Hands IN With The Therabath Professional Paraffin Bath

therabath paraffin bath

When I was a kid, I used to love sticking my fingers into hot candles and building up wax coverings for my fingertips. I was pretty thrilled as a grown up to find out you can get an adult version of that in a spa or salon, and they actually do your whole hands and feet, AND it’s supposedly good for your skin! 😀 My sister recently got a Therabath Professional Paraffin Bath, so I’ve been doing paraffin wax treatments on my dry winter hands lately. In this review, I’ll tell you how it’s working out!

Click here to see what other users think of this Therabath paraffin wax machine or find out how to get your own!

How The Therabath Professional Paraffin Bath Works

My sister and I previously used to go get an occasional paraffin hand treatment at the salon for $30 bucks a pop, and this is apparently the same machine they use, hence the term ‘professional’ in the product title. Despite its commercial quality, it’s actually a very simple machine. You put the wax in, plug it in, and in about 6 or 7 hours, the wax is fully melted and ready to play with.

therabath professional paraffin bath

The Therabath paraffin bath is designed to stay on all the time, and you’ll see the power light go on and off as it regulates its temperature. I was a bit wary about a having a vat of hot, melted wax all the time, but it apparently doesn’t use much electricity, and doesn’t get hot enough to start a fire or anything. Obviously, you should probably keep it in a room not frequented by kids or pets, but it makes sense, especially considering how long it takes to melt the wax.

Doing Paraffin Hand Treatments With The Therabath

Once the wax is melted, actually using it is pretty darn easy, too! Just dip your hand in it and pull it out. The layer of wax will quickly start to harden, and then you repeat the process a few times to build up a nice wax glove on your hand. Then you wait about 15-30 minutes for the paraffin wax to do its magic.

Therabath sells plastic liners to put over your hands so you don’t make a mess while you’ve got the wax on your hands, as well as insulated velour mitts to put over those to keep the wax hot longer. I’d wager that after you run out of plastic liners you could probably just use plastic bags for a cheaper alternative.

What Paraffin Hand Wax Feels Like

If you’ve never dipped your fingers into melted candle wax, you missed out as a kid! LOL! 😛 One of the good things about the Therabath is that since there’s no fire like in a candle, it doesn’t get as painfully hot. It’s actually not even as hot as your morning coffee, so it’s very comfortable. The sensation of wax hardening into a semi-solid glove on your hands or feet is something that’s hard to explain, but it’s definitely unique, interesting, and pleasant.paraffin wax for feet

Therabath offers their wax in a variety of different scents. We used Cucumber Melon, which is a nice, mellow scent that reminds me of freshness and coolness, despite the heat of the wax. I think this aromatherapy element certainly adds to the relaxing, spa-style feel of the home paraffin wax treatment.

Ok, But How Well Does It Actually Work?

Paraffin wax actually has natural moisturizers in it, which your skin absorbs as the heat opens the pores in your skin. It also leaves a very thin layer of wax residue which helps your skin retain moisture, which is something I’ve been in dire need of this brutal winter.

Overall, my skin is better this winter, and I give a lot of credit to regular facial steaming and infrared sauna treatments. That said, my hands are definitely suffering more than the rest of my body. It’s in large part due to the weather and the subsequent heating (and drying out!) of indoor places, but I’m also a compulsive hand washer, which takes important oils away from my skin. I’ve been moisturizing several times a day and my skin still gets dry and cracked.

I find that doing a paraffin hand treatment with the Therabath Professional Paraffin Bath makes a clear and nearly immediate difference. It’s very soothing on my dry skin, and my hands feel new when I peel the wax off afterwards. It’s like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon, that’s how big the difference is 🙂 And the newfound moistness and smoothness lasts a lot longer than typical moisturizers.

therabath facial wax

Other Benefits Of These Paraffin Wax Treatments

I’ve been using the Therabath a couple times a week, and it’s deep enough that I can fit my whole hand in past my wrist. I’ve noticed that it seems to help my hand and wrist pain that I get from doing computer work all day. Therabath says their units are good for thermotherapy, which is using heat to help ease pain.

Heat applied directly to your skin relaxes your muscles and increases blood flow, which in turn helps provide relief and even ease damage to muscles and joints in the treated area. This is why this kind of treatment can be useful for a wide variety of ailments, from pulled muscles and sprains to more complicated issues like fibromyalgia.elbow in therabath paraffin bath

You can also use paraffin wax for feet, elbows, or probably any part you can comfortably fit into the paraffin bath. The Therabath is also good for doing paraffin wax facials, but I’ll save that for another article.

