I first read about infrared saunas years ago in an article about Shape House in LA. I knew I had to try it so I waited patiently until it opened in NYC and booked my first session on the Upper East Side.
I went in knowing only what was on the Shape House website. In the dead of winter, laying in a heated bed and doing nothing for 55 minutes was appealing enough. I was hooked after one session. After my third, I became a member so I could go once a month.
The entire experience is extremely relaxing. Upon arrival, I change into the provided cotton clothes and am led to my curtained-off station. The attendant helps me climb into the sleeping bag-like infrared blanket on what looks like a massage bed, gives me alkaline water, headphones and a remote so I can watch a show. Afterward, I’m helped out of the blanket and led to another room for tea, orange slices and more alkaline water. I’m drenched in sweat and my skin glows.
The difference between a regular sauna and an infrared sauna is that an infrared sauna uses light rays to heat your skin while a regular sauna heats the air. Infrared saunas penetrate the skin deeper and heat at a lower temperature so the body can tolerate it for longer.
Infrared saunas offer a host of beauty-boosting benefits. Aside from a glowing complexion, they’ve been found to boost collagen production. This study even showed benefits on skin texture and wrinkles.
Additionally, it burns calories by heating up your core temperature which increases the heart rate, helps you relax by balancing cortisol levels, and relieves muscle aches by decreasing lactic acid buildup.
The feeling that I’ve had an entire body facial isn’t the only factor that keeps me coming back – it’s also the hour reprieve from the stressful, dirty, freezing city. So worth it.
Photo, Bella Hadid, Calvin Klein