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Massage Today
April, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 04


By Lynda Solien-Wolfe, LMT


I wanted to add paraffin facial treatments to my menu. Is it OK to use the same paraffin heater and wax I use for hand treatments? Do they make special paraffin just for the face? Any information you have is appreciated.

- Susie from Florida

Dear Susie:

I use a special mini-masque face heater.

I use paraffin facial wax that comes in a can that is placed right in the heater unit. My favorite is grapefruit. I contacted Liz Myron, vice-president of Amber Products, and an expert in paraffin wax. Here is what Liz had to say about your question:

All paraffins are not alike and there is a difference between paraffin used for the body and paraffin for the face. When shopping for quality facial paraffin here are a few key points to look for:

  1. Facial paraffin wax that is a pure food grade paraffin;
  2. Paraffin that is colorless (or white), tasteless and odorless;
  3. Must be light weight and of a whipped consistency containing air bubbles;
  4. Facial paraffin must contain essential oils vs. fragrance;
  5. Quality facial paraffin is an organic substance that has been refined by distillation, purified by boiling, and chilled and pressed through a filter, creating the purist of facial paraffin.
  6. High-end facial paraffin is dermatologically harmless and is neither a primary irritant nor sensitizer.

When performing a facial paraffin treatment it is ideal to choose facial paraffin that is much thinner in consistency, especially when dealing with the delicate tissue of the skin on the face. This skin has already been exposed to many more environmentally challenging substances that can create even weaker skin than already exists. Therefore this fragile skin needs to be handled with kid gloves and treated in a different manner than the skin on the body, hands and feet. As facial paraffin is thinner, it must be kept at a hotter temperature (131 degrees) to ensure that solidification does not occur when taking the products from the pot to the face during application.

Therefore, a different heating system is required that will heat to these temperatures. Paraffin that contains fragrance is not advisable as it can cause allergies, irritation or breakouts. Best to stick with facial paraffin infused with essential oils. Although the traditional application method still remains the same, facial paraffin blends have changed greatly.

For more information, contact Liz Myron at .


I have been a massage therapist for seven years and have fairly loyal clientele. I have recently been reading about home spa parties and thought this might be a good way to increase my business. I do not know if I should charge for these parties, how to set them up, what services to offer and what products to use. Can you help me get started?

- Dawn in New Mexico

Dear Dawn:

Although I have been to spa and massage parties and love the idea, I have not hosted one myself. The ones I have attended did not charge, as they were also selling products and gift certificates for their massage businesses. The main purpose of the parties was to drive business to their massage and spa practices. I have heard of charging for services like massage, facials and foot treatments at a party.

I asked Shelly Maguire, president of Unique Skin Care, about spa parties. She has been teaching massage therapy professionals for almost four years and gave me some great insight into how you can get started:

Home spa parties are an ideal way to set yourself apart, pamper existing clients, and attract new clients while increasing your income. With today's fast-paced lifestyle, we all need an excuse to relax and be pampered. What better way to do that than in the comfort of someone's home? That is why professional home spa parties are one of the most talked about new trends in the massage industry.

There is no right or wrong way to throw a home spa party because each party will have a different style and mood. You will need to have a basic plan of how you visualize the flow of the party and what services you will be offering, but the rest is up to the guests. Keep it flexible, professional and fun. Here are some things you should consider in advance:

  1. What is the purpose of my party? Is it to meet new customers, pamper existing customers and/or earn additional income? The answer to this question will help you determine what services to offer and whether you will charge your guests or not. For example, if your purpose is to attract new clients, then an evening of free mini-services will give you the opportunity to introduce people to the services you offer.
  2. What mood do I want to set? How do you envision the mood? How does your host envision the mood? Do you want it fun, interactive, informative or peaceful? This will help you decide the services to offer, what props to bring, how to set up the room, where you will perform each service, and how many guests you should invite.
  3. What products do I want to use? Do I want to make them available for purchase at the party? Let's face it. We could all use additional income and a means of building repeat business. We have to also realize that when performed successfully, home spa parties are a great way to reach and treat multiple clients at one time. Why not offer treatments and products that you can demonstrate hands-on and have available for guests to purchase? Don't be pushy. Just be sincere and informative. In addition to skin care, there are many additional items you should consider making available to your guests, such as eye pillows, candles, aromatherapy products and accessories.
  4. How do I want to get the word out? This question will be partially answered as you decide your purpose. The great thing about home spa parties is that your list of prospects is endless. This can be an exciting marketing tool to help attract new clients. How about offering your current clients the opportunity to "win" a spa party for themselves and 10 of their closest friends?

Some of the most popular services to offer at home spa parties include: mini-facials (these are self-applied by the guests); instructional/demonstrated facial acupressure treatments; hand treatments; foot exfoliation and reflexology treatments; and on-site chair massage. Good luck with your spa party!

For more information, contact Shelly at .

Lynda Solien-Wolfe is Vice President, Massage and Spa at Performance Health. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist and has been in private practice in Merritt Island, Florida for more than 20 years. Lynda graduated from Space Coast Health Institute in West Melbourne, FL.


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