Can You Wear Makeup in a Sauna?

woman applying makeup before going to a sauna

No, you should not wear make up in a sauna. Makeup will clog your pores, prevent sweating, and cause skin irritation. This is very bad news in the intense heat and high-humidity environment of a sauna. Not to mention, the makeup will smudge and run. For an enjoyable and rewarding sauna experience – do not wear any makeup.

Is It Better to Sauna With or Without Makeup?

It is definitely better to sauna without makeup. You should not wear makeup in a sauna. Applying makeup can clog your pores and cause skin irritation in the heat and high humidity of a sauna. And, makeup tends to smudge and run as it warms and melts. This will cause a strange appearance that may alarm your fellow sauna users.

lady entering a sauna wearing make up

Practicing sauna without makeup is a far healthier and more enjoyable experience. The way nature intended it to be. In a sauna, it is vital that your skin is free to breathe. The skin is the largest organ in the body.

And, to breathe, it needs to be able to release sweat droplets and oils through its many millions of pore glands. Applying makeup restricts the skin’s ability to release these oils and droplets. It clogs the glands and prevents them from ‘breathing’ naturally.

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Wear Makeup In a Sauna

What happens if you wear makeup in a sauna? It’s not a good idea. While saunas are popular the world over for their relaxation to detoxification effects – when it comes to makeup, it’s a simple No-No. You should never wear make up in a sauna. Here’s why.

woman's face with make up outside a sauna

1: Clogged Pores

The biggest problem with wearing makeup in a sauna is clogged pores. When you apply makeup to your face or body, your skin can’t breathe properly. Your pores are coated in substances that prevent them from functioning in a healthy manner.

And, when you’re in a sauna, your pores need to be free to open and release sweat droplets uninhibited. This is a vital function for a healthy and rewarding sauna experience. If you want to have a pleasant and enjoyable sauna session, avoid applying make up.

2: Skin Irritation

Another key reason for not wearing makeup in a sauna is to prevent skin irritation. The mixture of intense heat, humidity, sweating, and makeup products is a recipe for disaster. This unnatural cocktail can trigger discomfort and trigger skin conditions such as redness, inflammation, and sensitivity.

3: Smudging & Reduced Effectiveness

Then there’s the smudging problem. Saunas are hot steamy places. Your makeup is going to struggle to hold together and do its job. Mascara will run and eyeliner will smudge. This can cause panda eyes. Not what anyone had in mind when the makeup was first applied.

woman applying make up

Then there’s lipstick. Another bad idea for a sauna. In high heat, lipstick melts, smears, and stains. It runs ragged around the edges of the lips and can stain the area around the mouth. You could even be inadvertently tasting melted lipstick while you lay back and relax in your favorite sauna. The bottom line, avoid the makeup in saunas. Your skin will thank you.


How Does Sauna Affect Makeup?

Let’s take a look at what happens the most common types of makeup when you wear them in a sauna.

woman relaxing on bench in a sauna


Foundation is a type of makeup used to create an even base. It covers minor imperfections on the skin. Wearing foundation in a sauna can lead to clogged pores and trigger acne due to the combination of heat and sweat.


This is applied to the eyelashes to make them appear longer and fuller. The heat and humidity in a sauna will cause mascara to smudge and run. This leads to ‘raccoon eyes’ and potential irritation if it gets into your eyes.


Lipstick or lip gloss is used to add color and texture to lips. In a sauna, it can melt and smear across your face. This can cause uneven color spread and potentially stain the skin around the lips.


Eyeliner is used to define and enhance the shape and outline of the eyes. It can smudge and run in a sauna, creating a messy appearance. This can cause painful and long-lasting irritation if it comes into contact with the eyes.


This is commonly used to add color to the cheeks and face. The heat and sweat in a sauna can cause blush to streak or fade. Not a good look. This can lead to an unnatural and blotchy appearance on your skin.


Eyeshadow is used to add depth, and color, and enhance the appearance of the eyes and eyelids It can crease and fade in the heat of a sauna environment. This means it will lose its definition and could even run into your eyes.

woman sleeping on a sauna bench


This is used to hide blemishes and other imperfections on the skin. It is one of the most popular types of make up on the market. Wearing concealer in a sauna will lead to clogged pores. This can trigger skin blemishes and acne. Clogged pores must be avoided in a sauna.


Highlighter is used to add luminous glow to high points on the face. However, the product is affected by the heat and humidity of a sauna causing an unnatural and exaggerated appearance.


This makeup adds warmth and a sun-kissed glow to the skin. It is often applied to areas of the face or body that naturally receive direct sunlight. Bronzer tends to streak in a sauna. It has a tendency to run as sweat runs through it. This creates an uneven and splotchy appearance.

What Should You Put on Your Face in a Sauna?

When it comes to sauna, less is more when it comes to skincare. The best way to sauna is to avoid applying anything on your skin. Prepare by taking a relaxing shower and then switching into suitable clothing. Choose an outfit that is lightweight and loose-fitting.

woman in a sauna in a bathing suit

If you suffer from dry skin and feel compelled to apply something to your face or body – aim for lightweight skincare products, such as natural moisturizers or hydrating serums. These can help maintain skin hydration and help protect your moisture levels while relaxing inside the sauna. Coconut oil is another popular choice among sauna users. However, it has a tendency to clog pores and therefore should be avoided.


Can You Wear Shoes in a Saunaclick here

Can I Bring Anything Into a Sauna?click here

About the Author


• Health & Wellness Consultant

Ellie is a fully trained and highly skilled massage therapist. Hailing from sunny Florida, she brings a wealth of expertise to the health and wellness realm. She holds a LST qualification from the esteemed Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences and specializes in techniques that promote relaxation and healing.

Her experience extends beyond massage and encompasses a diverse range of therapies including infrared sauna. She developed her expertise at the Equinox Sports Club in San Francisco and has led sessions in pilates fusion, outdoor run clubs, and vinyasa yoga. Ellie is highly regarded for her ability to tailor treatments to individual needs.

When not immersed in the world of holistic wellness and local sports and fitness clubs she enjoys exploring Florida’s natural beauty and participating in outdoor activities. With her unique blend of expertise, experience, and passion for wellness Ellie looks forward to helping you discover the benefits of sauna and sauna therapy.

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2 thoughts on “Can You Wear Makeup in a Sauna?

  1. Sometimes a apply a little moisturizer for my skin to keep it from getting too dry.
    But makeup in a sauna is not a good thing,

  2. My wife wears lip balm in the sauna.
    It stops her lips from drying out.
    Me, I dont use any products. Just let the heat get to work.

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