How to Create a Tea Steam Facial at Home

Tea in square wood boxes on a wood floor.

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Here’s a guide to creating your own relaxing tea steam facial at home.

Step 1
In a pot, bring water to a boil.

A green kettle on a stovetop whistling.

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Step 2
Select the teas and herbs you’d like to use and place them in a large heat-safe bowl. It’s best to use loose-leaf tea, but tea bags work too.

Tea and flowers being mixed in wood and ceramic bowls.

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There is a centuries-long tradition of using floral and herbal steams in beauty rituals. Research has shown that steam can help soften the skin, increase the absorption of topical treatments, and improve circulation. Meanwhile, research suggests that the polyphenols found in tea may help to reduce acne and oily skin. So it's really no surprise that adding teas and herbs to facial steam is popular among those who champion natural and non-toxic skincare.

You can combine any herbs or flowers that you’d like to go with green or white tea. Mint and rosemary are associated with cooling and calming the skin, while rose and chamomile flowers are associated with softening.

Step 3
Pour the water over your ingredients and let them steep for a couple of minutes.

A woman pouring hot water on tea and flowers in a glass chalice.

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Be sure that the water has cooled somewhat, because it’s possible to be burned by steam.

Step 4
Place your face about 12 inches away from the steam and drape a towel over your head. Steam your face for a minute, and then take a break for a few minutes. You can repeat this process several times.

A white woman over a hot bowel about to steam her face.

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Alternatively, you can soak a clean washcloth in the brew and apply it to your face. Repeat with another clean cloth.

Step 5
After your steam is complete, follow with a nourishing moisturizer.

A young black woman applies moisturizer in the mirror.

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It’s widely recommended to not use a facial steam more than once per week.

A note of caution about essential oils: very little goes a long way! Essential oils tend to be pretty volatile. If you’re adding them to your steam facial, don’t use more than a drop. The oils can vaporize very quickly and create a harsh, unpleasant steam.