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Article: The Ultimate Guide to Sauna Benefits for Skin

The Ultimate Guide to Sauna Benefits for Skin

The Ultimate Guide to Sauna Benefits for Skin

Written by Chris Lang

 

Saunas have been popular for centuries and for a good reason. According to both traditional and modern research, sauna sessions can bring numerous benefits in terms of overall health. However, saunas have also become renowned in terms of beauty treatments, particularly in terms of skincare.

But what does a sauna do for your skin? This article will tell you just that. It’ll also explain how saunas work and the notable differences between traditional and infrared (IR) saunas. Let’s explore the subject in more detail.

How Saunas Work

Saunas function by raising the temperature of your body. Depending on how this is achieved, saunas can be, for instance, steam or infrared. The former heats the air around you, transferring the temperature from the air to your skin. The latter uses infrared radiation to impact the body directly.

In either case, saunas have a significant effect on the skin as it’s the first to react to the raised temperature. In particular, the elevated temperature causes the pores to open, boosting perspiration and increasing peripheral blood flow. In other words, sweating is one of the primary effects of sauna on skin. To understand “Is sweating in a sauna good for skin,” you must first understand what sweating does.

The Science of Sweating

In your daily lives, you probably don’t think much of sweating. It can be quite uncomfortable in public settings, especially if you tend to sweat a lot. However, perspiration is a helpful process with an intricate mechanism behind it. It’s also a large piece of the answer to “Is sauna good for your skin?” Let’s explore this process in more detail.

Sweating is the result of sweat gland activity, which is controlled by the sympathetic, i.e., the autonomic nervous system. When activated through neurotransmitters, the glands release salty sweat to the surface of the skin. There, the liquid evaporates.

Contrary to common belief, sweat doesn’t have an odor or color. Instead, it gains those properties owing to skin bacteria and apocrine glands. Yet, while sweating can be a bit embarrassing, it serves an important purpose.

Sweat is essentially your natural coolant. Your body loses excess heat through sweat secretion and evaporation, which helps regulate the temperature in hot conditions. This is the primary function of sweat, but there are some secondary effects that affect both skin and overall health. These effects are precisely why sauna benefits skin.

Benefits of Sauna for Skin

Sauna skin benefits start with sweat. One of the first things that happen when you spend some time in a sauna is sweating, which is a natural response to the high temperature. Moreover, the longer you stay in the sauna, the more you sweat. As a result, the liquid helps remove various contaminants from the skin, including bacteria and heavy metals.

Apart from making the skin cleaner by promoting sweating, the skin benefits of sauna go beyond, affecting the skin indirectly, through better circulation, and directly by boosting the production of helpful compounds.

Improved Circulation

Spending time in a sauna boosts circulation and the overall function of the cardiovascular system. Better circulation supplies the skin with the essential nutrients to promote healthier development. At the same time, increased circulation aids in the healing of scars, bruises, or cuts. Finally, better circulation alleviates inflammation and pain as another addition of sauna benefits on skin.

So, if you’re asking, “Does sauna help clear skin?” the answer is yes. Of course, this benefit doesn’t come directly from the sauna heat but rather as a byproduct of increased circulation.

Collagen Production

Collagen is a protein that makes the skin fresher, healthier, and more elastic. Unfortunately, your body starts producing less and less collagen as you grow older, which has adverse effects on the skin. In that regard, one of the greatest benefits of sauna on skin is the promotion of renewed collagen production. And if you pair your sauna sessions with good nutrition and regular exercise, these sauna effects on skin will become even more pronounced.

Acne and Breakouts

Another factor that makes sauna good for skin is that the heat opens up the pores and helps the skin clean itself through sweating. Sweat clears the skin of salt and sebum deposits, which are the main ingredients of breakouts and acne, along with bacteria.

In case you’re not familiar with the term, sebum is a natural product that specific glands release to protect the skin and hair. While this is useful, sebum can build up over time, clogging the pores and causing further skin issues. Due to sweating that clears this residue, you can leverage the sauna for clear skin.

Anti-Aging Benefits

If you’re still wondering, “Is the sauna good for your face and skin?” consider how the combined effects of a sauna can rejuvenate your skin and stave off the effects of aging. The improved circulation, skin cleansing through sweating, and boosted collagen production can give the skin a younger appearance. In particular, wrinkles and scars could be reduced, and the skin may become more elastic.

Types of Saunas and Their Effects on Skin

The most popular sauna types include steam and infrared saunas. While these two types do the same thing – raise the temperature of your body – they achieve this purpose through different means. Namely, steam saunas heat the air around you, while infrared therapy saunas use IR rays to raise your body’s temperature directly.

Despite these differences, the end result of both sauna systems is the same: increased heat and all of the benefits that go with it. However, it’s worth noting that steam saunas also increase humidity, which can increase sweating. As a result, the cleansing effects may be increased.

Traditional vs. Infrared Saunas

This article has already mentioned the main difference between steam, i.e., traditional saunas, and their infrared counterparts. In a traditional sauna, the standard method of raising the temperature includes hot rocks that create heated steam. On the other hand, IR saunas emit infrared rays from special light bulbs.

While the added humidity in traditional saunas can benefit your skin, exposure to hot air might nullify that benefit, especially when prolonged. In contrast, an IR sauna leaves the air drier, reducing the possibility of irritation or similar adverse effects. If you compare your state before and after infrared sauna, benefits become apparent. This is especially true when you use high-quality products like those from Komowa Wellness.

Precautions and Tips for Sauna Use

The most important thing to remember when using a sauna is not to overdo it. Beginners should limit their sessions to a maximum of 10 minutes or even bring it down to five, especially if feeling any discomfort.

Another significant precaution to take with saunas refers to hydration. Have at least two glasses of water before going in and another two when you come out. This will make up for the liquids you’ll lose through sweat.

Finally, as a special tip for sauna use, you should take a shower with warm water as soon as you exit the sauna to wash off the sweat, salt, and bacteria. Then, either have a cold shower or, if possible, jump into the snow. The cold will further boost your circulation and close up your pores to their resting state.

Hydration and Skin Care

This article talked about the importance of hydration previously but didn’t mention that hydration affects your skin. Indeed, properly hydrated skin looks rejuvenated and regains its elasticity. Also, avoiding skin dryness will stave off potential irritation and inflammation.

When to Consult a Dermatologist

You should talk with a dermatologist if you notice any unfavorable changes. For instance, excessively dry skin would be a red flag, particularly if the dryness persists. Likewise, if there’s any redness or other signs of irritation, it would be best to visit a specialist before resuming your sauna sessions.

The Ultimate Skin Rejuvenation?

To answer the question of “Is the sauna good for your skin?” it’s hard not to see the undeniable connection between sauna and skin benefits. The advantages of regular sauna sessions are numerous and all but proven. So don’t hesitate to experience the health benefits of a dry sauna, i.e., infrared or the traditional variant. Find out more about your sauna options at Komowa Wellness.

 

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