If you didn't already know, your skin is an eliminatory organ. It's not just there to present your beautiful features to the world or even to hold your insides together. The skin has important jobs to do to keep you safe and healthy, and, like the rest of your body, it's always working in your best interest.
Even if you eat an egg mcmuffin, hash brown, and caramel machiatto for breakfast 7 days a week (I mean, it's your life after all!), your skin and liver aren't going to give up on you. They're going to work extra hard to eliminate everything that isn't needed (that's love right there), and if that means a few angry red spots on your face, so be it.
It's time to stop blaming our skin for the issues we experience, and start learning about how we can support the skin in carrying out its jobs so that these issues don't arise in the first place. Slathering on more creams, serums, and exfoliants aren't going to heal the underlying issue your skin is trying to alert you to.
The skin works with your liver, kidneys, intestines, and lungs to eliminate waste products either from natural processes in the body or chemicals taken in from the outside world. The more toxic chemicals we take in from the outside world by breathing, eating, drinking, applying chemicals to our skin, or taking pharmaceuticals, the heavier the burden on our eliminatory organs.
The liver, kidneys, and skin are major collaborators in detoxifying the body, which is why it's so important for skin health to maintain a healthy gut. That's not what we're getting into here, but it's important to note because the health of the gut comes first and foremost in healing skin conditions!
However, if you are in the process of healing your gut and supporting your liver, it can be extremely helpful to support the skin's detoxification processes as well. That's where facial steaming comes in.
Sweat therapy has been around for a long time. Native Americans would often create "sweat lodges" AKA saunas because they recognized the healing benefits of sweating. Not only does it raise the body's temperature which makes it difficult for bacteria and viruses to survive (like with a fever), it also increases blood flow to the skin and opens up the pores to release sweat, which carries with it small amounts of chemical waste products.
One of my favorite things to do when I'm feeling sick, or just when I'm wanting to take care of my body a little extra, is create a DIY sauna in my bathroom. I turn the shower to its hottest setting, shove a towel into the crack under the door and stay there for 15 minutes letting the steam fill the room. This is effective for an over-all body sweat, and it feels extremely invigorating, especially when followed up by a cold shower.
Facial steaming is similar to a sauna experience, but focused solely on the face. Adding herbs such as eucalyptus or green tea to the water can provide some additional benefits to the skin as well as the lungs. Increasing heat and blood flow to the skin can support the natural healing process, and following up with a splash of cold water will refresh and invigorate you.
So, how do you make this work? How do you DIY a facial sauna in your own home? It's super simple. All you need is some hot water, a bowl, and a towel.
boil some water and pour it into a large bowl.
this is optional, but highly recommended. Add some green tea or dried herbs such as Rosemary and Eucalyptus to the water. This is going to provide some additional benefits to the skin as well as the lungs when you breathe in the steam.
after the water has cooled to the point where it won't scald your face (yikes!), put your face directly over the water and cover yourself with a towel. Make sure to trap the steam inside, like you are creating a little tent.
stay like that for about a minute, or as long as you can handle. Come up for some fresh air when you need it, and repeat a few times until you feel like you've worked up a good sweat and brought some heat to the surface of your skin.
follow up with a splash of cold water to close the pores and of course, moisturizer!
That's it! Let me know if you try this out and how you like it. Sweat therapy has been one of my favorite DIY self care treatments lately and I'd love to know if you relate!
Check out the Youtube tutorial I made if you want some visual guidance!