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Article: Can Saunas Really Help with Acne? A Comprehensive Guide to Sauna as an Acne Treatment

Can Saunas Really Help with Acne? A Comprehensive Guide to Sauna as an Acne Treatment

Can Saunas Really Help with Acne? A Comprehensive Guide to Sauna as an Acne Treatment

Written by Chris Lang

For a long time, saunas have been embraced to promote relaxation and wellness. However, it’s also been used for skin health, letting it breathe and removing toxins. If you want to use a sauna to treat your skin, you might wonder, “Does sauna help with acne?” Acne is amongst the most common skin issues, affecting people of all genders, ages, and races.

Due to its prevalence, there have been multiple ways to remedy it, and more people are warming up to alternative skincare methods to get a long-term solution for acne. This article explores the potential benefits of a sauna for acne, the potential risks of sauna treatments for skin condition relief, and its practicality as a long-term solution.

Understanding Acne and Its Causes

Acne is defined as a skin disease or condition that causes skin pores to block. This causes whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. While it’s a condition that primarily starts and ends in teenage years, there are still adults who struggle with it later in life due to various triggers.

The skin condition affects more women than men and can be caused by corticosteroids, contraceptives, hormonal changes, medication, smoking, and some skincare products. The issue is further exacerbated by sweat, stress, androgens, and genetic factors. However, the precise cause or combination of factors for acne’s appearance, flare-ups, and persistence have not been conclusively identified.

Acne affects more than the skin, with a good number of those with acne-prone skin feeling self-conscious, unattractive, or embarrassed. Due to these psychological effects, most people actively look for an effective long-term acne treatment to alleviate the symptoms and get clearer skin.

The Science Behind Saunas

A sauna is a small enclosed area with high heat and moderate to high humidity, which helps people sweat, improves mood, and has numerous proposed health benefits. Some use a sauna for cold-related issues. These can be traditional saunas, where dry heat is used, or infrared saunas, which use infrared rays to heat the human body.

Regardless of the application type, saunas maintain high temperature (with some going to over 200 degrees Fahrenheit), which causes profuse sweating. Saunas have been extensively researched for cardiovascular health due to its effects on improving circulation.

They are mostly available in recreational facilities, health clinics, spas, and gyms. However, with more people embracing a personalized approach to wellness, saunas are becoming more common in households, such as Komowa saunas. Here are the most common sauna options available today:

  • Finnish sauna: This option falls under the traditional or regular sauna category, with high temperatures and low humidity. In this type of sauna, the temperature can go as high as 170-240 Fahrenheit. The moisture usually is below 10%. This sauna is a good choice for individuals suffering from joint and muscle pain, bronchial asthma, and rheumatoid disease. It is also a good choice for heart attack survivors, but it should only be used with the doctor’s consent.

  • Steam bath: This is yet another traditional sauna with lower temperatures at 110-140 degrees. There is a higher humidity range between 90-100 percent. The insides of this sauna option are made of ceramic tiles and stone, as they are more moisture-resistant than wood. The high humidity helps open up the breathing pathways and relieves respiratory symptoms.

  • Salt room: This is a dry sauna where salt lumps are used. It’s another worthy choice for those who suffer from recurrent respiratory illnesses, especially bronchi and lungs. Sauna for sinuses and other related ailments involves breathing in gases rich in calcium, magnesium, bromine, iodine, and salt compounds. The temperature can be as high as 170 degrees and a humidity of 40 percent and below.

  • Infrared sauna: There is no better example of a modern sauna than this. Instead of the traditional stove, this type of sauna uses infrared lamps. The temperature doesn’t exceed 140 degrees, and the humidity is low or moderate. Since it doesn’t clog the sweat glands, the infrared sauna is recommended for acne management.

Can Saunas Help With Acne?

Dealing with acne can be more stressful than most people think. The condition can be worsened by skincare and makeup products. But why use sauna?

A sauna can clear out skin pores and reduce blemishes on the skin. It induces sweating, eliminating dirt and trapped oil in the process. Saunas can balance the skin’s pH as well. When the skin pH drops, skin cohesion improves, discouraging bacterial growth.

Regular sauna use has been shown to have a positive effect on mood and stress levels. Relaxing alleviates some stress related to home or work settings. Since stress is one of the possible triggers for acne flare-ups, it can indirectly help you have fewer acne issues.

Saunas help improve circulation, which has a positive effect on skin by refueling cells and allowing them to get oxygen and remove unwanted debris and toxins. This can improve complexion.

Using a sauna opens up the skin pores, a significant part of exfoliating and cleaning acne-prone skin. Several scientific studies have been conducted to assess the truth behind using saunas and their benefit to the skin and acne control. Such studies should be an integral part of how saunas are perceived and used today.

Sweat, Pores, and Acne

In the larger part, sweating plays a significant role in clearing skin pores. Sauna heat causes sweating, opening up the pores and releasing any build-up. The sweat also helps purge body toxins that could lead to acne outbreaks and pore blockages.

