The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic introduced a word to many Zimbabweans. It was almost as if it never existed preCovid with the shock waves a lot of people expressed when they heard of it. The word, ‘kunatira’ which means steaming in English trended on many social media platforms and it got to the point where people started to change their display names to ‘Natirai’ as well as giving it many variations and slang names such as ‘Natting’ or ‘Nats’. The wonderful whacky world of social media:)
But this ‘new’ word is not actually new.
Kunatira or kufukira has traditionally been used to help ease the discomfort that comes with the common cold or flu as noted by Hammer and Tongues (https://www.google.com/amp/s/hammerandtonguesshoppingmall.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/home-remedies-for-the-cold-and-flu/amp/). Traditionally, it is suggested that one adds a small amount of Vicks or certain herbs to a pot with hot water. The ill person then sticks their head into the pot and covers their head with a towel. By inhaling the steam for about 15 minutes, one’s breathing will be made easier, clearing any congestion in the throat. Kunatira, however, not only helps with flu symptoms or as recently discovered , COVID respiratory symptoms; it’s also excellent for the skin.
Benefits of steaming on the skin
If you have never used steaming as part of your skincare regimen, we have compiled all the reasons why you should start. Off the bat, steaming cleanses, nourishes and feels luxurious but there are numerous other skincare benefits of this procedure. We asked Deriah Danda, owner of Beautyworx Chisipite for the effects and benefits of steaming and this is what she said:
Deriah went on to advise us on the different oils and herbs that are best to use for steaming depending on your skin needs. Tea tree helps for those with problematic skin; lavender helps as it is soothing; chamomile is great for dry, mature, sensitive or inflamed skin; for oily skin you can use rosemary or sage; for stubborn blackheads, try out eucalyptus, peppermint and rosemary and for all skin types, lemon peel helps to energise your skin.
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Experts from healthline.com provide further benefits of steaming. These include:
Noreen Bgoya, a beauty and lifestyle influencer on Instagram gave us some great advice and tips about steaming. In a recent interview, we asked her to give us the different techniques and products one can use when steaming.
What techniques would you recommend as the best ones for steaming?
There are a few such as;
i Filling a bucket with hot water and hanging your face over it with a towel covering your head,
ii Using a towel dipped in hot water, and having drained or squeezed the excess water from it laying it on your face for a few minutes,
iii Last but not least, the best way in my opinion is the steamer. It is less admin. All you have to do is put water in your steamer and turn it on.
Do you have any tips and tricks?
– I usually leave my scrub on during the steam. I use my index and middle fingers to gently massage my face using circular motions which helps me feel like I am really assisting in the process.
What are the best things to do before and after steaming to ensure the best results?
Why has Zumbani become such a big craze?
Zumbani has always been a big deal but the pandemic amplified its importance and has become a bigger craze because of how helpful it is in fighting colds and flues. It also boosts the immune system; benefits we can all reap from in such a time.
In your opinion, what are your go to products for your skincare?
There are a lot of them on my list but one of the best ones I use is the Neutrogena hydro boost cleanser – you can never go wrong with a hydrating cleanser for whatever skin type you have. It is gentle and extremely hydrating. A local product that is really good is the Ndanaka radiance face oil, it is a nourishing oil that also helps heal scarring.
Follow Noreen on Instagram- @noreenyyolanda
By Delyse Gimani