People and plants have been working together to create beauty both on Mother Earth Herself, and on our own faces and bodies. One of the simplest ways to start use flowers and other herbs to build beautiful skin is to create a facial tea blend. In celebration of Earth Month, I talked about using a facial tea blend with a reusable sheet mask, in addition to other sustainable beauty packaging ideas, on Good Morning Connecticut at Nine.
Watch my “Eco-friendly alternatives to personal care products” segment below:
How to make a DIY facial tea blend
A DIY facial tea blend is easy to make–all you need is dried or fresh plant matter (make sure you are using plants that are safe for topical application), and boiling water.
If using petals, leaves or other aerial parts, steep the plant matter in boiling water for 20 minutes (either covered, or use as a facial steam while steeping) at a ratio of one teaspoon (you can use two for fresh plant matter) for every 8 oz of boiling water. This is called an herbal infusion, and extracts the water soluble nutrients (like Vitamin C) from the plant.
If using roots, seeds, fibrous stems, or other tougher plant matter, it takes a little more effort to extract the water soluble nutrients. You’ll need to make what’s called a decoction, which means you need to simmer the plant matter in the hot water for 20 minutes. You can use the same ratio as you would with an infusion, and also use the mixture as a facial steam while it’s decocting.
Just be aware that if you have rosacea or otherwise inflamed skin, you should avoid adding heat, as it can make matters worse!
4 different ways to use your facial tea blend:
In addition to a facial steam, you can use your facial tea in several ways:
Many holistic aestheticians use herbal teas in place of water to cleanse the skin. This benefits the skin for multiple reasons. First, the addition of the plants to regular water (which typically has a pH between 7 and 8.5 which is too alkaline for the skin) adds acidity, which lowers the pH of the infusion to a more skin-friendly range. In addition, cleansing with a facial tea also gives you the skin benefits of the plants while cleansing. Many herbs have humectant properties which add hydration during cleansing. Others have astringent properties, which gently tighten and firm while cleansing.
The purpose of a toner is to rebalance the skin’s pH (as mentioned above), and also to cool, refresh, tone, and tighten the skin. Plants such as witch hazel, cucumber, and rose have gentle astringent and cooling properties, which make excellent toner. This can be applied with a cotton or reusable cloth facial pad between cleansing and moisturizing, and can also be sprayed onto the skin throughout the day to refresh the skin. A facial tea can will keep in the refrigerator (in a covered glass container) for three days without a preservative.
As a compress or with a mask.
Facial teas work wonderfully when used to reconstitute powdered clay or herb masks. All you do is add enough facial tea to the powdered mask to form a paste, and then apply it to the skin for 15 minutes. You can remove the mask with the facial tea as well, either my making a compress first (reusable sheet masks work great for this), or with another soft cloth.
You can use the facial tea itself as a compress mask, with a reusable sheet mask, cheese cloth, or another reusable soft cloth.
As an ingredient in your herbal skincare formulation.
Your facial tea can also serve as the water phase in your herbal creams, lotions, toners, and gels. Just be aware that as with any other skincare product that contains water, you will need to use a broad spectrum preservative if you want these products to have a shelf life. If you don’t want to use a preservative, then you need to be sure you only make your products in small batches, store them in the refrigerator, and use them within 3 days to be safe.
2 simple DIY facial tea recipes:
In the Good Morning Connecticut, the blend I showed was made from equal parts of the following:
- Rose (rosa damascena) petals
- Jasmine (jasminum grandiflorum)
- Holy basil (ocimum sanctum)
- Calendula (calendula officinalis)
- Lavender (lavandula angustifulia)
- Hibiscus (hibiscus sabdariffa)
But one of my all-time favorite facial tea blends is much simpler:
- 1 part rose petals
- 1 part calendula flowers
- 1 part hibiscus petals
Want to learn more ways to use herbs in your skincare products?
I teach professional herbal skincare formulation in depth in my Create Your Skincare online programs. Not only will you learn how to prepare your herbs in different ways for topical use, but you’ll also learn how to choose the right herbs for your custom formulations and signature product line. Learn more about our programs here.
Do you use facial tea in your skincare ritual?
What are your favorite flowers and herbs to use in your herbal tea blend? How do you use it in your facial rituals? Please share in the comments!