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Taking Mystery out of Massage Products: How to Choose the Best Formula for the Practice

One of the most prevalent motivators among the massage, esthetics plus bodywork graduates I have met is the desire to work in a setting where they have the opportunity to heal others through touch. However the art of healing requires more than a pair of skilled fingers (or in the case of some modalities- feet). It actually begins right at the basics- the moment where you have to decide which item or products you would like to use during your service. The right items can help you turn a good spa service into a memorable encounter your clients will return for as often as they may.

The key lies in knowing where to start.

Choosing the Right Formulation

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Let’ s start with the basics: Should you choose a lotion, essential oil, cream or a gel formula?

First figure out what kind of service you will be performing, which will determine what level of “ glide” or “ slip” you need to perform your shots.

Oil formulas provides you with excellent glide, allowing you to cover large areas without having to reapply multiple times during the service. They can be highly moisturizing, but be careful that some clients may prefer formulas that really feel a bit lighter on the skin. Some oils can depart a light layer on your client’ s skin post therapy, so be aware of how much you use during the service. A little will go a long way. While searching, also look for water dispersible formulations, which can be easily washed out of your linens.

Searching for something a bit lighter in texture? Try a lotion , which has a lighter feel than oil plus absorbs quicker into the skin. These formulas are great for providers that require slightly deeper bodywork; however , the lighter consistency may result in a few more applications during your service.

Creams are very popular formulations because they are ultra rich and usually very nourishing, whilst giving you better glide than lighter lotion formulas. Be aware though that since these formulations are ultra wealthy, a little goes a long way here as well. This principle is applicable not only to massage creams for the body, but also for face massage creams as well. Facial massage creams are important as they are specifically formulated for the delicate skin on the face and dé colleté. Massage creams intended for use on the body will certainly sometimes congest the pores when the product is worked in to the client’ s facial skin, resulting in dreaded breakouts.

Gel formulas provide great slip without leaving behind a greasy feel on the client’ s i9000 skin. They are very versatile products that can be used in all types of treatments, even hot stone massages. They are also great formulations to have on hand for clients with a significant amount of hair. The gel will allow you to cover the surface area without pulling on the hair itself.

Massage balms are relatively new to the market, and they are great tools for treating areas like the feet (which is a wonderful add-on to any spa service) or even for much deeper tissue work to help your clients achieve deeper rest. Just be aware that many balm formulas are too thick to become squeezed out of tubes or pumped out of bottles. Spatulas and treatment bowls are necessities if you plan to use a product as the product will have to be “ scooped” out prior to every service.

Body Butters are ideal finishing products, especially after any sort of the peeling off service. Look for vitamin-packed formulas that will hydrate and nurture the skin. Butters are also great to sell in small store sizes at your guest checkout area. Suggest that clients buy a body butter to continue pampering their skin before their own next spa service. You can also gift body butters throughout special occasions or as a special incentive for repeat visitors.

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