A shower is essential after any sauna, but a huge part of the experience of taking an outdoor shower is in using only cold water, according to The Sauna Times. The heat and humidity in a sauna open the skin's pores and cause a great amount of sweating. Sauna enthusiasts insist on a thorough clean rinse afterward to remove any remaining sweat, grime and toxins released through the pores.
The Sauna Times declares that a cold, outdoor shower is much more of an adventure and is invigorating after a sauna. Although the brain is anticipating a warm gush of water, the body becomes energized and begins to equalize in a cold shower.
A cold plunge is also the culturally accurate way to enjoy the entire sauna experience. For more than 2,000 years, the Finnish people have been taking saunas. The original experience was in savusaunas, or smoke saunas, where the sauna huts each contained a fire pit that was covered in rocks, and the smoke escaped only through a hole cut into the ceiling. After a sauna, the participants doused themselves with cold water, usually by plunging into a nearby lake. Even today, many working smoke saunas dot Finland and are enjoyed as a cultural tribute.