Massage therapy and lotion go hand in hand during a session—but does massage improve moisturizer’s efficacy? Investigators decided to find out.

The aim of this study was to objectively evaluate the effect of local effleurage massage as an external intervention on moisturizer efficacy, according to an abstract published on

“In a regression-type study of two-week, twice-daily application followed by one week of regression, 13 female subjects applied off-the-shelf moisturizer twice daily on both forearms followed by one minute of superficial massage for one forearm randomized among subjects,” the abstract noted. “The influence of massage after moisturizer application on skin barrier properties was evaluated by noninvasive measurements of transepidermal water loss, skin capacitance, and skin elasticity at baseline, day 7, and day 14 during the treatment phase, and day 21 following a one-week regression period, in which no moisturizer and no massage were performed on forearms.”

The investigators determined the daily performance of massage after moisturizer application was not an effective external intervention for enhancing moisturizer efficacy, stated the abstract.

This research was conducted by investigators at the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan College of Applied Medical Sciences, Al-Majmaah University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It was published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, published by Wiley.