In many cultures throughout history, sauna (and other forms of sweat bathing) has always been an enjoyable practice, yet it has also been a critical practice for hygiene: getting clean.
Those that have saunas at their lake cabins, cottages or rural farms understand this experientially (meaning: “hell yea, you never feel cleaner!”). Whether cutting brush, building fences, digging an outhouse, we finish the day with dirt and sweat behind our ears and everywhere else.
The mere process of sauna bathing (sweating, clean rinsing, sweating again, clean rinsing again) does an exceptional job of cleaning our skin, miles better than soaps and any other products found at Walgreens.
We know this, so what’s the best exfoliant treatment as part of our sauna sessions?
Nature’s luffa: Snow.
Those that sauna in winter climates have been using snow as an extremely effective exfoliant for a long time.
“I pack snow in my hand like a snowball and rub it vigorously across my skin. There is no better product, and I’ve researched them all” explains Dr. Carol Henderson, Dermatologist.
This makes sense. Please visit this post about itchy skin and sauna.
After leaving the hot room, grab a handful of snow and rub onto your skin. Don’t rush back into the hot room, but let the snow melt and tingle. Rub a bunch of snow into your hair, too. All over. Anywhere you can reach, rub snow over your body.
After your core is completely back to normal (think bringing a hot radiator outside, it takes time to cool!), go back into the hot room for another round. You can finish your sauna session with another snow exfoliant or call it good.
Either way, that night or next day, many of us who have experienced a sauna snow exfoliant session recognize that our skin feels more fresh and cleaner than from any fancy spa exfoliant treatment.
So many simple things in life are more effective than the elaborate. Wim Hof breathing, a walk in the woods, and an exfoliant snow treatment are examples.
Air, nature, snow. These things are free, and they are very effective – especially in heavy doses -for feelin’ fine.