The most common oils used for massage are olive oil and sweet almond oil, however, there are several other options, too. We talk to oil manufacturers and retailers to understand their challenges and how they go about circumventing them
The oils used for massages have a major market in India. From carrier oils to essential oil, the market has a fair number of them. Here we explore the ‘massage worthy’ nature of carrier oils and even some essential oils. Massage has immense therapeutic value. To obtain the maximum benefi ts from a massage, the most suitable oil should be chosen for that purpose.
Major players and their offerings
Blossom Kocchar’s Aroma Magic: Says Dr Blossom Kocchar, “We created them such that they can do two or more functions. Our products directly create and improve your sense of well-being, they can provide treatment to the body medicinally, cosmetically and also directly works to give you healthier skin. Essential Oils, whether used in Aroma Magic beauty products, cosmetics, or as pure essential or blended oils, provide a natural perfume and that, in turn, helps to balance the emotions. One can choose from Curative oils, Essential oils, Mood Oils, Skin Oil, Hair Oil and Vegetable Oils.”
Soulfower: Says Amit Sarda, Managing Director, Soulflower, “In our stable, we have Aroma Massage Oils like Rose Geranium, Romance, Lavender, Jasmine, Healthy Hair for scalp massage, Tea Tree Foot Reflexology and Anti-Cellulite oils.”
Omved: Says G Saisudershan, COO, Omved, “We have two types of oil, Ayurvedic and Aromatherapy oils. Unlike modern conventional massage oils and serums that treat only the superfi cial outer layer of the skin, Omved’s proprietary, classical Ayurvedic formulas not only penetrate the first layer of the skin, but also reach the underlying layers and deliver valuable nutrients. Our Ayurvedic oils are authentic, powerful blends, made in strict accordance to the ancient and classical Ayurvedic texts. Our oils are made from organic, premium quality, wholesome herbs, and not just herbal extracts. Omved has two Ayurvedic massage oils, Sudyuti Healthy Complexion Oil, which is a great blend for effectively lightening pigmentation and age spots. It also soothes sun-burnt skin and protects from UV rays and heals wounds, and Sukhata Joint or Muscle Pain Relief Oil, the synergy of the botanicals in the Sukhata Thailam Joint or Muscle Pain Relief liniment brings about a complete restoration of the body and mind.
Omved Aromatherapy’s massage oil blends have been created using the finest therapeutic-grade essential oils in an easily penetrable carrier of a trio of pure oils. The highly concentrated living plant essences will pass through the skin as well as be inhaled during massage, to relieve tension and stress, relax the body, soften the skin, improve blood circulation and improve breathing. Omved has four aromatherapy massage oils – Shantam Body and Bath Oil, a natural, nourishing and calming liniment made with the purest base oils and potent Ayurvedic herbs, to help you de-stress and Tej Body and Bath Oil, a nourishing and energising liniment made with the purest base oils and potent Ayurvedic herbs, to stimulate circulation, motivate and rejuvenate. Kama Body and Bath Oil, a nourishing and sensual liniment made with the purest base oils and potent Ayurvedic herbs stimulates the senses. Kushala Body and Bath Oil, a strengthening liniment made with the purest base oils and potent Ayurvedic herbs, help in soothing pain.
The Body Shop: Says Arnaud Jeanteur General Manager, The Body Shop International, “The Body Shop has always sourced ingredients from around the world and taken inspiration from traditional beauty rituals. When our team discovered the potency of these three seed oils from Egypt, Chile and China, we decided to create a skin care range that would replenish nutrition, deeply revitalise the skin and provide visible radiance. Our new Intensely Revitalising Oils of Life collection contains three precious seed oils, black cumin seed oil, camellia seed oil and rosehip seed oil.
Anita’s Aromatics: Says Anita Golani, Director, Anita’s Aromatics, “With us, you can find, basic carrier oils or vegetable oils like sweet almond, extra virgin olive, wheatgerm, sesame and more. Blended oils with the carrier oils and essential oils such as, de-tox oils, anti-cellulite oil, energising massage oils, balancing and relaxing oils and also massage candles which are made up of different natural waxes are also available with us.”
