The advantages and disadvantages of various massage oils.
Grapeseed oil is the most widely used oil for body massage. It is finely textured, smooth and free-flowing. It is high in linoleic acid (E.F.A.) and contains some vitamin E. This will nourish the skin and allow it to store for longer, vitamin E. being an antioxidant prevents rancidity.
- Smooth hence good for full body massage.
- Provides good slip and is easily absorbed.
- Suitable for all skin types and areas
- Cheap and readily available.
* Usually produced by hot extraction, has lost a lot of its beneficial properties.
Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil is a pale yellow, thick liquid that mixes well with most other carrier oils and essential oils. It is rich in nutrients, such as unsaturated fatty acids (EFA), and also contains a high percentage of vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B6, D and E. It is excellent in treating psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis due to its vitamin E. content. It also has some anti-inflammatory properties, which allows it to be beneficial to conditions such as sunburn.
- Stores well due to vitamin E. content
- Cold pressed therefore relatively pure.
- Has protective and nourishing qualities to the skin
- Not suitable for full body massage on its own, becomes too sticky.
- Contra-indicated in diabetics, and those suffering from nut allergies.
Unrefined wheatgerm oil has a strong odour, which many people find unpleasant. It contains high levels of vitamin E., which is a natural antioxidant. Although expensive wheatgerm oil is the richest food source we have of vitamin E.
- Moisturizers dry/mature skin.
- Good for reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Relieved symptoms of dermatitis.
- When added to an aromatherapy blend will help prevent oxidation.
* Too thick and sticky for use on its own.
* May cause allergies, as it is a protein.
* Contraindicated with Celiac sufferers.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose oil is an expensive oil, but has excellent moisturising benefits. It contains linoleic acid, and gamma linoleic acid (GLA). Also contains some vitamins and minerals.
- Useful for dry skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dandruff.
- Useful for PMT, period pains, arthritis and rheumatism.
* Too expensive for use on full body.
Avocado oil is a highly penetrative oil, rich in essential fatty acids, and also has a high vitamin content. It contains vitamin A. vitamin B. and vitamin D.. It also contains proteins and fats, and the minerals potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. It can be mixed in a small ratio (10%) with other carrier oils, and is commonly used in beauty care.
- Stores well.
- Viscous-but still penetrates the skin deeper than most carrier oils.
- Has healing properties-helps reduce inflammation (beneficial to psoriasis/eczema).
* Can become too sticky during massage-blend with another carrier oil.
* Has a strong smell.
Jojoba is actually a liquid wax, not on oil. It is a nutritious oil containing vitamin E., minerals and proteins. It is beneficial to many conditions as its structure is similar to sebum, therefore it can be used on oily or dry skin. Unlike many oils, it can be heated to high temperatures and still retain its nutrients.
- Nourishing-beneficial to all skin types.
- Highly penetrative with anti-inflammatory properties-excellent for acne, psoriasis, eczema and arthritis.
- Helps control the release of sebum, useful for seborrhoeic skin conditions.
- Stable-does not evaporate or react with air.
* Very expensive-use small amounts, mixed with another carrier oil.
This is an infused oil produced by maceration for its medicinal properties. It contains anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and healing properties. It is generally used for medicinal purposes on specific areas.
* Very suitable for skin problems-chapped skin, eczema, bruising and sunburn.
- Very expensive.
- Not as pure as cold pressed oil due to maceration process.
This is a stable, fine textured cold pressed oil, and is available either refined or unrefined. In either case solvents are not used and the oil retains its natural properties.
- Contains palmitoleic acid (found in sebum), good for oily and dry skin conditions.
- Help prevent aging, good for driving wrinkled skin.
- Good keeping properties, lasts a long time before becoming rancid.
- Very expensive.
- Has slight aroma, nutty smell.
- Contra-indicated on clients with nut allergies.
This is cold pressed from the kernels of the fruit. It is similar in appearance and chemically to apricot oil and sweet almond oil. It is finely textured and rich in vitamins a, B1, B2 & B6. It is especially ideal for facial blends, since it is kind to the skin and easily absorbed.
- Keeps well.
- Protects, nourishes and moisturizes the skin.
- Useful for dry skins and eczema.
- Helps relieve itching, so can be useful for psoriasis.
- Good for sensitive skin.
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