Rehab your nails: How to do a paraffin dip

2:29 PM

It's paraffin day!! Today I'm going to show you how you can give yourself a paraffin dip at home. First I'll tell you what you need to have to do this and then I'll tell you some ways to make this easier on yourself!  You can also give these to friends or family members but please be sure that if you use this for multiple people you do NOT return the used wax to the machine. So above are my preferred tools for doing this.

You need:
  • A cuticle oil
  • A sugar or salt scrub
  • A thick, creamy lotion
  • A paraffin warmer
  • A towel
  • Plastic paraffin gloves, plastic shopping bags OR cling wrap

Optional items include heated hand warmers or towels.

My paraffin bath was a Christmas gift but you can score one like it on Amazon for $29.99. It's fairly easy to use, deep enough to submerge my entire hand, and heats pretty quickly. You can buy larger ones with fancy settings for heat and timers but honestly, this basic one is all I need.  It comes with the wax and you can pick up refills at most beauty supply stores or online. They come in lots of colors and scents. Just be sure that the paraffin you buy is for use on skin and that whatever scent you choose goes well with your lotion!  You'll want to turn it on to heat in advance.  I do this about two hours before hand. 

When you're ready to go, lay out your supplies. I'm doing this myself (WITH ZERO help) so I'm going to get my bags ready to slide my hands into by sitting them in the sink. If you're using the ones specifically for paraffin, you'll want to somehow get them opened so you can slide your hands in (without grazing the sides). If you're using cling wrap, simply lay out two, square pieces about twice the width of your hand and about two or three inches longer.

It might be hard to see here but I've got them just opened up and next to one another in the sink. Plastic bags are free, I have tons and I like to recycle them so that's why I choose to use them rather than invest in anything else. I DO use cling wrap sometimes though and it works just as well.  You'll also want to open your cuticle oil and the top to the warmer. Be sure your lotion is open and ready to go as well.  You'll want to start by washing your hands and then using a sugar scrub to exfoliate them well.  I'm using Zoya's sugar scrub. It smells yum and works well.  You can use any scrub you have. Some people also like salt scrubs and this is fine as well but salt is a bit more harsh and can also irritate small cuts on ones hands. For this reason I like the sugar ones. 

Next, thoroughly dry your hands and then generously spread oil on the nail and cuticle area. We talked about oils this week so if you need some ideas of what to go for there is plenty of info there!  I'm using CND Solar Oil.  During the year I use it with the Almond lotion but today I want a heavier lotion so I'm going to use my Hempz brand. I normally wait a few minutes to let it soak in some before I add the lotion but you certainly don't have to.  Add the lotion next and be sure again to be generous with it. DO NOT rub it all the way in.  I don't know why but when I was in nail school we always used EssieSpa Pedicure Hydro-Masque. It's not really for hands but it did the trick!  

Now hold your hand over the bath and submerge it. Don't go all the way to the bottom but you should go deep enough that the entire hand is covered.  If, for whatever reason, your bath is not deep enough you can just turn the hand over and do the other side that way.  Then lift your hand back out. Do this three to five times to build up a nice coat of paraffin. I usually do four, then I'll let it hover over the bath for a ten count just to be sure there are no drips. Then I'll put it in the bag and wrap it up.  If you're using cling wrap, sit your hand on the square, wrap one side over and then the other side over and then the top if there is any hangover (there should be a bit).  Since I'm doing this alone I dip one hand and sit it in the bag, then dip the other and then when both hands are in the bags I lift my hand upward (so the bag falls over my wrist, and then twirl my hands together to seal. If you're using heated mitts or towels, this is the time to put those over your hands. You can also wrap a dry, room temperature towel around them to keep the heat in.  Wait 5-10 minutes to remove.  Remember that even though they feel cool to you before that, they're still warm so don't be tempted to take it off early!! I usually do seven minutes.

Now remove the bag and slide off the paraffin.  If it's just you, you can drop it back in the bath and reuse it (this is why you first WASH YOUR HANDS!!).  If you're sharing the bath then put both wax hands into a bag and put them in the bin.  There may be some lotion remaining so rub it in and voila! Baby soft hands.  You can thank me later ;)

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  1. So tempting! Should we not have polish on during this, or does it matter?

    1. It doesn't matter at all!' The oil will penetrate the polish! I usually do mine as part of a manicure so my polish is already off :) (do remove jewlelry though!!)


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