In which I dip my hands in hot wax.
September 1, 2014
Happy Labor Day, everyone! I’m celebrating by working (does it count as work if you love it?), but also by taking care of my hands with a little DIY spa day.
(If you want to put me to work, you can use code LABORDAY at my Etsy shop for free shipping!)
I write a knitting blog with my pal Johanna, and a few months back I wrote a post about how maybe, just maybe, we (I) shouldn’t take our (my) hands for granted. I talked about the importance of stretching, avoiding RSI, and not using your fingers in lieu of actual tools.
I wish I could say I’ve listened to all the advice I gave myself. (Do as I say, not as I do?) I’ve started taking better care, but the major driver behind that is ache and tiredness in my fingers and wrists, plus a little vanity — I’d like for my nails to look ever-so-slightly more ladylike, and less like I’v been digging in dirt all day.
This requires one thing that is very, very hard for me. I have to STOP doing things. I don’t mean overall. I mean that for forty minutes or so at a go, I have to sit still and not do anything with my hands. Why? Because that’s enough time for nail polish to set, enough time to get a hand massage, enough time to do the silly but delightful thing I’m going to tell you about right now.
Forty minutes is enough time to give both my hands a paraffin bath.
If you’ve ever had a manicure, this might be familiar — it’s when you dip your hands into melted wax and then sit with goofy mitts on until the nice manicurist takes them off. Your muscles get the therapeutic benefit of heat, and your skin ends up nice and soft. Except to do that at a salon is around $10 a go, depending on where you get your services, and that mess adds up!
So instead of budgeting salon dollars into my monthly expenses, I bought a Dr. Scholl’s Quick Heat Paraffin Spa Bath. It comes with the goofy mitts, plus plastic liners so you don’t ruin them, 3 pounds of wax, and of course the heating pot itself. It’s dead simple: heat the wax for a couple of hours (it takes a while to melt), let it cool slightly (burns are bad, people), dip your hand, put the mitt on, and then SIT AND DO NOTHING for twenty minutes.
Ok, you can watch TV. Maybe read a book. I do one hand at a time because it’s easier that way, so I have the other free to do whatever. But since my waxy hand is effectively useless, I find that I may as well just enjoy the break and relax!
When you’re done, the wax peels off easily and leaves you with a nice moisturizing coat of oil, which I like to massage into my skin. You can reuse the wax if you like, but if you have multiple people using the bath that might be a little gross.