How to Create a Tea Steam Facial at Home

six clear glass jars filled with dried flowers and herbs on rumpled linen cloth

Treehugger / Allison Berler

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

Boil water

tomato-red tea kettle blows steam on gas stove

Treehugger / Allison Berler

In a pot, bring water to a boil.

Place loose tea in bowl

various dried teas and flowers in glass bowls while hand scoops with gold spoon

Treehugger / Allison Berler

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.

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.

Pour water and steep

hot water is poured from glass kettle into large glass bowl with dried flowers and teas

Treehugger / Allison Berler

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

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

Immerse face in steam

side profile of woman immerses her face in hot steam facial from glass bowl with flowers

Treehugger / Allison Berler

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.

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

Follow with moisturizer

glass bowl filled with creamy white moisturizer with yellow dried flowers scattered around

Treehugger / Allison Berler

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

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.