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.

24 thoughts on “A Study in Lubricants Part 2”

  1. I have used most of what is talked about in this blog and I would have to say that the one I like to use would be the oils for it does glide better, to use on myself I like the oils or cream it is according to if my muscles need deeper work or more aggressive. But for my clients the preferences will be up to them and what work will be needed.

  2. Massage Butter
    Calming mix
    6 tbsp Shea Butter
    1 tbsp grape seed oil
    1 tbsp essential oil lavender or chamomile
    Caution**** if allergic to ragweed or other plants in Daisy family should not use chamomile***

    2/3 cup rosewater, orange water or distilled water
    1/3 cup aloe vera gel
    3/4 cup apricot or almond oil
    1/3 cup cocoa butter
    1 tsp anhydrous lanolin
    2 tbsp liquid lecithin
    1/2 oz grated beeswax
    essential oils 6-10 drops eucalyptus & spearmint

    Both these were not that much trouble to make, also you have the ability to use all or omit some ingredients, like on the last one omit the ingredient to keep it animal free. Really cool thing, it was more cost effective than going out and buying a pre mixed butter or cream.

  3. I would use cocoa butter, shea butter, jojoba oil, and vitamin E for the massage cream. For the butter, I would use beeswax, cocoa butter, and coconut oil. My choice of essential oils is orange and vanilla.

  4. Melt 3/4 cup of apricot oil and 1/2 oz of grated beeswax together in a microwaveable bowl and melt for two minutes. Remove and let cool. Then add 1/3 cup of aloe vera with 2/3 cup of orange water or distilled to a blender. Continue by adding the oil/beeswax mixture to the blender and blend at high speed for about a minute or until fully blended. The mixture should have a thick consistency. Add 6-10 drops of lemon essential oil and blend once more to incorporate the two. Store in an air-tight container. I think this is a nice and easy recipe that anyone can do and the citrus blend and apricot will be an uplifting fragrance.

  5. Body Butter

    1/4 cup of distilled water
    1/8 tsp of borax powder
    1/2 cup mineral oil (can replace with castor oil
    1 tsp of coconut oil
    3 Tbsp grated beeswax
    12 drops of inspiration essential oil
    (makes 8 oz)

    Massage Cream
    4oz Beeswax
    1.5oz Sweet Almond Oil
    0.5oz Emu Oil
    11.3oz Distilled Water
    12 – 18 Drops of Inspiration Essential Oil

  6. Well for massage creams you will need sunflower oil, coconut oil, beeswax, essential oil, borax, and this one called for fresh mint. For massage butter you will need shea butter, grapeseed oil, and essential oil. Both are pretty easy to make and you can make some for your clients with what smells they like.

  7. I really like using creams during my massage more than anything else. Creams are very hydrating and a little bit goes a long way. I think creams stay on the skin better and they never give you that tacky feeling. The following website has a recipe for a massage cream and it seems very easy to do! The website is:

    and here is a website for an easy massage butter recipe:

  8. Honey & Calendula Hand Cream Recipe

    3 Tbsp Beeswax
    1/2 Cup Sesame Oil
    1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
    1 Tbsp Honey
    2 Tbsp Calendula Oil
    3 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
    1/2 tsp Baking Soda

    Mix all the ingredients together and heat in microwave at medium until melted or heat in double boiler. Allow to cool slightly then pour into containers.

    Honey Kissed Body Butter Massage Cream

    * 3/4 cup (4.5oz) Cocoa Butter
    * 3/4 cup (4.5oz) Shea Butter
    * 2 tablespoons Apricot Kernel or Jojoba oil
    * 1/4 teaspoon Vitamin E (or 1 capsule)
    * 1 tablespoon Honey powder (optional for edible body butter)


    1. Put about an inch (2.5cm) of water in the bottom of a medium-sized pot and heat to a low simmer.

    2. Place the Cocoa and Shea butter in a large heat-proof glass measuring cup (such as Pyrex.) Place the measuring cup in the water and warm slowly over a low heat until the butters are melted.

    3. Cook at a low heat for about 20 minutes (helps reduce the “grainy” feeling of the cocoa butter.) Do not allow to boil (or even simmer!)

