Sauna Acne Treatment: Unlocking the Benefits of Heat Therapy for Clear Skin

By Last Updated: March 7th, 20248.3 min readViews: 1252

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About the Author: Daryl Stubbs
Daryl Stubbs
Daryl Stubbs is a multi-disciplinary health professional, combining his roles as an award-winning athletic therapist, registered massage therapist, and certified holistic nutritionist to offer a comprehensive approach to wellness. Graduating in 2013, Daryl has been recognized as the best massage therapy clinic in Victoria for 2022 and 2023 and has received national athletic therapy awards. He is known for his holistic approach to health, focusing on treating the body as a whole. Clients appreciate his focus on the science of probiotics, supplements, gut health, and the human body, ensuring a well-informed and evidence-based approach to their wellness journey.


Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. There are numerous treatments available, but many individuals are seeking natural alternatives to improve their skin health. In this article, we will explore how saunas can help in treating acne and provide you with tips on how to maximize the benefits. Let’s dive in!

What is Sauna?

A sauna is a small room or building designed to reach high temperatures, typically through the use of steam or dry heat. It is used for therapeutic purposes, relaxation, and overall well-being. You can get the full benefits of using an infrared sauna by using home sauna. Read our sunlighten infrared sauna reviews for more information.

Types of Saunas

There are two main types of saunas:

  1. Traditional Saunas: These saunas use wood, gas, or electricity to heat rocks, which in turn produce steam when water is poured over them.
  2. Infrared Saunas: These saunas use infrared technology to heat the body directly, without heating the surrounding air.

What is Acne?

Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and even cysts. It primarily affects areas of the skin with a high number of oil glands, such as the face, neck, chest, and back.

Causes of Acne

There are several factors that contribute to acne, including:

  1. Excess oil production
  2. Dead skin cells
  3. Clogged pores
  4. Bacteria
  5. Hormonal changes

Types of Acne

Acne can be classified into two main categories:

  1. Non-inflammatory acne: Includes blackheads and whiteheads.
  2. Inflammatory acne: Includes papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts.

How Saunas Can Help Treat Acne

Using saunas for acne treatment is gaining popularity due to the various ways it can benefit the skin. Here are some key factors:

Sweating and Detoxification

Sweating during a sauna session helps to flush out toxins and impurities from the skin. This process can unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and promote healthier skin.

Increased Circulation

The heat from saunas increases blood circulation, providing more oxygen and nutrients to the skin. This process aids in the healing of existing acne lesions and promotes overall skin health.

Stress Reduction

Stress is a known trigger for acne breakouts. Sauna sessions can help reduce stress by promoting relaxation and releasing endorphins, which in turn may lead to fewer breakouts.

What’s the Best Type of Sauna for Acne?

When it comes to choosing the best type of sauna for acne treatment, both traditional and infrared saunas offer unique benefits. Here’s a comparison to help you make an informed decision:

Traditional Saunas

Traditional saunas use steam, which can help open up pores and promote deep cleansing. The high humidity in a traditional sauna can also soothe the skin and provide a relaxing experience. However, the high heat and humidity might be uncomfortable for some individuals, especially those with sensitive skin.

Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas use infrared technology to heat the body directly without heating the surrounding air. This allows for a more comfortable and tolerable experience, especially for those who are sensitive to high heat or humidity. Infrared saunas can also penetrate deeper into the skin, promoting detoxification and increased circulation at the cellular level.

Which Sauna is Best for Acne?

Infrared saunas are the best sauna for acne because they clear skin pores and ensure the sebaceous gland does not become blocked. Infrared saunas enhance circulation, which decreases redness from inflammatory pimples and aids in clearing up clogged pores that cause breakouts on your face and body.

Heat and steam can be terrible for acne, especially cystic acne. If you have inflamed acne, you should avoid saunas and steam because they can worsen inflammation. If you have non-inflamed acne, you might be able to use heat and steam as long as you don’t notice an increase in inflammation symptoms such as redness, swelling, pus, and soreness. It’s important to have an excellent skincare and haircare routine using products specifically designed for your condition and to drink plenty of hydrating liquids.

HIgherdose infrared sauna blanket or red light mask

Best Practices for Using Sauna for Acne Treatment

Here are some best practices for using saunas for acne treatment:

1. Take a shower after using the sauna, preferably in cooler water

2. Use infrared saunas or dry saunas, which can help improve acne by increasing blood flow, reducing inflammation, and promoting detoxification.

3. Avoid using saunas if you have inflamed acne, especially cystic acne, as heat and steam can worsen inflammation.

4. Use saunas responsibly and avoid sitting in the sauna for too long, as letting sweat-out gunk sit on your face for too long can actually reclog your pores and make your acne situation worse.

