A few questions seem to divide people and can either bring them closer together or spread them apart. All of these include serious questions such as; fork or spoon when you eat mac n cheese? Chunky or smooth peanut butter? Milk or Melk? Crust or no crust on your sandwich? Thick or thin crust? And my all-time favorite: steam-room or sauna?
While most of these questions can only have one straightforward answer, I never understood why people choose just one over the other when it comes to steam rooms or saunas. People can use both and, in most cases, should use both. While each has its own benefits, when used together, they can greatly benefit your overall health, specifically your skin health.
To better understand how you can use both to benefit your skin, you should first understand exactly the difference between each room and how they both work. Then, take a glance at all the FAQs so you can start getting that skin you envy.
At Home Sauna
Below is a quick glance at a few top-of-the-line at-home saunas. These start at very basic and improve to more spa-quality level.
Having your own at-home sauna can ease your mind of germs, and you can use it in the comfort of your own home on your own time.
Rejuvenator Portable Sauna
Those who want to enjoy the benefits of a spa at home can now enjoy this portable at-home sauna! You can pack it down or pack it up; it is portable and functional.
A foldable sauna chair is included with this tent-like structure so you can comfortably sit inside and enjoy the full sauna experience.
This at-home sauna can be used on carpet, tile, or any other type of surface! Two holes are located in the front so you can use your hands to read a book, check your phone, flip through your favorite Netflix shows or, the worst option, work on your computer.
Comes with a wired controller for a timer and auto heat settings. A heated footpad is found on the bottom. Not only is heat great for relaxation, but it is great for ailments such as fibromyalgia and other boy or nerve pain.
Great to use for:
- Fatigue reduction
- Water weight loss
Available in Black, Grey, and SIlver!
Madison Cedar 3-Person Indoor Electric Sauna
This one arrives in the form of a kit with pre-assembled wall and roof sections, which makes assembly quick and easy. It is designed as a free-standing sauna and will utilize your existing floor as the interior floor of the sauna.
Inside the sauna, there is a full-length upper bench with a footrest for added comfort, and a short lower bench.
Stainless steel hinges, heater, and fasteners.
Steam Room FAQ’s
What is a steam room?
A steam room, sometimes called a steam bath by weirdos, is an enclosed room heated with steam. The steam is often generated via water heated by a pump and comes out into the room from a spout. As a result, the room fills with warm heated water in the form of, you got it, Linda, steam. Most steam rooms are found in gyms or spas.
Good steam rooms will have a slanted ceiling, so when the steam collects in water drops, it doesn’t fall on the people sitting inside but will slide down the slant into a drain.
Temperatures of steam rooms vary from 110° to 114° Fahrenheit and have a humidity level of 100%.
Most steam rooms are made out of waterproof material such as tile or any nonporous material. Steam rooms typically have a few levels of steps wide enough to be used as benches. The higher up you sit, the warmer you’ll be.
What is a sauna?
A sauna is an enclosed room that is heated via dry heat. There are a few different heat sources for saunas that include:
- Wood burning – heated via wood and rocks
- Electrically – heated with an electrical heater that is typically attached to the floor
- Infrared – lamps use lightwaves to heat the person’s body, not the entire room
You might see a few saunas with rocks that you can pour water over to let out a burst of steam, but you must read all posted signs. Those who try to pour water over fake rocks in an electrically heated sauna can cause fire, shock, or even get electrocuted.
Temperatures of saunas range between 158° to 212° Fahrenheit, and the humidity is typically kept at 0. However, some saunas will try to have humidity levels of 0-20%.
Most saunas are made out of wood or some wood material. They typically have benches like steam rooms that also double as seats.
Skin Health – Sauna & Steam Room
Both the steam room and sauna will help open up your pores and cleanse your outer skin layer. Since each room is heated at such a high temperature, you will sweat; when you sweat, you get rid of harmful toxins. Once toxins are eliminated from the body, you have less risk of showing skin irritations such as acne, blackheads, or rashes. Clear skin is smooth skin.
The use of both will also help you shed dead skin faster. Your body sheds its skin every 30 days, and when you use a sauna with the steam room, you are helping your body shed your skin more effectively and efficiently, leaving you with that glowy skin look.
Helps With Daily Skin Routines
As we went over above, both rooms will help open and clean your pores. When pores are open, your skin will absorb your skin products more beneficially, and in doing so, will actually be able to help your skin in the way the products were meant to.
The first thing people often notice after paring heated rooms with their daily skincare routine is the results. Skincare products take years to make and should do what they say. So if you aren’t noticing results, it is most likely because your pores are clogged, and you are not properly washing your face; it’s not because the products are full of shit.
Heated Rooms + Skin Care Routine
The first thing you want to remember is the steam room, and sauna should be used AFTER you work out. Using it before is going to cause unnecessary irritation. Once you’re in the heated rooms, your muscles get loose from the heat, and looser muscles are great for recovery but awful as a warmup before working out. I’ve seen people do it, and then I’ve seen those said people walking around with injuries a few weeks later. These rooms should be seen as a reward for your hard work and should be used as relaxation time.
