What is the Best Massage Cream for Muscles?

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There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing a great massage cream. Perhaps most importantly, what type of massage are we talking about? There are plenty of options, but here are a few!

Most Popular Types of Massages

Swedish Massage

This is the classic type of massage. A masseuse will use long smooth strokes, kneading, friction, percussion, and vibration for full-body muscle relaxation.

Hot Stone Massage

In a hot stone massage, massage professionals place smooth, heated stones on specific spots on the body to relax tight muscles. This allows the therapist to apply deeper pressure with typical Swedish massage techniques.

Deep Tissue Massage

Using more intense pressure than Swedish massage, deep tissue massage targets specific problem areas and knots for therapeutic treatment of chronic pain, postural problems, and injuries.

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu massage is designed to stimulate acupressure points by using localize pressure in a rhythmic sequence along the body. You don’t even need to undress for shaitsu massage, so massage cream is impractical and unnecessary.

Thai Massage

Thai massage is another form of massage that is performed fully clothed. It combines rhythmic compression, pressing massage, and passive stretching as the therapist moves your body through a sequence of postures. It’s useful for improved range of motion and pain relief.


In a reflexology massage, the therapist focuses only on the feet or hands. They massage “reflex areas” that are said to promote healing and relaxation in other areas of the body. 

Sports Massage

In a sports massage, a massage therapist manipulates soft tissues to focus on muscles important to specific sports. Techniques may also include joint mobilization, pressure point therapy, friction, and compression. Athletes of all abilities benefit from sports massage to prevent and treat injuries, improve flexibility, and enhance performance.

Why You Need Massage Cream

The purpose of any massage is to make the client feel better. But while massage creams and lotions are sometimes marketed for their skin-softening qualities or their pleasing scents, a serious massage cream is really more of a tool designed to help the therapist do the job right.

Massage creams help improve grip when a therapist needs to grip and glide when they need to glide. It’s about making it easier for the therapist to apply pressure where pressure needs to be applied, to smooth out those long strokes, and to maintain just the right amount of friction so the hands don’t slip when they need to grab.

What is the Best Massage Cream for Muscles?

Massage lubricants come in a variety of consistencies, each with their pros and cons.

Massage Oils

Massage oils are comfortable and last a long time on the skin, but they can be messy (staining linens and clothing) and slippery to work with.

Massage Lotions

Lotions are the cheapest option, but they dry out quickly so you need to continuously reapply and you go through a lot more of it.

Massage Creams

Massage creams are the thickest of the three and still allow the hands to glide across the skin without the slipperiness or messiness of oils.

Oils may be appropriate for lighter style massage, but for deep tissue or a Swedish-stye massage where you’re putting serious focus on your client’s muscles, you’ll want the grip provided by a good cream.

How to Find the Perfect Massage Cream for Your Needs

If you’re doing muscle work with your massage, whether it’s self-massage or partner massage or you’re a certified professional massage therapist, you’ll want a cost-effective cream made with quality ingredients.

We also highly recommend an unscented massage cream. There’s no need to risk an allergic reaction from clients who don’t get along with certain perfumes. Even if you incorporate aromatherapy into your massage work, an unscented massage cream is best. This gives you complete control over the scents you choose, without having to worry about changing up your massage cream.

Speaking of allergies, you’ll want to look for a massage cream that is hypoallergenic in other ways. Ingredients to avoid include beeswax, seed and nut oils, and salicylates (which can be harmful to fibromyalgia patients).

Additionally, you’ll want to look for a cream that does not dry up or ball out on the skin, as this can be a disadvantage compared to oils.

So Do We Have a Recommendation for a Massage Cream?

We originally formulated our Free-Up Massage Cream exclusively for healthcare professionals, and over the years the response and loyalty to our product has been outstanding. People who use Free-Up call it “exceptional,” “fantastic,” and “powerfully effective.”

Free-Up meets all the standards we set for a professional massage cream. It provides superior control with excellent grip and glide, great coverage, and workability. With its slow absorption rate, a little goes a long way and it doesn’t dry out on the skin. It’s hypoallergenic and doesn’t leave a runny mess. It’s cost-effective. It’s there to help you get the job done.

Give Free-Up Massage Cream a try today and see why so many professionals rely on it.