by Nathan Nordstrom
Have you ever gone to work at a different office and found out they do not use your favorite massage cream? With all the massage cream companies out there, it was sure to happen to me. I wanted to know what the differences are between as many creams as I could get my hands on. Here is my attempt.
I will be playing the role of the pseudo-researcher in this article. I have no scientific backing other than my experience. I hope to give you an idea so you can make the best choice of products for you. I do not sell any of these products and have no vested interest in what you use, so, with that being said: I hope you like what you are using or might be trying as a result of reading on.
I work in both a spa and a clinical massage therapy office. In my research, I used all four products for a day in each setting. I wanted to figure out what gave me the best results for many different techniques I may use in different settings. I also asked all my co-workers and my family for their insights.
Product number 1: Biotone Dual-Purpose Massage Crème
Biotone cream has a light arnica & ivy extracts scent. I have a refillable tube that I really like. It has a flip top that I leave open during each massage. It is easy to sanitize between clients. It is also a quite thick cream and did not leak even with the lid open. It goes for $1.23 per ounce for the 14 fl oz jar. It claims to wash out of sheets and have no residue on skin. I found it has a fast absorption speed and leaves a slight oily feel. I really like this product for myofascial work.
Product number 2: Lotus Touch Multi-Purpose Massage Cream
This Lotus Touch cream has a very similar fresh fragrance of arnica and ivy like Biotone’s. I think it is a bit more fragrant, but I also like the smell. The price for a 16 fl oz jar is $0.95 per ounce. It claims to have no nut oils, be water dispersible, and leave no stains. I found it has a slow absorption speed and leaves a slightly oily feel. I really enjoyed using this product in the spa. I found I did not need to use very much because it continued to keep a slight glide. In the clinic, one client stated, “I felt a bit oily at the end of the massage; not bad, but a bit oily.”
Product number 3: Bon Vital Massage Crème Multi-Purpose with Jojoba
Bon Vital was the creamiest of the products I tried. It came out more like sour cream than the others. It was almost like a softer butter. This texture was unnoticeable to the clients but noticeable to me as a therapist trying to spread the product. This is the only one of the four that I would call truly “fragrance-free.” This product comes in a jar; however, it also has a pump on the lid. You can also get a holster for these jars if you want to commit to this product. As for price, it was $1.27 per ounce for the 14 fl oz jar. Not bad if you are looking at also getting the pump. They claim to have “no nut oils” and be paraben-free (I have no clue what these are; however, I do not think they are good).
I find it to have a moderate absorption speed and leaves little to NO oily feel. This was an issue at the spa. I found I needed to use more cream because there was no residual oil left. I felt like this would work best at a sports event or even a community event because people would not feel greasy after its use.
Product number 4: TheraPro Multi-Purpose Massage Cream infused with Jojoba & Avocado Oils
TheraPro was also very light to fragrance-free. It stood out in several ways in comparison to the other creams. First thing is that they tell you it has nuts in it, so if you have clients with nut allergies, this is not the product for them. On their label, they claim “Quality ingredients like jojoba and avocado oil separate this cream from all others…” I also liked that the 14 fl. Oz. Jar was a steal at $0.72 per ounce. I noticed it stood in the middle of the pack for absorption speed, leaving an oily feel. The texture of this product was a little bit of an issue because of its thickness – it came out in chunks. I usually like to grab and go with my lubricants; I needed to disperse the cream between both hands before it was spread enough to apply to the client.
Overall each cream had its own strengths. I would use each one in a different way. I hope to keep all four around so I can choose the right product for the right client. I think that is one of the benefits of being a professional: if your clients don’t know, they should be able to ask you for your expertise. If you have a multi-purpose massage cream you like, please leave its name and why you like it in the comments below. I hope to hear from you about your favorite products.