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Posts tagged: essential oils

How to do an Herbal Face Steam

 

This winter, my body has been calling for extra restoration. Herbal steams are one of my favorite remedies for congested skin, sinuses, or just a stagnant winter feeling. By infusing herbs in boiling water, a steam releases  the herbs’ nutrient-rich volatile oils. Herbal steams have two primary benefits:


BENEFITS / HERBS

Skincare

The heat of the steam opens up pores, melts sebum and blackheads, and releases volatile oils. For skincare-focused steams, I recommend herbs with circulatory, antimicrobial, and brightening properties:

  • Green tea - tone and tighten
  • Calendula - gentle, all skin types, soothe and nourish
  • Lavender - calm and relax, treat acne
  • Rose - calm and relax, treat acne
  • Licorice - brighten
  • Rosemary - boost circulation
  • Yarrow - heal, stop bleeding, heal infection, treat acne
  • Chamomile - calm, relax, gentle, all skin types
  • Marshmallow - soothing demulcent, calming

Immune, lymph, and respiratory systems

Breathing in the herbs’ volatile oils opens your respiratory system, clears mucus, and brings the benefits of these potent oils into your bloodstream. It’s an especially good remedy during cold and allergy seasons. For these steams, I recommend herbs that calm, soothe, and promote immunity:

  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Eucalyptus
  • Yarrow
  • Elderflower

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Start with a clean face, cleansing & wiping off any makeup or products.
  2. Fill 11”x7” pot (you want a large pot for this!) with 6.5 cups water or a one inch layer of water in pot. Put on high heat, bring to just under a boil, turn heat off.
  3. Add your herbal mixture and let steep for 10 minutes covered. For proportions use one tablespoon of herbs to every cup of water (so for my recipe, I use 6-7 tablespoons of herbs per pot). Use the benefits guide above to choose herb(s) that fit your needs.
  4. Bring covered pot to an area where you can comfortably sit or stand, and place the hot pot on a heat-proof surface (such as a towel or cutting board). Drape a large towel over your entire head, torso, and pot--tenting yourself. Uncover pot and steam for 2-5 min, breathing deeply and staying tented so no steam escapes. After the steam, your skin will be flushed, pores and sinuses will be wide open.

 

Pro tips:

Right after a steam is a great time to follow with your favorite face mask–open pores will allow your mask to work deeper. You can also use the leftover herbal steam water from the pot to make an herbal bath. For the bath, just pour the pot through a strainer, cheesecloth, or muslin sack or pour the mixture right in and strain after. Your skin will absorb the benefits of the herbal infusion. 

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Candle chat--essential oils vs. synthetic fragrance oils!

I often get questions about the benefits of using pure essential oils in our Smoke Candle (vs. using a blend of synthetics and essential oils or using just synthetics). The naturals do make for a more expensive candle, but read on to find out why we prioritize them. 

First, let's compare synthetics vs. naturals.

Synthetic fragrance oils are much cheaper than essential oils, and thus more commonly used. While synthetics are improving in quality, Many synthetic fragrance oils are derived from petroleum, and may contain chemicals that may lead to allergic reactions or act as hormone disruptors, which may lead to tumor growths, cancer, birth defects, and more. Yikes! 

Candles made with pure essential oils are made with plant-based ingredients derived from nature. They tend to enhance the natural aromas found in a space. A home that is free of added synthetics will showcase the natural candle's fragrance better. 

Synthetic fragrance oils do offer a much stronger scent throw, while the naturals will be more in the background. Natural candles do better in a smaller space free of drafts (like a washroom), or next to your bed (a personal favorite spot for mine!). 

Of course, a huge pro to the natural candles is that you will actually receive the therapeutic benefits of the essential oils themselves! I'll never forget the customer who reported having her sinuses clear as soon as she stepped into the room she was burning her Smoke Candle in!

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. Personally, I find candles made with synthetic fragrance oils to completely overtake a room. This is very overwhelming to my nose. I find this to be distracting at best, and headache-inducing at worst (yes, even with high-quality synthetics). However, some people prefer this strong scent throw. I appreciate how the Smoke Candle can add a subtle shimmer to the space I burn it in. In fact, my nose appreciates this subtle scent more than an overpowering synthetic throw because it smells real! I continue to be enamored by the mysterious ways the plant-derived natural essences work, and find that as I've switched my life over to a more natural one in my home, dining, and beauty routine I've found that less is more!

At Smoke Perfume & Co. we remain committed to creating 100% of our products with pure, natural, plant-derived ingredients and zero synthetics. Why would we compromise with our candle?! 

Other wonderful natural ways to freshen your home include fresh cut flowers, the use of smudge sticks or palo santo (interestingly, they're finding that some smudges--like white sage--may help to clear harmful bacteria from the air--just be sure to purchase ethically sourced smudge sticks), natural incense, or an essential oil diffuser. 

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