Depending on the preferences of the therapist, clients, and style of massage, the oil, lotion, or creme that is used during massage therapy can vary a lot.
At Massage Sci, I use a non-scented hypoallergenic lotion with the option of a peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil cream. Here's why:
#1: KEEPIN IT SAFE
My standard lotion during massage therapy is called Bon Vital Original Massage Lotion.
It is hypoallergenic, paraben-free, and unscented. Also no nut oils. Lots of folks have a wide variety of allergies or skin sensitivities so I play it safe and keep it reeeal boring.
Others may simply prefer a product that's non-scented. No worries about scent sensitivities or preferences. Something nice and neutral can be surprisingly pleasant.
Upon request or consent, I may also elect to use a topical muscle reliever (like Salonpas or Sombra gel) or a peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil cream.
#2: TEXTURE PREFERENCE
Massage oils and gels can be great for certain types of massage - where relaxation-focused techniques involve long fluid movements across large portions of the surface of the skin.
But for the type of focused massage work that I do, where we're addressing specific areas of pain or tension, I just don't need as much glide as a massage oil or gel provides.
I prefer a lotion that provides a comfortable amount of glide to avoid skin irritation, but is also easily and quickly absorbed by the skin. This leaves clients with the additional benefit of some hydrated skin and no greasy after feeling.