Massage Candles…. Let’s do this! They’re a relatively new and untapped trend on the market and they’re SO simple- especially if you’re already a candle maker. With the romantic glow of the candle and the gentle warmth of the melted oils on the skin, this will sure to be a massage you will never forget!
The concept is simple, light your candle, let it burn for a few minutes until a melt pool forms. Once the melt pool forms, extinguish the flame and either scoop or pour out some of the melted wax to use on your skin. The melted wax will be warm but not hot enough to burn your skin. Massage candles are basically lotion bars with a wick and formulated similarly. These candles can be poured into a vessel you would use for any other candle. They can also be used without lighting the wick by just scoop a bit of the container and massage it into the skin.
There are many benefits to using massage candles. Nutrition experts are raving about soy in skincare products. The proteins, amino acids and lipids found in this high-powered bean will moisturize your skin quickly and provide rapid cell regeneration. For years, soybean factory workers had skin that was especially smooth and even toned. Some studies have shown that soy oil will reduce the effects of scarring on your skin, too. With all those great benefits – why not make massage candles!?
This product is intended for skin and should not have the same fragrance load as a regular candle. Burning a massage candle will lightly fragrance your home, but it is not intended to fill your entire house with scent. Fragrance oil usage should be used according to the IFRA- no more than 4% of the total formula weight. There are a few massage candles on the market that contain way too much fragrance and should not be marketed as a massage candle! We don’t recommend using colour in massage candles, if you’ve ever worked with candle dye, you know how permanent it can be and we don’t want your customers turning purple and green when they use your product.
Massage candles start out with a soy wax or coconut wax base, this component is at least 50% of the entire formula. The next 46% of the massage candle is skin-friendly oils and butters, of your choice, which are melted into the wax base. Finally garnish the mixture with 4% fragrance or essential oil. You can really get creative when designing formulas for your massage candles with all the oils and butters available. Since the candle is only burned for a few minutes at a time, I typically use a larger size natural wick so that the melt pool forms quickly. We live in an instant gratification kind of world, so it should only take a few minutes to melt enough wax for use.
The formula is a 50% wax base which is great at sealing and protecting skin but not easily absorbed. I like using oils that are easily absorbed like olive oil, sweet almond, jojoba, etc. These oils will penetrate the skin to create deeper moisturizing properties. Keep in mind that the consistency of the oils will determine how solid your lotion candle is when it cools. Using a high percentage of light oils will make your candle very oily and it may not solidify completely, which could create a mess. On the contrary, using harder butters such as cocoa will make a candle very solid, which could cause your candle to be hard and crack.
Below are some of the oils and butters that can be used in soy massage candles and please keep in mind these are basic recommendations so please feel free to experiment and create your own recipes. With any candle or product, you make, testing is key to make sure the end product is what you want. Not all oils and butters will burn with a wick, so the 50% wax base will help it along.
Light oils are any oil that is completely liquid at typical room temperature. These oils will soften the soy wax and if too much is added will make a candle that appears already melted. Here are a few of my favorite light oils for lotion candles. Sweet Almond Oil is an excellent emollient and is known for its ability to soften and re-condition the skin. It is rich in proteins, Olein Glyceride Linoleic Acid, and Vitamin D, and is considered extremely nourishing to the skin through moisturization, use up to 5%. Jojoba oil is an excellent lubricant/conditioner and easily absorbed. It is widely used in the skincare industry in all types of products, use up to 10%. Olive Oil is highly nutritive, contains protein, minerals and vitamins that soften and moisturize the upper layers of the skin. Olive oil is also thought to help reduce the effects of aging skin, scars, stretch marks etc, use up to 10%
Medium oils are soft or semi-solid at room temperature and can be used up to 46% in the formula. They have a similar consistency to wax and will not soften the lotion candle. Medium oils can be scooped with a spoon easily. My favorite medium oil is coconut oil because it is easily absorbed into the skin and adds a creamy texture to the candle.
Hard oils and butters are any oil that is harder than the consistency of the base wax used. Hard oils work together with light oils to make your lotion candle blend stiffer and hold up better in heat. Cocoa butter is a natural lubricant and skin softener that absorbs quickly into the skins’ surface. It is solid at room temperature and very brittle and crumbly, use up to 10%. Shea or mango butter are highly prized butters and a great source of essential fatty acids, use up to 10%. Palm kernel oil is widely used in place of coconut oil in high-end luxury skincare products, use up to 10%. Beeswax can also be considered a hard oil and will add a great protective layer in your lotion candle, use up to 10%
Here are some basic formulas to get started but definitely feel free to deviate and experiment on your own.
- 70% Coconut Soy Wax (we cheated here a bit, you can use 50% soy wax and 20% coconut oil if you chose)
- 10% Cocoa Butter
- 10% Mango Butter
- 6 % Jojoba oil
- 4 % Fragrance Oil
- Measure out wax, butters, and oil and place in a double boiler
- Melt on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all the solids have melted. (160℉ depending on the wax you use)
- Wick your vessels
- Remove from heat.
- Add fragrance or essential oil and stir constantly for 2 minutes
- Pour into vessels
- When candle has set, trim excess wick to ¼ inch. Wait 24 hours for best results.
These are just a few combinations to help inspire you to try making your own massage candles. You can also consider any recipe or formula that you already have for lotion bars and add 50% wax as your base.
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