However, improperly using the sauna can have the opposite effect.

Sweat can cause breakouts due to clogged pores or skin irritation caused by friction and sweat. This is not the same as acne caused by hormonal shifts. Sweat acne can affect patients of all ages and can happen in sauna settings as well.

Additionally, since the body is intensely dehydrated in the process, it can lose precious salts and minerals, especially zinc. Zinc has been researched as both topical treatment and oral supplement, in various compounds, which have been found to have an overall positive effect on acne management.

Conversely, the loss of zinc associated with sweating can exacerbate existing acne. With that in mind, it’s best to consult a physician for supplementation and moderating sauna use to notice an effect.

Additionally, since sweating opens pores, it leaves them open for bacteria infiltration. As such, it’s vital to clean the skin thoroughly before and after a sauna treatment to prevent flare-ups.

The Benefits of Saunas for Skin Health

Infrared sauna options, in particular, offer excellent skin support and can improve the skin’s appearance. There have been numerous beneficial health effects of saunas, and the treatment is non-intrusive compared to procedures like laser therapy and cosmetic surgery. A sauna’s benefits include an enhanced immune system, better sleep, weight loss, better cardiovascular function, and increased blood flow. Some of the more specific benefits connected to acne include the following:

  • Toxin removal: Sweating aids body detoxification. Infrared sauna therapy helps clear up acne. Toxins that are deeply engrained are eliminated when sweating is induced. So does sauna help with inflammation? The answer here is yes. It relieves inflammation caused by cystic acne.

  • Dead skin cell removal and clearing skin pores: An infrared sauna uses heat to penetrate deep into the skin. As a result, any blockages are dealt with. Dead skin cells, sebum, and other pollutants that cause blackheads, blemishes, and acne are removed in the process.

  • Reduces chances of breakouts in the future: Sauna-induced sweating, especially in an infrared one, helps the skin combat the acne-causing bacteria with its antibacterial properties.

  • Improved collagen production: Normally, the sauna heats the skin to promote normal cell growth and stop fine lines and wrinkles from forming. This is due to the better blood circulation that enhances collagen formation. As a result, the skin remains healthy and young.

  • Stretch mark and cellulite reduction: When collagen production is boosted and toxins removed, the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks is reduced with regular sauna use.

  • Lower stress: A sauna helps users relax. Less stress means better skin health and acne outbreaks.

  • Better skin tone: Better circulation and blood flow equals more oxygen, vitamin D, and essential nutrients to the skin. This ends up improving the skin tone.

The Importance of Sauna Safety

Using a sauna can have a positive impact on the skin and can help with acne breakouts. However, it is crucial to use saunas responsibly and safely. While you may be tempted to overuse the sauna for maximum skin effect, restrain from overdoing it. Heat therapy should be regulated since excessive exposure can cause skin dehydration. Seek a dermatologist’s authorization before using a sauna as an acne remedy.

Before using a sauna, take plenty of water to prevent dehydration and regulate body temperature. Remember to cleanse the skin before the sauna session to remove dirt, oils, and makeup from the skin.

Potential Risks and Considerations

Infrared saunas can be a good choice for acne-prone skin as they help clear pores and prevent sebum production. Saunas also help improve the skin texture and tone.

That said, it’s important to note that saunas can cause fungal acne. This is because yeast thrives in moist and hot environments, meaning sweaty areas could cause a fungal acne outbreak. If you have sensitive skin, your sweat tends to have a higher salt concentration, which means more chances of irritation.

A skin condition like psoriasis or eczema can worsen by using a sauna. Check with a dermatologist before using a sauna to make sure your acne is treatable with sauna and won’t get worse due to increased sweating.

After using the sauna, take a shower and remember to wash your face again after the body cools down to expel toxins and dirt from the skin.

Take lots of water after the sessions and use non-comedogenic moisturizer for rehydration.

Tips for Using Saunas to Help Acne

When you start, restrict yourself to a weekly session and stay in the sauna for 15 minutes each time. The duration can be adjusted over time as your body gets accustomed to the heat.

To reap the full benefits of a sauna, remember to take lots of water before, during, and after getting out of the sauna since dehydration can make your acne worse. Cleanse the face and body to eliminate the impurities and dirt already eliminated after sauna use. Consider scrubbing the skin after using the sauna.


With the above information, it’s possible to tell how vital a sauna can be when included in a skin care regimen. However, some care should be taken to avoid adverse effects. Sourcing a high-quality sauna from Komowa allows you to access some of the most convenient features, making your experience better.

Talk to a dermatologist before using a sauna to remedy acne. They are in a better position to offer personalized advice.

  • Don’t stay too long in the sauna

  • Hydrate

  • Use a facial cleanser and moisturizer

  • Avoid alcohol or medication that could impair sweating before and after using a sauna

If you feel unwell during sauna use, it is better to get out immediately. Avoid using the sauna when sick unless under the direction of a medical practitioner.

Additional Resources


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