Using the sauna post-workout is an established practice for muscle recovery and relaxation. But when it comes to skin health, using the sauna is almost as effective as reversing time. Seriously! There’s a reason sauna therapy is considered the fountain of youth: it rejuvenates and clears the pores, naturally moisturizes your body, stimulates collagen production, and can reverse UV light sun damage.
Find Your Sauna
You can typically find a sauna for public use at your local gym. There’s also dedicated infrared sauna therapy centers that concentrate on skin benefits. Regardless of where you go, if you use the sauna regularly, you will start seeing results immediately.
During a workout, your heart rate increases, which in turn causes your pores to enlarge as you sweat. A dry heat session works similarly, as you sweat out toxins, blood circulation increases to your organs and muscles, and helps you relax your mind and body. It’s a great wellness practice altogether.
Before using the sauna, it is important to wash your hands and face. You want to prevent your pores from clogging while sweating, especially if you just worked out. Sweating also releases a lot of salt from your body, and if that combines with sebum and bacteria, it’s a recipe for a breakout. Second, make sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after the sauna, as you are losing your body’s water stores as you sweat it all out.
Skin Health Benefits
Using the sauna is so important for skin health.
Starting with the pores, the heat causes them to expand and enlarge, and when you return to a colder temperature, your pores close up again. This contributes to smoother skin, and provides a workout for your pores to practice closing again.
Second, the high temperature increases blood circulation, which we already know is great for muscle recovery. But, it also leaves that “healthy glow” behind on your skin.
Sweating out toxins means sweating out dead skin cells too. Think of the sauna as a natural exfoliator. Sweating has a cleansing effect on pores and glands that results in healthier looking, smaller blackheads, and fewer pimples.
You may think of sweating as losing moisture in your skin, but it actually works in the reverse effect. The heat stimulates your sebaceous glands, which in turn encourages sebum to keep the skin moisturized. We’re talking about the good sebum here, not the bad kind that leads to breakouts.
The sauna is a natural anti-inflammatory, too. This helps your muscles recover in addition to soothing irritated or inflamed skin.
When people think of anti-aging, they often associate it with collagen. Collagen is the natural substance that makes our skin plump and young looking. The heat enhances collagen production and rejuvenates your complexion.
Lastly, the skin is now able to absorb products more effectively after the sauna. This means you get the most bang for your buck when you apply your favorite serums and moisturizers after the sauna.