Infrared sauna is good for your skin. Far infrared radiation actually increases collagen production. This means it improves skin tone and smoothness. You might think this finding would inspire a lot of research on infrared sauna’s effect on all sorts of skin conditions. But I have been unable to find any clinical or lab research that directly addresses the use of infrared sauna for acne.
Nevertheless, I am convinced that infrared sauna helps to control acne. It won’t cure it, but there are three ways in which infrared sauna can help to prevent or manage acne.
There is a reason that most acne sufferers associate their condition with stress. Stress can cause a hormone imbalance. Excess hormones can cause excess oil production in the skin. This oil, which is called sebum, is one of the ingredients in acne. Acne happens because particles of dead skin mix with sebum to clog follicles. When there’s less sebum, there’s less chance of acne developing. That’s why effective stress management can help to prevent acne.
Stress management is one of the two things infrared sauna does best. It is impossible to hold on to your tension in an atmosphere of penetrating heat. You simply cannot sit in an infrared sauna without relaxing.
Acne is a blockage of a hair follicle. Tiny bits of dead skin mix with the oil secreted by the follicle and create a plug. Sweat can soften and carry away the bits of dead skin that cause the follicle blockages. It can also carry excess oil to the surface and wash it away. Sweating alone, then, may help to control the basic cause of acne.
Sweating is the other thing infrared sauna does best. It causes you to sweat even more than you would in a regular sauna (and feel more comfortable doing it). A review of the literature published in Canadian Family Physician in 2009 said it simply: “As infrared heat penetrates more deeply than warmed air, users develop a more vigorous sweat at a lower temperature than they would in traditional saunas.” To get the maximum benefit from your sweating, take a towel into the sauna with you and wipe your sweat off periodically. That way, your skin doesn’t get the chance to reabsorb your oil, dead skin particles, and bacteria.
Acne is more than the mechanical process of plugging a follicle. A comprehensive review of the evidence published in 2013 determined that acne is “primarily an inflammatory disease.” The same study found “clinical evidence suggesting that inflammation occurs at all stages of acne lesion development.” It stands to reason that reducing the inflammation reduces the acne.
A clinical study published in 2018 reviewed the sauna bathing habits of 2269 men over the course of 11 years. It found reduced systemic inflammation in sauna users, with more frequent users enjoying more benefit. A sauna session increases your heart rate in much the same way that exercise does. The resulting improved blood flow helps to carry away waste and inflammation byproducts.
If you’re troubled by acne, you may find some support in taking regular relaxing, follicle cleansing, inflammation reducing sessions in our infrared sauna. Book one today.