A Study in Lubricants Part 2

By Laura Gordon

In my last blog we explored Gels and Lotions. I hope you learned something new that will help you in your work as a Massage Therapist.

In this blog we will be looking at Creams and Butters.

Creams are much thicker (semisolid or solid) in viscosity and texture than gels and lotions and have increased in favor to become the lubricant of choice by massage therapists since the early 1990’s.

Creams are oil based with plant extracts used in the blend. Beeswax is the most common ingredient added for thickening purposes.


Creams are both hydrating and moisturizing; there is little to no spillage issues with creams; they are better suited for deep tissue therapies; and are easier to wash out of clothing and linens.


Creams often are too thick for pumps therefore many are sold in jars making a secondary container necessary such as a small bowl for each client so that the chance of contamination is limited.


Butters are thicker and more solid than creams and have a fruit, seed or nut base. The most commonly used are cocoa (seed), jojoba (seed) and Shea (nut). Jojoba compliments and is most like the skin’s sebum (oil).



Butters, like creams, hydrate and moisturize the skin and are suited well for deep tissue work.

Butters do not spill and easily wash out of linens and clothing.


Because of the body temperature melting properties of butter, it can be easy to apply too much at first so it takes a little time to learn how much is needed for each client

Again, like creams, butter is too thick for pumps so often a secondary container is needed limiting the chance of contamination.

Your assignment: Go on line and find a recipe for both Massage Cream and Massage Butter. Under Comments list your choice of ingredients needed for each. Be sure to include your favorite essential oil(s) that you would add as your signature scent.

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