It seems plausible that very few massage therapy or bodywork clients would prefer to leave a session with dry skin. In fact, having skin that is well moisturized is a driving force behind the huge industry of body lotions and bath products. If a client could climb off your table not only feeling utterly relaxed and ache-free but also with skin that has been luxuriously moisturized, it would likely be a memorable session for him or her.

Fortunately, Mother Nature provides us with plenty of ingredients for rich, moisturizing massage creams. There is no need to go synthetic when seeking out a massage cream that will pack a heavy moisturizing punch.

Of course, it’s true there are certain clients who may be opposed to the use of a moisturizing massage cream, perhaps due to skin sensitivity or other personal concerns. It’s always wise to take the time to get to know each client, typically having him or her fill out an intake form that will convey such important preferences.

Prior to a massage therapy or bodywork appointment with any new client, a practitioner should thoroughly review the intake form. It’s also a good idea to let your new client know exactly what you are planning to do during the session, including the type of massage cream you’re going to use and the ingredients it contains. During this discussion, the client should have a chance to say what he or she is hoping to receive from the bodywork session, and whether any of the ingredients in the massage cream might be bothersome.

After screening for those rare clients who may not want to leave a massage therapy or bodywork session with well-moisturized skin, the practitioner can go ahead and allow Mother Nature’s treasures to do their work as the massage cream is applied to the client’s skin.

Three prime examples of nature-based moisture powerhouses are avocado, sunflower and carrot oils, all of which are ingredients commonly found in high-quality, moisturizing massage creams.

Several traits make these oils so perfectly suited to moisturize our skin. Avocado extracts, for instance, have a high fat content and are full of vitamins A and C to protect, smooth and soften the skin. Sunflower oil brings something else to the table, as it has been reported to help provide a protective layer to the skin, making it more difficult for cold winds and dry air to damage the dermis. Carrot oil, which is rich in beta carotene, has been touted for its ability to help new tissue grow to replace dry, chapped skin.

As a professional touch therapist, take the time to find out exactly what’s inside your favorite massage creams. There’s a good chance your clients, old and new, will enjoy being informed of how each element of massage—including the massage cream you choose to use—can boost their health. When these beneficial ingredients you’re listing all come straight from Mother Nature, the session can be that much more comforting.

—Brandi Schlossberg