Selena Gomez loves saunas, says sauna owner. Why aren’t they more popular?

US Magazine has a long interview with the founder of an infrared sauna business called Shape House, which has locations in New York and California and calls itself an “urban sweat lodge.” Sessions are around $60 for an hour, which is what you would expect for a spa experience but is still expensive for a sauna. The owner, Sophie Chiche, touts the health benefits of infrared saunas, because that’s what she’s selling, and says that Selena Gomez and Emma Roberts are fans. Supposedly her service is different than regular saunas because the beds only cover your body and your face is out of the heat. It sounds like a gimmick to me. The health benefits of saunas are real, but they’re not limited to the particular experience this lady is selling.

“Selena comes often. She’s been incredibly supportive of us and her community and brought a good amount of people,” Chiche exclusively reveals to Us Weekly, adding that the singer hits up the hot spot whenever she’s in town. “She does it exactly like everybody else — she wears the clothes, she watches her things, we serve her the tea she likes and she tends to come with a couple of her friends.”

The “Wolves” songstress has opened up about her sessions at Shape House.

“I started going to a place called Shape House … you lay in these beds in a sweatsuit, and they wrap you up and you sweat for 45 minutes and it releases all the toxins of your body and you kind of feel … kind of the equivalent of a sauna, but it gets your heart rate up, and it gets everything flowing in your body,” Gomez told Elle in May 2016. “It’s changed my skin, it’s kind of changed my body as well, so it feels really good. That’s kind of been something that works for me personally.”

According to Shape House’s site, far infrared heat is able to penetrate the body and heat it up from the inside-out. “This type of long wave infrared energy heats the skin in a different way than traditional saunas,” David Colbert, MD, founder of New York Dermatology Group in New York City, tells Us. “It’s called radiant energy for a reason — it penetrates deep into joints and muscles and gives the skin a radiant glow.”

Colbert says that potential pros of infrared sessions are extensive: “The main benefits of infrared light are increased relaxation and sense of well-being,” he explains. “Results include improved circulation, increased sweating and release of toxins, reduction of inflammation.”

[From US Magazine]

I really miss the amazing saunas in Germany. You can pay about 20 euro for an entire day at a spa, which usually includes multiple saunas at different temperatures, one or two areas to relax and several different pools and showers. Of course you have to get used to being naked around strangers, but it wasn’t hard for me when I realized the payoff. In America they expect you to wear clothes in the saunas and unless you’re in a city they’re hard to find. There aren’t even saunas in nice hotels. I have to travel about an hour to go to a YMCA with a sauna, which I do a couple times a month as they’re so relaxing. This is such a first world thing and I feel like an a-hole for even complaining about it, but this is my job. That said, I wouldn’t pay $60 for an hour in an infrared body sauna wearing a suit you sweat into. I like to get in and out of the sauna whenever I feel like it.

Look at Selena wearing ankle weights all old school.

Brudder & sissy

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#California life @puma

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on


photos credit: WENN and Instagram

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28 Responses to “Selena Gomez loves saunas, says sauna owner. Why aren’t they more popular?”

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  1. bros says:

    I go to the Korean saunas in NJ all the time. They are the most magnificent places on earth! spend the whole day for 30 dollars in about 10 different co-ed saunas with varying degrees of heat and humidity (they give you a special sauna outfit when you check in) eat lunch in the cafe, go back in the saunas, have some smoothies, go in the super duper hot sauna where they actually bake the eggs they sell at the cafeteria (!!!) and then get a professional body scrub in the single sex wet sauna area. you feel like a polished stone afterwards. best experience ever.

    • Nichole says:

      CAN I GO WITH YOU??! I don’t have any girlfriends here and my husband won’t let me go alone!!!

      • Lorelei says:

        Nichole…your husband doesn’t LET you??? I’m sorry, whaat???
        If you want to go anywhere then you should go, you’re an adult woman and he’s not your master to allow you to do anything…

  2. magnoliarose says:

    I just think it is mostly cultural. A lot of fitness club/spas have them but a public one isn’t really an American idea. We don’t seem to want to hang out with strangers feeling vulnerable and exposed. Puritanical ideas are still an undercurrent here.

    • Anners says:

      Interesting – it probably is puritanical roots, but honestly I feel so judged in clothing (I’m a fat kid), that the idea of letting it all hang out (quite literally) in front of judgy strangers is unappealing.

      That said, I quite enjoy the Scandinavian spa nearish me where I can hang out in the eucalyptus scented steam room then jump into an icy pool (in my swimsuit, natch). 🙂

  3. Who ARE These People? says:

    I love them (especially the cedar saunas) but they don’t love me back. (Rosacea, low blood pressure)

  4. Pix says:

    I just joined an infrared sauna place that recently opened and it’s awesome. It’s single room for privacy and completely relaxing. I actually loved going to the sauna at the Y, but I belong to a diffent gym now. The Y was great so I can see going back for just the sauna.

  5. Who ARE These People? says:

    If she’s wearing ankle weights in that photo with her brother…don’t! That’s actually dangerous to walk with weighted ankles. It throws you off balance. There are far safer ways to build leg strength and to add mass for weight-bearing walking (carrying light hand weights, a weighted vest, a weighted backpack — all above the waist).

    • raincoaster says:

      We have no idea what she was doing before posing for that picture. She could well be doing a weight workout, not walking somewhere.