Overall, I’d say the Therabath Professional Paraffin Bath is exactly what I was looking for as a solution to my winter skin issues I get on my hands. It naturally moisturizes and renews, as well as having some pain relieving properties as well. I’ll certainly be purchasing my own paraffin wax machine soon, so stay tuned for more on paraffin wax treatment in general!

Click here to check the current price or see more customer reviews and ratings!

therabath professional paraffin bath front

Using A Facial Steamer For Acne: The Pros and Cons, Weighed

Since starting this site, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from friends, family, and strangers on the internet. One of the most common things people wonder about is whether or not using a facial steamer for acne issues is a good idea. While I’d like to be able to give you a simple yes or no answer, it’s a little more complicated than that. While I strongly believe that it has helped clear up my skin and protect me from breakouts, it’s important to remember that everyone has different skin, so just steaming face acne away isn’t going to work for everybody.

panasonic ionic steamer

Understanding Why We Break Out In The First Place

In a nutshell, acne is caused when the follicles connecting your pores to the oil glands beneath your skin become clogged, infected, and subsequently inflamed. It doesn’t sound terribly complicated until you consider that what’s clogging them up is the oil from those glands (sebum), skin cells, and hair, which your body produces anyway. Why would your body do this to you???

Unfortunately, we don’t really know exactly why this happens. The primary reason is thought to be changes in hormone levels, which is why acne is so prevalent during puberty. There are a wide range of other factors, though. Genetics are thought to be a factor, as is environment and diet. Some medications even cause acne. Greasy make-up can certainly aggravate a problem caused by too much oil in the first place, and I know all too well how stress can exacerbate the issue. For women, there’s a week or two every month where we’re particularly vulnerable, as well.

The sheer number of potential causes means that people will have all kinds of experiences with acne. While most people seem to get by with just the standard over-the-counter solutions like benzoyl peroxide, I’ve known an increasing number of people over the years getting prescription acne meds from a doctor.

Some folks, myself included, either have bad luck with the usual treatments, which can cause dryness and irritation, or they just prefer a more natural, drug and chemical free method. In my case, it was a little from column A, and a little from column B.

Panasonic Ionic Steamer In Action

Using Facial Steaming To Clear Your Skin

Honestly, I figured out about using a facial steamer for acne completely by accident- I was just trying to clear my sinuses!

When you do a facial steam treatment, one of the main effects is that your pores open up. This makes it easier for the steam to get in there and help flush out the nasty gunk you don’t want, like that excess oil and dead skin cells, as well as any dirt and makeup you’ve built up. And unlike the typical chemical treatments, it actually has a hydrating effect, rather than drying your skin out.

While most people seem to have good luck steaming face acne directly, some do find that the hot steam irritates their skin. This usually happens when people are first starting out with these types of treatments, so some steamers actually carry a warning to only use it a couple times a week to begin with. My sister, for example, had her face turn red the first couple times she used my Panasonic Ion Steamer, and this is the most common side effect.

For most users who do experience initial redness, the solution is as simple as just doing treatments at night at first. For a small number of people, though, it is a big enough issue that they look elsewhere for relief.

I should note that while some people just do facial steaming for acne, a lot of people use it in addition to other methods. By cleansing the skin and opening the pores, steaming is actually like a pre-treatment which can enhance the effects of other, more traditional treatments.

The Benefits Of Using A Facial Steamer For Acne

While there are ways to give yourself a steam facial without buying a dedicated steamer, the obvious advantage is convenience: even a cheap facial steamer will produce more steam with less effort than, for example, holding your head over a big bowl of boiling water.

The more premium face steamers do have other advantages, too. My personal favorite, the Panasonic Ionic Steamer, releases micro-fine steam particles, 4,000 times smaller than regular steam, which are capable of penetrating more deeply into your pores for a deeper cleanse. The Secura Hot and Cool facial steamer releases fine atomized particles, and can also do a cool mist which can be soothing when used on acne.

panasonic facial steamer in action

How It Helped Me And Some Personal Tips

Even as an adult, I’ve had occasional flare-ups that have been deeply embarrassing for me. I’ve even skipped out on a couple of social events because of it. But I’ve been doing facial steaming for more than a year now, and while at first I had some acne from time to time, like I always have, it’s probably been around 8 or 9 months since the last time. My skin overall looks and feels softer, smoother, and younger 🙂

When I was still getting some acne, I found that using a simple exfoliating mask made out of baking soda either before or after the steamer seemed to be really helpful. I would do the steam for about 10 minutes, and then splash my face with cold water to close the pores back up. If I used any products on my face, I tried to keep it oil free, like Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Moisturizer.

I hope this has been informative for anybody considering using a facial steamer for acne. Again, I wish I could give a more definitive answer. Obviously, everybody would just be steaming face acne away if it was as simple as that, but it’s much more complicated. While it does seem to make a significant improvement for most people, like myself, for some people it either doesn’t work or seems to make things worse. If you’ve tried it, let us know how it worked out in the comments below!

Cheap Facial Steamer Shootout: Revlon vs Conair Face Saunas

conair facial sauna

IMHO, the benefits of facial steaming speak for themselves: better skin, relaxation, and easing congestion, to name a few. While I’ve been doing this for a while, and have gradually upgraded to using more premium facial steamers, I know most people are hesitant to drop much money on a treatment they’re unsure of. It’s not terribly difficult to try steam therapy without a steamer, but for many people it’s just more convenient and efficient to try a cheap facial steamer. In this article I’ll compare the two most popular ones, the Conair Facial Sauna System and the Revlon Facial Sauna.

Click here to skip straight to the winner!

Let’s Look At Design First

Both the Conair Face Steamer and the Revlon unit have the same basic design, a base unit with a wide nozzle for pushing out a cloud of steam for you to put your face in. They both come with an attachment to guide the steam directly into your nose if you’re using it to clear your sinuses.

I think the Conair unit feels more solid. The Revlon feels pretty cheap, like it might fall apart at any time. The funny thing is that the Conair actually did break after a few months of using it fairly regularly, while the Revlon is still functional, though I didn’t use it nearly as much.

If you’re persuaded by included accessories (and you really shouldn’t be), the Conair Facial Sauna System comes with a vibrating facial tool for exfoliating, cleansing, and massaging beauty products into your face. It’s alright, but I already own a Clarisonic Mia, which is far superior.

conair facial sauna systems facial tool

Is There A Big Price Difference?

Both of these cheap facial steamers are in the $20 to $30 range. At the time of the writing, the Revlon is just slightly more expensive. Honestly, the price difference will be negligible for most people.

Now For The Important Part: The Steam!

As far as the steam these products put out, the Conair Facial Sauna is the clear winner. It puts out much more steam than the Revlon Facial Steamer.

The steam that comes out of the Revlon stinks, too, which is another point against it. It has a very heavy plastic-type smell. It’s possible that this was just because it was new and I didn’t use it enough for the smell to go away, but I didn’t use it much because I just wasn’t comfortable breathing in steam that smelled like it might be toxic.

I will say that these steamers put out less steam than some of the more expensive gizmos out there, so if you’re doing a full facial treatment, I recommend draping a towel over your head and the unit to direct the steam to your face. This will help you avoid hurting your neck by leaning over the device in an awkward way.

revlon facial sauna

Customer Satisfaction Is Good To Check Out, Too

Taking a look at the customer reviews and ratings over at Amazon, at the time of this writing the Conair Facial Sauna has 3.9 out of 5 stars, while the Revlon Facial Steamer only has 3.7 out of 5. It’s not a big difference, but a difference nonetheless. The Conair also has more than twice the number of reviews as the Revlon, so more people seem to be buying that one.

Overall Winner In All Categories: Conair Facial Sauna System

So, for two facial steamers in the same price range with almost identical features, the Conair face sauna puts out more steam, doesn’t smell like potentially dangerous chemicals, and has a higher level of customer satisfaction. In my book, that makes it a clearly superior product. If you’d like to read more in depth reviews of either unit, click here for my Conair facial steamer review, or here for my Revlon facial steamer review. (And if you’d like to see what the higher end models have to offer, check out my write-up on the new Panasonic Ionic Steamer!)

To check the current price or see more user reviews, click here to head over to Amazon!

conair facial sauna systems

Six Of My Favorite Far Infrared Sauna Benefits

fit for good portable infrared sauna

Recently my cousin visited me, and happened to see a portable infrared sauna folded up behind the couch. She wanted to know what it was, and when I told her, she wanted to know if it worked, and what some of the benefits were. Well, besides the fact that it lets you have spa-style treatments in your home or anywhere else without taking up much space, there are a number of positive effects. This is a list of some of my favorite far infrared sauna benefits.

1. Relaxation, Rejuvenation, and Refreshment

Most people like to get in a sauna just to relax, and even though this one uses infrared light to heat up instead of the traditional methods, it’s still incredibly relaxing! I love feeling the warm waves of heat penetrating my body, and since it’s infrared I feel it more deeply in my muscles and tissues than with typical saunas.

From a more scientific standpoint, these kind of treatments can improve your stress hormone levels, which gives you an overall better feeling that can last for quite some time after you’re in the sauna. I find that my mood is improved when I use it regularly, and my sleep habits are better too. I typically sleep like a baby on days when I’ve been in the sauna 🙂

2. Detoxification and Purification

A far infrared sauna will make you sweat like crazy, even more than traditional steam or dry saunas. The deep penetrating heat helps bring toxins that build up in your body out to the surface. By helping push out things like alcohol, nicotine, heavy metals and other poisons, your overall health is improved, which can help you live longer and avoid getting sick.

3. Better, Younger Looking Skin

If you’ve been to the site before, you know that I’m a big fan of using facial steamers on my face, and I’m confident they improve my skin. Even though infrared saunas use light instead of steam, they still deliver some of the same benefits.

First of all, as I mentioned above, they help you sweat out impurities, so you’ll be ridding your skin of excess oil, dirt, cosmetics and dry skin flakes. This can help prevent conditions like acne and blackheads. I haven’t had any breakouts since doing these treatments. Bringing moisture to your skin also helps improve its elasticity, reducing wrinkles, and helps the overall tone and luster of your skin.

therasage ps2002

4. It’s Good For Your Heart, Too!

Even though you’ll just be sitting there, reading a book or watching TV, an infrared sauna has some benefits similar to exercise. It gets your heart pumping, increasing circulation and in turn improving your overall blood pressure. Furthermore, that increased blood flow brings blood to your entire body, which aids in healing and protecting the whole body. A better heart means overall better health, so this is definitely a great benefit of far infrared saunas!

5. It Helps You Lose Weight

Again, because it has benefits similar to exercise, a far infrared sauna treatment can actually help you lose weight! Studies have shown that they can burn up to 600 calories per hour!

Six hundred is honestly a really high number, but I’ve seen it a few different places, including the promotional material for the Therasage infrared sauna I use. Personally, I’ve found that it does help me sweat off the few extra pounds I tend to put around the holidays 🙂

6. Pain Relief

I get some minor aches and pains in my body from sitting at a desk all day working at a computer. My wrists get hurt, and I get a nagging ache in my back. Often, while I’m driving home, all I can think is, “OMG, I can’t wait to hop in my sauna!” Half an hour of letting the heat work its way into my sore muscles seems to do the trick, and I feel much better!

Studies have shown far infrared saunas have benefits for a wide variety of pain issues, and doctors even recommend them for conditions ranging from sports injuries to fibromyalgia.

What About Far Infrared Sauna Dangers?

Since you’re getting all these benefits in a drug-free, natural way, using light waves similar to what’s generated by the sun, it’s natural to wonder if there’s some kind of catch. Don’t worry, though, it’s safe enough that they even use infrared lights to warm newborns in the hospital.

There aren’t any dangers or health risks unique to far infrared saunas, though the warnings typical to traditional saunas apply here. It’s not a toy, so kids shouldn’t play around with one. Even though they don’t get as hot as other saunas, there’s still the risk of overheating or dehydrating yourself, so you need to use caution and listen to your body- if you’re thirsty, drink, and if it’s too hot, get out or turn the heat down!

Those are the top far infrared sauna benefits that I’m after when I use mine. What are some of your favorites? Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know! If you’d like to read more about these types of treatments, check out my Therasage PS2002 review!

fit for good infrared sauna in use

Steam Therapy On The Go: A Look At MyPurMist Steam Vaporizer

mypurmist personal steam vaporizer size

As you already know if you’re a regular visitor to this site, the original reason I started doing steam therapy treatments wasn’t for my appearance- it was for my sinuses! I’m a cat lover who also happens to be allergic to cats, and during this time of year my sinuses are doubly aggravated by the cold weather and the dry atmosphere inside. This year I got a killer cold, too! And while my go-to facial steamer is the Panasonic Ionic Steamer, this last month has made me glad my mother-in-law bought me the MyPurmist Handheld Steam Inhaler. In this review, I’ll explain exactly why.

