The trends in top skin care can be tough to keep up with as an individual, let alone as a massage therapist who must consider the skin concerns of his or her clients. A successful bodyworker always tries to provide clients with the best all-around session—from soft bedding and a comfortable massage table to healing touch and high-quality massage cream.

The latter can be one of the more confusing choices massage therapists must make, simply because of the huge number of massage creams on the market. Much like skin care in general, it seems there is always a “breakthrough” to contend with and, perhaps, buy into.

These advances can be wonderful for both clients and bodyworker, but it is important to figure out whether the new key ingredient being so heavily touted is part of a “flash in the pan” trend or if it truly boasts the benefits so many people seek.

One category of compounds that has hit the skin-care scene in a big way, and made forays into top-of-the-line massage creams as well, are bioflavonoids. These fall under the umbrella of antioxidants—another phrase that has made big wellness waves in the recent past.

As for bioflavonoids, these compounds are abundant in the pulp and rinds of citrus fruits and other foods that contain vitamin C. One of the more common and apparently potent forms of bioflavanoids are those pulled from lemons. Check the label of various massage creams next time you shop around, and you may be able to find lemon bioflavonoids on the ingredient list.

The general phrase bioflavonoid encompasses several categories of compounds, including flavones, isoflavonoids, flavanones and flavanols. In their natural state, these all are found in close association with vitamin C. In fact, bioflavonoids have been found to enhance the effects of vitamin C by preventing its breakdown.

Vitamin C, touted for its skin-boosting benefits, is essential for collagen synthesis and also packs quite the punch when it comes to fighting off free radicals—the elements that age skin. Bioflavonoids seem to possess several of the same advantages.

Lemons, specifically, contain a bioflavonoid known as hesperidin, as well as proanthocyandins. These nutrients have been shown to strengthen capillaries, help maintain elastin and stabilize collagen. Such results earn lemons and other citrus fruits a spot in several high-quality massage creams.

Similar to the broader umbrella of antioxidants, it appears bioflavonoids have earned a solid spot on the wellness scene. That means you may find yourself being encouraged to not only eat fresh fruits and vegetables that contain such compounds, but also to consume them via supplement, if necessary, and apply them topically through cosmetic products.

Of course, all of this translates to the bodywork world, which centers on wellness. As you strive to provide the best overall massage for each of your clients, you may consider purchasing a massage cream that contains bioflavonoids. Staying abreast of the latest research on skin-care ingredients can help you bring an array of benefits to the tired body on your table.

—Brandi Schlossberg

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