Massage oil, lotion or wax? Which one would you use? There are many massage mediums on the market and each therapist will have their favourite. However, so much choice can make buying confusing, especially when each product is claiming to be the best.
In this post, we are going to list the different massage mediums available, what their benefits are as well as their disadvantages.
Lotions are not so popular anymore but were traditionally used before massage waxes came to the market. Lotions were much better than oil when massaging hairy clients, as the light silky texture did not matt the hair and so, provided easy glide.
Lotions are great for deep tissue and high friction treatments, as they are conditioning for the skin (in moderation) and provide a medium grip. Depending on the client’s skin type – usually, lotions absorb moderately and are not tacky to the touch. Clients leave without feeling greasy or sticky. Moreover, lotions do not go rancid as quickly as oils, due to the addition of preservatives and stabilizers in the blend.
Lotions can cause dryness to the skin if used excessively. Usually a combination of natural and chemical products, lotions can also cause irritation to sensitive skin. In this situation, a natural product, such as jojoba oil or bees wax would be better suited.
The most common massage oils are jojoba, fractionated coconut and sweet almond. However, there are lots of blends to choose from to compliment any treatment.
Oils go a long way. A little provided sensational glide. Depending on the oil used, their properties can be deeply nourishing for many skin conditions. For clients who have very dry skin, oils like avocado and jojoba are excellent choices and will support the skin during its healing process.
Oil will leave a sticky, greasy feeling on the skin. Moreover, certain oils can stain massage towels and clothing. It’s important that the therapist keeps an eye on the expiry date, as oils can go rancid quickly too.
- Waxes & Balms
Massage waxes are a combination of bee’s wax, blended with oils (such as sweet almond or grapeseed). This combination of ingredients offers a firmer grip and is perfect for remedial work or sports massage treatments.
Waxes provide stable control for the therapist, as they offer low glide and good absorption into the skin. Beeswax is also highly antibacterial, so the expiry date is much longer than an oil, making it cost effective.
Waxes are thick in consistency and so can be tricky to use on hairy clients. Generally, more wax is needed on this occasion. Maintaining hygiene is also a little more difficult. Unlike oils and lotions, which can be loaded into pump bottles, massage waxes come in a tub and require a spatula. Lastly, it’s important to choose a massage wax that isn’t blended with a nut oil. Many clients suffer from nut allergies, so this can be a problem. Annie’s Wax, offer nut-free bees wax blends. You can find her products here: http://www.anniesmassagewax.com/.