Massage Lotions vs. Massage Oil – Which One to Choose?


The term massage therapy is a broad term that encompasses various aspects of the practice. There are many opportunities and styles that massage therapists can choose to pursue.

As a licensed and trained massage therapist, you will gravitate towards certain techniques and styles that fit your personality and healing philosophy well.

A solid understanding of the multiple techniques used in the field is also a must to make a positive impact.

Many massage styles can be used, including Swedish, Hot Stone, Reflexology, Deep Tissue, and Shiatsu. Each has its distinct benefits, and it is important to understand how these techniques can be utilized for both yourself and your client.

Which is Better– Lotion or Oil?

When you visit a massage school, you will often be asked if you prefer oil or lotion. This is a common question that the staff members of massage therapy ask. This is why we decided to take a look at the pros and cons of both.

Regardless of the type of oil and lotion you use, both can offer benefits to your skin if your therapist recommends products that are free of harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, many of the over-the-counter brands that consumers trust have harmful chemicals that can cause health problems.

Therapists are typically very strict when using skin products, especially when it comes to avoiding synthetic chemicals. Some stores have a variety of eco-friendly massage products. If your LMT is using products that are not toxic, let us discuss their disadvantages and advantages.

Advantages of Using Lotion for Massage Therapy

  • The benefits of using lotion can help restore and treat damaged skin. It can also prevent premature aging and improve the appearance of the skin.
  • Some lotions contain compounds and vitamins known to have positive effects, such as shea butter, keratin, and vitamin D.
  • The main benefits of using a lotion are its nourishing and toning skin. It leaves it feeling soft and hydrated.

Disadvantages of Using Lotion for Massage Therapy

Disadvantages of Using Lotion for Massage Therapy
  • When applied to the skin, lotion can feel cold. Some therapists use lotion warmers in order to prevent this.
  • Most lotions contain synthetic chemicals, which can be harmful to one’s health. They can also be hard to remove from a bag.

Advantages of Using Oils for Massage Therapy

  • Most natural oils are non-comedogenic, so they won’t clog pores and prevent breakouts.
  • It is easy to get warm before using oil on your skin, as it will instantly warm up.
  • This product is designed to protect the skin’s lipid barrier and keep it hydrated. Many massage therapists claim that it makes their skin feel smoother.

Disadvantages of Using Oils for Massage Therapy

  • Some people feel that oil is too oily during a session. To accommodate this client, you can provide them with a warm towel to remove the excess oil.
  • It is important to keep oil off the floor as it can be slippery.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) claims that a good moisturizer is the best option for people who suffer from seasonal dry skin.

If you are going through perimenopause or are approaching the age of 50, you should avoid using both body lotion and body oil. Instead, use a cream-based moisturizer to treat dry skin.

Kinds of Massage Therapy that Uses Lotions and Oil

Swedish massage is a gentle yet effective way to relax the body, and it is ideal for people who are new to the practice. It can be used for people who are sensitive to being touched and those who have a good bit of tension.

This treatment involves using various strokes and deep swirling motions toward the heart. It can last for 60 to 90 minutes. Besides being used to relax the body, this also involves passive joint movement and vibration.

●     Hotstone Massage

Similar to Swedish massage, which involves using a combination of hands-on techniques and hot stones, a hot stone massage is a relaxing and effective way to relieve tension. It can also help improve circulation and relieve muscle soreness.

Hot stones are placed on the client’s body, and the therapist then uses gentle pressure on various parts of the body. This massage lasts about 10 to 15 minutes, similar to Swedish. It can cost more.

●     Aroma Therapy Massage

Essential oils are used in aromatherapy massage to help promote well-being and relaxation. They can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Different oils can evoke different reactions and moods.

While some types of massage utilize the gentle pressure of hot stone or Swedish techniques, they are often limited to the head, neck, and back. Incorporating essential oils can enhance the experience.

●     Deep Tissue Massage

Compared to other types of massage, deep tissue requires more pressure. It can be beneficial for people suffering from soreness or chronic muscle pain, relieving anxiety. In this style, you will use shorter, slower strokes to release tension within the tissues of your client.

●     Reflexology Massage

For people who prefer not to be touched, a type of massage known as Reflexology can be beneficial. This type of therapy focuses on the points in the hands, feet, and ears, and it can last for up to 60 minutes. The client can remain in loose-fitting clothes, and you will use varying pressure to achieve the desired effect.

●     Shiatsu Massage

This massage uses rhythmic and pulse movements to relieve stress and tension. It can also help decrease the pressure and pain caused by various headaches.

Aside from the usual massage techniques, you can also use various products such as massage oils, massage creams, and massage gel. Before you start using these products, it is important to understand the difference between them and their effects.

Difference Between Massage Oil and Massage Lotion

Choosing the right massage lubricant can be daunting, especially if you do not understand the various techniques involved. Learning about the different types of massage oils and their applications in certain disciplines can help your business flourish.

Massage Oil

Massage oil tends to glide longer than a cream or lotion, which can dissolve more quickly. It also has a slower dissolution rate, making it ideal for certain types of massage. Using even the best oil for one’s skin can be as effortless as choosing their own preference.

Massage Lotion

One of the most important factors you should consider when choosing a massage lotion is its absorbency. It will allow you to penetrate deep into the skin to release tension and maintain the best grip. This product will also help you apply the most pressure on the client.

On the other hand, a massage cream works between the two. It absorbs quickly and provides less glide compared to oil. It is ideal for those who suffer from muscle soreness and inflammation.

A good massage gel can be seed oil-based, which provides more coverage and prevents the need for reapplication. This is beneficial for longer sports, physical therapy, and Swedish massage sessions. The feel will remain light, and the glide will remain long.


It is generally recommended to avoid using scented products during a massage, as some clients are sensitive to certain smells. Before using essential oils or other products, you should also inform them of your plan.

Having the proper moisturizer is very important for your skin health and overall well-being. It can help prevent harmful environmental effects and keep your skin fresh and clean. It can also help keep conditions such as psoriasis and eczema at bay.

Using an occlusive product might be counterproductive if you try to keep your skin fresh and hydrated. It can create a barrier that prevents moisture from coming out.

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