Mexican facial steam bath
The Mayan pyramid of Kukulkan soars above us while we admire ecstatic at this marvelous work of man. Our attention is captured by the imposing staircase, do you know that at sunset on the day of the spring equinox shadows and lights play on the lateral side of the steps by creating the figure of a snake that is going up the pyramid? This is Mexico, a country where history merges with nature but also with very special rites, such as Temazcal. Temazcal is a steam bath that belongs to the ancient Mayan tradition. The rite was presided over by a shaman and took place inside a hut. The people sat around a brazier over which water and sprigs of mugwort or sage grandiflora were thrown. Balsamic vapors helped to purify the skin, improved breathing and acted on the nervous system, by calming it and driving away anxieties. After all, mugwort has a proven antibacterial and antioxidant action, useful to regenerate the skin and to fight irritation and inflammation (Soon et al, J Environ Pathol Toxicol Oncol, 2019). Sage azurea, or grandiflora, on the other hand, thanks to its active ingredient called tuione, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substance, is able to protects the respiratory tract (Siveen et al, Can J Physiol Pharmacol, 2011).
So let's bring some Mexico at home by preparing a steam bath with a mystical flavor but also a pampering of beauty. Fill a saucepan with water and heat it on the fire. Once the water boils, remove the saucepan from the heat, wait a few minutes and add the herbs, a teaspoon of dried mugwort (Artemisia annua) and a few leaves of sage grandiflora, if available, otherwise officinal sage is fine. Expose your face to the vapors by covering your head with a towel. Stay for 4-5 minutes, then rinse your face and spray a floral water. Finally, apply your cream.