We all have a trusted go-to product or brand for massage therapy, but it's a good idea to experiment with some of the other creams, oils, gels, and lubricants that are available. It's possible you'll discover a product you like even more.
Generally speaking massage gels provide excellent glide without being oily. They tend not to stain sheets, and may perform better during the summer months when a post-treatment residual film may not be appreciated by the client. Gels absorb into the skin quite readily and they have a very "lightweight" feel. Products like Biotone Advance Therapy Gel serve year round and perform well in pumps. SacredEarth produces a Certified Organic Massage Gel which might be appreciated by green-minded clients.
At the other end of the spectrum are massage oils, the so-called carrier oils. These plant-derived oils are rich with vitamins and essential fatty acids, and they are particularly good for clients with dry skin. They may be the preferred lubricant in winter. They can also be combined with a host of essential oils for aromatherapy treatments. A few drops of lavender essential oil, for instance, added to cold pressed almond oil, can add a sensual and relaxing element to regular massage treatments.
One of our bestsellers is our own BodyBest Massage Lotion, which is enhanced with Aloe vera and vitamin E. This paraben-free option absorbs slower than some of the gels and it moisturises during the treatment, leaving the skin feeling rejuvenated. Although it provides excellent glide, lotions tend to absorb into the skin faster than some other lubricants. This may require the use of more product for each treatment, particularly in the winter when conditions (and skin) are so dry.
As part of your own marketing program, it's not a bad idea to provide clients with a selection of lubricants to choose from. Our industry provides for all tastes these days, including vegan, kosher, and certified organic options. Providing this range of selection shows your clients that you are thinking of them.
Some clients may be put off by strong fragrances, and others may have skin sensitivities that need to be considered.
- Oil: Massage oils, such as coconut oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil, are popular choices for massages. They provide excellent lubrication and glide, allowing your hands to move smoothly over the hairy areas. Oils also have moisturising properties that can benefit the skin and hair. However, keep in mind that some oils can leave a residue on the hair, so it’s important to use a minimal amount and avoid applying excessive pressure that may cause the hair to become greasy or matted.
- Lotion: Lotions are lighter in consistency compared to oils, making them easier to apply and distribute evenly over the skin. They tend to absorb more quickly and leave less residue on the hair. Look for non-greasy, lightweight lotions that provide good slip for your hands during the massage. Hypoallergenic or unscented lotions can be suitable choices for individuals with sensitive skin.
- Gel: Gels have a thicker consistency compared to oils and lotions. They can provide a different sensation during the massage, and some people may prefer the cooling or tingling effect of certain gel formulations. Gels generally don’t leave as much residue on the hair, but they may require more frequent reapplication during the massage.
One final consideration is how the different lubricants and massage lotions might impact your own skin. If, as a therapist, you are coming in contact with these products every day, you must be sure there is no negative long-term impact like contact dermatitis. Thankfully, massage lubricants are produced with both the client and therapist in mind so they tend not to clog the pores or dry out the skin.