Oil Massage

I am primarily perform “dry” bodywork sessions but I do still have a few “oil” options.  This pages discusses the different oil options available for the General Oil Massage and ‘Therapeutic Oil’ Massage sessions.  Each session has two oil options to help accommodate possible allergies.  The later session has the option of adding a supplemental/infusion oil to the base oil to help boost its therapeutic benefits.

“General Oil Massage” oil options:

 APRICOT KERNEL OIL

Apricot kernel oil is a lightweight oil with the ability to penetrate the skin while leaving little surface residue.  It has properties similar to sweet almond oil and is generally considered hypoallergenic for people who are allergic to nuts.  However, for those allergic to apricots, this oil should be avoided for topical use.

The apricot kernel oil has one of the most diverse list of benefits.  It is rich in essential fatty acids and is high in vitamins that are important for prematurely aged and irritated skin.  It, also, is anti-bacterial which makes it a valuable for reducing acne causing bacteria.  In Chinese medicine, the oil is believed to help move toxins, salt, and uric acid out of the body and help inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, backaches, and fluid retention.  In traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, the oil is used to help with dry skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis and dandruff.  In both cultures, the oil is used internally and externally for clearing conditions of the lungs, such as congestion and asthma, and is believed to fight cancer.

FRACTIONATED COCONUT OIL

This form of coconut oil has had the long-chain fatty acids removed to make it lightweight, odorless, and allow it to be liquid at room temperature.  The result is a product that is full of beneficial medium-chain fatty acids that readily absorbs into the skin leaving little residue with a much lower chance of clogging pores.

Fractionated Coconut Oil softens and hydrates dry skin while providing antibacterial benefit for treating acne.  Even though it lacks the lauric acid of whole coconut oil, it still is a good choice for hydrating skin and helps with the fading of skin spots, stretch marks, wound scars.  FCO is full of two important medium-chain fatty acids for the skin:

Caprylic acid: A potent antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory fatty acid helpful in treating many skin conditions.  It is used to treat yeast infections, digestive disorders, and high cholesterol when taken orally or topically (to the skin).  Dermatophilosis, acne, eczema, and psoriasis are skin conditions treated and soothed by Caprylic acid.

Capric acid: A strong antiviral and antimicrobial fatty acid.  Once absorbed into the body, Capric acid is converted into monocaprin that helps combat viruses, bacteria and Candida.

‘Therapeutic Oil’ Massage options:

 JOJOBA OIL

Jojoba is actually not an ‘oil’ but, rather, a liquid wax with a composition close to that of our own natural skin oil.  It is the Holy Grail of acne treatment for many because of its ability to act as emulsifier to unclog pores, remove imbedded impurities, and it contains iodine to help fight acne causing bacteria.  It is hypoallergenic and tolerated by most skin types but there can often be a “purge” of toxins at the beginning of use.  Once the purge ends, the pores will be clear and the skin is revitalized..

Besides the benefits of being able to mimic our sebum, Jojoba oil contains myristic acid which is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and supports the immune system.  It, also, contains Oleic Acid, a fatty acid that Meadowfoam Seed Oil (see below) lacks, that helps dry skin, reduces inflammation, and fosters the repair of damaged cells in conditions such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.

MEADOWFOAM SEED OIL

Meadowfoam seed oil is a waxy oil with amazing skin softening and moisturizing properties.  It, also, is very similar to our own natural sebum with the added benefit of a long-chained fatty acid that jojoba lacks giving it a slightly richer feel.  It is absorbed very easily into the skin and contains high levels of powerful antioxidants that are very good for nourishing, hydrating, skin barrier formation, and fighting off the signs of ageing.

As with other sebum-mimicking oils, Meadowfoam seed oil is also very effective in balancing out the production of sebum.  It has the ability to break down blackheads and detox the skin with a lower chance of causing the ‘purge’ that Jojoba oil does.  Because of this, it is excellent to use as a massage oil on the face because of its non-greasy, soothing, and non-sticky feeling on the skin.

The primary beneficial ingredients in Meadowfoam Seed Oil are:

Tocopherol: The primary component of Vitamin E, it is a powerful antioxidant known to slow down degeneration and aging of our body.

Eicosenoic Acid: This acid is non-comedogenic (does not block the skin’s pores), can be readily absorbed and it balances the oil in the skin, making it less oily.

Docosadienoic Acid: A heart-beneficial polyunsaturated fat known for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.  This is the main benefit of Meadowfoam Seed Oil over Jojoba Oil.

