Using a Sauna to Help Tackle Cellulite – Why It’s Very Beneficial

Medically reviewed by Dr. Justin Ternes
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Saunas help with cellulite. Cellulite is a dreaded word that makes most people cringe. Every human on the planet, regardless of gender, age, or size can have cellulite, although women are much more susceptible to it than men. Despite the fact that anyone can have it, everyone hates it. Cellulite may not be pleasant, but getting rid of it can be when you use a sauna for cellulite reduction.

Saunas help reduce cellulite and improve the appearance of skin. Saunas are naturally detoxifying, and the detox process helps reduce cellulite. Knowing what cellulite is and why it happens can help you know why a sauna detox is important in managing cellulite. 

There are technical reasons why using a sauna helps with cellulite. They have to do with what cellulite is, why it forms, and how a sauna detoxifies your body. When you enhance your sauna routine with other healthy activities, you can significantly improve your skin’s appearance. 

Do Saunas Help with Cellulite Reduction?

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Using a sauna regularly is a great way to get rid of cellulite. To understand just how saunas can reduce cellulite and improve your skin’s appearance, it can be helpful to understand just what this unsightly substance is.

Cellulite is a gel-like substance (think thick and gooey), composed of fat, water, waste, and toxins, that accumulates in the top layer of the skin (called the subcutaneous layer or hypodermis). Cellulite occurs for a number of reasons including the accumulation of fat cells, stretching of connective tissue, changes in circulation, and slow drainage of the lymphatic system.

As fat cells build up under the skin, they crowd the skin and push it up, causing it to stretch. This, in turn, causes the connective tissues in the hypodermis to pull downward and more fat cells to accumulate, resulting in the uneven, pocketed surface that gives cellulite its hallmark dimpled look. 

Additionally, walls of tiny blood vessels called capillaries sometimes become more permeable than they’re supposed to be, which results in a buildup of fluid around the growing subcutaneous fat cells. Cellulite is more pronounced if the body’s lymphatic system isn’t functioning optimally and is slow to drain the excess fluid. 

While scientists are still trying to understand why these four processes happen, they know that it is a combination of factors. Genetics, hormones, toxins in the body, weight, and muscle tone can all contribute. 

Saunas can come to the rescue and reduce the presence and appearance of cellulite. While saunas can aid overall weight loss, cellulite reduction involves more than losing weight. Remember that cellulite can occur in anyone regardless of their weight or size, so a sauna’s effects on cellulite go beyond weight loss. 

As we’re about to explore, a sauna’s detox abilities help reduce cellulite. If you don’t have access to a sauna, you still have options. A sauna blanket like the Higher Dose V3 can help you get the results you want. 

How Does Sauna Detoxification Help Cellulite?

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The heat of a sauna causes reactions in the body that lead to natural detoxification. The detox process can reduce the presence and improve the appearance of cellulite. Toxins are harmful molecules in the body that we’re exposed to every day. These damaging substances stick around because they are lipophilic compounds (aka fat-soluble), which means they are stored in the adipose tissue (fat) in our body. 

A sauna’s heat facilitates the release of toxins from adipose tissue, including the fat cells in cellulite. As your body temperature rises, your heart rate and blood pressure increase, blood vessels dilate, pores open, and you begin to sweat. Important things now happen that help reduce cellulite:

  • The heat destabilizes the toxin-containing fat tissues.
  • Once destabilized, they can be easily moved by fluids like sweat and blood.
  • Your sweat carries some of these compounds to your pores and flushes it out of your body.
  • Increased blood flow to the skin carries some of the toxin-laden compounds to the liver where they’re metabolized and eliminated.

Saunas facilitate the process of toxin removal to reduce cellulite, but their benefits don’t stop there. The increased circulation also delivers nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to the skin. This improves skin’s health and overall appearance and can minimize the appearance of cellulite. 

Also, sauna heat improves lymphatic drainage throughout your body. Lymph is a fluid that has many functions, including carrying away fats and decreasing inflammation. Saunas boost the functioning of the lymph system, which plays a part in cellulite reduction and improving the appearance of the skin. 

It’s worth noting that some people claim that an infrared sauna is superior to a traditional sauna for increasing body temperature and facilitating the detox process. The belief is that infrared heat is more intense and penetrates more deeply into the body.

