DIY Facial Steam

Herbal DIY Facial Steam Recipe for Natural Skin Support

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One of my favorite winter season holistic skin supports is an herbal diy facial steam. This is easy to create, and it is beneficial not only for our skin, but also for our mind, spirit, and respiratory system.

Herbal steams can be prepared in a variety of ways, and you can use fresh or dried herbs.

Usually, herbs are added to hot water and the steam inhaled. This seems to be the most effective method, however, it is possible to create an herbal steam in the shower.

Herbal steams need not be restricted to just a few herbs, as a wide variety of herbs work well to aid in toning skin or for clearing congestion.

Some people prefer to inhale the steam straight from the pot that the herbs were boiled in.  I find that this method is good for clearing congestion, but when used for holistic skin support, I prefer the bowl method as described below. 

DIY Facial Steam

The Bowl Method for DIY Facial Steam

The bowl method is pretty simple for your diy facial steam. All you need to do is place fresh or dried herbs in a heat proof bowl, then pour hot water over the top.

In general you will need about one handful of dried herbs or two handfuls of fresh herbs to one pint of hot water. (This does not need to be exact.)

I prefer to use natural materials whenever possible and incorporate them into most of my self-care rituals.  For instance, I really love to use heat safe clay or pottery bowls like the one in the recipe below. I also use a wooden spoon to stir the herbs. 

I find these simple things add to my mindfulness practice when performing self-care. 

diy facial steam

The Benefits of Facial Steam for Skin

The DIY facial steam is great for skin.  It helps to open up your pores and helps loosen any buildup of dirt for a deeper cleanse. Opening up your pores also softens blackheads, making them easier to remove.

Herbal steams also promote circulation.  Warm steam causes perspiration, which in turn dilates your blood vessels and increases circulation.

How Often Can I Steam my Face?

I recommend doing a DIY facial steam no more than once a week for about 10 minutes per session. Any more than this and you risk actually drying out your skin or causing inflammation.

What To Do After Steaming Your Face

  1. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry. Your skin will be extra sensitive, so you don’t want to irritate it by rubbing with a towel.
  2. Apply a moisturizing cream or serum. The effects of your moisturizer or serum will be enhanced after a steam, so use something that nourishes. 
  3. Massage your face.
sabbat. herbs in small jars on a table

Facial Steam Herbs

Here are some herb combinations to try, depending on your skin type or condition.

Normal skin: Chamomile, Rosemary, Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon balm or Calendula. Steam for 10-15

Irritated skin: Chamomile Steam for 5–10 minutes. 

Dry skin: Chamomile, Lavender, Rose, fennel. Steam for 3–5 minutes.

Oily skin: Lavender, Chamomile, Peppermint, or Sage. Steam for 10–15 minutes.

Combination skin: Chamomile, Calendula, Lemon or Rosemary. Steam for 10–15 minutes.

Congested skin: Chamomile, Lavender, Rosemary, Lemon. 10–15 minutes.

Irritated skin: Chamomile Steam for 5–10 minutes.

DIY Facial Steam

Herbal DIY Facial Steam

Barbi Gardiner
This herbal diy facial steam can be made with any volatile oil-rich culinary herbs and spices you have onhand. Try thyme (Thymus vulgaris) aerial parts, rosemary (Rosmarinus offcinalis) aerial parts, sage(Salvia officinalis) aerial parts, basil (Ocimum basilicum) aerial parts, marjoram (Origanummajorana) aerial parts, mint (Mentha spp.) aerial parts, bee balm (Monarda fistulosa or M. didyma)aerial parts, cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.) bark, clove (Syzygium aromaticum) bud, citrus peels, or any combination of these.
3.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes


  • kettle to boil water
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 towel


  • ¼ cup dried herbs chopped aerial parts
  • 4-6 cups 32-48 fl oz water


  • Place herbs in a large bowl or pot.
  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Pour just-off-the boil water over the herbs. Stir briefly to incorporate the herbs.
  • Cover immediately.
  • Let steep, covered, for 5-10 minutes while the water cools enough for steaming.
  • When the water has cooled to a comfortable steaming temperature, sit in front of the bowl and
  • Place a towel over your head to create a tent.
  • Close your eyes and breathe deeply while steaming for 5-15 minutes


I love self-care rituals.  They allow me to "switch off", be present in the moment, and leave me feeling refreshed. This is a really simple one you can do.
DIY Facial Steam bowl
The perfect herbal steam bowl.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

*Steaming is not recommended for extremely sensitive skin, severe inflammation, infection, sunburned or windburned skin, rosacea, extreme acne skin, or when many small broken capillaries are visible. Avoid using herbs if you are pregnant.* 

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