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The Best Natural Calming Herbal Face Steam

How to make a Natural Herbal Face Steam for overcoming anxiety and finding calm.

Pamper yourself and bid farewell to dry skin with a nourishing facial steam featuring a bouquet of floral botanicals and herbs! 

Facial steaming is a relaxing way to revitalize and deeply cleanse the skin. It’s a safe and easy way to add herbs to your self-care routine. The calming facial steam is made with various dried flowers and herbs that relax, soothe and soften skin. They are easy to make at home and add to your  DIY skincare products. 

What Do I Need For An Herbal Steam? 

Botanical facial steams couldn’t be easier to make! Combine your favorite botanical and herbal ingredients and cover them with almost boiling hot water in a bowl. Hang your head over the bowl with a towel to enjoy radiant and refreshed skin in minutes. 

Yes, it’s really that easy. 

Personalize the recipe and include other botanicals depending on your skin care needs. If you get inspired to enjoy herbal steams more often, you may want to consider investing in at home commercial facial steamers. The benefit of using these machines is they keep the water at the perfect temperature and run the steaming for a set time. This can avoid accidental burns or damaging the herbs with too hot water. 

But, to get started, you will need the herbal facial mix, a heat-safe glass bowl, a kettle with water, a thermometer, and a towel. 

The Health Benefits of Facial Steaming

​Herbal facial steams provide many benefits to every skin type including:

  • Softens skin 
  • Prepares skin to absorb skincare products and moisturizers better
  • Reduce inflammation from skin conditions including acne
  • Improves overall skin health
  • They may improve blood flow to the face
  • Opens and unclogs pores
  • Removes buildup of dirt from the skin’s surface
  • Gently transfer the beneficial oils from soothing herbs to the skin’s surface
  • Can assist with relieving congestion
  • A great addition to selfcare routines during the cold and flu season

​Herb-Based Vs. Essential Oil Facial Treatment

The volatile oils of dried or fresh herbs respond well to inclusion in at-home facial steams. Herbs tend to be gentler on the skin’s surface. They are beneficial for those with sensitive skin too. 

While essential oils can add aroma therapy benefits to steam, their strong scents can be overpowering and overwhelming. It is also important to pay attention to how much essential oil is being used as part of a facial steam since the steams are also typically inhaled in addition to being used to warm the skin.

Using herbs in a steam allows you to mix and match herbs based on your skin’s and body’s needs in the moment. Facial steams are a great way for anyone new to herbalism to get started, as you don’t need to ingest the herbs to experience their support and benefits. 

Essential oils take a little more practice and knowledge to use safely. They are not the best place to start working with plants if you are new to making homemade skincare products with herbs and plants. If you decide to use essential oils, use only one or two varieties. Infuse the warm water with just one or two drops of the oil. You don’t need much to make a potent aromatic elixer!

If you want to work with essential oils, consider the subscription box Simply Earth. The innovators behind this excellent subscription box are an incredible introduction to safely working with essential oils and learning how to incorporate them into your self and skin care routines. 

(The above link is an affiliate link; I will earn a small commission if you purchase through that link. Thank you!)

​Where to buy high-quality herbs for At-Home Facial Steams? 

Nothing is better than using herbs plucked right from the garden for an in-season facial steam. However, if your garden isn’t currently producing herbs, there are many places you can score excellent and safe herbs for your DIY skin care products. 

Mountain Rose Herbs has a variety of herbs sourced from small farms across the United States. Additionally, many of the herbs have organic options available. 

Starwest Botanicals is another online herbal apothecary that carries a variety of herbs that can be purchased for making facial steams.

Frontier Co-Op carries all sorts of herbs in different cuts and varieties along with many other natural products. 

How to Prepare Your Skin for A Face Steam

Before steaming, cleanse your skin and gently dry it with a soft towel. 

Our absolute favorite herbal face cleanser comes from a small-batch herbal apothecary in Portland Oregon owned by clinical herbalist Max Turk.  