    4. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Using a metal spoon, stir to combine. (A wooden spoon absorbs the scent of essential oils.)

    5. Using an electric hand mixer, whip the butter continually for several minutes (just like you would frosting.) As you keep mixing, it will start to look like whipped cream. The more you whip it, the lighter it will become (surprise!)

    * Option 1: Cold Water Bath. Set the measuring cup into a large bowl filled with ice water to help cool the butter faster. Whip the butter continually until peaks form on top. Do this on and off every 5 minutes or so until you reach the desired consistency.

    * Option 2: All Day Method. Let the mixture sit for several hours to cool and set. As it’s setting, whip every couple of hours during the course of the day until the mixture has set to the correct texture.

    6. Spoon into dark glass or PET plastic jars. To reduce air bubbles, tap the jar sharply on the counter occasionally as you’re filling it. Makes about 8 ounces (250ml) of body butter massage cream.

  9. Massage Butter Recipes
    Olive Massage Butter

    6 oz Olive Butter
    2 oz Shea Olein (Liquid Shea Butter)
    2.5 ml (1/5 tsp) Lavender Sage Fragrance Oil

    Massage Cream Recipes
    Leg Massage Cream

    3 tablespoons anhydrous (water-free) lanolin
    1 1/2 ounces olive oil
    2 tablespoons apricot oil

  10. Butter
    6 tbsp. of shea butter
    1 tbsp. of grapeseed oil
    1 tbsp. of lavender or chamomile essential oil

    Cream2/3 cup rosewater, orange water or distilled water
    1/3 cup aloe vera gel
    3/4 cup apricot or almond oil
    1/3 cup cocoa butter
    1 tsp anhydrous lanolin
    2 tbsp liquid lecithin
    1/2 oz grated beeswax

    I love using lavender because of its calming nature and it is liked by most. I know it is pretty common and boring, but for a general scent I think it is pretty safe.

  11. Naturally Native Massage Lotion

    1/4 cup of Naturally Native Massage Oil
    1/2 teaspoon liquid lecithin
    1/2 cup aloe vera juice or gel
    essential oils of sassafras, spruce, cedar and wintergreen

    large funnel
    1 8-ounce jar with air-tight lid
    1 4-ounce jar with air-tight lid
    measuring cup
    measuring spoons
    Step 1 – Make the Oil/Lecithin Blend
    Mix 1/4 cup of Naturally Native Massage Oil in a 4-ounce jar and blend in 1/2 teaspoon liquid lecithin. Shake well to emulsify. Label the jar “Naturally Native Oil/Lecithin Blend.”

    Step 2 – Mix the Lotion
    In an 8-ounce jar mix three teaspoons Naturally Native Oil/Lecithin Blend, one tablespoon glycerin, 1/2 cup aloe vera juice or gel, and one drop each of wintergreen, sassafras, spruce and cedar essential oils. Shake until emulsified. It should have a creamy consistency that does not separate into globules of oil and liquid lecithin.

  12. Creams:
    2 cups canola oil
    1/4 cup dried comfrey leaves
    1/4 cup dried arnica flowers
    2 teaspoons liquid lecithin
    4 ounces aloe vera gel
    a few drops of your choice of essential oils


    • 1/4 cup grated cocoa butter
    • 1 tablespoon grated dark chocolate
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon grated beeswax

  13. A recipe for massage cream that I found includes: 3/4 cup Cocoa Butter, 3/4 cup Shea Butter, 2 tablespoons Apricot Kernel or Jojoba oil, 1/4 teaspoon Vitamin E (or 1 capsule).
    A recipe for massage butter that I found includes: 1/4 cup of distilled water, 1/8 tsp of borax powder, 1/2 cup mineral oil (can replace with Castor oil, 1 tsp of coconut oil), 3 Tbsp grated beeswax.
    My favorite essential oils are lavender and coconut absolute. Depending on the massage type, I would add one of these two oils to the mixture.

