The Effects of Saunas on the Skin

The dry heat given off by a sauna has various effects on the body, depending on your overall health. According to Harvard Health Publications, a sauna's dry heat, which can reach temperatures of 185 degrees Fahrenheit, causes your skin temperature to soar to about 104 degrees Fahrenheit within a few minutes. Therefore, Harvard Health Publications recommends remaining in a sauna no more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time and drinking plenty of water afterward in order to gain maximum benefits without harming your health.

Saunas can help your skin look refreshed and rejuvenated. (Image: Ben Blankenburg/iStock/Getty Images)

Opens and Cleanses Pores

Sauna (Image: VILevi/iStock/Getty Images)

Saunas help improve your skin by opening up your pores and allowing built-up wastes and toxins to flush out as you sweat. Lotions, deodorants, and dead skin cells can clog your pores and lead to acne and painful cysts. The dry heat from a sauna helps your skin avoid infection from these built-up wastes. Also, saunas cleanse your skin by getting rid of the dead skin cells, exposing a fresh new layer of skin that looks and feels younger.

Improves Circulation

Sauna (Image: Viktor Čáp/iStock/Getty Images)

Heat from saunas causes your pulse rate to increase by 30 percent on average. With this increased pulse rate, your heart is capable of doubling the amount of blood pumped each minute. Therefore, there is a boost in oxygen and fluids flowing to the skin cells, resulting in improved circulation and healthier, more refreshed-looking skin.

Stimulates Sweating

Sauna (Image: Kirill Linnik/iStock/Getty Images)

According to Harvard Health Publications, you can lose up to a pint of sweat during a sauna session. The sweat flowing from your body will help wash away toxins in your skin, leaving your skin rejuvenated. Make sure to stay hydrated both before and after spending time in a sauna to maximize this benefit and stay healthy.

Sweat also plays a role in regulating your body temperature and may help fight infections. Excessive sweating in a sauna may increase your levels of dermcidin, a protein that fights harmful bacteria.

Sauna Risks

Sauna (Image: dusko matic/iStock/Getty Images)

The primary dangers of using a steam or dry sauna is overheating and dehydration. Most people can handle the exposure to high heat. However, children under 12, pregnant women, the elderly and people who are taking heart medications should avoid the sauna treatment. Saunas also should not be used after strenuous exercise. Due to the extreme heat you are at risk for heart failure, if you have an unstable heart condition, the "LA Times" reports.

Load comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.