Posts Tagged ‘Cream’

A Study in Lubricants Part 2

By Laura Gordon

In my last blog we explored Gels and Lotions. I hope you learned something new that will help you in your work as a Massage Therapist.

In this blog we will be looking at Creams and Butters.

Creams are much thicker (semisolid or solid) in viscosity and texture than gels and lotions and have increased in favor to become the lubricant of choice by massage therapists since the early 1990’s.

Creams are oil based with plant extracts used in the blend. Beeswax is the most common ingredient added for thickening purposes.


Creams are both hydrating and moisturizing; there is little to no spillage issues with creams; they are better suited for deep tissue therapies; and are easier to wash out of clothing and linens.


Creams often are too thick for pumps therefore many are sold in jars making a secondary container necessary such as a small bowl for each client so that the chance of contamination is limited.


Butters are thicker and more solid than creams and have a fruit, seed or nut base. The most commonly used are cocoa (seed), jojoba (seed) and Shea (nut). Jojoba compliments and is most like the skin’s sebum (oil).



Butters, like creams, hydrate and moisturize the skin and are suited well for deep tissue work.

Butters do not spill and easily wash out of linens and clothing.


Because of the body temperature melting properties of butter, it can be easy to apply too much at first so it takes a little time to learn how much is needed for each client

Again, like creams, butter is too thick for pumps so often a secondary container is needed limiting the chance of contamination.

Your assignment: Go on line and find a recipe for both Massage Cream and Massage Butter. Under Comments list your choice of ingredients needed for each. Be sure to include your favorite essential oil(s) that you would add as your signature scent.


12 2011

A Study in Lubricants

By Laura Gordon

Making a decision about what lubricant to use in your practice is a process of exploration that will change and develop over time.
Why would you spend your time thinking about lubricants? For one thing it is one of three corner stones of your work. Those are your skills as a massage therapist, the massage table and linens you use, and the lubricants you apply directly onto your client. You will want to select lubricants that are not only easy to apply, are of good quality for the price but also are beneficial to the client and the work you will be doing on that client.
Included under the category of lubricants are gels, lotions, butters, creams, and oils. In this blog we are going to take a closer look into the makeup of gels and lotions leaving you breathlessly awaiting coverage of the rest of the lubricants in my future blogs!
Gels are generally opaque and either white or light yellow in color, will have a variety of components in its makeup, will be slightly more viscous than oil but can be applied with a pump dispenser. For a good gel look for natural ingredients including purified water, cold pressed seed oil, vegetable derived emulsifying wax and water dispersant, as well as Vitamin E.
Advantages: A small amount of gel spreads easily. The body absorbs it without feeling greasy yet absorption is slow allowing for longer massage time between applications. In addition, gels have a longer shelf life than oils.
Disadvantages: Like oils, gels can spill which is not favorable to walls or floors. Excess gel on the body, like oil, will rub off on clothing so clients need to be encouraged to bring older clothing to change into after the massage.
Lotions are thicker making it more viscous than gels making them tackier; they are generally white in color, made up of various elements and can be dispensed through a pump applicator or squeeze bottle. For a good lotion look for natural ingredients including vegetable extracts herbs such as chamomile, lavender, sage and witch hazel, paraben, Vitamin E and seed oils.
Advantages: Of all the lubricates, lotions are absorbed the fastest allowing the client to relax under the of the effleurage application followed by deep penetrating tissue work. There is little to no residue on the body at the conclusion of the work so cloths are not soiled.
Disadvantages: Because of its quick absorption into the body it is not a good product to use for full body, slow massage as it will pull and drag the skin. Lotion is not as expensive as other lubricants but more is needed for a massage.
Find a willing volunteer this week and explore the use of one lotion and one other lubricant preferably a gel that you do not normally use. Ivie Massage Supplies, 5837 S. Garnett (918) 254-2999, has a number of free samples they will be happy for you to take home with you to use, or you may already have them at home.In your comment describe what two products you used; what your experience was using them and your conclusion/opinion.


11 2011