It’s safe to say most people know eating vegetables is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Far fewer folks, however, may be aware that vegetables can play a role in wellness beyond the salad bowl or serving plate.

As a massage therapist or bodyworker, chances are you strive to live a healthy life both inside and outside the session room. That means you most likely consume an adequate amount of vegetables, ranging from leafy greens and bright bell peppers to ripe, round tomatoes and crisp cabbage.

It may come as a surprise that your massage cream could also contain vegetable components. If you think about it, though, it makes sense that a natural item, such as a vegetable, so full of powerful nutrients, could bring benefits to a massage cream and, in turn, to a person’s skin when applied topically.

A few of the most common ingredients derived from vegetables and blended into massage cream are vegetable glycerin, carrot oil and avocado oil. Of course, we have to use the term vegetable rather loosely here, as many people consider avocado to be a fruit, In addition, vegetable glycerin is not pulled from a medley of vegetables, but instead is created from palm or coconut oils.

Vegetable glycerin is a popular ingredient in massage creams, as well as a vast array of other cosmetic products. It’s easy to see why this glycerin gained popularity, because it not only acts as a softening agent for the skin, but it also helps skin retain moisture. Experts report vegetable glycerin is hypoallergenic, ideal for all skin types and has antibacterial properties that help prevent and heal acne.

As for avocado oil, it’s not very difficult to imagine that the tasty avocado, which is so buttery to the taste buds, could offer up buttery benefits to the skin as well. In fact, avocado oil is one of the few vegetable oils that is not pressed from its seed or pit, but rather from that soft flesh that is so delectable in sandwiches and salads.

In massage cream, avocado oil is not valued for its taste, of course, but for its regenerative and moisturizing properties. Avocado oil is reported to be rich in lipids, as well as vitamins A, E and D. This vegetable oil also is easily absorbed into the skin.

When it comes to carrots, these orange bunny magnets have a lot to offer massage therapists and bodyworkers, The oil of carrots is created by pressing carrot seeds, and the end result is product packed with beta carotene, as well as vitamins B, C, D and E.

Carrot oil has long been regarded as highly beneficial for the skin, which is most likely why it makes an appearance in high-quality massage creams. It is reported to help improve the complexion, by toning the skin and increasing elasticity and firmness. Carrot oil also is said to help heal dry, chapped and cracked skin, and to balance moisture in skin.

—Brandi Schlossberg