DIY Skincare: Steam facial at home for a flawless complexion in 2019

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Back in 2016 one of the first blogposts I wrote was all about steaming your face. Something I did quite regularly, it makes my skin feel great and it’s relaxing, totally inexpensive and super easy. It’s truly one of the best cheap and effective beauty treatments you can give yourself right in your kitchen at home.

Just this morning, after a weekend of social events, I looked in the mirror and thought ‘damn’ I really could use something to brighten up my complexion. There’s not much in my kitchen right now, but I chopped up some oranges and added some lemon and ginger tea-bags to my steam and I feel and look 100% better. It’s the low-budget skin-care hack everybody needs to try at least once!

You can read my original post and follow the steps for a refreshing, glowy Lemon and Ginger facial steam here.

I’ve noticed this trend has really taken off lately so I’ve decided to write this post about some alternatives you can try and answer some questions about the benefits of facial steaming and how often you should be doing it.

As I mention in my original blog-post, a good facial steam has all kinds of great benefits; it opens your pores, stimulates your skin, and your face will feel fresh and glow with health. It also does wonders for the eyebrows and eyelashes. There are so many kinds of different herbs and oils that you can use in a steam, if you drink herbal tea, that’s already a good few options to flavour your steam with. Lemon and Ginger is my favourite combination but let’s take a look at some others:

Steam your face to help acne prone skin

If your skin is prone to break-outs, why not add some drops of oil with acne-fighting properties into your steam.

I’d recommend:

Aloe Vera Essential Oil

Aloe Vera is a wonder product for oily skin and hair types because it moisturises without leaving greasy residue, it has natural healing properties so makes the perfect supplement to nourish and condition your lovely face.

You can also try:

Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Lavender Essential Oil

and Camomile Essential Oil

You can purchase these on Amazon or at a local health-food store or supermarket. They can work wonders for your skin at just a fraction of a professional face or spa treatment, plus it’s relaxing giving yourself some much-needed TLC at home.

Read more about facial oils that will help acne-prone skin, here on the cosmopolitan website.

Steam your face to help dry, dull skin

This is the category that I typically fall into, my skin must be like some kind of sponge just absorbing any kind of moisture, it always seems to be on the dry side. Steaming your face can add a glowy refreshed look to your complexion. I’d recommend exfoliating first if you struggle with dry skin, you can use your normal exfoliator, or opt for a little brown sugar and olive oil if you’re wanting to keep things natural (and cheap lol!). Everyone has a bit or sugar and oil floating around and together they make a perfect exfoliant, just go gently and use a finer, less granulated sugar to prevent scratching your skin.

What to add to your steam to brighten your complexion:

Fresh lemon or Lime slices and squeeze some fresh juice in for extra measure

Citrus fruits have a high Vitamin C content, a key component in millions of beauty and skincare products that claim to brighten a dull complexion and leave you glowing. The smell of citrus fruits is bright and zesty and will make you feel wide awake.

QUICK TIP: if you use all fresh ingredients in your steam, like citrus fruits and spices, you don’t have to waste the water afterwards, you can have a hot, healthy cup of natural tea.

You can also try:

Argan oil

Cocoa butter oil

Steam your face to help with anxiety

It might sound odd but steaming your face isn’t just a skincare treatment, you can use it as a self-care ritual as well. Make it an aromatherapy treatment by adding calming essential oils and take a minute to yourself to breath in their soothing aroma. You only need to add a few drops into your steam to get a powerful effect.

Essential oils to soothe anxiety:

Lavender Essential Oil

Rose Essential Oil

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Bergamot Essential Oil

Or maybe there’s a scent personal to you that always transports you to your happy place? If there is, go for it! Take your steam as part of your nightly routine to calm your mind and have the best night’s sleep EVER.

QUICK TIP: you can add herbal tea-bags of your choice to add to the potency of your steam. I like the PUKKA range, especially the lemon, ginger and Manuka honey teas.

How to steam your face: Step-by-step

You can purchase a facial steamer online from somewhere like Amazon but I prefer to do it this way.

You will need:
A large bowl
A wooden spoon
A tea-towel (optional)
The items you plan to add to your steam


1. Fill your bowl midway with boiling water. Make sure the bowl is already placed in the area you’ll be performing the steam, you don’t want to be carrying around a bowl full of boiling water.
2. Add your fruit, spices or a few drops of the essential oil you’ve chosen, stir gently with the wooden spoon.
3. Lean over the steaming bowl of goodness so that you can feel the warmth of the steam, you may wish to drape a tea-towel over your head to catch as much of the steam as possible. Be careful, it goes without saying that this can get really hot, wait until the heat of the steam is comfortable enough for you.
4. It’s up to you how long you steam for, I usually stay until the steam subsides, usually 5-6 minutes.
5. Voila! Rinse off, splash with cold water, pat dry and then slather with moisturiser.

How often should you steam your face?

How often you should steam your face depends on your skin type as steaming too often will further dry out already dry skin. It is recommended that you should definitely not steam more than twice a week. I think once a week or every ten days or so is enough to reap the benefits of a good facial steam, it’s a gentle treatment but not one to over-do, especially if you have a drier complexion. Contrary to the advice some articles I’ve seen online have given, you should definitely NOT be steaming your face everyday.

I hope you enjoyed that little update on facial steaming, any questions or requests let me know in the comments or via email.

Have a good day everyone! x

Celine x

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