Massage Lotions, Creams, Gels and Oils
Each massage therapist have their own preference as to which type of product they use. Each of these products have important characteristics to consider.
No matter which you choose, be sure to always keep your product fresh. Massage oils, lotions, gels and creams do have a shelf life and will go bad. Some products last longer than others.
How do you know when your product is going bad? One indicator is smell. If your product starts to smell, throw it out. Another indicator would be things growing in your lotion. I know this sounds gross, but it can happen. Keeping your product refrigerated will extend the shelf life and save you money.
Massage Oils – There are many types of massage oils on the market, most common are Oil blends. This type of massage oil is made of several different types of oils mixed together, and essential oils are added for aroma.
The reason Oils are typically mixed is for their unique characteristics. Oils like jojoba have an extremely long shelf life, however jojoba is expensive. Many companies mix in other types of oils to reduce cost. Other types of oils may have a shorter shelf life. Some oils absorb into our skin faster than others, such as sunflower oil.
Grape Seed oil is a very common oil used in most blends. It is easy to work with and many therapist love it. The one drawback is grape seed oil can stain your sheets. That is why many therapists use sheet sets that are darker with patterns to hide the stains. Sunflower oil is available at most grocery stores and can be used for a great massage oil. This oil goes on smooth allowing for gentle warming strokes. As it absorbs you are able to begin working deeper layers of tissue with out slipping.
One draw back to using oil, it can easily spill on the floor. If you work in a carpeted room you will begin to notice stains in the carpet.
You can make your own oil blends and customize them for your own use or you can choose a blend that is already designed for a specific application by a manufacturer.
Massage Gels – Massage Gels are a combination of a oil and lotion. They tend to work well for working with hairy clients. Because of the viscosity of the gel, you are able to slide over hair and dry skin with less resistance. This may not be a great choice for someone who wants deep work. There are only a few types of Massage Gel’s on the market.
Massage Lotions – Massage lotions vary in thickness slightly. There are a lot of different types of massage lotions on the market, hypoallergenic to herbal lotion blends. Despite it’s thickness it can be used with a pump bottle. If you find that your lotion is a little to thick you can always heat it slightly. When heated lotions will become more watery.
Massage Creams – Creams are thicker than lotions and cannot be used with a pump bottle. For sanitary purposes you should always use a new cup or jar for each client. Since you use your fingers to scoop out the cream, any lotion remaining following that appointment should be discarded. You may have a lot of wasted cream, which can lead to extra expense. If you don’t mind throwing away a little cream, massage creams are great to work with for all types of clients.