5. If you have rosacea, which can sometimes accompany acne, most dermatologists will advise you to avoid the sauna altogether, since it can make your situation worse

How Often to Use a Sauna for acne

For optimal results, use the sauna 2-3 times per week. However, it’s essential to listen to your body and adjust the frequency based on your individual needs and tolerance.

What to Wear in a Sauna

Wear minimal clothing, such as a swimsuit or loose shorts, to allow your skin to breathe and sweat freely. Avoid heavy or tight clothing that can trap heat and sweat, leading to irritation.

Pre-Sauna Skin Care

Before entering the sauna, cleanse your skin to remove any makeup, dirt, or oils. This will help prevent clogged pores and allow your skin to sweat more effectively.

Post-Sauna Skin Care

After your sauna session, take a cool shower to rinse away sweat and impurities. Follow up with a gentle cleanser, toner, and oil-free moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and protected.

Does a sauna help clear acne?

Saunas can help clear acne, but it is important to use them properly. Saunas utilize dry heat to open the pores, allowing dirt, oil, and bacteria to escape. Sweat helps flush away toxins, reducing the skin’s oiliness and regulating its pH balance, which reduces the likelihood of developing pimples. Saunas also help to relax muscles, reduce stress, and stimulate collagen production, which helps the skin look healthy and plump.

However, it is important to wash immediately after sweating in a sauna to remove the salt and debris that have been released from the skin. Leaving sweat on the skin can trap contaminants, resulting in a breakout. It is also important to have an excellent skincare routine using products specifically designed for acne-prone skin.

While saunas can help clear acne, they may not be effective for everyone. ASaunas may not be effective for those with rosacea, which can sometimes accompany acne, as it can make the situation worse

How long should you stay in a sauna for acne?

You can stay in the sauna for 10-15 minutes at a time for helping improve acne.

Staying too long in a sauna can cause sweat and dirt to accumulate on the skin, which can end up blocking pores again. It is also important to avoid touching the face and hair while in the sauna to prevent adding dirt, oil, and bacteria back to the skin.

Before entering the sauna, it is recommended to wash the face to remove any sweat buildup from a workout. Since saunas can dehydrate the body, it is important to drink plenty of water before, during, and after a sauna. After leaving the sauna, it is important to shower to remove any sweat and debris from the skin.

Saunas can help reduce skin oiliness and regulate the skin’s pH balance, which can reduce the likelihood of developing pimples

Potential Risks and Precautions for Saunas and acne

While sauna sessions can be beneficial for acne treatment, it’s essential to be aware of potential risks and take precautions:

  1. Overheating: Spend no more than 15-20 minutes in the sauna per session and take breaks as needed to avoid overheating.
  2. Dehydration: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session to stay hydrated.
  3. Existing skin conditions: If you have any skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, consult your healthcare provider before using a sauna.

Natural Acne Treatments

If you’re looking for other natural acne treatments, consider the following options:

  1. Topical treatments: Tea tree oil, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide are popular over-the-counter remedies for acne.
  2. Dietary changes: Reducing sugar, dairy, and processed foods can help improve skin health.
  3. Lifestyle changes: Regular exercise, stress management, and proper sleep can all contribute to healthier skin.


Sauna acne treatment is a natural and holistic approach to improving skin health. While it may not work for everyone, incorporating sauna sessions into your skincare routine can help detoxify, increase circulation, and reduce stress, all of which contribute to clearer skin. Always remember to follow the best practices, be aware of potential risks, and consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or existing skin conditions.


Can I use a sauna if I have severe acne?

  1. Yes, but it’s best to consult your healthcare provider before using a sauna or another acne skincare routine kit for severe acne to ensure it’s safe and suitable for your skin condition.

How long does it take to see results from using a sauna for acne treatment?

  1. Results may vary from person to person, but many individuals notice improvements in their skin within a few weeks of consistent sauna use.

Can I use an infrared sauna for acne treatment?

  1. Yes, infrared saunas can provide similar benefits to traditional saunas, such as increased circulation and detoxification, making them a suitable option for acne treatment.

Do I need to wash my face before and after using a sauna?

  1. Yes, it’s essential to cleanse your face before entering the sauna to remove any dirt, oil, or makeup, and after your session to rinse away sweat and impurities.

Can I combine sauna use with other acne treatments?

  1. Yes, using a sauna for acne treatment can be combined with other acne treatments, such as topical remedies, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications, for a comprehensive skincare approach.

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