Fairly often, I’ll come across an interview with a skin care specialist in magazines like Vogue, and it’s the same old story—“book frequent facials—your skin will thank you ten years later…” I’m sure my skin would appreciate a weekly facial, but for many of us, that’s just not in the budget!
Fortunately, you can turn your kitchen into a home spa with just a few adjustments. This past Sunday, I pulled back my hair, leaned over a pot of steaming brew, and enjoyed a most luxurious DIY tea steam facial. (Maybe this will turn into a Sunday morning ritual!)
I have a hunch that treating your skin to a weekly tea steam facial will result in some skin gratitude down the road 🙂 Steaming your face helps relax your pores, making it easier to remove debris and other nasties. Cleaner, more open pores allow your products to perform at their best. As an esthetician once explained to me, damp skin is like the soil after a light rain—more absorbent to “fertilizer” and treatments.
(Also, aside form saving you money, your DIY spa gives you control over what ingredients touch your skin, making it easier to be cruelty-free and all natural.)
Set the spa mood. Part of the joy of going to a salon/spa is being somewhere other than your usual, mundane haunts and easing into a relaxing, beautifying environment. Play quiet, tranquil music (“Yoga Radio” on Pandora may be a good place to start). Light a few candles, and dim the lights. Silence your cell. Be present for your experience.
Prep your skin. Gently remove any eye makeup that could run into your eyes. Tie your hair away from your face. (I personally like to steam my face when I’m not wearing any makeup but before I’ve gone through my morning skin care routine. I don’t like the idea of makeup being “in the way” of that lovely steam.)
Create your beautifying tea medley. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Select which tea you’d like to add to your water. The options are really endless here. You may choose from chamomile, rose, green tea, jasmine, peppermint, rooibos…just to name a few! You can also throw in rose petals, herb leaves, lemon slices, orange slices, and/or drops of your favorite essential oil. You may use loose or bagged tea. I poured the contents out of the tea bags because I like to watch the dried petals and leaves floating around 😉 Customize to your heart’s content!
I mixed 1 packet chamomile, 1 packet jasmine green tea, a few drops of jasmine absolute oil, and 2 slices of lemon. The aroma was at once relaxing and quietly energizing. It was heavenly.
Once your water is boiling, add your special ingredients and remove from heat. You may want to set your hot pot on an oven mitt or pot cozy to prevent damaging your table.
Relax. Now for the fun part. Cover your head with a towel and lean over your pot. At first, try to keep at least a foot between you and the pot—the steam should not hurt your skin. As the steam becomes gentler, you may lean in more. Your steam sesh can last anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes. Breathe deeply. Let everything else go.
Cleanse and nourish. After at least 15 minutes of tea steaming, cleanse and exfoliate your skin. Apply serum and moisturize. For a full facial experience and increased antioxidant absorption, I encourage you to massage your moisturizer into your skin. Don’t feel rushed to slap it all on there—remember, you’re at the spa! I moisturized with this face oil.
Admire your glowing skin.
What tea combos will you be trying?
Related: 7 Uses of the Argan Oil
Photos: Mary Hood