Is Sauna Good or Bad for Acne Prone Skin?


If you’re looking for natural ways to resolve your acne problem, you may be wondering whether a sauna could help.

Unlike a steam room that heats up your body with hot, moist air, a sauna uses dry heat so you start to sweat. Saunas are excellent at soothing aching muscles, however this may not be their only benefit.

Experts now believe that spending a short time in the sauna could help people with acne-prone skin. Others, however, say it makes acne worse. Which is true?

Bacteria And Sweating

Usually, your complexion will have both bad and good bacteria. Whenever excessive amounts of harmful bacteria accumulate, acne breakouts occur. Other factors can then exacerbate the problem. Sweating, however, isn’t one of those factors. In fact, it can help to relieve acne-prone skin.

Sweat contains large amounts of antimicrobial peptides which repell harmful bacteria. Dermcidin is a protein found in sweat which counteracts acne-causing bacteria, destroying it by preventing the bacteria from producing RNA and protein.

Scientists have proven that there’s a direct link between sweating and acne. The less you sweat, the less dermicidin you produce and therefore the more outbreaks of acne you’ll experience.

The reverse also holds true, and therefore going in the sauna is a great way to combat your acne.

Oil Reduction

When you sweat in the sauna, your skin’s oiliness decreases and its pH level is regulated. This reduces the chance of pimples forming on the skin. When you produce less sebum, your skin will look glowing and fresh. Also, acne-causing bacteria will struggle to survive on its surface.

Moisturizing From Sweat

If you sweat in the sauna, your skin will be intensely moisturized. When you spend time in the sauna, your body becomes twice as hydrated and this improves the condition of your skin. Sweating boosts your blood circulation, reducing acne outbreaks and helping to quickly heal existing breakouts.

Reduced Stress

One final reason why saunas can help with acne is because they reduce stress. Stress is a known aggravating factor in acne outbreaks.

Could Using A Sauna Be Harmful To My Acne-Prone Skin?

Not everybody believes saunas can help to cure acne. Sweating has been linked with unhealthy skin and some people think that the extra oil produced from sweat can aggravate acne.

If you don’t wash off the sweat quickly, you could suffer more breakouts. When you skin cools down after your sauna, sebum an sweat can become trapped inside the pores. That can lead to more pimples.

Sweat also produces certain particles like beta cytokines and interleukin-1 alpha which cause skin irritation. If cytokines enter the epithelial barrier, pimples can be the result.

If you spend too long in the sauna, your skin could also dry out. If you stay in the dry heat for over 15 minutes, your skin will become dehydrated, and this will only serve to you’re your spots look worse.

Also, you should make sure that you never wear any cosmetics if you’re going in a sauna – sweating causes your makeup to melt and to clog the pores. After your sauna, always clean your skin using a mild acne cleanser and this will remove trapped debris and sweat, ensuring that they won’t remain on your skin where they could cause outbreaks.

Should I Try A Sauna For My Acne?

Since ancient times, saunas have been used to cure physical disorders and skin conditions like acne. However, everybody’s skin is very different. Therefore, you need to approach saunas with caution.

You may find that your pimples respond well to the dry heat of the sauna or you may find your problem worsens. The sauna’s ability to improve your complex depends on the type of outbreak you’re experiencing and how frequently pimples appear.

You should do your research to check how dry heat can impact on the type of breakouts you experience and always start slowly, only using the sauna for just a few minutes at first to make sure you can monitor its effects on your skin.

If you’re concerned, you should consult your doctor or dermatologist as they will be able to give you expert information about how a sauna could impact on your acne-prone skin.


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