Thursday, April 14, 2011

Massage Candles-My take on them

I get asked a lot about whether I make massage candles. You know, the ones that you can take the melted candle wax and rub it into your skin. After being asked this many times, I wanted to share my take on this product with you and it's safety.

Using soy on your skin:
Soy wax, even the best out there which I currently use, is heavily processed and can be hormonally disruptive. To get the bean from it's original form to an edible or topical-use form is a long process. Hexane is widely used to pull oils out of plant-based materials and that substance, itself, is toxic. Hexane is used in 98% of the soy wax producer's processes. For this reason alone I do not use it on my skin. My soy wax is some of the cleanest you will find and I chose it for that reason. Until soy wax becomes readily available in Organic Certified formats, it will be difficult to find a better one than this. Using it in small doses here and there is ok, but it is not the best for your skin.

Fragrance Oil or Essential Oil concentrations for candles are too high for topical use:
When I create my candles, the Essential Oil blends I use are fairly high. Low enough to respect the oil's flashpoint, but high enough to get a strong-smelling candle. That concentration is far too high to use on the skin. You cannot have a strong-smelling candle and a skin-safe blend at the same time. The concentrations are very different. The use of high concentrations of EO's and FO's on the skin, make it difficult for your liver to handle.

Dipping your finger in freshly melted wax is generally not a good idea:
I have to admit, I have burned myself one too many times pouring my candles, testing them, and spilling a lit one on my hands. While soy wax burns much cooler (which is why it burns so much longer than Paraffin wax), it is still hot wax. I do not recommend dipping your finger in wax that has just melted. It is generally too hot for the skin even if it isn't "burning you". You skin is very resilient, but it responds best to mildly warm temperatures.

What I recommend:
If you want to create a luxurious lotion that is warm to the touch, I recommend this:
There are many great products on the market that are created for this. Generally, balms are the best if you want to heat something up before putting on your skin. Products made from Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa butter, beeswax are best for this. They withstand the higher temperatures well (though not too hot is important to keep in mind). You can create a really healthy massage lotion with a combination of Virgin Coconut Oil and Cocoa Butter. You can then add a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil or Rose to make it more fragrant. There are also high quality fragrance oils you can purchase that would work as well.
Here is a link to my go-to site for making my own beauty products. You will find all sorts of great balm and lotion recipes there.
Recipes for lotions and balms you can make at home

To sum it up, keep the candles for ambience and keeping your home fragrant. You will do your body a favor.