Today’s Facial Friday is dedicated to the beautiful new spring season. This facial steam will be the perfect addition to any natural skin care routine. I created a mandala earlier this week to welcome and honor the spring equinox. I love this time of year! Living in a four season state I look forward to the changing of the season. In Michigan, not only do we get the crisp great lake air we also get the air perfumed by the new seasons growth in the spring season. The plants are growing and the flowers start blooming and I cannot help but feel a renewal at this time and a fresh new start to the year.
As a child I used to stare at the intricate details of the mandala in almost every setting I encountered. Growing up Christian/Buddhist I had no idea then the symbolism or what I was even looking at. By growing up Christian Buddhist, I mean, I went to church every Sunday and bible study almost every day of the week and at home we had a buddha alter fully equipped with: fruit bowl, glass of water, candles, incense and a giant buddha statue. Not sure if this is an accurate representation of a buddhist, but I grew up multi-racial so everything has always been intertwined and possibly made up. I mainly loved to admire what I thought was art, even at such a young age.
What is a mandala? By part of definition a Mandala is a symbol in a dream representing the dreamers search for self unity. They appear in every aspect of life, the sun, the moon, and the earth. They are circles of life with family, friends and community. They appear in nearly all religion and can be used personally to symbolize the universe and how life goes on and is never ending.
When creating a mandala you are suppose to let go of all thoughts and let creativity flow. Here is what happened when I let my mind engage fully in creativity and what I ended up with about 3 hours later.
Flower Mandala Facial Steam Blend
Jasmine Green Tea
Hibiscus Flower Petals
Blood Orange rind
I did not measure each item as I created my mandala masterpiece. Once all picked off the table I had about 1/4 cup of mix and I added another 1/4 cup of jasmine green tea.
I picked up this super fragrant Jasmine Green tea this past weekend in Chicago, IL at a Chinese herbal shop. The owner was very helpful, he asked me what I needed and I of course said “What is your best tea for skincare”. He looked down at my Starbucks Green Tea latte and said to start you do not want to drink coffee. Switch to green tea, any tea just do not drink any more coffee. I let him I did have green tea and he showed me the green tea goods. This experience was sort of like teavana, except he opened and walked away. As he walked away and said “you smell”. He meant smell the tea of course haha! But it was an experience I needed my space for. It is seriously the most pleasantly fragranced Jasmine tea. Ever.
I believe Jasmine has moisturizing benefits to skin and so I knew it would make a great addition to my steam blend. Jasmine flowers are known to be antiseptic and help with healing. Lavender flower and lavender in general have so many benefits including being anti-inflammatory or calming to the skin. Hibiscus is very cleansing for the skin. Orange rind carries the essential oil that is commonly extracted and contains high levels vitamin C. For now google Vitamin C benefits, they will knock your socks off because it is that good for your skin.
When becoming an esthetician, I was taught the steamer would be the most important machine to use. Since then I have heard mixed reviews about steaming. Personally, since my young pre teen years I have used steam in this following method. My mother would save all the petals from the bouquets of flowers my father bought her, and she would tell me to use them in my bath or facial steam as I will show you in the next set of photos.
In a pot of boiling water add your flowers and herbs mixture.
Let it build for a few minutes to let the products steep into the water and get really hot.
Then carefully pour the contents into a bowl larger than your face.
I used oven mitts to transport this bowl to my seating area. Using a blanket scarf I hovered my face over the bowl and allowed the steam to go over my face and neck. It was super hot so I only covered my self while leaving and opening in front of me. As the water cools down you are then able to comfortably fully cover your head over the bowl and bask in the steam for a good 5-10 minutes.
It was very hot under here and I was blowing on the water to help cool it down a little.
What could you possible benefit from steaming your face off over a bowl of herbal water? Since it is spring I like to look at this as a sort of spring cleaning for my face. Steam helps to stimulate circulation as well as soften sebum and other debris in the skin. After this winter season a nice warm steam to loosen up all the dry skin and oils stuck in my skin was very much needed. The warmth also relaxes skin tissues making it easier for extractions and this would be a good time to follow up with a really good clay mask or one of those hell peel facials. Since the pores are all loose then you can get a good grip and really rip those suckers out.
I have also somehow bypassed the mother of all flus. My poor husband had to endure and I deemed it necessary to also use this steam to permeate my home, our sinuses and release congestion. Word of caution to those with sensitive skin that becomes inflamed easily, steaming dilates the capillaries and follicles and this may cause more redness and irritation. This is not an every day thing or ever so often either. This is a once a month thing, in my opinion, and experience from doing this method since nearly 18 years now. Geez that make me feel older than what I act. Ha!
The outer part of the mandala were some local mums I picked up at my grocery store. All of the contents in the center were meant for this steam blend. It turned out wonderful and brought back a lot of memories. I cannot wait to share more of them with you. The rest of the steam blend was used as a sort of potpourri and let it slowly steam in the pot on the stove for a few hours. My whole house now smells like orange, floral, jasmine green tea.
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you have enjoyed this addition to your natural skin care routine. Happy Spring season may you grow and flourish in all of your upcoming goals and dreams. Make it a great day!