Should I Shower Before or After Using a Sauna?

man and a woman relaxing in a sauna

Should you shower before or after using a sauna? When is the best time to shower when using a sauna?  For best results, you should shower Before AND After a sauna session. This way you’ll get the most from your sweat session, see below.

Showering before a sauna cleanses your skin, removes sweat and grime, and opens your pores before you step inside. And, showering after a sauna will rinse away sweat and any toxins that have been flushed to the surface of your skin.


When Is the Right Time to Shower When Using a Sauna?

woman washing her hair in a shower

The best time to shower when using a sauna is right before you get in and shortly after you get out. Showering before you enter the sauna prepares your body for the sauna experience. It cleanses your skin by removing any grime and debris that have accumulated over the day. And, a hot shower will help open your pores ready to sweat when you step inside.

You should also shower shortly after you exit the sauna to rinse away sweat and any toxins or heavy metals that have been flushed from your system and deposited on your skin surface. When you exit the sauna, allow your body to cool down first. You should wait 5 minutes before taking a shower and freshening up.


Showering Before a Sauna – Benefits & Disadvantages

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of taking a shower before entering a sauna. At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice whether you should shower before or after or sauna. But, if you know the pros and cons – you can make an informed decision and develop a sauna routine that works for you.

man sitting on a bench in a sauna

PROS

CLEANSE YOUR SKIN

Taking a shower before sauna cleanses your skin. This is perhaps the most important advantage. A quick pre-shower washes away sweat, dirt, and any cosmetics or lotions from your skin. It’s a matter of basic hygiene and can help prevent the blocking of sweat glands.

ENHANCED RELAXATION

Many people find that showering before a sauna helps them relax and better enjoy the heat session. A quick shower can be calming and help prepare your body and mind for deep relaxation in the tranquility of a sauna cabin.

OPEN PORES

A warm or hot shower will help open your pores. This prepares your body for the sweat session it is about to experience. Opening the pores will ensure your body sweats freely and gets the most from your time in the sauna.

GENTLY WARM YOUR BODY

A warm or hot shower will gently warm your body. This is a great way to prepare yourself for the intense heat that is about to follow. By taking a shower before you enter the sauna you can gradually introduce your body to the increased heat levels that are about to come.

TRADITION & CULTURES

In many traditions and cultures, it is customary to take a shower before entering a sauna. And, many public pools and hotels insist you take a shower before using their sauna. Depending on where you are planning on taking a sauna, you may be obliged to shower first.


CONS

TIME & CONVENIENCE

One of the disadvantages of taking a shower before a sauna is the simple inconvenience. It takes time and can eat into an already busy schedule. Some people prefer to skip the pre-shower routine and jump straight into the sauna.

REMOVE NATURAL OILS

Showering can remove natural oils from the surface of the skin. Especially if you use certain soaps and body wash products. These oils are essential for protecting the skin and preventing it from becoming dry. For this reason, some people choose to skip a shower before using a sauna.


Showering After a Sauna – Benefits & Disadvantages

What about showering after a sauna? We recommend showering after a sauna, once you have allowed your body time to cool down. However, what are the pros and cons? Below we outline the advantages and disadvantages of showering after a sauna.

man and woman taking a shower

PROS

REMOVE SWEAT

The greatest advantage of taking a shower after a sauna is washing away all the sweat. In our book, this reason alone makes a post-sauna shower essential. You’re to sweat profusely when you’re inside a sauna cabin. And, when you’re done, you need to wash away all this sweat and freshen up. Basic hygiene.

RINSE AWAY TOXINS

And, it’s not just sweat. Showering will wash away all the toxins and contaminants that have been flushed from your system during your sweat session. Sweating has a detoxing effect on the body. It helps flush toxins from your system, through your pores, and onto the surface of your skin. All these need to be washed away.

COOL THE BODY

A shower is a great way of cooling down. It helps your body re-acclimatize to regular body temperature. The water will be much cooler than the high-intensity heat of the sauna. This helps your body adjust and gradually reduce your core body temperature.

