If you've ever been to a nail salon, chances are you've heard of paraffin wax treatments for your hands and feet. Heck, you may have indulged in this soothing treatment a few times before! However, did you know you could make a paraffin wax bath at home? Anyone who wants to enjoy a super-cheap paraffin wax manicure can't afford to miss the info we've found on this topic.
Here's a basic method to give yourself a paraffin wax treatment at home:
- Add about four ounces of paraffin wax into a double-boiler.
- Heat your stove on low and let the paraffin wax melt.
- Keep heating your paraffin wax until it's a liquid consistency.
- Once the paraffin wax is hot, transfer it to a microwave-safe bowl.
- Wash your hands in soapy water and apply skin-safe oil (e.g., coconut oil).
- When your paraffin is warm (but not scalding!), dip one hand in and hold for a few seconds.
- Lift your hand out and let the wax drip for about five seconds before re-applying.
- Repeat the last two steps about five to seven times.
- Wrap your waxy hand in a plastic bag and cover with a towel.
- Remove your paraffin wax after at least 15 minutes.
- Repeat all of these steps for the other hand.
Giving yourself a paraffin wax treatment is a simple way to enjoy a spa session on the cheap. If you want to learn more about this hand-healing therapy, be sure to read the info we've compiled below.
Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
What Do I Need To Make An At-Home Paraffin Wax Manicure?
Although there are paraffin wax machines for sale, you don't need a dedicated device to experiment with this treatment at home. Indeed, all you need for a successful paraffin wax session are the following:
- One block of paraffin wax
- A double boiler
- A microwave-safe bowl
- A plastic bag
- A towel
- Skin-safe oil (e.g., coconut oil)
- Skin-safe essential oils (optional)
Typically, you'll find paraffin wax sold in two forms: granules and blocks. Whichever texture you choose, be sure it's made specifically for skincare. Paraffin products made for canning or candles often have a higher heat requirement, which will scald your hand if you're not careful.
By the way, there are a few paraffin wax blocks that have all-natural aromatics. Be sure to check these out if you don't want to bother with essential oils.
How Do I Make A Paraffin Wax Manicure?
Now that you have the above ingredients, it's time to make your paraffin wax manicure!
First off, add water to a double boiler and place about four ounces of paraffin wax in the second pot. Turn on the stove over low heat and watch as the paraffin wax melts.
At this point, you could add a few drops of skin-safe essential oil for additional benefits. A few popular choices include tea tree oil, peppermint, and lavender.
Once the paraffin wax reaches a liquid consistency, transfer it to your microwave-safe bowl.
As the paraffin wax cools, wash your hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water. After you dry your hands, use your favorite skin-safe oil to moisturize your skin. Also, be sure you have your plastic bag and towel nearby so you won't feel flustered after dumping your hand in the wax.
Next, use your pinky to test whether the paraffin wax has cooled to a comfortable temperature. You could also check the wax with a meat thermometer for a temp below 125°F.
Once the paraffin wax is cooled, it's time to tip your hand in the wax and bring it back up. Keep dunking your hand in and out of the wax until there are about five to seven layers.
After you're satisfied with your treatment, wrap your hand in the plastic bag and cover it with a towel.
About 15 minutes later, please take off the paraffin wax and discard it in the plastic bag.
How Long Should You Leave Paraffin On?
In general, you should leave your paraffin wax on for about 15 – 20 minutes.
Since the paraffin should have trapped all of those nasty germs, there's no need to wash your hands afterward. Instead, you may want to re-apply some skin-safe oil and give your hand a nice massage.
What Is Paraffin Wax?
Paraffin wax may sound like an exotic chemical, but it's a relatively old petroleum-based material.
Scientifically speaking, paraffin wax contains numerous compounds called hydrocarbons. In its neutral state, this white wax is solid and has no flavor or odor. However, when you heat this wax to around 100° F, it will melt into a liquid.
Why Would You Want A Paraffin Wax Treatment?
While it might seem odd to dip your hands in the same wax used to make candles, there are plenty of valid reasons paraffin wax has caught on in salons. Here are a few common reasons you should consider adding paraffin wax treatments to your beauty routine.
Is Paraffin Wax Good For Skin?
Paraffin wax treatments are fantastic for skin health. Not only does this wax help seal in moisture, but it also expels dirt, grime, and dead skin cells.
Once you dip your hand in the paraffin wax, it will immediately sop up any nasty germs buried deep in your pores. At the same time, paraffin wax helps lock in moisture, which is great news during the frigid winter months.
All that being said, you should never use paraffin wax if you have an open cut or a skin rash. You also must test your paraffin wax with your pinky before dipping your entire hand in. If you place your hand in the paraffin wax when it's too hot, you risk scalding your skin.
For extra safety, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of your paraffin wax. Ideally, your wax should be below 125° F.
Is Paraffin Good For Nails?
Paraffin wax is a staple treatment in nail salons all over the world. People who get paraffin wax treatments often report a significant improvement in their nail appearance and strength.
The benefits of paraffin wax for nails may have to do with its ability to moisturize and hydrate. Plus, since paraffin wax is excellent at trapping dirt, it may help eliminate any gunk that's lodged in your nails.
Is Paraffin Wax Good For The Joints?
Another popular reason people get paraffin manicures is to relieve everyday joint aches. Many physical therapists use paraffin wax sessions with arthritis patients.
The paraffin wax's warm temp helps naturally increase blood flow to your hand and wrist, thus reducing tension. So, if you're feeling a little creaky in your hands or feet, a warm paraffin wax treatment could cure what ails you.
How Often Can I Use Paraffin Wax?
You could schedule a paraffin spa session any time you feel your hands need some TLC. However, most beauticians recommend getting a paraffin manicure every two weeks for general maintenance.
How Many Times Can I Reuse Paraffin Wax?
There's no "expiration date" on paraffin wax, but most salons don't recommend using it more than three to five times. Indeed, professional nail salons are supposed to throw away wax that other clients have used.
Recent studies out of Oregon State University tested how long bacteria survived in paraffin wax machines. While the paraffin wax does a great job trapping harmful bacteria, that doesn't mean these machines were 100 percent clean. Indeed, researchers found plenty of fungi and bacterial samples from various salons.
In this study, scientists said salons with higher traces of bacteria were most likely not enforcing acceptable hygiene practices. These businesses might not have replaced their wax as they should have.
Of course, since it's just you using your paraffin wax, you don't have to worry about reusing your wax as much as a salon owner. However, please ensure you wash your hands thoroughly before giving yourself a manicure. You should also replace your wax after three to five sessions.
What Do I Do If I Get Wax On The Floor?
Of all the things that could get stuck to your carpet, wax is probably the worst. However, if you accidentally drip some paraffin wax on your floor, please don't freak out! We have an entire blog post entitled "How To Get Wax Out Of A Carpet" that could help you out of this sticky situation.
Relax With A DIY Paraffin Wax Manicure!
Melting paraffin wax is an easy way to give yourself a lovely spa session. For ambiance, you may want to light a few candles in your home before dipping your hands in your wax treatment. If so, you've got to check out this handy post: How To Light Candles Without A Lighter