That is how I stumbled upon a candle that doubles as a moisturizer. I had never seen such a thingin my entire candle-loving life, so I was quickly curious to see if more thingslike this existed. This crazy, yet awesome product led me to an experiment Ihad to try out for myself: a DIY candleas moisturizer experiment that included playing with wax.
I’m a candle person. On any given day I have at least onecandle burning in my room, while also online shopping for more to add to myever-growing collection.
Those of you that have ever played with candles know howsatisfying it feels to dip your fingertips in the melted wax and then peel itoff once its cooled. To be honest, I still do this from time to time, but hadnever noticed how soft my fingertips would be after doing this repeatedly. ThisDIY takes that basic concept and applies it to your whole hand in order toleave it baby soft and smooth for an extended period of time. Of course, thisdoesn’t replace traditional moisturizer, but is more of a luxury spa kind ofdeal. The only difference is that you’re doing it to yourself (or with friends)and it won’t cost you tons of money.
When I watched videos of people using candle wax as a moisturizer or manicure, I saw that the steps werealmost the same as for making those awesome looking wax hands. A person wouldfirst wash their hands before applying some kind of oil-based substance. Thenthey would proceed to dip their entire hand repeatedly into some wax (which wasat a cooled temperature) until thickly covered.
The only problem was the use of paraffin.
To keep it simple, paraffin is made up of a lot ofingredients — some of which aren’t greatfor us to burn or have on our skin. I’m not usually one to care so muchabout all of the ingredients in my beauty products, but have started to noticethat my skin is more sensitive. This is why I chose to use beeswax instead ofthe traditional paraffin that is often used for these wax hand baths. I didn’t want to have paraffin sitting on my skinfor a long time, and beeswax is equally as great without the use of chemicals.
- Wax (paraffin, beeswax, soy)
- Jojoba, mineral oil, or olive oil
- Some kind of bowl, greased (with Pam or something similar)
- Double boiler or a makeshift one
- Sandwich bag
- Oven mitt or something to keep hands Rolex Sea-Dweller Replicawarm
After learning what paraffin baths were, I found out thatcompanies actually make sets for people to easily do them at home. The averagecost of these are around $35, but I figured a true DIY means making the messwith as much at-home products as possible.
Paraffin Wax Works Quick Heat Therapeutic Paraffin Kit, $39.99, amazon.com
In order for me to see if this DIY was effective, I decidedto focus on my fingers because they are the part of my hand that dries out themost from working with paper all day. For the purpose of the photos, I kept itconsistent by photographing my right hand throughout the entire process frombefore, directly after, and 24 hours later.
I began by setting up my makeshift double boiler with a small pot filled with water and mygreased heat-resistant bowl on top. Then I cut a piece of my beeswax and placedit in bowl for it to melt. I also used around one tbsp of jojoba oil. This tookabout 15 minutes with the large chunk of beeswax, but when I made the piecessmaller it reduced the time a little bit. I made sure that the amount usedwould be enough for what I intended to cover, but I would have used a lot moreif I wanted to submerge my whole hand.
Once the beeswax was melted, I removed it from the boilerand let it sit to cool. It’s not recommended to dip your hand or fingers inright after the wax has melted because itwill burn your skin and no one wants that. Most websites suggested waitinguntil a layer of skin developed on the top of the wax, or (if you have athermometer) when the temperaturereaches 125˚F.
While the wax is cooling, I washed my hands to make surethey were completely clean and then applied jojoba oil all over the hand thatwould be submerged. This would help when removing the wax, as well as helpingto moisturize the skin at the same time. By the time I prepped my station witheverything I would need after my fingers were waxed (plastic bag and oven mitt), the wax had cooled enough and I was ready to dip.
Attempting to photograph and dip my fingers carefullyresulted in some strange looking lumps in my pictures, but it doesn’t exactlymatter how my hands look afterwards so much as if they are completely coveredin a thick enough layer of wax. It took me around five times to get thethickness I desired, but this was because beeswax is not as thin as paraffin. Idipped my finger in and out quickly and waited for the wax to harden betweeneach dip. This made sure I had a good amount of wax on my fingers by the end.
Afterwards, I placed my hand in the sandwich bag and then inthe oven mitt to stay warm. It is recommended that the wax sits on your skinfor about 20 to 30 minutes. I left it on for approximately the length of aBob’s Burgers episode before removing the wax carefully.
Unlike the videos where the people use a towel, I simplypeeled it off to enjoy my favorite part about playing with wax. Afterwards, Icleaned up any remaining wax on my fingers before applying a small amount ofjojoba oil for added moisturizer. Finally, I disposed of the wax I had used forhygienic purposes, as you don’t really want to reuse it again just in case.
I did this DIY experiment four times. Although I onlyrecorded photos of my second trial (because I was doing this alone), all ofthem had the same results. Directly after the wax bath, my fingers feltamazing! They not only smelled wonderful, but also felt very smooth andnourished. I expected them to have a weird texture from the wax, but applyingthe jojoba oil helped lessen this sensation a lot.
I was also surprised to see how much better my cuticles andskin looked around my nails. The before photo made my fingers look absolutelyhideous, but the hand treatment completely reversed this effect tenfold. Itlooked like my hands were brand-new and my nail beds not as sad and dry as theyhad been half an hour ago.
I had done all my trials at night to see how they lastedthrough sleeping and from day-to-day activities. When I woke up, I saw that myfingers still looked very moisturized in comparison to my other hand that didnot get the treatment. Although they didn’t feel as soft as the night before,they did not feel dry either. However, as I went through the day washing myhands, working with paper, I noticed that they were starting to feel like theyusually did whenever I forgot to wear moisturizer. I did apply some handlotion, but by the end of the night my hands looked as if they were headedtowards the state they had been before the treatments.
My Final Thoughts
I wasn’t expecting the treatment to last for days, but thefact that they held up almost 24 hours was better than I thought. It could bepossible that using paraffin wax might help prolong the moisturizing effects,but I have no regrets using the beeswax. All my trials left my hands feelingamazing. I even gave myself some hand massages, which eased the tension I hadbuilt up from stress.
Even having my hand sitting in the oven mitt was oddlyenjoyable. With the wax on my fingers and in a plastic bag, the oven mitt keptmy hand very warm and comfortable that I honestly did not want to take it outsometimes. I could have stayed there for an hour without any desperation totake off the wax coatings.
I would love to try this experiment with soy to see if itcould make the moisturizing qualities last longer, or even a mixture of beeswaxand soy. I know I will be doing this again, and I will definitely be havingsome get-togethers for others to try this relaxing hand bath. If you ever want to try a relaxing DIY group spa idea, thisone should be next on your list. And maybe those soy moisturizing candles, too!
Images: littlesourire/Flickr; Courtesy of brand; Vanesa Pacheco.