When considering adding another element to include in your skincare routine, one may think about buying a moisturizer, a new cleanser, some eye cream, or the seemingly endless number of other things out there that can promise you great results.
Sure, there are many products out there that work very well for what your desired outcome is, but there may be something even better that you probably haven’t even considered.
It can be supplemented on top of your skincare routine, and get this, it’s something that you don’t even need to apply to your skin.
Best of all, it’s something that targets your entire body, not just one localized area.
Sound too good to be true?
Well, it certainly isn’t!
What we’re talking about here is the sauna.
Sauna bathing has been around for thousands of years, and we’re still continuing to discover the amazing benefits of it.
One of those amazing benefits is the positive effect on the skin as a whole, helping to heal, detox, cleanse, having restorative properties, and so much more.
Let’s see why the sauna may end up being your best option when looking to improve the health of your skin with these benefits.
7 Skin Benefits from Sauna Bathing
When taking part in a sauna session, one of the first things that you may notice on a physical level is the beads of sweat that form on your skin and eventually drop onto the ground. The longer you stay in the sauna, the more you sweat.
This is a normal occurrence, of course, because sweating is the way for your skin to regulate your body temperature at the optimal level of 98.6 degrees.
Sweating is a great way for your body to detox.
According to a 2019 article medically reviewed by Shilpa Amin, M.D., CAQ, FAAFP, sweating helps the skin remove heavy metals, chemical elimination including BPA’s (bisphenol A), and PBA’s (polychlorinated biphenyls) and bacterial cleansing.
If there are too many of these negative toxins within the body and aren’t being properly regulated and eliminated, they can cause long term problems.
When it comes to benefits on the skin, sweating from a sauna session cause promote cleansing due to the removal of the negative toxins and impurities.
2. Sauna Your Way Toward Acne Free Skin
One of the many positive effects that sauna use has on the skin is helping to cleanse the skin of acne and acne-related issues.
Bacteria, clogged pores, and blocked sweat glands contribute to acne growth on the face and body and end up leaving unsightly scars and other blemishes if not taken care of.
When the body is experiencing toxin, bacteria, and other impurity detoxing through sweating in a sauna, you bet that those acne and acne-related issues are being targeted.
Also, here’s something ironic to consider as you partake in sauna sessions.
According to Marina Peredo, M.D., of Skinfluence NYC, she goes on to explain that “Sweating releases a high amount of salt, which needs to be washed away immediately after sweating…the combination of salt, sebum, and bacteria contributes to breakouts.”
So when looking to getting the full benefits of the sauna when it comes to acne, be sure to use a sauna to help eliminate toxins, but be also wash up right afterward to remove the cocktail of bacteria that’s newly developed on the skin.
Taking part in regular sauna sessions can help with achieving skin that’s clean, clear, free of acne, and helps prevent future acne breakouts.
3. Weight Loss from Thermogenesis
When the body is in an environment where it’s hotter than its desired temperature, the functions of the internal systems have to work harder to maintain a level of homeostasis.
Taking part in a sauna session helps to burn calories by way of thermogenesis, or increasing the temperature of the body.
According to an equation from Fitness Blender that shows you how to estimate how many calories you are burning, they go on to present that the ‘number of calories burned in 30 minutes of sitting (specific to your body weight) x 1.5 (possibly x 2) = calories burned. ‘
They also provide an example, stating that ‘a healthy male of 185 pounds burns 42 calories in 30 minutes of sitting. To find the number that this same individual burns while sitting in a sauna, multiply those calories by 1.5 and 2 in order to get an estimate. In this case, the individual would burn roughly 63 to 84 calories.’
This shows us that not a ton of calories are burned, and the sauna certainly shouldn’t be a replacement for actually taking part in regular physical exercise.
There isn’t a ton of medical evidence to suggest that this is the most accurate way to calculate calories burned, but can be used as a ballpark figure.
One other element we can look at when it comes to weight loss as it pertains to skin health is the element of a better diet.
Shifts in diets including reducing calories, eating healthier, and adding in exercise are the main reasons why weight loss occurs. With the ingestion of better foods and detoxing from sweat and sauna use, the skin will begin to look more clear and feel better.
