Have you heard about a relatively new product on the market called a massage candle? If you haven’t, you likely soon will. Massage candles are a unique, new type of candle that’s multi-functional in purpose. They commonly serve as a candle, massage oil, and moisturizing lotion in one.
Sometimes referred to as lotion candles or body candles, massage candles are typically made from a unique combination of cosmetic ingredients instead of traditional candle wax. In addition to providing the relaxing glow and delightful ambiance that candles are know for, the unique formulation of massage candles causes them to melt at a much lower temperature than regular candles do, making them suitable for other uses.
With a very low melt point at just over body temperature, massage candles melt into a rich, warm lotion that can be used for personal or professional massage. They also serve as a moisture-rich lotion that can be excellent for use on cuticles and for moisturizing dry skin.
If you’re considering a purchase, or if you’ve already made one, there are several things you must know to avoid “getting burned” by purchasing a candle that doesn’t meet your expectations, or worse, simply isn’t safe to use.
As a savvy buyer, you need to be sure that the massage candle you purchase is safe and that it will perform in the way you expect it to. To help you make a wise massage candle purchase, here are seven important questions you should use to evaluate your massage candle purchase.
1. Who is the maker of the massage candle? As massage candles have become popular, a number of makers of traditional candles have started to make massage candles as well. Unfortunately, not all candle makers understand that making a massage candle intended for body use calls for considerably different procedures and adherence to federal guidelines. As a body care product, massage candles must comply with regulations specified by the Food and Drug Administration.
As a buyer, it’s important that the candle you’re considering is made by a company or maker who knows what they’re doing. How do you know? Do some homework yourself. Check out the company’s website. Or give the maker a call. At the very least, pay close attention to the remaining questions and related tips on this list so you know what to ask and look for when purchasing massage candles.
2. Are ingredients listed on the label? Traditional candle labels simply contain usage and safety tips. Because massage candles are made to be used on the body, they need to adhere to FDA guidelines which require that all ingredients be listed in order of prominence on the product label. If ingredients are not listed on the label, the maker is not in compliance with the FDA. You also don’t know what is in the candle and it may contain ingredients not best suited for body use.
3. Is the manufacturer’s contact information listed on the label? As an FDA regulated product, the manufacturer’s name and city/state or phone number must be provided on the label. Alternatively, if the candle is made for another entity (i.e. Made for Company XYZ), that must be stated and a contact phone number provided.
4. Is the fragrance oil used safe for body use? Many fragrance oils used to scent traditional candles are not skin-safe. As traditional candle makers have begun to make massage candles as well, a number of them are not familiar with bath and body product guidelines and requirements of the FDA. As a consequence, some massage candles may contain fragrance oils not intended for body use.
Further, how much fragrance oil is used, is also vitally important. Even if a fragrance oil is classified as safe for use on the body, only a fraction of the amount typically used for making traditional candles can be used. As an example, a 16 oz. candle made for scenting rooms commonly contains between 1 to 1-½ ounces of fragrance oil. A similarly sized massage candle can only contain about ¼ ounce to remain body safe. Even body safe fragrance oils can be toxic to the skin if used in excess.
Important: Be especially leery of anyone that says their massage candle is “highly scented” or that it can “scent your whole room.” Such statements are either false, or if true, virtually guarantees that there is far too much fragrance oil used to be safe for use on the skin.
5. Is the candle colored with dye? If so, the dye may not be body safe. Although bath and body product dyes are skin-safe, they typically do not mix well into the types of ingredients used in massage candles. Consequently, colored massage candles tend to feature dyes commonly used in traditional candles, many of which are not safe for body use. If a massage candle is dyed to resemble a traditional candle, consider it a red flag. Most likely, these candles are colored with dyes not intended for body use.
6. Does the container make it easy to access the melted oil? Many jars used as containers for traditional candles make it difficult to access the melted oil for easy and convenient use. Ideally, the container should provide easy access without having to dip deep within to access the melted oil.
7. Does the product leave your skin silky and soft after application? If you’re able to sample, a quality massage candle will not feel waxy, grainy, or leave a heavy residue. If it does, your candle is most likely made with traditional soy candle wax with little (if any) premium cosmetic ingredients included. Quality massage candles feature cosmetic-grade ingredients that will provide your skin with the greatest benefits. The candle should melt into a moisturizing oil that fully absorbs into your skin within a just few minutes, leaving skin silky, soft, and moisturized to the touch.
Treat yourself to a massage candle if you haven’t already tried one. Just make sure you’re buying a candle made by a knowledgeable manufacturer that follows FDA guidelines and uses high quality ingredients. Then just light it, use it, and enjoy!