Skin – Add a handful of :
Dried Sage
Fresh or dried thyme
Fresh or dried mint leaves

Steep the herbs or flowers for about half an hour. Briefly bring the mixture back up to a boil then remove from heat. Lower your face over the pot, being careful not to burn your skin with the steam. Cover your head with a towel and relax for 10 minutes, breathing in the fragrant scent of the herbs while feeling your pores open.

After steaming, splash your face with cool water, dry gently, and finish off with a freshener/toner (plain old witch hazel works great). For the full weekly or monthly beauty treatment, you would follow the steaming with a facial mask, while your pores are open (recipes for homemade masks to follow).

It’s amazing how therapeutic this simple recipe feels! It’s the perfect way to freshen up winter-pasty facial skin.

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