Tips For Skin And Hair Care In A Sauna

Sauna Tips + What To Take + What If You Don't Want To Be Naked

I can't think why I didn't write anything about Saunas yet! Saunas are my favourite way to get rid of the winter blues. It's not just about the health benefits or what it does to my skin (makes it amazingly clean and soft), it's about tanking up on all the sensations I've been deprived of all winter. Let me explain -- a big cause of winter blues for me is that I miss all the ways my
The touch of warm wind and sun on my skin, grass under my feet, the heady mix of thousands of scents. Even the sound background is different -- birds and insects and the wind in the trees. During the winter I feel so isolated from everything, when I do go out it's packed in a hundred layers and in a hurry to get to the next warm place. It's too cold to leave the window open to hear the rain.

Sauna give me my much-needed portion of warmth and sensations. The best part that gives me a rush is going for the pause between sessions to the outdoor lounge area, where you can be naked even during even the coldest temperatures (or even better, a storm) and not feel the cold.

Apart from the huge health and well-being advantages, the sauna is really good for the skin. It opens up the pores and cleanses them, and the cool shower afterwards closes the pores and smooths the skin. In the long term, sauna strengthens the skins natural resistance.

What to bring to the sauna:

* Big towels. One for inside the sauna, one to dry off after a shower, and a third one (or a bathrobe) to wear in between sessions. Another one if your hair is long and needs its own towel.

* Rubber slippers. You don't want to catch anything.

* Skin and hair care products: oils, moisturisers, serums.
* Soap and shampoo.

* Scrubbing mitt. Scrubbing products can be frowned upon or forbidden if they look like they are going to make a mess or clog anything. One exception is a salt scrub, in fact some places have a little bowl where you can help yourself for free.
* Something to read.
You normally leave your clothes and handbag in a locker or a changing room, so you need something to carry the stuff in that you'll take inside. I like a Bolga basket as it means I don't have to rummage, plus it doesn't mind moisture. I have a small Baggu flat pouch for my skin products. Ideally I'd like something with a short strap, as it would be convenient to hang it in the shower.
At the end you end up with a bunch of wet towels, so it's a good idea to have a wet bag or plastic bag to pack them in.

My Sauna beauty routine

I use the heat of the sauna to my advantage. I always apply oil on my hair in the beginning because the heat helps it to penetrate into the hair shaft. If you have very dry or cuperouse skin, you can apply a heavier cream or oil on the affected areas.
After the first heat session I like to thoroughly scrub my skin, usually with Savon Noir and a Kessa glove. Sometimes I'll use a sachet of the Michael Droste-Laux Basisches Edelstein Bad as a scrub.

Before the last sauna session I apply deep conditioner on my hair. If my skin has been very dry lately then I apply a light layer of face masque or body oil. Regular cosmetics melt off in the sauna, that is why I prefer oils.

One sauna in my city has a steam room that is made of stone instead of wood, and is hosed off after every use. Here I can go wild with skin care, because I'm not afraid of making a mess. On really nice ritual for such rooms: scrub yourself with sea salt, go for a few minutes into the steam sauna, then shower, then apply honey all over, and spend another 10 minutes in the sauna.

At the end I go for a body butter and a moisturiser or oil for my face. Don't use anything with AHAs or BHAs straight after the sauna as the skin is sensitive. Sometimes I don't apply anything and just let my skin breathe.

Sauna Etiquette:

Don't let your sweat drip on the wood. This means put a towel under everything, even your feet (unless you are siting on the bottom shelf). Get a big towel, especially if you are a big person.
Don't open the door for any longer than necessary. Don't stare. That's basically it.

On Nudity:

There are many reasons why traditional saunas forbid clothing of any kind: not only is a swimsuit very uncomfortable, it can be hazardous to health -- Saunas often include a swimming pool with chlorinated water, and if you swim there and then the chlorine evaporates off your swimming suit in the sauna, it can really damage the lungs of all present. Also, saunas are meant to be safe places to comfortably be naked, and just like on a nudist beach, this works best if everyone is naked.

I really suggest that you try saunaing the traditional way, in your birthday suit. It is very freeing. Many places have a women's day once a week. If you really don't want to be naked, a bikini is much more comfortable than a one-piece. It's also ok to keep your towel around you.

Of course there are many different ways of doing Sauna, this is just the way I like to do it. Do you go to the Sauna? What are your tips? Or maybe you haven't tried it yet?

Check these out: