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You see it in crayons, candles and even your beloved red lipstick, but now wax has an even better use. Previously helping us to bare all by de-fuzzing the odd leg, arm, eyebrow and bikini line, it is now used to give us heavenly moisturised hands and to-die-for tootsies.
Paraffin wax treatments are applied to hands and feet, intending to moisturise and soften. Used as a complement to manicures and pedicures, this particular wax is more viscous and bonds to skin – a nice change to the common wax used for hair removal that can often leave us yelping and wincing with pain…
Because of the paraffin oil component in the wax, it can melt at a lower temperature (no more than 125 degrees) and therefore allows the skin to be submerged into the wax without blistering or burning. During the treatment, clients dip their hands or feet into the melted wax two or three times ensuring they are coated with a generous layer. Hands or feet are then wrapped in plastic and left to soak in the layer of wax for up to half an hour. The heat that is used to melt the paraffin initially comes out when it solidifies into the paraffin coating and transfers the heat to the limb.
Once coated, the warmth of the wax helps the pores to open and soften the skin. Calming oils like lavender are often added for an aromatherapy experience – a prefect stress buster after a long day at the office. When the wax has hardened, it can be pulled off in one whole piece leaving skin smooth and soft. It leaves a light waterproof coating that helps retain the oils produced by your body. This waxy wonder is particularly popular in the cold and blustering winter months when our hands and feet are often neglected, reviving and moisturising dry and cracked skin.
Hands and feet are often the most used and the most neglected parts of our bodies, so this warm, cosy and conditioning treatment is ideal. Paraffin treatments are not recommended for people with hypertension, varicose veins or diabetes, and you should also avoid the treatment if you suffer from skin conditions such as burns, rashes or dermatitis. Steer clear of having wax applied to open wounds or inflamed skin – ouch. Plus, those sensitive to heat should also sit this one out!
Paraffin wax treatments were used in massage therapy in Roman Empire and have a history of treating a variety of physical conditions. It can provide heat therapy for chronic arthritis, decreasing inflammation of joints, sports related injuries and relaxing stiff muscles.