An important thing to keep in mind is that with increased heat exposure, the body becomes dehydrated at a faster rate. Keeping water with you at all times is recommended to stay hydrated, and to leave the sauna if you feel dizzy, or lightheaded.
Before taking part in sauna bathing, be sure to consult your medical professional.
4. Helps To Circulate the Blood More Effectively
Some may ask, “what does blood flow have to do with better skin?”
As a matter of fact, it has a LOT to do with achieving better skin.
When partaking in a sauna session, the heat causes the blood vessels in the body to dilate. Having more dilated blood vessels promotes increase circulation within the body, helping to expedite the process of healing the skin.
If one were to have skin trauma including cuts, bruises, and scarring, the increased blood flow helps to heal injury sites more quickly and efficiently.
Conversely, however, this may come with less than desirable effects for some individuals.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, ‘…the pulse rate jumps by 30% or more, allowing the heart to nearly double the amount of blood it pumps each minute. Most of the extra blood flow is directed to the skin; in fact, the circulation actually shunts blood away from the internal organs.
As the study says that since the blood circulation diverts blood away from the internal system of the body, talking to a medical professional is recommended, especially with uncontrolled high blood pressure and/or heart disease.
5. Stimulates Collagen Production
There has been a huge increase in the popularity of people wanting to improve their collagen levels.
Collagen is one of the most plentiful proteins in the human body, made up of amino acids and occupies about ⅓ of the body, and is a building block of our skin. Collagen makes our skin look nice and healthy.
Sauna bathing helps promote collagen and elastin growth, which helps the skin with better elasticity and health.
According to a 2006 study published by Yonsei Medical Journal, they go on to showcase that:
‘We found that the content of collagen and elastin produced by the fibroblasts increased after infrared radiation and that this increase was proportional to the duration of irradiation exposure. Following 6 months of treatment, all patients reported good (51-75%) improvements in skin texture and roughness.’
Also, as we age, collagen production does decrease, but you can use a sauna to help reduce the effects.
6. Helps with Sleep
What does sleep have to do with the skin? Actually, a lot!
The better you sleep, the better your skin will look and feel.
When taking part in infrared sauna sessions, it promotes a calm environment, helps the body relax, and helps balance hormones in the body
Furthermore, although more studies need to be done when it comes to correlating sleep with saunas, one 2015 study shows that infrared sauna therapy helped to minimize symptoms in individuals that experience chronic fatigue. The result shows that:
“Perceived fatigue significantly decreased after therapy, although no significant reductions were observed during therapy. In addition, a negative mood, including anxiety, depression and fatigue, and the performance status significantly improved after therapy.
7. Helps Promote Hair Growth
One of the benefits of sauna use is the fact that it can stimulate follicle growth, helping to grow hair. Saunas carry more blood to the skin, including the hair follicles, which encourages new and faster growth.
It’s important to keep in mind the sauna use may dry out hair faster due to moisture loss, so using conditioner to keep the scalp hydrated, as well a drinking plenty of water, is recommended.
Is sauna use good for the skin?
The answer is yes. For a multitude of reasons.
When looking at your skin as a whole, taking care of it starts from the inside out.
That’s why regular sauna use can be a positive addition to your skincare routine, so you can enjoy the benefits of healthier and clearer skin while improving your overall health.
The sauna, although it carries many benefits, should not be seen as a substitute for certain skincare routines or conditions, but rather as a supplement.
It’s important to discuss sauna use with a doctor before taking part in sessions.
From helping with acne and acne-related issues, promoting hair growth, improving blood circulation, helping to promote better sleep, and more, the benefits of infrared sauna use on the skin is tried and true.
While there are many skin benefits from sauna bathing that we know about, other benefits may be discovered in the future with more research and analysis.
Health Mate Saunas is the leading manufacturer of infrared saunas for the home for over 40 years. Our high-quality infrared saunas are made with 100% PEFC Western Red Cedar, an antimicrobial, and one of the only woods known as a sustainable and renewable resource. For more information on our line of premium infrared saunas, contact us today to see how you can improve your skin, your health, and your life.