Oh, the holidays! Bring on the gluten, sugar, dairy, and alcohol, add cold winter blasts and dry indoor heat, and a healthy dose of holiday reverie, and what you can get is a puffy, stuffy head, red eyes and congestion, and a sluggish, tired, off-feeling that will squeeze the rosy right out your cheeks.
A holiday go-to remedy that can take you from flat and faltering to festive and fabulous starts with a big pot of water, sea salt, herbs, and a warm fluffy towel. A stove top steam is old fashioned yes, but it is reliable, time-tested, and true to its purpose. A good facial steam over a hot pot of herbs and essential oils will help sweat out the toxins of holiday feasts, while supporting healthy lung function and helping lymph to circulate, stimulating feel-good hormones for a blush of good health that shows in the complexion.
My favorite winter recipe for a ‘stove top sweat lodge’ is a big pot of sea salted water brought to a boil then removed from heat source, where you add fresh rosemary sprigs with a ¼ teaspoon lavender and eucalyptus essential oils. Drape dry fluffy bath towel over your head then breathe deeply, rhythmically, allowing the steam to circulate about the face, head and neck. After three to five minutes of steaming, cup the towel around the face, place top on the pot, and retire to a comfortable place for a 5 minute rest, lying down if possible. Return to stove top and repeat the steam and inhalation, ending with a final rest stop that if you have time, can turn into a full blown nap! To complete the treatment, splash warm water on the face, do a gentle cleanse, then apply a nutrient rich face oil (must admit that Farmaesthetics Nutrient Dense Fine Facial Oil was created for just such a treatment.)
Not only does this simple at-home steam inhalation tent open congestion in the nose and lungs, it opens pores, releases toxins, and deeply cleanses the skin, preparing it for a nourishing moisture application. This short, but oh so sweet, treatment will restore healthy texture and tone to depleted tissue, and provide a respite in which to rest and recharge.
No need to deprive oneself of the glories of holiday cheer. Just be sure to help your system regain composure so that the spirit of the season (and holiday photos) can be captured with energy and the glow of health.