Sauna can be a personal day spa. While in the sauna, you can apply treatments to the face, legs, and body. It’s always lovely to pamper your friends with new sauna products.
According to an old Finnish saying, a woman is at her most beautiful after taking a sauna. And there’s something to that claim: sauna bathing expands the blood vessels in the skin and makes the cheeks rosy. It relaxes us and makes us feel good. A rosy-cheeked, healthy, and relaxed person is beautiful. In Finland, the long winters, with their cold, dry air, are challenging for skin care. In the summers, we tend to be caught off guard by the long days and end up sunburned. Our lifestyles are also immediately reflected in our skin: a night of bad sleep or too much salty food can make us look tired or swollen.
Sauna bathing is a natural source of beauty. After a sauna, the skin is naturally bright and better moisturized. People around the world have used sweating as a way to purify their bodies for hundreds of years—it’s nothing new in the promotion of health and beautiful skin. Sauna bathing and swimming are excellent ways to pamper yourself, and you can add elements of spa culture to your sauna night. Face masks and footbaths can be enjoyed in the sauna, for example. Gentle warmth and a humid environment help ensure the success of the treatments. Don’t add too much wood to the sauna heater or turn the heat up too high, as a mild and slightly more humid sauna is best for this purpose. If the sauna is too hot, the moisture in water-based beauty care products may start to evaporate. It’s a good idea to check that any beauty care products you intend to use in the sauna can withstand the heat. You can ask a cosmetologist or the product’s manufacturer whether the product is appropriate. Some products are designed specifically for use in the sauna.
Tips for Beauty Care in the Sauna
Before going to sauna
- Drink plenty of water—at least a couple of glasses—before going to sauna.
- Heat the sauna to a temperature that feels good to you. Lay out the bench covers and prepare your other sauna supplies.
- Remove your makeup and wash away any other impurities before going into the sauna. I recommend using gentle and natural cleansing products. Makeup prevents the skin from breathing and being cleansed in the sauna.
In the sauna
- Minimize the lighting.
- Use all your senses: how does the sauna look, smell, sound, taste, and feel? Go through each of your senses one at a time.
- Listen to your body. Stay in the sauna only as long as feels comfortable to you, and take breaks to cool off. Spend a moment in a cool shower, for example.
- After your first time cooling off, you can exfoliate your skin in whatever way you prefer.
- Remember to stay hydrated while taking a sauna. Sauna bathing increases your heart rate, and you will lose a lot of fluids through sweating. Make sure that cool water is available at all times.
- Between turns in the sauna, you can apply a face mask to your clean face to further enhance the cleansing effect of the sauna.
After going to sauna
- Wash yourself thoroughly. Taking a shower will calm your heart rate and complete the experience of physical and mental cleansing.
- Wrap yourself in a robe or towel and sit to rest for a moment. Enjoy the state of relaxation caused by the sauna.
- Enjoy a refreshing beverage and have something to eat.
- Sauna bathing is good for your skin. Remember to care for your skin after going to sauna, as well—your skin needs moisture after a sauna, too. Moisturize the skin of your body. Apply serums and moisturizers to your face. Moisturized skin looks and feels better, healthier, rested, and clear.
- When you’re ready, dive into clean sheets to enjoy a good night’s sleep. A relaxing sauna experience improves sleep quality and guarantees you a restful night.
Source: Carita Harju, Soul of Sauna (2020).