If you’ve ever found yourself on the receiving end of a facial, you know that steam is one of the essential tools an aesthetician employs to start the detoxing process. Likewise, you probably know a thing or two about the myriad health and beauty benefits of tea. So it’s not that surprising that when you combine them, you get facial tea steaming: a one-two punch of holistic beauty that’s gaining a serious following from natural beauty mavens to supermodels like Miranda Kerr—and is about rock your skin-care routine.
“Steaming the body has origins in early purification rituals practiced by ancient cultures,” explains Jeannie Jarnot, founder of non-toxic beauty subscription service Beauty Heroes (and former director of the Spa at the Carneros Inn). While steaming your face? That’s all about your makeup-and-grime-filled pores.
And while plain old steam can certainly get the job done, a nourishing tea-infused steam that delivers targeted beauty benefits straight into your open pores is even better, she says. “When laced with herbs, the steam brings specific therapeutic benefits, depending on the mix of botanicals,” says Jarnot. “Rose and chamomile blossoms, for instance, soften the skin, whereas rosemary adds a mildly astringent effect to combat oiliness. Plus, all of them give you a relaxing dose of aromatherapy.”
“Incorporating the practice into an at-home beauty ritual is like giving your skin a cleansing bath,” says Jarnot. “It allows the pores to naturally detoxify.” Here’s how to tea steam your face in three easy steps…
1. Cleanse your face thoroughly and pat it dry. Just make sure to remove all your make-up.
2. In a pot or bowl, cover a handful of tea with boiling water. You can definitely use a regular herbal tea but lots of beauty brands are formulating blends especially for your face. Jarnot favors Shiva Rose’s Glowing Rose Facial Steam, which is made of chamomile, calendula, and rose petals for moisturizing and soothing and Fig + Yarrow’s seasonal herbal steams, with specific herbs chosen to suit the skin’s needs in each season.
For oily or breakout-prone skin, R.L Linden’s Royal Lemon Balms Beauty Tea contains lemon balm, holy basil and lemon verbena to calm and purify, and Skin Owl Marigold Beauty Steam makes a detoxifying and decongesting blend of marigold (calendula), comfrey, rosemary, fennel, and nettle that founder Annie Tevelin says did for her what a scrub never could.
3. Once your pores are open, Jarnot recommends a detoxing clay or charcoal mask to further draw out impurities. “I like to use the warm tea to activate a dry mask or to rinse the mask after I’m finished,” she adds. Follow with toner and moisturizer.”
And if you haven’t used up your extra tea, you can also pour in into your bathtub and soak in it. Your pores all over will thank you. —Victoria Lewis
(Photos: From top, Skin Owl/Annie Tevelin, Skin Owl, RL Linden, Fig & Yarrow)