However, when it comes to improving cellulite, both types of saunas are hot enough to perform well. Also, because cellulite accumulates primarily in the most superficial layer of skin, the deeper penetration of an infrared sauna isn’t necessary. 

While it’s your body’s response to the heat of the sauna that is detoxifying and cellulite-reducing, you can do things when you’re in the sauna to improve the appearance of cellulite. Using foam rollers or dry brushes in the sauna can make your skin look smoother. 

Consider Using a Foam Roller or Dry Brushing in the Sauna

Using a foam roller after you step out of the sauna can speed muscle recovery. A foam roller’s benefits don’t stop with the obvious. Using a foam roller (on Amazon) can release tension and knots that have formed in the muscle fascia. This will help the fat cells in your hypodermis to flatten instead of bunching and dimpling.

Dry brushing your skin can help remove toxins by encouraging the flow of sweat, blood, and lymph to whisk away substances stored in adipose tissue. A great body brush for sauna use is the HMPLL Body Brush Set (on Amazon).

You can use the brush with a handle to reach your back or other difficult areas, and you can use the handheld option comfortably on other areas of your body. The wood design looks great in a sauna and is compatible with the environment. Relaxing in a sauna and adding a foam roller or dry brush to your experience can help tackle cellulite. Sauna use can enhance other things you’re doing to reduce cellulite. 

Other Common Tactics to Reduce Cellulite

A sauna is effective in reducing cellulite, but for maximum benefits, you can do other things, too. Keep in mind that trying to make sweeping changes and incorporating everything into your daily routine all at once can be overwhelming.

Start with sauna sessions to get the detox process rolling, and then gradually add more in a way that improves your life rather than making it feel more stressful. Here are some other changes you can make to reduce cellulite and improve your skin’s appearance. 

Keep your Metabolism Up

With their heat and the reactions in your body described above, saunas boost your metabolism. This helps you burn calories and fat. You can further boost your metabolism by doing things like: standing up rather than sitting all day, getting plenty of sleep, drinking healthy caffeinated beverages like coffee, black tea, and green tea, using coconut oil as cooking oil, and exercising regularly while eating nutritious foods.

Beware of artificial metabolism boosters. These are often made with unregulated, unhealthy ingredients and can have dangerous effects on your system. A healthier alternative to metabolism boosters is green tea extract (on Amazon).

Green tea extract is derived from a single, natural product (green tea). Remember that you are seeking to help your body and remove cellulite in a healthy way so it stays away. Opt for simple and natural ways to boost your metabolism.   

Diet & Exercise

Changing your diet and increasing exercise always sounds so simple. Know that these changes are difficult for almost everyone. Changing habits isn’t an easy process, so be gentle with yourself and go slowly. You might consider eliminating just one unhealthy food and replacing it with just one healthy alternative.

Give yourself a week (or even several) to get used to the change, and then pick a different unhealthy food to swap with a healthier one. Some changes that can not just reduce cellulite but improve your total health and wellbeing include:

  • Reduce unhealthy habits like smoking
  • Drinking more water 
  • Eliminating soda, energy drinks, and other sugary and artificial beverages
  • Add green tea to your daily beverages (not only does it reduce metabolism as mentioned, but it also contains catechins and polyphenols, substances that naturally reduce inflammation and promote detoxification)
  • Decrease foods with added sugars, whether natural or artificial (including high fructose corn syrup)
  • Eliminate trans fats (found in many fried foods, processed foods, hydrogenated oils like shortening and margarine, frozen pizza, microwave popcorn, non-dairy creamers, and fast food)
  • Increase the amount of natural, plant-based, whole foods you eat

Add enjoyable exercise to your daily routine, too. You don’t have to force yourself to endure things you hate. Anything that gets you moving and increases body temperature will boost your health and reduce cellulite. Pick one activity that is workable for you, and gradually do more of it. Studies show that even a 10-20 minute walk every day is beneficial. 

If, like almost everyone else, you hate cellulite, know that you can do things to eliminate it. Using a sauna is a great way to help with cellulite. Consider foam rolling or dry brushing while you’re using the sauna for added benefits. Then, keep building on this healthy habit with even more positive actions to keep cellulite away. 

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