Acne, blackheads but also dull skin, even in these cases nature can be really helpful. How? With the steam baths for the face to which you can add aromatic herbs and essential oils to give anti inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Today we talk about how to prepare steam baths at home and which herbs you can use for a clean, bright and toned skin.
Steam baths for the face, properties
Steam baths help to open pores and free them from accumulations of sebum, make up, pollution and blackheads (Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, 2006). In fact, when the pore is open, in the presence of blackhead, it is possible to remove it very gently with the only precaution of not insisting in order to not damage the skin. The heat also helps to improve circulation, thus increasing the oxygenation of the tissues with the skin that will appear brighter. But if we also combine essential oils and aromatic herbs with the steam bath, it is also possible to benefit from their antioxidant, antimicrobial and calming action, which relaxes the muscles of the face. Moreover, the steam bath allows the skin to better absorb the creams that will be applied afterwards (Park et al, Int J Pharm, 2009).
Steam baths for the face, how to prepare them
Fill a saucepan with water. If you wish, you can add the herbs we will talk about in the next paragraph. Bring everything to a boil, then remove from the heat and place the saucepan on the table. Wait a couple of minutes, now you can add some drops of the essential oils you have chosen. Bring your face close to the saucepan, but not too close, about 20-30 centimeters away. In fact, it is important not to get too close so as not to run the risk of getting burned. Cover the head and saucepan with a towel and expose the previously cleaned skin to the steam for five minutes. Then rinse your face with warm water, spray a floral water and apply your treatment, which can be a few drops of a regenerating oil, such as argan oil, or a sebum balancing oil, such as jojoba oil, and complete with your face cream.
Steam baths for the face, herbs and essential oils
The strength of the steam baths for the face is that you can enrich them with herbs and essential oils according to your needs. For example, in case of impure skin you can add a sprig of rosemary, which proves effective against the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, the bacterium of acne, and, in addition, it is able to improve the elasticity of the skin (Tabassum et al, Pharmacogn Rev, 2014). Not only that, a help can also come from a few sage leaves or a teaspoon of oregano, with a healing and antioxidant action (Binic et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2013). If you add rose petals this will help to relax tensions, in addition to acting with antioxidant and antibacterial properties (Boskabady et al, Iran J Basic Med Sci., 2011), chamomile and lavender soothe irritations, they are anti-inflammatory and healing (Shenefelt et al, Herbal Medicine, 2011), mint and calendula are a good choice in case of sensitive skin, they counteract irritation and itching (Tabassum et al, Pharmacogn Rev, 2014 - Elsaie et al, Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol, 2016). It may also be useful to add to the steam bath a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil, with anti-inflammatory properties. But this essence is also beneficial for the airways thanks to its balsamic action (Silva et al, J Ethnopharmacol., 2003). A pinch of green tea can also be added to the saucepan. In fact, when green tea is applied topically, it is antioxidant, counteracts the aging processes, erythema and redness caused by sunlight (OyetakinWhite et al, Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2012). Hence, green tea also helps with more mature skin. In case of acne it can also be useful to add mallow flowers, with an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action (Afshar et al, Iran J Basic Med Sci., 2015). All these herbs and essential oils can also be mixed in a perfumed and beneficial mix for the skin.
Steam baths, when they are not recommended
In general, the steam baths on the face are safe for everyone except in the case of rosacea. In this case, in fact, it is better not to expose yourself to intense heat in order to avoid a worsening of the situation. Then, steam baths should not be done every day, it is enough once a week, also to avoid irritation.