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She makes her own massage cream?!

She makes her own massage cream?!

Oct 14, 2023

Massage creams and oils are meant to enhance and assist with various techniques. The choice of lubricant for any given massage session can, to a degree, make or break a massage experience for a client. When I began practicing massage in school and also at the first spa I worked at I just used whatever creams and oils they provided for use in my sessions with clients. As my skills and techniques developed over time I began to develop preferences for what worked the best in any given session. I discovered the use of raw shea butter alone from a colleague to get better traction and less of a slippery glide for deeper tissue sessions. This opened up a whole new world of ideas for thinking outside of the traditional commercial massage cream box.

As I began to learn new massage techniques in my career as a massage therapist I also began learning about the various ingredients used in products. You might wonder at first how these things might be interconnected and relate to my career as a massage therapist but walk with me through this. As a massage therapist I have a deeply rooted interest in your total wellness and how your body is responding to different stressors around you. One of the goals I have for every client is to help them feel better than they thought they could. So by helping clients along their wellness journey in identifying and reducing the physical and environmental stressors in their lives I can do just that. Now it may be starting to come together for you…. Or maybe not, so I’ll spell it out directly for you.

Massage cream can be an environmental stressor, yes you heard me right. I say this because there are many ingredients in mass produced/ commercially branded massage creams that can increase the toxic burden on our bodies. From the “fragrance” ingredients to the preservatives I found in so many massage creams, many of them are known to be harmful at varying levels. I was very frustrated by this. How can we have products that are used in a wellness related service and used directly on the skin have ingredients in them that are known to have carcinogenic properties, be endocrine system disrupting and the list goes on?! Needless to say I was appalled but nonetheless these harmful/potentially harmful ingredients are still allowed to be used in products that we put on our bodies.


So what did I do about it?

I started learning more about different ingredients. When you know better you can do better. Between the large surface area that I use massage cream on combined with our skin’s ability to absorb into different body systems what we put on our skin I knew I had to do better for my clients.

So I started diving deeper into what ingredients could potentially have negative effects on our health and increase the toxic burden on our bodies so that I knew what I wanted to avoid using and why. I followed this up with diving deeper into what ingredients are good for us and for our skin so that I could start making my own massage cream. While investigating various oils and butters out there I started to learn about the benefits of each as well as the varying absorption rates, just fascinating. During the process of narrowing down what ingredients I wanted to use and knowing that I absolutely could not continue using these other massage creams I’d previously been using, I stuck with using plain raw shea butter during sessions. 

Through several recipe variations over many months and getting the melt down temperature right on the stove top I finally came up with a mix that both my clients and I love. It’s effective for all of the heated modalities I use except for the Himalayan salt stones which I feel work better with an oil alone and therefore I just use straight up organic olive or jojoba oil. My massage cream has also been a great option for most of my clients that have sensitive skin and different allergies. On the rare occasion that someone does have an allergy to one of the ingredients in my cream the plain olive oil or jojoba oil has been a sure and steady back up. Many of my clients love it so much they started asking if I could make them some to take home to use. So by now I’m sure you are at the edge of your seat wondering what ingredients I use.

All of the ingredients I chose were chosen for their benefits, texture and/or absorption rate. The ratios are critical as well. Too much of the oils and it won’t re-solidify after I melt down the butters. In turn if I melt down the butters too quickly it changes the whole texture. It’s been quite a learning curve, but a fun journey. Below are the ingredients I use in order of quantity used in each recipe. Meaning, the first on the list is the largest percentage of each batch and the lowest would be the least. I think it’s also important to share with you the benefits of each ingredient so you can more fully understand why this blend makes such a great massage cream.

Raw shea Butter– Some benefits include *Very moisturizing for dry, cracked, tough or rough skin on feet, elbows etc. *Moisturizing on sunburns to minimize peeling and facilitate healing *Good for muscle aches, fatigue and tension and eczema *Shea butter is rich in vitamins A,D,E & F, antioxidants and essential fatty acids that make it a great moisturizer for the skin

Raw Cocoa Butter– Some benefits for skin include *Rich in fatty acids and phytochemicals *Heals rashes from eczema *Moisturizes and nourishes skin well *Gives my cream a smoother texture and an amazing smell!

Olive oil– Some benefits *provides deep hydration *reduces inflammation *helps soothe dry/irritated skin *helps lock in moisture *Rich in antioxidants and contains squalene and Vitamin E

Jojoba oil– Some benefits include *Mimics the skins natural moisturizer (sebum) *Won’t clog pores *Helps balance skins oil production *Absorbs quickly *Hydrating to nail beds, cuticles and the surrounding skin *non-allergenic

Arnica Oil– Some benefits include *Anti-inflammatory *Has been known help mitigate the symptoms of muscles spasms, aches, pains and pulls as well as being an effective natural remedy for arthritic related soreness *Skin soothing properties

Sometimes it’s the seemingly simplest things that might have the most thought put into them. I feel like my massage cream is one of those things. It’s the one thing I use on every single client so as simple as it is, I would dare to say it is my most important tool. Therefore I have intentionally chosen each ingredient I use to hopefully give you the best massage experience while keeping your health and wellness at top of mind.

Angel Baker

Angel Baker

Owner, Licensed Massage Therapist and Beautycounter Brand Advocate

Follow my blogs to get an inside look at different sides of my business. It is also a place I can dive a little deeper into sharing things that I love and have learned through my own personal experience.