Stream Clean

By Elizabeth Gregg

Want to give your complexion a quick refresher? Try a homemade herbal facial using steam, says Stephanie Tourles, licensed holistic aesthetician and author of Organic Body Care Recipes (Storey Publishing, 2007). “Exposing your face to steam encourages pores to open, which helps release toxins, minimizes wrinkles, and sends moisture to deep skin layers,” she says. Try it at home: Boil three cups of purified or distilled water; remove from heat, and add six teaspoons of fresh herbs (double that amount if using dry herbs); cover and steep for five minutes. Remove the cover and drape a large towel over your head, shoulders, and the pot. Keep your face roughly 10 inches from the pot for five minutes, keeping your eyes closed. Not sure which herbs to use? Choose ones that work best for your skin type.

Dry skin: Fennel seeds or marshmallow root soothe and moisturize.

Oily skin: Sage makes for a pungent astringent.

Normal or combination skin: Calendula or chamomile blossoms gently calm all skin types.

Inflamed skin (or acne): Don’t try a facial steam until the outbreak subsides.