Paraffin wax is a component of crude mineral oil, which is obtained while refining the crude oil. It is a soft, colorless and odorless, waxy substance, with a low melting point. The use of this treatment can be traced back to the ancient Roman empire, where it was used on the skin before giving massage, in order to derive its health and cosmetic benefits.
The British used it in World War I, to alleviate orthopedic disorders in military hospitals. Today, paraffin wax treatment is carried out in expensive salons and spas, where it is combined with pedicure and manicure.
The main purpose of using paraffin wax for hands and feet, is to moisturize and soften the skin. Its natural emollient properties help eliminate skin dryness. Paraffin wax is also used for preserving foods, like chocolates, candies, and fruits and vegetables.
Paraffin melts at a low temperature, and so, hands, feet, and other parts of the body, can be dipped in melted paraffin wax, without the risk of burns or blisters. Melted paraffin wax is also used as a facial mask. However, the face is not directly submerged in melted wax. A gauze mask is used to cover the face, and then warm paraffin wax is brushed over it.
Benefits of Paraffin Wax Treatment
Paraffin wax can absorb and retain a great amount of heat. When a particular part of the body is submerged in melted paraffin wax and then taken out, the wax solidifies and transfers heat to that particular area. This helps open up the skin pores and thus, promote the absorption of moisture.
As paraffin wax is a natural emollient, the hands and feet treated in this way look softer, smoother, and supple. Apart from moisturizing and nourishing the skin, it helps remove dead skin cells as well.
When the cooled wax is removed from the skin, it peels away the dead skin cells. As a result, the hands treated with paraffin wax look well-moisturized, and more radiant. Paraffin wax treatment can prove immensely beneficial for flaky and dry skin, especially winter-worn hands and feet, as it can moisturize the skin from deep within.
It creates a light waterproof coating over the skin, which helps the skin retain the natural oils produced by the body. So, paraffin wax treatment may help soften hardened skin, and soothe and heal extremely dry and cracked skin. It may prove beneficial in skin conditions, like eczema and psoriasis.
The benefits of paraffin wax are not limited to the skin alone. It is also used as a component of heat therapy, for treating a number of health conditions as well. Paraffin wax treatment can help people suffering from joint pain and stiffness, caused by arthritis, osteoarthritis, bursitis, fibromyalgia, and tendinitis.
It is widely used for the treatment of sports related injuries as well. Basically, the heat helps improve blood circulation and relax the muscles, which can reduce muscle and joint pain, and stiffness.
How to Use Paraffin Wax for Hands
To use paraffin wax for your hands, you will need the following items:
- 2 or 3 blocks of paraffin wax
- A double boiler
- A casserole dish
- 2 to 3 ounces of vegetable oil
- Coconut oil or olive oil or moisturizer
- A few drops of essential oil (optional)
- Plastic bags (for covering the hands)
- A hand towel
Step 1- Melt the paraffin wax and 2 or 3 ounces of vegetable oil in a double boiler, over medium or low heat. Paraffin wax is odorless, so you can add a few drops of essential oil as the wax melts, to get an experience similar to aromatherapy.
Step 2- Pour the melted paraffin wax to another container or a casserole dish. Do not forget to grease the container or the dish, with a small amount of oil.
Step 3- Wash your hand with soap, and massage a few drops of olive or coconut oil into your hand. You can also use a moisturizer or lotion to massage your hand.
Step 4- Check if a thin layer has formed on the top of the paraffin wax. If it has formed, then you can dip your hand into the melted wax. But still, it is better to check the temperature by testing the wax on your hand, before proceeding to the next step.
Continue the same process, until five to seven layers of wax accumulate on the hand. You can also use a brush to apply paraffin wax on your hand, but be sure to preheat the brush, by immersing it in the melted wax for about 5 minutes.
Step 7- Wait for about 10 to 15 minutes and then remove the wax from the hand. After removing the wax, gently apply a moisturizing cream or lotion on your hand.
Step 8- Repeat the aforementioned steps for the other hand.
Paraffin wax treatment is a great way to relax a tired hand, and make it look healthy and beautiful. However, this treatment is not meant for skin with burns, blisters, wounds, and open sores.
Even people whose skin is sensitive to wax and heat, as well as those with skin conditions, like dermatitis, skin rash, and inflamed skin, should never use this treatment without consulting a professional or physician. It is also not recommended for people with certain health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, and varicose veins.
Disclaimer: This content is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.