Before you enter the sauna, make sure you wash your face! Water with a towel is fine, or a cleansing towelette would be great! But, again, I would recommend using the sauna before the steam room. Typically in facials, you get steam towards the end to help keep moisture by your face to prevent overly dry skin and penetrate more layers of your skin.
After using the rooms, you should shower or at least rewash your face. After you have washed your face, use your skincare products right away because this is when your pores will be the most open, and your skin will benefit the most from what you are putting on.
If you don’t do much as a skincare routine, I suggest investing in a nice cleanser and moisturizer. Preventing wrinkles is easier than reacting to them and no matter how superficial you may be, why have wrinkles if you can help prevent them?
Important to note: DO NOT do a full facial or skincare regimen before going into saunas/steam rooms or in the rooms themselves. The products will mix with your sweat, and it can cause irritation and breakouts. Please don’t roll your eyes, Linda; I’ve seen you try it before.
I have my cosmetology license, and while, YES, steam is used during some facials, we balance out the PH between steps to bring the skin back to a proper level. We can do this because the client is lying down, and we have fresh, clean towels we wipe between each step. Also, since we keep your body cool and the steam only hits your face, your heart rate doesn’t rise to a high level and causes much sweat during the procedure. Thus preventing sweat from mixing with the products used.
Sauna Benefits For Your Skin
Truth be told, going to a sauna is walking a fine line for skin benefits. Some skin illnesses will be negatively affected by saunas, such as atopic dermatitis, while others will benefit from the dry heat. A few medical ailments that the use of the sauna will benefit include:
A sauna can also help the reproduction of collagen, which helps your overall skin elasticity and helps promote new cell growth.
Ever notice why your skin is better in the dryer months vs. more humid ones? It’s because of the temperature and humidity. Saunas can mimic these benefits and be super beneficial for those who deal with oily or greasy skin. In addition, using the sauna every day can help control your skin and its overly active glands.
Extra Health Benefits
Because saunas can get to such a high temperature, it can be a great way to flush out infections that can cause colds and the flu. So at the first sign of either, it is smart to spend some extra time in the sauna so you can start to sweat out whatever bug you may have come into contact with.
Since it is a dry environment, you can flush the infections out safely without re-spreading it to yourself via sweat or things you touch. You also won’t infect anyone since it is so dry and won’t be leftover via sweat on the benches or surrounding surfaces!
One of the great benefits of a sauna is you can enjoy one in the comfort of your very own home. They really aren’t that much and can be delivered to your home with the option of a professional setup. There are several options on the market, and the best part is you only have to keep it on when you want to use it. This means you won’t be charged an arm and a leg for your electrical bill!
While there are many on the market, the one I have used in my home includes the one I have pictured here! It fits two adults comfortably and has speakers so you can play tunes or listen to a podcast while you relax and shed that water weight!
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Steam Room Benefits For Your Skin
A big thing off the bat steam rooms can provide for a person is improved circulation. Great for your heart health and can help promote the healing of broken skin tissue, which can help heal scars, diminish scar tissue, and help heal smaller burn marks. Pair this with a scar healing ointment, and you will see improvement in no time!
Steam Room + Stress Reduction = Less Wrinkles
Because the steam room has 100% humidity, it is more comfortable for people to sit in. The overall room atmosphere of the heat mixed with the water gives a very healing experience that can reduce stress. Why is this helpful? Stress produces a hormone called cortisol which is what gives people wrinkles and acne. Less stress means you got it, Linda, fewer wrinkles and diminishes acne.
Stress can also make your skin more sensitive and reactive. Reducing stress will reduce wear and tear on your face, which may include overproduction of oil. There is a big difference between glowy skin and oily skin, and using the steam room will help you achieve the one you actually want.
Unlike saunas, steam rooms will help release toxins trapped below the skin’s first few layers. Dry heat can only penetrate so far, and this is where the use of a steam room can really go the extra mile. Steam helps loosen the toxins and aids them in getting released via the steam.
While there are many benefits to going in both the steam room and sauna, the benefits for your skin really stand out. Go ahead, treat yo self, and schedule some time for those heated rooms after your workout!
It should be noted that you should not enter one if you are under the age of 13 or are pregnant. Additionally, you should not ever spend more than 30 minutes inside, and new users should only spend 10 minutes starting.
Click here to see my favorite at-home workout equipment I like to use on days I don’t have time to make it all the way to the gym! Suprise, a treadmill is not my top pick.
Ladies, I’m just going to come out with it and be honest with ya. It is important to know you need to keep your lady friend downstairs in mind when going into saunas and steam rooms thoroughly researching this topic.
Yes, you can go naked in the steam room, but it is suggested you cover up your vagina. Exposing your vagina to such warm and moist temps can mess with the PH and irritate. In some cases, a yeast infection can occur.
Your lady part wasn’t meant to be put in such extreme temperatures, and for those who are totally bare, you should really be careful! It is highly suggested you wear underwear or at the very least sit on a towel! Those who have some hair will be better protected from the elements because you have a natural barrier if you get what I’m saying.