Why You Should Stick Your Face In Dried-Flower Steam

face steam embedPhoto: Courtesy of Mullein & Sparrow.
When I was a kid, we had an electric face-steamer device. I'd sit at the kitchen counter with a towel over my head, steamer plugged into the wall, feeling the beads of water collect under my chin and praying that I'd somehow melt off my acne. Mostly, it just made my skin pink and gave me a reason to spend the subsequent hour squeezing my pores. In hindsight, though, the steam was missing one major thing: a fragrant mixture of dried flowers and herbs. Obviously.
Mullein & Sparrow's Facial Steam would have been pretty useful back then, but I'm just as happy to have it in my life now. A face steam on its own is so effective at opening up your pores, but the addition of this organic herb blend means you can actually treat your skin once those pores are open. This mix contains lavender, chamomile, rose, calendula, comfrey, licorice root, and more, which the brand says can help pull out all that gross stuff causing your clogs.
After boiling a pot of water, I steeped a handful of the blend for about 10 minutes. Then, I made a steam tent with a towel and held my face a few inches above the mix, leaving a small gap in the towel so it wouldn't get too hot. (Okay, and also so I could read about Ireland Baldwin maybe dating Angel Haze on my phone.) The aroma was a perfect combination of sweet and clean, like the kind of tea I'd imagine a fairy godmother might drink. It was also super relaxing: Eventually, I put my phone down and concentrated on breathing deeply, enjoying the warmth of the steam.
Afterward, my face was pretty pink but glowing in a way that I never accomplished with a plain water steam. A few under-the-skin bumps had turned into whiteheads, but rather than popping them, I just put on a spot treatment and went to bed. And, by that I mean I passed out: This was an amazing way to hush the ongoing inner monologue that usually prevents me from falling asleep. In the morning, my skin felt soft and clean, and my breakout had calmed down. Also, some dry patches where zits had previously been were gone. Was it because of the herbs in the steam? Was it because of my solid eight hours of snoozing? Either way, I'm in love with this product.
Mullein & Sparrow Facial Steam, $14, available at Mullein & Sparrow.

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