BOOST CIRCULATION

A shower can also stimulate circulation. Especially if you are a fan of cold showers. The cold water has an invigorating effect that helps circulation and boosts blood flow to the skin and extremities in response to contact with the cold water.

TRADITION & CULTURES

And, many traditions and cultures will insist you take a shower after having a sauna. If you are enjoying a sauna in another country or with others, the local customs may dictate that you take a shower after your sauna session. Sometimes it’s just best to play along and keep everyone happy.


CONS

COLD SHOWER CAN SHOCK THE BODY

One of the cons of shower after sauna is the potential to shock the body. This is especially true if you use cold water. The sudden change from hot to cold could trigger a cold shock reaction. However, many experienced sauna users prefer to shower in cold water after using a sauna.

woman taking a shower

SWEATING CAN CONTINUE AFTER SHOWER

Another potential negative is the fact that your body can continue to sweat for some time after you leave the sauna. If you shower too soon, you’ll find your body is still sweating when you’ve toweled down and put your clothes back on. To avoid this problem, allow your body time to cool before you take a shower.


What About Infrared Sauna?

If you’re using an infrared sauna, you should shower before and after your session – just like using a traditional sauna. All the same benefits apply to showering when using an infrared sauna compared to a regular sauna. All the same benefits and disadvantages, that is.


Is it OK Not to Shower Before a Sauna?

Yes, it’s ok not to shower before a sauna. If you’re personal preference to avoid using a sauna before jumping in a sauna – that’s perfectly ok. You should develop a routine that feels comfortable to you and allows you to relax and enjoy your session.

woman relaxing on bench in a sauna

However, if you’re using a public sauna there may be rules you have to follow. And, among these may be a rule that instructs you to take a shower for hygiene reasons before entering a sauna. If this is the case, you’ll just have to fall in line and have a quick wash before jumping in.


Is it OK Not to Shower After a Sauna?

Showering after a sauna is highly recommended. In the interest of basic hygiene, you should always wash after using a sauna. This removes sweat and toxins that have accumulated on your skin during your session.

You don’t want to simply towel down and get dressed once you’re done. We say it’s not ok to skip a shower after your sauna session. Take some time to wash down properly and freshen up before continuing with your day.


Do You Need to be Wet Before Sauna?

No, you do not need to be wet before entering a sauna. In fact, it’s normal to enter a sauna with dry skin. This is the norm. If you take a shower beforehand, simply dry off with a towel before entering the sauna cabin. This way you’re not taking excess water into the sauna.

woman's face outside an infrared sauna


Is Cold Shower Right After Sauna Good?

Many individuals like to take a cold shower immediately after their session. They find it invigorating and refreshing. However, if you have little or no experience of cold showering, you should proceed with caution.

The shock of the cold water can be too much for some. Especially individuals with underlying health conditions. At the end of the day, using a cold shower is a personal decision.


READ NEXT

How to Prevent Overheating in a Sauna

Do You Sweat More in Sauna or Steam Room?

Rules of Public Sauna

Can You Wear Shoes in a Sauna?


About the Author

JAKE RAOUL

• Sauna Specialist

Meet Jake, a man with a passion for sauna therapy. Jake’s background is in science and his passion is wellness and basketball. Growing up in Orlando Florida, Jake enrolled in Florida International University where he graduated with a BS in Biological Sciences.

As a young man, he worked in the spa and wellness center at the renowned Breakers Palm Beach luxury hotel. Here he developed his skills and understanding of client-centered wellness delivery. Upon graduating from Florida International University he took up a research position focusing on the application and practical effects of steam therapy.

His research has contributed to advancing the understanding of steam sauna therapy and how it can be applied in the occupational health environment. His work in this area has been officially recognized for its impact on the field.

Jake is a devoted fan of the Orlando Magic basketball team. When not working and advancing his research he enjoys attending games at the Kia Center in downtown Orlando. He also likes to remain active in his local sports community and volunteers as a basketball coach for his local youth team.

With his background in scientific research and passion for wellness, Jake is a valuable addition to the Home Sauna Heaven writer’s team where he shares his knowledge and understanding of sauna therapy, steam sauna therapy, and how they can be used for best effect.


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