    • Guest says:

      My best use for ankle weights….attach a long line to them, and they become a fabulous tool with which to train your dog to come. It’s my favourite way to get the whole family involved, and the dog learns to come to every member of the household (they stand in a circle, the weight is tossed to a person, with the dog attached at the other end, and the person calls the dog -George, COME and starts hand over hand reeling in the dog whilst praising and wagging their butts. when the dog arrives, a treat -praise, a toy, a tasty -then the weight is tossed to a person in the circle across from them and repeat – 10″ play time, two times daily for one week, one time daily for the second week and the dog is trained for 20+ years. A fun way to get the whole family involved whilst teaching THE most important command ever. A guardian calling for their dog to come should be the best thing ever, in the dog’s mind. Sorry, I saw the ankle weights. I don’t do saunas, don’t much like sweating…unless I’m with a dog and we’re hiking, or playing, or training….. 🙂

  6. Beth says:

    I’ve never been to a sauna, but when we step outside in the Florida summer weather, everyone says it feels like a sauna. If that’s really what a sauna is like, I’ll save money and wear a sweat suit on my patio and swim in my pool

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      If she’s wearing ankle weights in that photo with her brother…don’t! That’s actually dangerous to walk with weighted ankles. It throws you off balance. There are far safer ways to build leg strength and to add mass for weight-bearing walking (carrying light hand weights, a weighted vest, a weighted backpack — all above the waist).

  7. Veronica S. says:

    The amount of pseudoscientific bullshit in that description is enough to give me cancer. “Long wave infrared.” All infrared is long wave, you jackasses. That’s what makes it infrared!

  8. Starryfish29 says:

    Saunas are amazing. Sitting in the sauna after a workout is the only good part of going to the gym.

  9. Cee says:

    Yeah, ankle weights just proves she doesn’t know the first thing about muscle training.

  10. Whitecat says:

    I live in Germany and Saunas are the BEST!! I’ve done infrared saunas too (available at most saunas here in Germany) and they don’t cost 60$ an hour. Yeah you still pay something like 20-30 euros for a whole day at the spa.. basically this is one of the few things that’s good about winter in Germany!!!

  11. Nija says:

    I live in Finland and basically everyone has their own sauna or at least every apartment building has a sauna free to use by the people living in the apartment 😀

  12. Bailie says:

    I love dry saunas, I have never done the infrared one.
    I go 2 a week to dry sauna, the only workout I do is hot yoga 3 times a week.
    My skin looks amazing from sauna.

  13. Zip says:

    German here. Whenever I see someone wearing their swim clothes in a sauna it turns out to be an American person. It is quite funny!
    Although you are not supposed to wear any clothes it’s totally fine to wrap yourself in a towel if you feel uncomfortable. However, there is no need to feel vulnerable or uncomfortable. People are there to relax, nobody stares at you or judges you no matter your physical appearance because they are to buys sweating and we are used to being naked without it having any sexual connotation to it…and because we are all naked as well. Female nipples are not a scandal. Neither are penises. I’ve also never been harassed in a sauna. Once I’ve seen a lady faint after getting out of a hot sauna and like five dudes came running to help her. There was no inappropriate touching, nothing.
    That being said, if you ever end up in a nude sauna in Europe, just take off your clothes. It’s so much better!

    • Charissa Dawn Sherwood says:

      I miss the indoor pool and sauna from when we were stationed in Germany. I loved that no one really cared about my Jigglypuff body type. There were all body types there unselfconsciously there just to have a good time. It was a complely different attitude to what I experienced growing up in the States.

  14. chai35 says:

    Ugh, I hate saunas. I grew up in a part of Michigan with significant Finnish immigration, so they are everywhere, and my parents have one. I now live in a place where 8 months of the year have 80+ percent humidity, why would I want to sit in a sauna to get the same experience?

  15. Tina says:

    I live in northern Minnesota. We have a heavy Scandinavian population up here. Saunas are a big deal. A lot of people have saunas in their home. Almost every house I toured this summer before we found ours had a sauna.

  16. Gina says:

    I live in LA and have been to shape house. It’s different because you are lying in a sleeping bag sort of thing while watching TV. Some people even wear plastic sweat suites. I found it to be very relaxing. Great way to lose water weight, which never stays off.

  17. Alexa says:

    German immigrant here! 🙂 I really, really miss the German saunas! I’m from Munich and every public swimming pool has a sauna section there. Not to forget about Europe’s biggest sauna “landscape” by the airport. Here in the Bay Area, there are none that I can go to with my significant other (of the opposite sex) and just sweat and be naked. Americans take the puritan prudishness too far sometimes. I recently visited Portland and they have this wonderful place there called “Common Grounds Wellness Center”. Great place, no judgement!

  18. Malachite says:

    My grandmother was from Finland and my aunt and mother grew up in Maine with a lot of Finns. One of their relatives made a proper Finnish sauna and charged a little bit for people to sauna, beat themselves with some sort of plant (that my aunt unfortunately found out she was highly allergic to), and jump in the snow. Rinse and repeat. Certainly invigorating and it was within its proper cultural context which makes it far more beneficial and communal to me. This technique….reminds me of Columbusing yoga for rich white folks and turning it into mere exercise divorced from spiritual/cultural context.

  19. Stephie says:

    A steam room I love but the sauna, no thank you.

  20. Justwastingtimr says:

    LA has amazing Korean spas with saunas. I like one all female one in Koreatoen in particular.

    You do different dipping baths, dry saunas, wet saunas, heated jade floors, an hour massage, a great facial and body scrub for about 150….and there is decent Korean bbq. It takes about four hours to do everthing and my shoulders are fully relaxed for a full week thereafter. And yes, everyone is naked or near naked for much of the time. There is a huge diversity of body types from model perfect to not At all perfect – it’s a great leveler.

    So this experience definitive exists in the us., you just have to know where to look.