An herbal steam opens pores and stimulates blood circulation. But for people who have extremely sensitive, damaged, or dry skin, or those who are prone to developing tiny broken veins or capillaries, herbal steams can be irritating and should be avoided unless suggested by a doctor or other health-care provider.
Simple Herbal Facial Steam
½ cup dried herbs (such as calendula, German or Roman chamomile, lavender flowers, orange or other citrus peel, peppermint, rosemary, or rose petals)
Bring a 3-quart pot of water to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Add the herbs to the pot of steaming water. Wait a few minutes to allow the water to cool slightly. Place your face about 12 inches above the pot and drape a towel over your head. Allow the steam to bathe the skin of your face for a moment or two. Remove the towel, raise your head, and take a few breaths of fresh air. Repeat the process for a maximum of 5 to 10 minutes. As the herbs steep, the rising steam will open your pores and carry the aromatic volatile oil components of the herbs to your facial skin. To finish, use a cleanser, scrub, or mask (if desired), and then splash your face with cool (not cold) water or toner to close your pores.
Dried herbs and flowers, such as chamomile, orange peel, and rose petals, can be added to homemade facial steams.