A Study in Lubricants Part 3

By Laura Gordon

As promised in my last blog, we are going to take a closer look at oil.

Speaking of oils, mineral oils or any petroleum based products are not included in massage oils because they are carcinogenic so be sure to stay away from them!

Oils are the most commonly used lubricants, and there is almost no end to what is available. The following is a brief description of the 5 most common:


Rich in essential fatty acids proteins, minerals potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium, its high in vitamin content containing Vitamins A, B & D.


  1. Emollient, unrefined and viscous
  2. Stores well
  3. Beneficial to mature and dry skin
  4. Has anti-inflammation properties



  1. Has a strong smell
  2. Can become sticky



A smooth, free flowing, non greasy, fine textured oil high in linoleic acid (E.F.A.) and contains some vitamin E.


  1. It is easily absorbed by the body
  2. Suitable for all skin types
  3. Easy coverage
  4. Inexpensive



  1. It is hot extracted therefore its beneficial properties are lost
  2. Many people are allergic to it


Really a liquid wax high in Vitamin E, minerals and protein resembling skin therefore Jojoba oil is ideal for all skin types. It’s stable and not reactive to air. It can be heated without losing nutrients.


  1. Nourishing-beneficial to all skin types
  2. Highly penetrative with anti-inflammatory properties-excellent for acne, psoriasis, eczema and arthritis
  3. Helps control the release of sebum, useful for seborrhoeic skin conditions.
  4. Stable-does not evaporate or react with air



  1. Very expensive-use small amounts, mixed with another carrier oil



Cold pressed from peach kernels, this oil is similar to apricot oil and sweet almonds oil. It is finely textured and rich in vitamins a, B1, B2 & B6. It is especially ideal for facial blends.


  1. Keeps well
  2. Protects, nourishes and moisturizes the skin
  3. Useful for dry skins and eczema
  4. Helps relieve itching, can be useful for psoriasis
  5. Good for sensitive skin



  1. Expensive



Rich in unsaturated fatty acids and contains high quantities of Vitamins A, B1, B2. B6, D and E. It is excellent for the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, and, interestingly, sunburn due to its anti-inflammatory properties.


  1. Stores well because of the natural Vit. E
  2. Nourishes and protects the skin
  3. Due to cold pressing production of the oil it is relatively pure



  1. It is contraindicated for clients with diabetes and those suffering from nut allergies
  2. Becomes too sticky for full body massage
  3. It’s expensive

Remember on some of those thicker oils you can add a lighter oil base and received the benefits of both.

Take a moment and consider the features of each of these oils, and in your comment tell us what two oils and or combinations of oils you would use in your massage work and why. Bonus: Is there an oil not discussed in this article that you know and maybe use? Tell us what it is; its advantages and disadvantages, and why you like using it.

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