Herbal steams are a wonderful way to incorporate the benefits of plants into your skincare and wellness routines. Creating your own herbal steams can support relaxation, deep breathing, and glowing skin, and are incredibly easy to prepare at home. Learn more about which herbs to choose from to make your own steam recipes!
Choose Your Botanicals
Depending on which herb(s) you choose, your steam can have very different effects. Typically, herbs chosen for steam inhalation are rich in volatile oils — compounds that give the plants their characteristic aroma and that are released by the steam when the plant is placed in hot water. Some of our favorite herbs for making steams include:
The sharp, crisp aroma of eucalyptus has an invigorating, clearing effect when breathed in deeply, and is wonderfully toning for the skin.
Calendula is a staple skincare herb when used topically; added to herbal steams, it has a soothing, toning and nourishing effect of the skin.
Similar to eucalyptus in effect, peppermint steams have a clearing, uplifting and invigorating effect, particularly when paired with deep breathing exercises.
Comforting and relaxing emotionally, rose is a wonderful choice for steams during difficult times. Rose is also renowned in skincare for its soothing and cleansing properties.
Chamomile is also well-known for its relaxing benefits, and similarly to rose it has a soothing, protecting effect when used in skincare practices.
Like many members of the mint family, thyme is rich in aromatic/volatile oils. When used in steam inhalations, thyme is clearing, protecting, and uplifting/awakening.
Tea isn’t just for drinking! When used topically in skincare, including steams, green tea has a profound astringent/toning effect, as well as being soothing and protecting to the skin.
Yarrow is known in herbalism as a plant of protection, and that use extends to skincare. In steams, yarrow sooths and protects the skin, and is both clearing and protecting when paired with deep breathing exercises.
Known as the herb of remembrance, rosemary is stimulating to mind and skin alike. In steams, rosemary has a cleansing, clearing and rejuvenating effect.
Lavender is the quintessential herb of calm and relaxation. Those effects are due primarily to its rich volatile oil content, particularly the constituent linalool. Those aromatic volatile oils are released in the steam, and when inhaled promote that wonderful sense of deep calm and relaxation. Topically, lavender is one of our most soothing and protecting herbs.
Make Your Steam
Making an herbal steam is incredibly simple. Start with these ingredients and supplies:
- 2 cups distilled water
- 1/4 -1/2 cup herbs (individual or combined)
- Large glass or porcelain bowl
- Soft, comfy bath towel
To prepare the steam:
- Bring the distilled water to a boil.
- Put your herbs of choice into the bowl.
- Pour boiled water on top of herbs.
- Place your face over bowl (not too close!) with eyes closed and drape a towel over your head so it covers both your head and the bowl.
- Breathe deeply and evenly for 5-10 minutes, or until you’ve reached your comfort level.
Some of Our Favorite Steam Combos:
- Eucalyptus + peppermint
- Eucalyptus + sage
- Eucalyptus + rosemary
- Yarrow + thyme
- Rosemary + orange peel
- Eucalyptus + spearmint
- Rosemary + sage
- Peppermint + rosemary
- Rose + chamomile
- Lavender + rose
- Lavender + chamomile
- Peppermint + lavender
- Calendula + eucalyptus
- Calendula + rose
- Calendula + chamomile
- Rose + chamomile
- Lavender + green tea
- Calendula + green tea