When we think of beauty treatments we tend to think of deliciously fragrant natural ingredients, such as coconut, honey, cacao and olive oil. But whilst paraffin wax may not sound that appealing initially, it's a treatment that's well worth trying.
First created in Germany in 1830, paraffin wax was used to make candles. It revealed many more uses over time, including its benefits as a beauty product.
Wax generally has long been used in the beauty industry, as an ingredient and as a method of hair removal. Paraffin wax is softer than most and is exceptional for smoothing and softening the skin.
Amid all the very modern lotions and potions you find in spas and beauty salons these days, you'll still find paraffin wax in many. It's most common use is as a hand treatment.
Interestingly, as well as its ability to soften skin, paraffin wax has been used for centuries as a treatment for aches and pains. As far back as the Roman Empire, it was often used for massage therapy.
Today it is used as a heat therapy treatment for people suffering from arthritis and rheumatism. As paraffin wax has a lower melting point it can achieve the desired consistency at cooler temperatures. This makes it safer for skin application.
It is also used to treat scleroderma, a nasty skin condition where collagen accumulates on the body causing the skin to harden. By boosting the skin's elasticity it improves movement and mobility. In the sports world, paraffin wax is used to treat muscle, ligament and tendon injuries, bursitis and sprains. By boosting blood flow it reduces pain and joint stiffness.
If it can do all this imagine what paraffin wax can do when incorporated into your weekly manicure. Or perhaps even your pedicure. In both cases, the therapist would probably use a paraffin wax bath. This is a small heat-generating container that's big enough to accommodate your hands or feet.
When the wax melts the therapist will submerge your hands or feet in the warm liquid. Once your skin is coated, the wax will be allowed to harden so that its natural emollient can get to work. The warmth will open your pores whilst the emollient softens the skin.
When the hardened wax is removed it also strips off the dead skin cells to further promote softer, newer skin. It is really good in winter when you get extremely dry, cracked skin.
Imagine dipping tired sore footsies into that deliciously warm wax. Bliss. Those aches and pains would just disappear, along with that nasty hard cracked skin.
There are some people who may have to avoid paraffin wax treatments, including anyone with highly sensitive skin, hypertension, diabetes, skin rashes or open wounds. If you're unsure just check with your doctor.
For most people, a paraffin wax treatment offers many benefits, including:
The gentle heat will boost your blood flow and relieve soreness, aches and pains.
When the hardened wax is gently removed it will strip off dirt and dead skin cells to reveal younger, fresher-looking skin.
The heat will also open up the pores of your skin to clean out impurities and unclog pores.
The exfoliation and pore cleansing helps to rejuvenate your skin by revealing new skin cells and removing dirt and toxins.
Watch how sore cracked skin is transformed when you have a paraffin wax bath. It both softens and hydrates.
The paraffin wax leaves behind a thin barrier to hold in moisture and keep out the elements. As a result, your skin will continue to feel soft and smooth long after treatment.
If you're keen to give your hands and feet this wonderful treat, search Bookwell for a spa or clinic offering paraffin wax treatments in your area.