Green tea facials have become popular among beauty bloggers after supermodel Miranda Kerr revealed them as her secret to glowing skin. That’s not all she loves them for though. She says, “it’s a pampering ritual I look forward to at the end of each working week… Not only can I relax and unwind… I’m doing something beneficial for my skin that has immediate results so I can go makeup free for the weekend.” So, glowing complexion, relaxation and instant results that Miranda Kerr can get behind? That’s a DIY worth doing.
Kerr favours organic green tea for her facials for its antioxidant and anti-aging properties, but other organic teas can be used for different benefits. Simply steaming simply with water is great for skin (Eastern medicine has used steaming for centuries, and other cultures promote steaming in sweat lodges for relaxation and detoxification), but the addition of dried herbs to your steam bath changes up the therapeutic effect.
Research has shown that steam increases the skin’s permeability, so herbal additions enable the skin to absorb their healing properties better. Whether your skin is in need of calming, refreshing, protecting, or simply de-congesting, a tea facial offers a cheap, super-easy fix.
Here’s a green tea facial how-to:
1. Pick your tea blend. Organic green tea bags are Kerr’s pick, but you can hit a bulk store and look for loose herbs to suit your skin type: comfrey root or chamomile make for an ideal steam for dry or winter-irritated skin. For oily skin try peppermint or rosemary and try calendula or rose petals to moisturize and soothe.
2. Fill a basin or a large pot with freshly boiled water (pour about 2 quarts of water over 1/4 cup of herbs). Add a drop or two of essential oils in if you want. (See our favourites for beauty here.)
3. Place your head over the basin and cover with a large towel. With the steam locked in, hold your head about 10 inches away from the water, and let the rise up to your face for a few minutes as it opens your pores and clears out the grime. Hold it for about 10 minutes.
4. After your steam is complete, pat your face dry with a towel and follow with a nourishing moisturizer. Repeat once per week when you want some extra TLC in your skincare.
Be warned: Folks with sensitive, damaged skin or who are prone to developing tiny broken veins or capillaries, herbal steams can be irritating. Steer clear of anything that heats and makes your skin sweat. Facial steaming should only be done once per week by those with skin that can handle high temps and doesn’t get inflamed as a result – you want glowing complexion, not to be glowing red, after all.
For those times when you want to a back-to-basics facial, check out our tried-and-true 5-step at-home facial for a perfect one every time.
Photo via Well+Good