Both steam rooms and saunas are regularly used for relaxation, cleanliness, and rejuvenation. While traditional saunas use dry heat to provide their therapeutic effects, steam rooms and steam saunas use moist heat, generally around 110F. This hot, moist heat can have a multitude of effects on the body, from stimulating circulation to loosening stiff joints and relieving stress. Not surprisingly, one of the areas of the body that benefits the most is the skin. Here are six ways that a steam sauna can benefit your skin:
- Cleanses – like any moisture applied to the skin, warm condensation can help to rinse away dirt and dead skin. Since the heat also serves to open up the pores, this cleaning effect can be even more thorough in the steam room. With the pores wide open, dirt and debris are easily flushed out, along with excess oils that can cause skin irritation. Unlike washing with soap, which can actually serve to dry out skin, steam cleansing is the best way to achieve a true, deep clean, which is important for maintaining healthy skin.
- Hydrates – Not surprisingly, exposure to all of that humidity is also quite effective for hydrating the skin. The 100% humidity of the steam sauna provides natural moisture for the skin that, with the pores wide open, is able to penetrate beneath the surface levels. In order to maintain that benefit it is necessary to apply a protective moisturizer within 60 seconds after leaving the steam so that the moisture is locked in, otherwise, the moisture will evaporate in the dry air outside the steam sauna, leaving you even more dehydrated.
- Prevents aging – As our first layer of defense, the skin is exposed to a great number of pollutants and irritants on a regular basis and all of that exposure takes its toll. Coupled with the natural erosion of collagen and elastin, the result can be skin that is dry, sagging and wrinkled. Exposure to the healing moisture of a steam sauna can help to fight those regular effects of aging, and cleanse the skin of toxins that build up under the surface, leaving it looking and feeling softer, smoother and more youthful.
- Relieves acne – Since steam heat can help to open the pores that also make it a great weapon in fighting the effects of skin conditions such as acne. Acne results when the pores become clogged and inflamed. By opening the pores gently and naturally, that allows for deeper penetration of acne fighting medications and more thorough cleansing, all of which can result in fewer and less severe acne breakouts.
- Prepares the skin for waxing – Waxing is a great way to remove unwanted hair but it can be painful and irritating to the skin. The warm moisture of a steam sauna not only opens up the pores but also softens the skin, making it more pliable, which can take some of the stings out of waxing. At the same time, the heat stimulates circulation, giving a natural boost to the healing process.
- Lubricates – Our skin contains natural oils that help to keep it soft and healthy. The warmth and moisture of a steam sauna can help to stimulate those oils, increasing the skins natural lubrication. Not only does this counter the effects of aging, it can help to keep your skin pliant and improve its ability to heal.
Daily exposure to everything from harsh household detergents to the damaging rays of the sun can take a real toll on your skin and it’s up to you to fight back. One of the best ways you can do that is with regular use of a steam sauna, where exposure to the healing warmth and moisture can help replenish and revitalize your skin, leaving you looking and feeling younger and healthier.
Author: Jennifer O’neil