Thursday, July 27, 2017

Steam Rooms, Saunas & Your Skin

How often would you recommend using the sauna and steam rooms at my health club? Also, what are your thoughts about using both the steam and sauna on the same day at the club?

Amenities in health clubs are highly sought after extras. Who doesnt like to dip in the whirlpool or jump into the steam room after a hard workout at the gym? There are two things to keep in mind when enjoying steam rooms and/or saunas:
  • First, you will sweat—a lot—so youll need to drink a lot of water while you are in the steam room or sauna. That means youll want to bring water in with you, otherwise youll run the risk of internal dehydration, and that is never a good thing.
  • Second: You dont want your bare face to be exposed to the extreme heat of these amenities. Why not? The capillaries of the face are too fragile to hold up to the heat. They can and will expand (dilate), which causes the potential for breakage. So what do you do? Use a clay mask! I often talk about using clay masks and the need to keep them moist while they are on your face. (You dont want clay to dry on your face; it dries your skin out.) So, going into a steam room or sauna is actually a great application for using a clay mask. Apply the clay mask, grab your water bottle, and enjoy this relaxing luxury.

It is recommended that you switch from hot to cold when utilizing steam and saunas. Some health clubs supply a cold plunge, which is a small pool of very cold water that you literally plunge into. Its so cold you really have to force your body in there! If no cold plunge is available, it is advisable after 10 minutes or so of either steam or sauna to then go under a very cold shower to cool off your body. Then you can once again go into the heat, and repeat with cold. You do not, however, want either hot or cold water on your face. If you have applied a clay mask, then you dont have to worry about it.

If you want to use both steam and sauna, alternating, I dont know why you couldnt, except you must do the cold water as well. You dont want to subject your body to hot, then hot, then hot, without adding cold in between.

I dont know how often you want to use these amenities. But any more than 3 or 4 times a week seems excessive to me. And dont do them at all if you are not willing to drink a lot of water during and after steaming/sauna.

A final note: as mentioned above, it would be much better for the skin on your face to be protected from the heat vs. going into a steam room or sauna like the ladies in these two photosbarefaced.

For more information, see: