Posts Tagged ‘dry heat’

Wet Heat vs. Dry Heat

Monday, September 13th, 2010

For as long as man has roamed the earth, we’ve contended with substantial debates. Chocolate vs. vanilla, toilet paper rolled in vs. out…and, of most significance in the spa world – wet heat vs. dry heat. The battle between the sauna and the steam shower is strong, with powerful arguments advocating both sides. So who’s the winner? Let’s take a look…

Steam Shower

Steam Shower

There’s no one who will disagree with the fact that heat is good for the body. So whether you opt for dry heat or wet heat, you and your skin will benefit from the effects of increased temperature. And for many, these high temperatures are precisely why some opt for a sauna over a steam shower, as the thermostat of a dry heat sauna can be set to extraordinarily high temperatures, sometimes exceeding 150 degrees Fahrenheit. But apart from being able to push the temperature to such extremes, saunas offer few other benefits that differentiate them from steam showers. For those who use heat for respiratory relief, steam showers take the cake. Dry heat can irritate the membranes of the nose and lungs, actually making breathing more difficult, when compared to the soothing moisture generated by a steam shower. Skin also loves the magic of wet heat over the draining effects of a sauna. Steam showers infuse our skin with the moisture it craves, and encourages perspiration – great for health and the health of your skin. The low humidity of a sauna might seem more soothing, but the lack of moisture siphons essential water from the skin, and prevents pores from opening as readily as in a wet heat environment.

Of course, the decision to “steam” or to “bake” is a personal choice. But if you’re hoping to get the most out of your spa session (and want to take advantage of the health benefits of heat), I call this debate in favor of Wet Heat…and your skin will too!


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