How Do Paraffin Manicures And Pedicures Benefit Your Skin?

With the dry winter months unfortunately still upon us, the need to stay hydrated is more important than ever — and we're not just talking about drinking the recommended amount of water each day. Your skin is also desperate for moisturization and hydration during the colder months. The chilly air and lack of humidity can suck the moisture right out of your skin, leaving it dry and cracked particularly on the cuticles, knuckles, and feet.

While there are plenty of tips and tricks for keeping your skin healthy during the chilly winter months, if the standard lotions and oils aren't cutting it anymore, you may want to consider a super on-trend paraffin treatment, which can be done at home, using a wax warmer, or in salons (usually as an addition to a regular service like a manicure or a pedicure). The benefits of paraffin include soft skin, moisturization, and even pain relief. 

The warmth of the wax can also aid in soothing sore muscles and loosening up stiffness, while it's even useful in treating conditions like arthritis too. As physical therapist and strength coach Dr. Keith pointed out in this TikTok video, paraffin can help rheumatoid arthritis patients with hand pain and stiffness. When it comes to manicures and pedicures, though, it's all about getting luxuriously soft skin. 

What is paraffin wax?

So, what exactly is paraffin wax? Paraffin is a soft, natural wax made up of resins and oils that can be melted at high temperatures. After the wax is peeled off, the skin absorbs the leftover oils, leaving it feeling smooth, hydrated, and super silky, which is especially beneficial in the winter months. It's worth noting that paraffin is not a depilatory wax, meaning it doesn't remove hair at the root. 

Thus, there is no pain associated with paraffin wax treatments. It simply moisturizes the skin and also aids in soothing muscle pain and other conditions. Additional uses of paraffin include lubrication, insulation, making candles, and even for certain art supplies like crayons. But the most common use of paraffin is in beauty treatments to moisturize the skin or as a kind of self-care therapy to provide pain relief.

Influencer Amy Pohl suffers from complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS, in her hand. She regularly uses paraffin as a treatment, as she demonstrates in this TikTok clip, explaining how it's "warm and helps increase blood flow." She also claims that the warmth of the wax "relaxes (my) muscles" and "reduces joint stiffness."  

How to use paraffin at home or in a salon

In its natural state, paraffin wax is scentless and colorless. But with the growing popularity of paraffin wax as a beauty treatment, it can now be found in a variety of different shades and scents. Paraffin wax can be purchased at beauty supply stores in a waxy brick form, which can then be heated up in a paraffin wax warmer. Paraffin melts slowly, so allow ample time for the wax to melt into a liquid.

After the wax has become liquefied, the next step is to dip your hands or feet into it. Allow the wax to coat your hand or foot entirely, then if desired, dip it again to create a second coat. Wrap your coated hand or foot in a plastic bag and then let it sit for a short amount of time. Wrapping your hands or feet in warm towels while it sets can help enhance the treatment. 

Once the wax has hardened again, after about 10 minutes, carefully peel it off and rub in the extra oils, which will leave your hands or feet feeling supple and moisturized. Paraffin treatments are increasingly available at nail salons. The technician will add the treatment to your service for a fee, so feel free to enquire at your favorite spot about whether they offer it, and for how much.