Does "tea for your face" really work? We gave it a shot

By Alex Apatoff
Updated November 14, 2013 09:00 PM

Courtesy Alex Apatoff

What is it: Maijan “Facial Steamers,” a blend of organic leaves, herbs and oils that you soak in hot water, then let “steam” your face

Who tried it: Alex Apatoff, Style News Editor

Why she did it: I’m always looking for non-chemical, organic products that actually work on my skin. Plus I figured my husband could use a good laugh.

How crazy is it on a scale from one to Kim Kardashian’s blood facial?: 1. It’s easy and painless — though I have to give it one point for the “ghost at the spa” imitation I was doing with my head under a towel.

RELATED: See more bold beauty dares tried by our editors here!

There’s one word to describe my skincare routine: “lazy.” Perhaps it’s because my hair is so high-maintenance that it sucks up all my primping time, but I’ve never been the girl to put on a beauty mask, slather on exfoliant and fake tan and carefully apply serum and cream. Which is why I was hesitant to try a multi-step skincare process that culminated in me sitting still for 15 minutes with my head under a towel. Well, I’m proud to say that not only did I come out unscathed, I’m also a convert.

Maijan is a brand known for its super-pure products, so it’s no surprise that Facial Steamers are, essentially, a giant bowl of organic tea that nourishes and purifies your face. They come in three combinations: “Nourish,” for dry skin, which has rose petals and peppermint leaves; “Radiance,” for oily skin, comprised of lemongrass and lavender oil; and “Clarify,” for acne-prone skin, which contains eucalyptus and rosemary oil.

You heat up water, dump in two tablespoons of your mixture (I chose Nourish), and then comes the fun (?) part: You sit with your face near the bowl and a towel over your head to trap in the steam, and inhale for 10-20 minutes depending on your skin’s condition. I emphasized the spa-like atmosphere by lighting my favorite candle, putting out flowers and turning on a Friends rerun, since I’ve watched them all so many times I don’t need to see the action to know what’s happening.

At first I felt silly — and my husband’s constant giggling as he tried to document the proceedings didn’t help matters — but the steaming mixture smelled so good that I started relaxing in spite of myself. And when I emerged from my towel fort to check out my skin, I realized why so many aestheticians use steam during facials: Not only did tons of dirt come off on a cotton ball when I gave it a pass over my skin, but (TMI alert) the perpetually pore-clogged area around my nose had easier “extractions” than ever before.

The Verdict: I’d totally do this again — it was so relaxing and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it delivered without any chemicals. But in the future I’d probably wait until I don’t have an audience … and a little extra time to spend with the serums, creams and gels.

Discount for PEOPLE readers: Want to try one yourself? From today through Nov. 21, get 25% off any Maijan Facial Steam product on by entering “PEOPLE25” at checkout.