  14. i have tried creams, butters and oils, and in the end i like oil better than all the rest. it just, feels better to me, applying it, and having it applied. butter, makes me feel sticky in both situations, and the creams, just feel like they don’t go a long way. the oil i like the most, is actually olive oil. i have massaged clients at home, and used both regular oils once, then olive oils again when they came back. and they said that they felt like the olive oil helped them more… im not sure if theres a reason why, but thats what i was told. but i like it because its thicker, and it goes along better. also, is better for the body.

  15. Massage Cream
    4oz Beeswax
    1.5oz Sweet Almond Oil
    0.5oz Emu Oil
    11.3oz Distilled Water
    12 – 18 Drops Essential Oil
    Melt wax in double boiler on low heat, stirring constantly. Use a whisk and slowly stir in the sweet almond oil and then the water a few drops at a time. Thoroughly blend and remove from heat. Add essential oil, stir and store in airtight containers.
    Peppermint, rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus and just a drop of black pepper essential oils blended makes a wonderful massage.

  16. my massage cream: 1 -2 Tbs. bee’s wax
    3/4 c light vegetable oil
    1/8 tsp. Vitiam E oil
    1/8 tsp. baking soda
    1/8 tsp.lemon eucalyptus
    1/4 distilled water
    plastic containers with lids

    My Oil:Jajoba oil
    Lavender and peppermint essential oil

  17. Body Butter:
    1 and 1/3 Cups of Shea Butter

    1/2 Cup of Olive Oil

    1 tsp. Of Vitamin E Oil

    1/2 ounce of fragrance oi

    Massage Cream:
    1/2 cup melted cocoa butter
    1 and 1/2 teaspoon vitamin e oil
    1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
    18-20 drops of essential oil or fragrance oil

  18. Olive Butter Body Lotion Recipe (yields about 8 oz)

    2 tablespoons beeswax
    4 oz. Olive Butter
    4 tablespoons sweet almond oil
    2 tablespoons Camellia Seed Oil
    1 tablespoon fractionated coconut oil ( help carry other oils deep into the skin and prevent them from sitting on the skin. Using fractionated coconut oil will reduce the greasy feeling of most oils and butters.)

    Melt the beeswax in a double boiler until liquefied. Add in Olive butter and blend. Gradually blend in oils. Pour into glass jar. Lotion will thicken as it cools.

  19. I would use For cream shea butter, jojoba oil,aloe vera gel, vitamin E Choice of Essential Oil. For Butter beeswax,jojoba oil,Sweet Almond Oil And choice of essential oils. I would go off what the client likes for the essential oils

  20. * 1 cup dried chamomile flowers
    * 1 cup dried lavender flowers
    * 2 cups oil
    * 1 ounce beeswax, shredded or pellets
    * 5 to 15 drops essential oils
    * 5 drops vitamin E oil
    I really like the creams a lot better than the oil. It keeps my skin from not having break outs. The cream seems to glide and go a lot longer than the oil for me, also I like that it leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturized instead of all greasy.

  21. Lotion:
    * 1 cup dried chamomile flowers
    * 1 cup dried lavender flowers
    * 2 cups oil
    * 1 ounce beeswax, shredded or pellets
    * 5 to 15 drops essential oils (citrus)
    * 5 drops vitamin E oil
    Mint Chocolate Chip Butter:
    * 2 T almond oil (or other lightly scented oil)
    * 2 T coconut oil
    * 3 T Cocoa Butter, grated
    * 1 T 70{dd4fd4792e0eb33cfcd896730531ad5ee27f408bd2ce28da7f8125f8188131a8} Cocoa or higher dark chocolate or cocoa powder
    * 1 tsp honey
    * 5-8 drops peppermint essential oil

  22. I bought myself some cream for massage, and I gotta say that I am loving it already. My client even said ” WOW ” my skin is smooth! Creams over oils !

  23. First start with making a blend of essential oils.
    2 parts lemon
    2 parts tangerine
    1 part rosemary
    This is a very energizing and refreshing blend.
    For the cream:
    4 oz. Beeswax melted over low heat
    2 oz. Regular olive oil (not extra virgin)
    12 oz. Distilled water a few drops at a time
    Remove from heat and add 12-18 drops of the essential oil blend to your preference.