What You Will Need For Natural Calming Herbal Floral Facial Steam

This recipe features a combination of dried floral and herbal ingredients specifically for their soothing and hydrating properties. Rose petals rejuvenate the skin; Lavender moisturizes and calms the skin; Marshmallow soothes redness; Chamomile reduces inflammation; Mint opens the airways and uplifts the spirit, while calendula softens the skin and adds a radiant glow. Mix up the ingredients for a one-time facial steam, or double the recipe to and store in glass containers for up to six months. Facial steam ingredients also make beautiful handcrafted gifts for friends and loved ones.

You Will Need:


2 Tbsp Dried Rose Petals

2 Tbsp Dried Chamomile

2 Tbsp Dried Calendula Flowers

2 Tbsp Dried Lavender Buds

2 Tbsp Marshmallow Root Leaves

1 Tbsp Dried Mint Leaves (Optional: To help clear the respiratory system)

6-8 cups of Boiling Water (Use distilled water for best results)


Large heat-safe bowl; glass preferred

Large towel


Teapot filled with nearly boiling water

To Make

  1. First, crush the flowers in a mortar and pestle (This step is optional but recommended to release the therapeutic oils in the flowers).
  2. Next, Pour all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. 
  3. Then, pour the 6-8 cups of boiling water and cover the dried ingredients. 
  4. Next, place a towel over the mixture to allow the herbs to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Before beginning the facial steam process, check the temperature of the water to ensure it is not too hot. The optimal temperature for facial steam is 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius). Use the thermometer to check the temperature of your water. Add cold water to the facial steam to reach the optimal temperature. 
  5. Now, sit close enough in front of the bowl that you can feel the steam on your face. If you feel any burning on your skin, wait a little longer for the water to cool. 
  6. Place a large towel over the top of your head and the bowl. Choose a towel that will comfortably drape over your head and the sides of the bowl, and trap the steam. Breathe in deeply and breathe out slowly, enjoying the aroma of the herbs. 
  7. Close your eyes, relax, and enjoy this calming beauty ritual for five to ten minutes or as long as desired. 
  8. Once you are done with your facial steam, pat your face dry and add your favorite moisturizer to enjoy the hydrating benefits of the steam all day long.
  9. After your beauty treatment, add the herbal water and herbs to your bath, foot, or hand soak, or use it as a hair rinse once it has cooled.  

Tips for At-Home Face Steaming

  • Test the herbs on your skin in small batches before including them in steam. Any herbs that cause irritation, redness, or inflation should not be used for facial steams.
  • If it’s your first time doing a steam facial at home, have a few cups of cold water nearby to adjust the water temperature as needed easily. 
  • Always use food-grade ingredients.
  • Always monitor the temperature of your skin. If it feels too hot, it’s too hot. Remove your face from the steam tent and allow your skin and water to cool before continuing. 

What Other Herbs Work Well for Herbal Facial Steams? 

​There are so many varieties of herbs that work well in facial steams. Combine some of your favorite herbs to address your skin needs.

For Oily Skin: Combine the following herbs for a facial steam that will assist in the reduction of the production excess face oils.

Rose petals

Green tea leaves



For Aging or Mature Skin: Combine gentle herbs that provide moisture for skin prone to excessive dryness.

Lemon balm

Marshmallow leaves

Calendula petals

For Normal/Combination SkinMix herbs that balance the skin surface. 

Lavender buds

Chamomile* flowers

rosemary leaves

Who Should Not Do Facial Steams

Anyone who has advanced rosacea or delicate capillaries should not use facial steams. Others who have sensitive lungs or who are sensitive to humidity should also avoid facial steaming as the steam from the facials may be irritating to lunch tissue. As always, consult a physician if you have questions or concerns about partaking in herbal face steaming.

Risks of Using Facial Steams

It is imperative to monitor the temperature of the water of the facial steam. If you place your face too close to the bowl or if the water is too hot you run the risk of burning your skin. Pay attention to how the steam feels on your face before placing the towel over your head.

If you’re using a facial steaming machine, follow the instructions for keeping the machine clean and in good working order. If the machine is not cleaned often, it may grow mold or develop other issues that may cause health concerns when the steam is inhaled. 

As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

Pair face steam with more DIY and natural skin and body care:

Turmeric and Ginger Sugar Scrub

DIY Comfrey Hair Mask

DIY Tulsi Clay Mask

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