Paraffin – What is it and what is it for


The paraffin is a compound with myriad uses in beauty. It serves to deeply hydrate the skin, but it has also been effective for the treatment of some conditions such as contractures, muscle pain, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, etc. It is also the main material in the manufacture of candles, and its oil has many other applications.

In this article you will discover what liquid paraffin is for, how to use it in physiotherapy, to lose weight and to improve the appearance of the skin.

What is liquid paraffin and what are its uses?

  • Paraffin is a non-smelling and tasteless component, frequently used in the aesthetic and medical sectors, especially as a liquid. The reason why it is used in this state is because of the temperature it transmits to the treated area when it has melted. Some characteristics of the ingredient are: It is possible to buy it in blocks to melt it or in gel.
  • Being odorless, you can add some aroma to make the perception pleasant.
  • The paraffin sales format varies depending on whether it is used for beauty or the home. In the latter case, more quantity is required.

What benefits does it bring us?

The main property of paraffin lies in its high capacity to hydrate the dermis. In beauty, it serves to provide firmness and softness to the skin, which especially the skin benefits from. It is especially suitable for hands and feet. But also in physiotherapeutic medicine to treat sprains, osteoarthritis, contractures and other injuries of the body. It is very popular in rehab. In summary:

  • Reduces dryness of the skin, feet and hands.
  • It promotes blood circulation due to the heat that it emanates when it is molten.
  • Useful for physiotherapy in injury therapy.
  • To lose weight, since it works by burning fat from the buttocks, abdomen and legs through heat. This liquid paraffin is usually applied with blankets and, after the treatment, a cold product is applied.
  • For the artisan confection of candles.
  • Some doctors prescribe it to alleviate the symptoms of chronic constipation.

How to use paraffin

Before using the paraffin, it must be heated so that it becomes liquid. There are specific heaters, but you can do it perfectly in a water bath. However, paraffin heaters are very useful, as they are specifically made to keep the heat inside without going outside. So that you don’t make a mess, you can buy a complete kit with the paraffin and the heater.

Once you have the liquid paraffin, you just have to spread it with a brush over the area to be treated. Depending on whether you are going to do a therapy with an injury, to reduce cellulite, to lose weight or to improve the condition of the skin, you will have to perform one type of massage or another.

A little more information about paraffin

This product actually encompasses a group of alkane hydrocarbons. Methane is the smallest and simplest paraffin molecule, and under ambient conditions it is neither a liquid nor a solid, but a gas. On the other hand, paraffin wax is solid and one of the heaviest with more than 20 carbon atoms. Liquid paraffin is made up of the heaviest alkanes and is called flimolalbolin, or saxol.

The discoverer of paraffin was Carl Reichenbach in the 19th century. This hydrocarbon is a derivative of petroleum. In fact, for its manufacture, the raw material is obtained from oil and coal. The steps to follow are:

  1. Obtaining heavy oils.
  2. Separation by various methods such as centrifugation or filtration.

This obtaining is usually carried out in refineries, which carry out more sophisticated procedures such as thermal cracking.


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