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Cosmetics & Sauna Use: Frequently Asked Questions

It is natural to want to feel and look our best. Regular sauna use can certainly help us along our path to greater heath, glowing skin, and may help with maintaining our ideal weight for our body type. In addition to health practices such as sauna use, many of us enjoy adding a little sparkle to our bodies to help us feel and look our best. 

Before using a sauna, it is important to understand how the heat (and potentially infrared light depending on your sauna) will interact with any cosmetics we may be wearing.

If you have been wondering about what you can and cannot wear in a sauna with respect to cosmetics, then you will find that most of your sauna and cosmetic related questions will be answered here.

Find out how regular sauna use affects the following cosmetic treatments:

  • Creams & Lotions
  • Makeup
  • Eyelash Extensions
  • Self-tanner & Spray Tans
  • Acrylic Nails
  • Tattoos

*For all of your hair care questions question please click here: ‘Sauna Use and Hair Care‘ to find out more about sauna use if you are wearing weaves, extensions, and or wigs

* Breast Implant protocol can be found here: Silicone Breast Implants and Sauna Use

This article will not go over the following plastic surgery procedures:

  • Fat Grafting
  • Brazilian Buttlifts
  • Fillers
  • Breast implants

Creams, Lotions & Sauna Use

Saunas rely on engaging the largest organ of the body, namely the epidermis, or the skin, through the sweating mechanism, engaging the entire cardiovascular system. Saunas may help to relieve stress on the liver and kidneys from toxic overload, produce more heat shock proteins, and engage other biochemical reactions to enhance temperature regulation within the body’s systems. This is why, in general, it is best to enter your sauna with minimal creams and lotions. 

Particularly, if you are using expensive creams on the face and/or body, what you have applied will all be lost in the sauna. Furthermore, when the pores open up to release sweat, some lotions, particularly sunscreen may sting the skin when perspiration is released.

Additionally, if you are wearing creams on your face when you enter the sauna, the extensive sweating that will occur can cause creams to drip into the eyes, and this can be as mild as a stinging sensation, or even painful. 

If you own a sauna, then you will want to consider removing any and all creams and lotions. As you sweat, you may end up dripping oily creams and lotions on the bench of the sauna or other portions of the wood, which can be difficult to clean off. 

Ideally, you will take a short shower to wash off any creams you may be wearing and enter your sauna with as much of your natural self as possible! This will allow the magic of your skin to fully release sweat, unencumbered by heavy lotions and creams. 

Makeup & Sauna Use

It is best for all make-up to be removed prior to sauna use, unless you are wearing permanent or semi-permanent make-up. You will lose most makeup during your sauna session by virtue of the amount of sweating that occurs. Most of your makeup will end up on your towel, or running down your face. 

While there is no scientific evidence to suggest that makeup use during a sauna can hurt you, it is certainly quite messy to wear make-up in a sauna. You are likely to leave your towel with a colorful array of pinks (blush & lipstick), black running lines (mascara & eye liner), blue (eyeliner & eyeshadow), and skin toned streaks (foundation) all over your towel. It is okay to leave this on your towel, but ideally, you should just wash your make-up off before entering into the sauna. 

Eyelash Extensions & Sauna Use

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to get your fake eyelashes wet. The issue with using a sauna and wearing fake eyelashes is not the perspiration, but rather the heat.

Many fake eyelashes, or eyelash extensions, rely on glue to secure them into position on or around the eyelid. The high heat of either a traditional sauna, or an infrared sauna, may affect the glue. If you do have eyelash extensions and would like to use a sauna regularly, there may be some challenges. If your eyelashes are threaded on without the use of any glue, this is ideal. 

Traditional saunas can reach a high of nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and far infrared light waves can move beyond the soft tissues of the body to heat the core temperature of the body: This means that anything you are wearing on your body that is negatively affected by heat should probably be removed before you take a sauna. 

Self Tanner, Spray Tans & Sauna Use

If you have a spray tan and enter a sauna for more than just a few minutes, your tan will likely begin to run almost immediately. It is not possible to preserve your spray tan and use a sauna. A sauna session will open up the pores of the body and release copious amounts of sweat, which will inevitably cause the spray tan to essentially melt off the body. 

A sauna is, however, a great place to release your self tanner or spray tan. If you have received a spray tan, and are ready to let it go, or would prefer to avoid the in-between when your tan begins to fade, a sauna is a great place to scrub off any residual self tanner. 

If you are using a sauna to fully lose your self tanner, then it may take more than one session to complete the process. You will want to take a warm shower before your sauna session, and once in the sauna, you will want to have a hand towel to wipe off your sweat and as you do so you will take the self tanner off at the same time. The towel that you use should be one that is able to get dirty, as the stains from the self tanner may not come out. After your sauna you will want to shower again, and this time have an exfoliation method in place. An oil based exfoliant is a great choice to get your spray tan off completely. You may need to repeat this action twice, either once in the morning and once in the evening, or on two separate days. 

If you plan on keeping your spray tan, then it is best not to sauna. 

Acrylic Nails & Sauna Use

It is possible that your acrylic nails will hold out for a few sauna sessions, but since glue is an intrinsic part of keeping your nails intact, eventually, you will need to lose the acrylics if you plan on using a sauna regularly. 

Gel nail polish, likewise, may withstand a few sauna sessions, but will eventually peel off much faster then if you do not use a sauna. Regular nail polish can withstand several sauna sessions, but will also last less time if you are using your sauna on a habitual basis. 

Using a sauna will help your skin and nails to glow and grow and appear very beautiful naturally, if you are using a sauna more than three times a week, you may find that you need to use less inorganic adornment in general.

Tattoos & Sauna Use

Tattoos are designed to stand the test of time, and you will be fine to use a sauna regularly without affecting the longevity of your tattoo. It is possible that after several years you may find that your tattoo dulls a little more with regular sauna use, and you may want to fill in more color if this is the case. 

If you have just received a fresh new tattoo, it is recommended to avoid a sauna for at least a week to ten days afterward, or until the skin has fully healed.

In general, you can trust that your tattoo will stand the test of time, even if you are using a sauna regularly. 

Regular Sauna Use & Natural Beauty 

Regardless of what type of sauna you are using, if you are using it regularly, you will find that your natural beauty will begin to shine, and you may end up relying less on artificial beauty techniques.

Saunas can do wonders for a person’s skin, and the ‘sauna glow’ is definitely a real phenomenon. In addition to glowing skin, the health benefits derived from regular sauna use will help your nails to grow stronger and longer, and you may be less inclined towards using acrylic nails.

So, while it is true that self tanners, acrylic nails, and make-up will not do well in a sauna, you may find that with several sauna sessions under your belt that you look so good naturally you may be less inclined towards artificial beauty treatments. 

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