A LITTLE HISTORY
Among ancient Greeks and Romans, cleanliness was regarded as a way to pay tribute to the gods. Mineral and clay baths were used for detoxifying the body, and botanicals were added to relax the muscles and soothe the nerves, as well as for the aromatherapy benefits.
The Romans, widely known for their competitive spirit and engineering prowess, eventually created and built bath facilities that were a wonder to behold. They became not just a place to relax and get clean, but what would be considered a modern day retreat, as they stayed for hours, eating, drinking and socializing. These bath houses were suited out with heated marble floors, overflowing baths, massive vaulted ceilings, and massages with luxury oils were offered. They are the prototype for modern day spas, bath houses and steam facilities all over the world.
Many other cultures have steaming as a part of their rituals. Namely the Mayans, the Native Americans, to name a couple.
WHAT IS FACIAL STEAMING
Facial steaming is similar to body steaming, but on a smaller scale. It is the application of steam to the face, for similar benefits, such as cleansing, promoting circulation, and it is also believed to improve the production of collagen and elastin, which are thought to be integral to maintaining a firm youthful glow to your skin. Adding select botanical and herbs can provide additional skin benefits to improve the outcome from your facial steaming. There are various methods that can be used at home, which will be explored more below.
BENEFITS OF FACIAL STEAMING
One of the first and most beneficial reasons for facial steaming is cleansing. The steam helps to loosen up the buildup of pollution, dirt and grime left over from just going about our days in most metropolitan settings. In addition, we may use a lot of makeup and skincare products that are beneficial to our skin, but need to be removed as they will create build up and clog pores, as well as preventing skin from “breathing”. Facial steaming is great for every skin type, but especially beneficial for acne-prone skin. Steaming not only helps to cleanse the skin, but also to loosen up sebum that may be trapped in pores, which can lead to inflammation in the form of acne. It also loosens up the dead cells, making them easier to remove, revealing fresh new skin.
Facial steaming also promotes blood circulation. The warmth of the steam, plus the ensuing perspiration causes blood vessels to become dilated, allowing for increased blood flow. This increases the amount of oxygen flow, which nourishes the skin, providing a natural, healthy glow. It’s similar to that glow you get after a great workout. You may consider adding facial steaming to your weekly facial ritual and use your stone roller to help further improve the benefits of lymphatic drainage.
Facial steaming does not just benefit the skin. With Spring almost upon us, many of us are already experiencing seasonal allergies. Facial steaming can help to relieve some symptoms of allergies, such as congestion, as it opens up the nasal passages and can loosen up mucus making it easier to expectorate.
HOW TO STEAM AT HOME
It's wonderful to get a professional facial every now and then, but it’s not always possible or affordable. It is very easy to reap the benefits of facial steaming in the comfort of your own home. There are a few easy ways to do your own facial steaming at home effectively.
- With a washcloth or facial towel - this can be done as a treatment by itself, or used as a part of your oil cleansing method. When my acne was at its worst, I used the oil cleansing method DAILY. All you need is a clean washcloth or face towel. Submerge it into very warm water (not too hot so you don’t cause a steam burn). Wring out the excess water and place it gently on your cleansed face. Leave it until it gets cool enough that you feel you are no longer benefitting from it. This can be repeated if desired, but is not necessary for jus facial steaming. For oil cleansing, I repeat until the oil is completely removed from my face, after wiping the oil, rinsing and repeating two or three times. This is my favorite method for a quick steam to remove makeup at the end of the day, or just quick facial steam before bed. Follow with a face mist/toner like the KIINI Face Mist, and desired moisturizer. My go to is the KIINI Facial oil, which is a light, no greasy oil, that I manage into damp skin until it is absorbed.
- Bowl and Towel Method - this one is just as easy, but a little more involved, and gives you the option to now add botanicals and herbs like the Karibu365 Facial Steam, that will be beneficial to your skin. For this method you will need similar tools. A glass or metal bowl, hot water, facial steam blend, and a larger towel (bath sized towel). You will employ a similar method as well, but this will be more potent. Add the facial steam blend to the hot water. After cleansing your skin, place your face 6-8 inches away from the bowl, cover your head with the towel, and allow the steam to do its work. Stay under the towel anywhere from 5-8 minutes, depending on how hot the steam is. There should be steam, but not hot enough to cause a steam burn. For this method, you will perspire. Allow yourself the gently breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. You will find that helps to circulate the steam a bit better as well. This is my favorite method for a weekly steam.
- The third method is using a tabletop facial steamer. This one is also an easy method. If you are inclined to purchase a facial steamer, you will also enjoy facial steaming with this method. Follow the instructions that come with the steamer. You can also benefit from the use of herbs and botanicals while using a facial steamer, but this requires some planing ahead. They usually come with a small receptacle to fill with the perfect amount of water. You can fill the receptacle with plain water, or plan ahead and brew some skin tea and leave it to cool down. One table spoon of the Karibu365 Facial Steam blend will make several servings. Add to one or two cups of water, and let it steep. Once cooled, strain and add to the facial steamer, and follow the instructions as normal. Place the remaining liquid in the refrigerator, or freeze if you want to keep longer than a few days for future use.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- ALWAYS USE DISTILLED WATER REGARDLESS OF THE METHOD USED.
- use a washcloth if you will be using the first method. It’s just easier to manage. If you want to also do your neck, use a facial towel.
- do your facial steaming with the bowl and towel method before taking a bath, and pour the remaining liquid in the bathtub for an improved bath experience.
- add a little bit of the liquid to your clay mask applied after the steam, so your skin continues to benefit from the awesome botanicals and herbs
- use a facial roller after the final step of applying moisturizer/facial oil, to aid with lymphatic drainage. Your blood vessels are dilated, and this will help to make the release of toxins easier.
Did you enjoy, or lean anything about facial steaming from this blog? Have you tried, or will you try facial steaming? Are you interested in learning what botanicals and herbs are beneficial for facial steaming? Let me know In the comments below.
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