Steam Room vs. Sauna for Skin (Which Is More Moisturizing?)

Steam rooms and saunas boast a huge number of benefits, but are they good for the skin? Which one is better?

Saunas and steam rooms each provide skin benefits, although steam rooms are less likely to irritate dry skin. The humidity of steam rooms can actually infuse moisture into the skin, adding hydration. Saunas, however, encourage intense sweating in a hot, dry environment which can lead to irritation, especially if you have existing skin conditions.

Continue reading to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of using steam rooms and saunas on your skin.

Which is better for your skin – a sauna or a steam room?

Both steam rooms and saunas have a great list of benefits. Which is better for your skin?

Steam rooms are better for your skin than saunas because they hydrate your skin rather than dry it out. The wet heat from steam rooms hydrates your skin, cleansing your body as you sweat. 

Steam rooms and saunas can both moisturize your skin because of the sweat, but steam rooms are more likely to provide moisture for your skin. 

If you have a medical condition or skin problem, you should consult your dermatologist before using a sauna or steam room. While these can be great for your skin, people with skin conditions like eczema may suffer issues when using saunas and steam rooms.

Potential benefits of steam rooms for skin

Steam rooms are beneficial for the skin because they can cleanse the skin and remove harmful toxins from the body through sweating. In addition, using steam rooms can improve circulation, which decreases the chance of breakouts, giving you a fresher appearance overall. 

Potential skin benefits of steam rooms include:

  • Improved appearance
  • Cleansing
  • Immune health

Let’s look at each of these benefits in detail.

Improved appearance

If your skin is looking rough, a few steam room sessions may go a long way.

Using steam rooms is a great way to improve your skin’s circulation improving your skin’s appearance.

By improving circulation, you can freshen the appearance of your skin and decrease your chances of breakouts, reduce redness, and improve shininess. Improved circulation contributes to increased collagen, which promotes a more youthful appearance.

Furthermore, regularly using steam rooms can help open and shrink pores. Smaller pores are attributed to a more flawless appearance and smoother skin.


Even though you should take a shower before entering a steam room or sauna, the steam room can actually help cleanse your skin further.

The wet heat of steam rooms cleanses the surface of your skin, washing away dead skin and removing toxins as you sweat.

The cleansing effects of steam rooms can give your face a more rejuvenated appearance, allowing you to look and feel younger.

Immune health

The humidity of steam rooms fills your lungs with moist heat, decongesting and alleviating symptoms of congestion and other respiratory issues

When you alleviate the symptoms of respiratory issues, you are more likely to reduce pressure, redness, and swelling of the skin. Reducing swelling can give you a more flattering appearance, which people claim makes you appear thinner.

Does steam room improve skin?

Using steam rooms can improve the appearance of your skin by opening your pores and cleansing the surface of your skin.

The wet heat of steam rooms improves circulation, likely reducing redness and decreasing your chance of breakouts. 

Many people like to use steam rooms after working out to improve circulation and relax their muscles. Steam rooms are good for relaxing the muscles and reducing swelling, which can benefit the appearance of your skin. 

Do steam rooms age your skin?

Steam rooms do not age your skin.

Instead of making you look older, steam rooms can actually improve your appearance and make you look more youthful by reducing wrinkles and giving you smoother skin. 

Using steam rooms can help the collagen in your skin, increasing elasticity and making your skin smoother. 

Potential benefits of sauna for skin

Saunas are great for the skin because they hydrate and moisturize the skin while sweating harmful toxins from the body. Using saunas regularly can improve the skin’s appearance, giving you a more youthful and attractive glow. 

Potential skin benefits of using the sauna include:

  • Anti-aging
  • Improved appearance
  • Healthier skin
  • Immune benefits

Let’s look at each of these benefits in detail.


Regular sauna sessions can actually make you look younger!

Some people claim after roughly two weeks of using saunas, you will begin to see anti-aging effects like smoothness and increased elasticity. 

Improved appearance

Saunas can create a better skin appearance by improving circulation.

Saunas can help decrease redness, improve shininess, and encourage your body to produce more collagen.

The warmth of the sauna can open your pores and dislodge impurities stuck inside them.  

Healthier skin

One of the potential benefits of using saunas is how healthy they can make your skin appear. People claim that using a sauna can reduce your chances of breakouts because how it removes dead skin from your body as you sweat.

Immune benefits

Using a sauna is known for treating skin conditions like psoriasis, an infectious immune condition.

Psoriasis causes a rashy appearance on various parts of the skin that can be treated by warming the body and improving overall immune health. 

Are saunas good for the skin every day?

If saunas can offer this many skin benefits when used regularly, is it just as good if you visit the sauna every day?

Using a sauna regularly can improve your skin’s appearance, but you should not visit a sauna more than 3 times a week in order to avoid other health and safety concerns.

Depending on your comfort level with the heat and intensity of the sauna, you should limit your visits to no more than 20 to 30 minutes each day.

Why does my skin look better after using a sauna?

After you finish your sauna session, you look glowy and refreshed, right? Part of this is probably because of the relaxation benefits, but your skin probably does look better than usual.

Your skin can look better after the sauna because it improves circulation, opens pores, and increases elasticity. 

People with pre-existing skin conditions like rosacea and eczema may not reap the same benefits as people who do not have skin conditions. If you have one of these skin conditions, you should talk to your dermatologist before using a sauna, so you do not endure skin irritation. 

Does sauna slow aging?

If saunas are so good for your skin, can they make you look younger? Or at least keep you from looking older?

While saunas cannot reverse existing signs of aging, they can slow them. The increased blood flow and improved circulation caused by the heat of the sauna can cause your skin to appear more plump and healthy. Additionally, sweating out any impurities and the overall detoxification can improve the skin’s appearance and texture, causing you to look younger.

Regular infrared sauna use has been shown to improve collagen and elastin production, resulting in younger-looking skin.

Does sauna cause aging?

We all know that exposure to the sun’s UV rays is a major contributor to the appearance of older-looking skin. Does this apply to infrared saunas as well – or any kind of sauna?

Not only do saunas not cause aging, but they can also actually help prevent early signs of aging. They can give you a more youthful appearance by opening your pores as you sweat and removing dead skin. Sweating is good for the body because it eliminates toxins and rehydrates the skin. 

Gentle sweating can be good for people with some skin conditions because it hydrates the skin.

Should you moisturize after the sauna or steam room?

Steam rooms do not require moisturizer after use since the wet heat hydrates your skin. 

Unlike steam rooms, you should moisturize your skin immediately after exiting a sauna. Saunas use dry heat, which can have lasting effects on your skin.

Moisturizer will restore any hydration to your skin.

Should you shower after the sauna or steam room?

You probably already know that you should shower before entering a sauna or steam room – especially if you’re in a public spa – but what about after? You’ve been sweating pretty intensely, but it’s a clean sweat…right?

It is best to rinse off in the shower after using a sauna or steam room because it can remove sweat and dead skin from your body. The goal of your sauna session was to detoxify, and you don’t want to keep that on your body once you exit the sauna.

After taking a gentle shower, immediately moisturize your body.