The Romans and Greeks were the first to embrace the ancient ritual of steam baths, and many other cultures went on to adopt their practice. In Russia, the banya (or sauna) is the equivalent. There are many Russian proverbs about the beauty benefits of a steam bath, but one of my favorites is: “The day you spend in the banya is the day you do not age!”
Steam baths are wonderful because they gently open up the pores of the skin and allow the body to sweat out toxins and impurities, as well as absorb the healing properties of essential oils and herbs. We don’t have a bathtub in our Sydney apartment, so I created this simple facial steam recipe that can be done anywhere and leaves skin feeling pampered and rejuvenated. It only requires four ingredients – water, green tea, lavender buds and mint leaves – and is gentle, yet effective. Green tea is filled with antioxidants that reduce redness, rejuvenate skin cells and can help clear acne. Lavender is antibacterial, soothing and relaxing, while peppermint is energizing and stimulating. The combination of these three provide your skin with a potent blend of cleansing, soothing and moisturizing ingredients for general wellness and health.
This DIY recipe is great for those who are new to steaming. A blend of essential oils is usually popular in steams, but we are going to stick to basics with this one because if you aren’t familiar with essential oils or how to use them, they can do more harm than good during inhalation. And the purpose of this steam is to relax and support the health of all skin types!
To make your steam, fill a pot with four cups of filtered water, ¼ cup of green tea and 2 tablespoons of lavender buds. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and pour the infused mixture into a glass bowl. Add 6 fresh mint leaves to the bowl and give the water a swirl. Drape a towel over your head and place your face (clean and makeup-free) about 12 inches above the steaming blend for 5-15 minutes. If you feel light-headed, simply lift your head away. Once you’re done with the steam, apply your blossom jar face oil and be ready to admire your healthy complexion!