In Southern California, the typical winter is dry, dry, dry. Occasionally, a passing storm will come through and clear out all of the dust and debris from our air, creating the most incredible clarity for a nice view of the hills and mountains nearby.
However, the months of wind and serious lack of humidity that generally define our winter months tend to wipe out any hydration from our skin and airways. This is a problem for our immune system, because our skin and airways comprise our first line of defense against intruders (bacteria + virus), an especially critical function during the cold / flu months.
A properly hydrated sinus passage will trap dirt, debris, bacteria, and other particles that blow around in the air in order to be easily removed from our bodies. When we're dried out, we're less protected.
In order to combat this dryness (including chapped lips, red eyes, dry nose, red/chapped face skin), I like to prepare a little facial steam with whatever fresh or dried herbs I have in the pantry. Today, I am in the mood for Spring.
There's a few flowers blooming in the yard, and the buds of tiny leaves are starting to sprout from our naked trees. So, I opted for the sweet and fragrant blend of jasmine and rose with a touch of lemon to uplift.
Rose is so soothing to dry skin, I apply rosehip seed oil to a freshly washed face nightly, and use a rosewater spritz whenever I need to refresh (especially lovely after a hot yoga class!). Naturally, I thought it would make a nice addition here.
This little steam ritual is perfect for your self-care Sunday routine, or a way to decompress after a long week of work on a Friday night-in. I hope you enjoy this moment to slow down as much as I do, and I hope it helps to rejuvenate your winter skin as it does for mine.
1 Tbs. Dried rose petals
1 Tbs. Dry jasmine flowers
2 Thick slices fresh lemon
16-32 oz. Freshly boiled water
Place dried rose petals + dry jasmine flowers in a large heat-proof glass bowl. Cover completely with freshly boiled water. Add 2 lemon slices, and carefully transfer the bowl to a table where you can sit comfortably.
Place a kitchen towel over the back of your head so that it drapes over the sides of your face to capture all of the steam coming from your bowl, and with your face about 6-8 inches away from the liquid, breathe in through your mouth or nose to bring the steam into your airways.
Continue for as long as comfortable, about 10 minutes at a time. Refill with more freshly boiled water as needed to continue your steam supply. Enjoy the sweet smell of these flowers and the moment to slow down. You can open your eyes if you’d like to bring some hydration there.
*Caution* Please use caution when getting close to the steam for the first time. You may need to start farther away to gently ease into it. Use your discretion, and take care when handling hot water.