Since we introduced our first facial steam, Aphrodite, in the summer of 2016, we have grown a following of steamers who now cannot live without steaming their faces or otherwise using the vibrant herbs and flowers that we put in our steams (the creative uses range from brewing small amounts of the herbs for a preservative-free toner or mist that is good for two days, adding the strained or unstrained tea to a bath, and using the tea as an incredible hair rinse). We have been asked again and again for a new steam that the aficionados can use to alternate with Aphrodite. We understand—no matter how effective and wonderful a product is or how well it addresses all our skin's needs, it is nice to experience something new, with a different scent, different appearance, and maybe different properties.
If you are new to steaming, take a moment and allow yourself to become converted. Steaming your face will save you lots of expense on products and facials, not to mention lots of heartache over your skin's condition, because it is so profoundly healing and effective at improving the skin's health and beauty. When we receive an e-mail from a customer stating that everything clogs their pores or that the skin dryness they experience is oppressive and persistent, we recommend a steam and all their problems are solved. And if you don't have the time or patience for steaming, try a facial compress with a designated soft facial towel. You won't need a hydrating mask or a facial often, if ever, if you use a high-quality, well-composed herbal steam. Period.
For this blend Ava chose herbs that heal acne (yet are nondrying and nonirritant), reduce inflammation, cool, refresh, and soothe:
White yarrow flowers: Yarrow is a wonder herb, often a favorite among the plant-attuned and widely used by professional herbalists in North America and in Europe. The healing properties are strongly anti-inflammatory, acne reducing, analgesic (pain reducing, which comes in handy if one has painful breakouts), cooling, and refreshing. Yarrow has a special affinity for the skin (renowned American herbalists Matthew Wood and Michael Moore recommend yarrow for wrinkles, acne, psoriasis, and to speed healing of wounds) and as a vascular system regulator (yarrow's benefits in this area include the ability to stop bleeding, to improve the strength of capillaries, to make a reddened complexion appear less red by drawing blood away from the skin, and also the opposite, to improve coloring in very pale complexions).
The scent of the wild white flowers is medicinal-floral, an unusual yet addictive aroma. On a psychic level, yarrow seals our aura so that we sense a protective shield around us and are not as vulnerable to negative energies; our center, our composure, remains intact.
For this steam, we picked wild yarrow in June and July 2017 from more remote meadows in Washington. We take care to pick flowers in the wild responsibly, cutting off the whole stem rather than just the flower heads, and always leaving behind some flowers unpicked, so that there are enough to make seeds for new plants for the following year. We dry the flowers in semi-shade, trim off the stems, and then store the flowers away from sunlight, humidity, and excessive heat.
Chrysanthemum flowers: Our chrysanthemum flowers come from Ava's relatives' countryside near Hangzhou in China, spring 2017 harvest. They were hand-picked specifically for use in our skin care line and delivered by Ava's in-laws personally. Now, that is personal service and top freshness! Chrysanthemum flowers are highly cooling and anti-inflammatory, with a delicate floral aroma. They are also used traditionally for firming the skin (Ava came across historic accounts of Persian women daily splashing their decolette and breasts with cooled chrysanthemum tea before retiring for bed to maintain firm and youthful breasts into their old age).
Green tea leaves: As with the chrysanthemum flowers, we get to use hand-selected, limited-supply, high-altitude green tea from the Hangzhou area countryside in China. We are using the spring 2016 harvest.
Mullein flowers: The Pacific Northwest abounds in mullein, the resilient tall plant that has the strength and talents to grow on dry and infertile land. While mullein plants often look dry and pale, their flowers have a sweet fragrance reminiscent of sunflowers, and they soothe, soften, and comfort the skin, especially if there is any irritation or sensitivity. Our mullein flowers come primarily from an organic farm in Oregon, summer 2016 harvest (and as soon as the 2017 harvest is ready, we will be switching to the freshest and the best for you).
Cornflowers: There is a surge of interest in cornflowers as a skin-enhancing herb, particularly for their cooling and anti-inflammatory properties. We gathered the cornflowers in Selene over the course of spring and summer 2017 from secluded meadows in Washington state. We are using whole blue, pink, white, and burgundy cornflowers in this steam. Aside from the skin-enhancing benefits, cornflowers add beautiful colors and a new textural element to the steam blend.
Our steam is based on the most radiant, freshest herbs and flowers. We use the herbalist-recommended parts of the plants; sometimes the flowers, sometimes the leaves. The steam delivers tremendous benefits to the skin, is beautiful to look at both dry and brewed, and has a refreshing yet soothing, lightly floral yarrow-green-tea-chrysanthemum aroma.
We will be selling Selene while we have enough herbs and flowers from our own harvest of this year's yarrow and cornflowers.
Cruelty free, vegan, cold process, handcrafted, fair trade.
For all skin types, especially acne prone, combination, sensitive, with a tendency toward inflammation, or with rosacea.
Achillea millefolium (white yarrow) flowers^ , Chrysanthemum indicum flowers (organic whenever available), Centaurea cyanus (cornflowers)^, Verbascum sinuatum or Verbascum densiflorum or Verbascum Thapsus (mullein) flowers* or ^, Camellia sinensis (green tea) leaves (organic whenever available), Plantago major (plantain) leaves^.
*Certified organic. ^Responsibly wildcrafted.
Place a generous handful of the herbal blend (4 to 5 tablespoons) in a heatproof bowl (a dedicated stainless-steel pot will allow the tea to remain hot longer than a ceramic bowl). Prepare a towel to cover your head during the steam session and wash your face, removing all makeup. Boil fresh, filtered water and pour 1 to 2 cups over the herbs to make a strong, fragrant infusion.
Lean over the bowl to caress your face with the pleasantly hot (not scorching) steam. Cover your head with a towel to allow as little of the heat to escape as possible. The hot steam will help open the skin's pores and the herbs will penetrate deeper to aid purifying, healing, and moisturizing. Steam your face for 15 minutes to half an hour (a longer session is much more beneficial; reheat the tea if needed halfway through the session).
Follow with a face mask of your choice or a deep-acting serum, such as Ferns and Moss Face Serum. Strain the herbs and reserve the infusion in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Warm it and and use as a final hair rinse for all hair types or add it to a bath. You may brew the strained herbs a second time with a little less water, strain, and use the second infusion creatively.
Store away from direct light exposure to protect the fragile botanicals within.
Filled to the brim and the herbs are packed in quite tight. Freshness guaranteed for 6 months.
Full size 2 oz. (57 g) glass jar or sturdy reclosable Kraft paper bag. Assuming you will use a generous handful of the blend at a time, about 4–5 tablespoons/5 grams, the glass jar or Kraft bag will be enough for 11 to 12 steam sessions.
Due to the very high cost of our ingredients and the labor-intensive (highly time consuming) small-batch production process, we are unable to accept returns of opened or unopened products at this time.