The Annmarie Skin Care team has been taking on challenges to share our real experiences with you— trying out new health trends, wellness practices, and everything in between.
This month, our Digital Marketing Assistant, Lauryn, tried out an infrared sauna everyday for a week and is sharing her review with you.
What's all the buzz around infrared saunas about?
Ever since I’ve heard about Infrared Saunas, I’ve been very intrigued. They are becoming more and more popular amongst health and wellness enthusiasts, so my curiosity has recently deepened—what are the differences between these saunas versus traditional saunas? What are the unique benefits? Is it hotter? What does “infrared” mean anyway?
I sought out the answers to these questions, and once I learned about everything these hot boxes had to offer, I challenged myself to doing a 40-minute session a day for 1 whole week. To me, there isn’t much better then getting a good detox and sweat session in while doing absolutely nothing. Burn as many calories as a 30 minute run while sitting on my tush? I’m sold.
Infrared Sauna versus Traditional Saunas
Infrared saunas are different from conventional saunas in that they don’t just heat the air around you. Instead, they use infrared panels that emit electromagnetic radiation to directly warm your body.
The heat penetrates deeper into your body than warm air (which is what conventional saunas use) which allows you to experience a more intense sweat. Infrared saunas can even operate at a lower temperature than a traditional sauna.
The Benefits Breakdown
There is a laundry list of benefits that come from using an Infrared Sauna. These include:
• Deeper relaxation
• Better sleep
• Clearer skin
• Weight loss
• Improved circulation
• Joint pain and sore muscle relief
• Improved digestion
• Chronic fatigue improvement
My 1-Week Challenge Experience
For the challenge, I chose a local place here in town based off recommendation and got the 1-week starter pack. On my first day, they gave me a quick tour of the place, the rundown on how to operate the machine and then my first session began.
the first day
The sauna was made out of wood and glass and was already warm when I got in. I laid down on the towel, closed my eyes and began to relax. After about 10 minutes, I did notice that I wasn’t as warm as I normally am in a conventional sauna. I was comfortable and content. The thermostat was set at 140 degrees.
I was beginning to sweat however, so I laid back down on the towel and did some deep breathing. About halfway through the session I had to pop the door open to get some cooler air. I was very warm, but it wasn’t unbearable.
For the remainder of the time, I would pop the door open every 5 minutes or so so I could avoid having to step out (I had a goal of staying in there the whole 40 minutes). That’s how most of my sessions went throughout the week.
the side effects of detoxing
A few hours after my first session, I began to develop a pretty intense stomach ache. It lasted for a few hours and then went away. I thought it was just a fluke, but everyday over the course of that week after I left my session, I would get one.
On day 3 I asked someone that worked at the studio about it, and she said it can happen because our bodies are detoxifying in a way they aren’t normally used to. This was a bit comforting and all-in-all I wasn’t too concerned, I was just very uncomfortable!
rADIANT AND RENEWED SKIN
By the third day, I noticed that my skin was as soft as a babies you-know-what and was just glowing. Normally I would attribute this to the incredible line of organic and wild harvested skin care that I use (wink wink) but it was even more radiant and soft than ever.
My skin felt revived, refreshed and anew.
I definitely noticed a difference in water retention. To keep from getting dehydrated, I was drinking a lot of water with a squeeze of citrus throughout the day and my body took very well to it.
I’m not sure if I lost weight (I don’t really weigh myself), but I did notice a decrease in water retention and a slight increase in muscle definition—win in my book!
I do have a confession to make—I did not make it to the sauna studio one day that week! Things were just too crazy one day so I had to skip. Full disclaimer, but I do think 6 out of 7 days still counts!
I did notice that my energy levels were higher throughout the day and that I was sleeping much, much harder than normal. Win-win on that account!
All-in-all, I would definitely recommend trying an Infrared Sauna for yourself if you are looking to detox or begin making a change to your overall health.
Although going for a week straight might be overboard to start, and the stomach aches were a bit of a nuisance, with continued use I can say with confidence that it would likely make a big impact on your well being. I know it did on mine!