Discovering the Benefits of Botanical Facial Steams

I’ve always been intrigued by botanical facial steams but never really knew much about them at all. When I connected with Michelle Slote of Elixir Apothecary, owner & stockist of holistic remedies, essentials and luxuriesI knew I found my source of knowledge. 


Michelle shares that facial steams are a very old and effective practice and depending on the botanicals used can treat many things.  The steam from the hot/warm water opens the pores making the skin open to the botanicals’ benefits.  She believes it’s one of the most relaxing pamperings one can do and is currently developing her own line of facial steams! Let’s find out more…

Hi Michelle, thanks for chatting with Why Hello Beauty! Tell me, what are the benefits of facial steaming, as opposed to using say a Clarisonic for example or a mud facial mask?

The benefits of facial steaming are naturally occuring and I’ll list them below.

  1. The steam provides a gentle opening of the pores.  Depending on the botanicals + essential oils used in the steam will determine the results.  The opening of the pores allows the botanicals to be far more effective, unlike the Clarisonic that goes straight in for the cleanse with foreign (foreign to our skin) bristles.  Our skin reacts best to what nature has to offer due to our bodies being so aligned with the earth.  Therefore, our skin is much more receptable to steam followed by the botanicals grown from the earth. On the topic of face masks, facial steaming actually preps the skin for a face mask if desired.  This is due to the open pores and cleansed skin depending on the botanicals. The facial steaming process opens the skin up to soaking in more of the face mask’s benefits.
  2. Facial steaming relaxes you.  If you drape a small towel over your head, it will almost transport you to your own world of relaxation.
  3. Facial steaming boosts the skin’s circulation.  The heat from the steam sends a rush of blood and oxygen to the skin’s surface.  Circulation is essential for ridding dull skin, removing toxins + bacteria and skin’s elasticity + ability to fight age. Also that’s why we have a red, post-steam glow.

What is actually within the pretty little facial steaming products, and what benefits can you achieve with the different botanicals available?

  • Allspice – anti-inflammatory
  • Arrowroot – heals acne
  • Clove – vitamins a + c + prevents aging
  • Cedar leaf – detox + boosts circulation
  • Cornflower – toner – anti-imflammatory – antioxident
  • Cardamom – boosts glow to skin
  • Calendula – calms skin – anti-imflammatory – reduces redness
  • Chryscanthemun – reduces irritation + anti-inflammatory
  • Linden – calms stressed skin
  • Comfrey root – reduces acne
  • Chamomile – calms skin
  • Danelion root – heals scarring
  • Ginger – reduces sun damage
  • Hibiscus – asntringent
  • Immortelle – repairs skin tears + marks
  • Juniper berry – provides anxiety relief
  • Lavender – relaxes
  • Licorice balm – calms skin + fights acne
  • Marigold – opens the spirit
  • Orange – balances skin tone
  • Rose – antifungal + antiviral
  • Red Clover Blossoms – purifies skin
  • Rosehip – nourishes + moisturises skin
  • Sunflower – repairs skin
  • Stinging nettle leaf – astringent
  • Star anise – antiseptic + cleanses skin
  • Peppermint – reduces the need for skin to over-produce oil
  • Thyme – anti-septic + levels out discoloration
  • Violet flowers – antibacterial – treats eczema
  • Yarrow – asringent – toner
  • Witch hazel leaf – calms oily skin + reduces the need for skin to over-produce oil
  • White willow bark – heals acne

There are many more flowers + herbs that can be used in a facial steam.  Adding in essential oils too means the possibilities are endless! We are trying to narrow down herbs for our blend at the moment because there are so many beneficial options.

What is the correct process we should follow for a safe & beneficial luxurious facial steam?

  1. Boil water on the stove.
  2. 1/2 way through add the facial steam botanicals and boil for 1 minute.
  3. Remove from the stove and let it cool for a few minutes.
  4. Place a small towel over the back of your head.
  5. Lean over the steaming bowl and let the steam do it’s magic.
  6. Five minutes minimum but no more than ten minutes.
  7. Do this once or twice a week to avoid irritation of the skin and the disruption of the top layer of skin.

Is there any products/ingredients or activities we should avoid after a facial steaming?

In general, your skin should be fine to apply your normal skin care routine afterwards. But this can vary person to person and if you have any doubts, stick to calming/ sensitive safe skincare after treatments.

Keep an eye out for the release of Elixir Apothecary‘s range of facial steams due during the US Spring, I know I’ll be snapping one up for sure!


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