Pros:

  • All natural relief for respiratory and nasal congestion
  • Lightweight, handheld, portable design lets you use it comfortably anywhere
  • Unique CVF technology delivers a lot of steam from a little water, without boiling or getting too hot
  • Face mask delivers steam directly to your mouth and nose
  • Self-cleaning
  • Safe for anyone to use several times a day

Cons

  • Needs to be plugged in, so not fully portable

Be sure to check out the ridiculous number of great reviews this thing has on Amazon.com!

mypurmist personal steam inhaler

How Does The MyPurMist Work?

Using the MyPurMist is very simple, you pretty much just add water to the little cup, turn it on, and when the steam starts coming out immediately, you put the mask to your face and breathe it in. Easy as 1, 2, 3!

The cup is pretty tiny, it’s practically a shot glass, so I was fairly surprised to see how much steam it puts out and for how long. On one little shot of water, it runs for 30 minutes, and then stays on another 10 minutes to clean and dry itself out.

I’ve been doing steam therapy for over a year now, with a number of different products, and the first thing I noticed when I began breathing the steam was how efficient it is. By that I mean, you breathe in and you’re actually able to feel a lot of water vapor going into your lungs. Interestingly, despite the amount of water, it’s not super hot like you get if you put your face too close to a different model of facial steamer.

Reading the manual, I found out this is because it uses something called CVF, or Capillary Force Vaporizer, technology. I don’t fully understand the science behind it, but basically it’s vaporizing the water without boiling it, so you don’t have to deal with hot steam burning your face. I will say that the face mask can get a little hot, but not unbearably so.

mypurmist steaming

I’m So Glad I Had This Thing In My Car!

As I mentioned, my main steamer is the Panasonic Ion steamer, which I use to do full facial treatments in addition to the respiratory steam therapy, so after I received this as a gift I ended up putting it in my car and forgetting about it for a couple weeks.

Well, New Years Eve I stayed over at my sister’s place. She has two cats, and I woke up in the middle of the night with my nose so stuffed up I could barely breathe. I started looking through her medicine cabinet for a Sudafed (which leaves me uncomfortably wired), when I remembered the MyPurMist in my trunk.

Long story short, half an hour later, after sitting up in bed watching TV and using the MyPurMist Handheld Steam Inhaler, I was feeling much better. My ability to breathe properly was restored, and without having to take a pill that would have kept me up. I slept like a baby after that, and in the morning I felt the start of more congestion and did another treatment to keep my nose working right.

I Wish It Could Run On Batteries, Though

My biggest complaint about this personal steam vaporizer is that it’s not that portable. I mean, you have to plug it in, so you couldn’t use it in your car or outside somewhere. And as far as space it takes up in your car or whatever luggage you’re carrying, it’s not really that much smaller than my beloved Panasonic Ion Face Steamer, which is more versatile, IMHO, because you can do full facial treatments.

I will say that the delivery method of breathing the vapor directly through the mask is a little more effective at clearing the sinuses than the “put your head in a cloud of steam” method of the Panasonic unit, so I’ve taken to sometimes using this unit instead when my sinuses are at their worst. It was great when I had a cold last month, too. Also, because it’s handheld you can use it while sitting in bed or on a couch, rather than hovering over a table or desk.

mypuemiar handheld steam inhaler

My Personal Tips For Using The MyPurMist

If you’ve ever cleaned out a regular old school room humidifier, you know how the minerals in your tap water can build up in a thick white crust, so to avoid that kind of thing you need to use demineralized or distilled water with it. It comes with a bottle of it, but it’s widely available, anyway. I actually have a PUR Water Filter on my kitchen tap, so I don’t have to pay anything extra for water.

Also, because it needs pure water, you can’t mix fragrances or anything in the water. I figured out, though,  from reading the user reviews on Amazon that you can put a drop or two of essential oils directly in the face mask for a similar effect. I like to use eucalyptus or peppermint oil. Peppermint oil, in particular, feels like it makes my nasal passages and lungs cool and expand instantly, letting me breathe easier.

This Is The Best Handheld Steam Inhaler, IMHO

For people with fairly mild allergies or chest congestion, I would honestly recommend the Panasonic Facial Ionic Steamer instead, since it lets you steam your whole face as well. They’re both in the same price range. However, if you need or want the convenience of something portable and handheld, or if you’re mainly after the therapeutic effects of breathing steam, there isn’t a better personal steam vaporizer than the MyPurmist Handheld Steam Inhaler, IMHO.

Click here to find the lowest price and see other user opinions!

mypurmist bottle and bag