Smart Sweat: Why Infrared Saunas Are So Hot Right Now

A good sweat goes a long way, and with the help of infrared saunas, it’s practically effortless. Praised by many health and wellness fanatics, infrared saunas can provide benefits for the skin, body and mind.

Unlike a traditional sauna, which heats the air around you, infrared saunas warm your body from the inside using infrared rays. The heat from these rays deeply penetrates your body and increases its core temperature, making you sweat.

“While [traditional and infrared] saunas will help detoxify your body, infrared saunas detox at a molecular level,” Eden Salt Studio Owner Tori Jones says. “Specifically, you are helping to eliminate heavy metals, mold and other contaminants. This is because infrared saunas emit radiant heat that penetrates the body more directly, heating it from the inside out. This type of heat is often described as more comfortable and less oppressive than the intense heat of a traditional sauna.”

Infrared saunas have gained popularity due to their peaceful atmosphere and easy-to-use interface and can now be found in places other than exclusive resorts. You can unwind, relax and enjoy the luxury wellness experience and benefits of infrared saunas in spas, gyms and even your own home.

According to Dr. Michael Huber, a cardiologist at Arkansas Heart Hospital, these sauna sessions can have more than aesthetic impacts.

“Limited clinical trials show that infrared sauna therapy, if done properly, is safe and potentially beneficial to the general population and those with certain health conditions, including stable cardiovascular disease and congestive heart failure,” Huber says, adding a user suggestion. “When utilizing infrared saunas, we recommend increasing your water intake to prevent dehydration and low blood pressure.”

Some infrared saunas include an infusion of Himalayan salt, which, according to Ava Bella Day Spa Owner DeeDee Helbig, can help relieve anxiety, reduce stress and improve sleep.

“As you breathe in the ion-infused air,” Helbig says, “the salt replenishes the body with naturally occurring minerals found in Himalayan salt that are lost from our environment due to pollution and everyday stressful living.”

Lowering that stress also means lowering harmful cortisol levels that, along with sweating out toxins, can help promote smoother and more hydrated skin, increase circulation, burn calories, help wounds heal faster and soothe aches and pains, according to Tessa Wilmans owner and operator of Winc Beauty. 

“The infrared heat feels like an invisible blanket, increasing blood flow and oxygenating the body (and thus, the skin) for a dewy, youthful glow,” Wilmans says. “Plus, you get the long-term benefits of increasing collagen and elastin levels.”

What to Know

In the sauna, wear a swimsuit, towel, athletic wear, robe or wrap. Increased blood circulation will likely make you look flushed. Drink plenty of water before and after to stay hydrated. Other dangers include overheating or dizziness. 

Beginners should plan for 15-20 minute sessions, while experienced users can opt for 30-40 minutes. Afterward, you may feel refreshed and energized, or you may want to take a nap. 

For those who exercise, Jones recommends pairing the two. 

“Saunas are the perfect post-workout recovery tool,” she says. “You may also enjoy going to the sauna before your weekly yoga classes. Pairing it with another activity that is part of your routine will likely allow you to keep it up and reach the recommended use of three to five sessions per week.”

For newcomers to infrared, especially those eying trendy at-home tools, Franks Dermatology Physician Assistant Bailey Pollock urges caution. 

“With all the new at-home technologies and devices, I advise consumers to research the company they purchase from. Most devices are unregulated and could lead to potential photodamage if not careful.”

Infrared Saunas in Little Rock:

Ava Bella Day Spa | Copper Well Retreat | CORE Wellness | Eden Salt Studio | HOTWORX | Little Rock Touch | Novah Natural Therapy | Restore Hyper Wellness | Winc Beauty

Infrared Sauna Installations in Little Rock:

Family Leisure | Leslie’s

Related Articles