Supplimental/Infusion Oils

The following oils are currently the options for infusing the Jojoba or Meadowfoam Seed oils that are used in the ‘Therapeutic Oil’ Massage sessions.

ARGAN OIL

Argan oil is considered by many to be the holy grail of skin care oils.  It is especially sought after for its ability to repair skin damage like acne scarring, stretch marks, UV exposure, and dry skin and has a very low chance of clogging pores.  Its antibacterial qualities helps it eliminate acne-causing bacteria while it helps regulate the production of sebum to help prevent breakouts.  People who show allergic reaction to Argan oil are those who are also allergic to nut oils.  However, most dermatologists believe that the ingredients used in preserving such oils are the real culprits.  While Argan is not on the list of the priority tree nut allergens, it is best to avoid the use of Argan oil if you have the allergy.

POMEGRANATE OIL

Pomegranate seed oil is an extremely nutritious oil with an incredible range of benefits and high levels of anti-oxidants to fight free radicals and skin aging.  It is a potent source of punicic and ellagic acids to moisturize dry, mature, and irritated skin, boost collagen production, enhance skin elasticity, reduce scarring, reverse skin damage, and relieve the discomfort associated with psoriasis, eczema, and sunburn.

Pomegranate seed oil is one of the only plant sources of conjugated fatty acids (CLA).  It consists mostly of omega-5 (punicic acid), which has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.  It stimulates keratinocyte proliferation, promoting regeneration and strengthening of the epidermis.  There is also evidence that pomegranate seed oil reduces swelling and eases muscular aches and pains, supports the immune system, and helps the body fight against human cancers, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, pomegranate seed oil contains phytoestrogens to help maintain and enhance many body systems and functions, thereby promoting optimal health.  To relieve the symptoms of menopause, pomegranate seed oil can be used topically or orally.  And, regarding the ellagic acid mentioned above, it is anti-pathogenic, anti-carcinogenic, and treats UV damage to the skin.

Pomegranate seed oil is considered perfect for all skin types, including oily and acne prone skin.  It penetrates deeply into the skin, creating long lasting moisture without leaving any greasy residue behind.  Due to the potential to cause pregnancy complications, especially in the early stages, it is recommended that Pomegranate Oil is avoided by women who are pregnant or trying to conceive until research says otherwise.

ROSEHIP OIL

I added Rosehip seed oil to the selection due to its many skin-improving ingredients.  It is one of the richest plant sources of Vitamin C that is important for stimulating the production of collagen and increasing cell turnover.  It is, also, high in Vitamins A and E, gamma-linoleic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid.  The combination allows the oil to penetrate deeply into the skin to neutralize free radicals, hydrate, restore elasticity, improve collagen production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and increase the skin’s permeability.  It can even prevent the formation of keloid scars.  And, finally, the polyphenols and anthocyanin in it are anti-inflammatory benefitting osteoarthritis and joint pain.

Although rosehip seed can work well with oily and acne-prone skin types, it should not be applied directly onto active acne because it has been known to aggravate infections.  Side effects of rosehip oil are rare, though an allergic reaction is possible.  Allergic reaction symptoms may be mild or severe, ranging from a rash to anaphylaxis.

TAMANU OIL

Tamanu oil is legendary for its rivaling prescription medicines with its ability to promote skin regeneration and wound healing (cicatrization).  Its potency comes from its combination of fatty acids, coumarins, and xanthones that have been proven to reduce swelling and chronic irritation of the skin.  Lactone, a natural and unique antibiotic within Tamanu oil, inhibits bacterial growth while anti-inflammatory and skin-regenerating compounds heal the skin.  A coumarin in it, called callophyllolide, is an uncommon non-steroidal fatty acid that reduces histamine-caused inflammation in the skin.

The list of conditions treated by Tamanu oil shows that it is one of the most powerful natural remedies for all matters of the skin.  It is shown to successfully treat scars, acne, rosacea, abrasions, psoriasis, eczema, stretch marks, age spots, toenail fungus, sunburn, skin rashes, insect bites, blisters, dermatitis and more.  Furthermore, it can also be used topically (on the skin) as an analgesic and anti-neuralgic to relieve rheumatism, sciatica and neuralgia.

Tamanu oil is highly absorbable and is suitable for all skin types although it can have a strong odor to it.  It is a tree nut oil, so there is a potential risk to people with such allergies, but there are not any known side effects of tamanu oil when it is used topically.  As such, it is generally considered hypoallergenic.  However, the chance of an allergic reaction cannot be completely ruled out.  Because of this, it is advised to perform a skin patch test before use.