After 5 years of regular infrared sauna sessions (photo is from our very first shoot five years ago!), we're pretty sure we have the perfect routine down pat. This routine will benefit most sauna users but, of course, its effectiveness depends on your 'why'.
If you haven't read it already, we've detailed our 'why' in this article and talked about why it can be helpful to know yours, so have a read!
- When heading in for a sauna, we always make sure to arrive with clean skin - oils, moisturisers and fragrances can block pores and inhibit sweating (if you're coming straight from work, we suggest popping some make up wipes or a face washer in your sauna bag so you can easily wipe off any make up or body oils before your session).
- Lay your big towel over the bench, turn on your music or meditation, and make sure you've filled your water bottle. We hydrate throughout our session with either coconut water or spring water with a tsp of unrefined sea salt to replace minerals lost through sweating.
- Leave your phone outside the sauna - bring your book, a meditation, or borrow a tablet from reception and watch something on Netflix (hey, everyone relaxes differently!) Use this time to relax and tune out, social media isn't going anywhere and you can scroll on your phone when you get home!
- We like to add 20 mins of red light therapy to the beginning of the session and we use this time to close our eyes, listen to a meditation and just gently settle in.
- 20 mins in and things are getting sweaty now! This is why we recommend bringing two towels, as we sit on one towel and use the smaller towel to wipe off the sweat - this encourages the skin to sweat more. A gentle reminder that our infrared saunas are plugged in to a power source, so we do ask that you don't pour water over yourself throughout the session!
- Our perfect sauna temp is 57 degrees, we also like to ensure the front heaters (that cycle on and off to maintain the temperature) remain turned on the entire time. We do this by first setting the temperature to 60 degrees, and then leaving the door slightly ajar (propping it open with a t-shirt or rolled up towel works) - ask the desk staff for a run through if you're interested. We don't sauna for 40 minutes at 70 degrees as we find this unnecessary and it simply doesn't align with our 'why'.
- At the end of the session we wipe down with a cold towel (yep, after a long hiatus due to certain viruses, cold towels are coming back!) and then get dressed in our loose, comfy clothes. Please ensure that you place your used cold towel in the wet towel bin on your way out.
- We like to allow our bodies some time to cool down after a session (and communal showers are not our thang) so we then either head down to Mahon Pool for a quick dip, which is the best feeling ever, or we head straight home for a warm shower.
And that's that! Remember that this is the sauna routine that works for us, yours may look a little, or a lot, different and that's ok - our staff are always on hand if you need some advice on getting the most out of your session.