Aroma Treasures: Says Nirmal Minawala, Managing Director, Aroma Treasures, “We offer an exclusive assortment of blended Aromatherapy massage oils that serve different purposes. Some of these include the Evening Bliss Oil for Relaxation and treating insomnia, refreshing Tangy Fresh Oil with a citrus twist, Lemongrass Green Body Oil which is ideal for muscle relaxation and Lavender and Bergamot Body Oil to combat lethargy and depression.”
RK’s Aroma: Says Prakash Shivdasani, Director, RK’s Aroma, “We have a very wide range of essential oils that can be used in combination to create fragrances for various moods and have therapeutic properties, such as, Lavender, Geranium, Clary Sage, YlangYlang, Jasmine, Rose, Petitgrain, Neroli, Sandalwood, and more.”
Oshea Herbals: Says Dilip Kundlia, Managing Director, Oshea Herbals, “Our Glopure Fairness Body Massage oil enriched with organic actives. It has a unique blend of nutritional oils and herbals for radiance and deep penetration. Oshea Glopure Fairness Body Massage Oil is especially formulated with natural and organic constituents such as saffron, turmeric, ashwagandha and licorice for the skin to boost rehydration. Moreover, this natural oil will help to restore and maintain soft skin, the organic safflower and jojoba are rich in vitamin A and E, as well as, essential fatty acids which will help with skin repair and lend it softness. Its deep penetration to the epithelium revitalises the skin and makes it fair, healthy and supple.”
Reasons for popularity
Blossom Kocchar Aroma Magic: Aromatherapy is a viable solution to hundreds of modern-day needs. All the products are based on the principles of pure Aromatherapy, be it the range of Beauty and Cosmetic Products or Essential Oils.
Soulfower: Most popular are Romance, Lavender and Jasmine Aroma Massage Oils along with Rosemary Lavender Healthy Hair for your hair. Tea Tree Foot Reflexology and Anti-Cellulite are mainly preferred by the age group of 35 to 45 while the younger lot love purchasing the Romance, Rose Geranium, Lavender and Jasmine.
Omved: In the Ayurvedic range, the massage oil Sukhata Joint or Muscle Pain Relief Oil and in Aromatherapy oil Shantam Body and Bath Oil are most popular. Sukhata Joint or Muscle Pain Relief Oil is generally preferred by those above 50 and prone to aches in joints and muscles. The Shantam body and bath oil is preferred choice of all age group of 12 years and above.
The Body Shop: Says Vanda Serrador, Facialist and Body Care Expert for The Body Shop, “Oil can help prevent water loss from the skin, thus maintaining the skin’s hydration. It is especially helpful for mature skin and can be used for cleansing. ‘Like dissolves like’ is true with respect to many oils and if you have oily skin one way of gently reducing the oil found on your skin is to use a suitable light emollient oil to effectively dissolve it. Some oils have anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and antifungal properties and these attributes can help to reduce breakouts.”
Anita’s Aromatics: The blended oils and massage candles are popular, as blended oils nourish the skin and the essential oil aromas work to heal, rejuvenate, relax and realign the mind, body and soul. The massage candles work on your skin and the olfactory nerves. The sheer efficacy of the oils and the manner in which the oils soothe the senses and calm the nerves makes them popular with all age groups.
Aroma Treasures: One of the best selling products is Evening Bliss Body Oil. It helps relieve stress, encourages sleep and soothes your nerves and mind.
RK’s Aroma: The most commonly liked fragrances can be categorised as spicy, woody and fl oral. The most popular ones are Lavender, Geranium, YlangYlang, Rose, Mogra and Jasmine. Usually those between 18 years to 65 years use it for mood enhancement, relaxation and spa treatments.
Unique selling proposition
Blossom Kocchar Aroma Magic: The range doesn’t contain parabens, alcohol, petrochemicals, mineral oils, phthalate, synthetic colours and artificial fragrances. The range of honest skin, hair and wellness products have positive, healing effects on the mind, body and soul.
Soulflower: Highest quality, problem specific solutions like Tea Tree Foot Reflexology for tired feet muscles or Anti-Cellulite for fat reduction or Rosemary Lavender Healthy Hair for a healthy scalp. Also, our massage oils are non-sticky and light which allows you to apply them while going out for the day.
Omved: Sukhata Joint/Muscle Pain Relief Oil is best to relieves aches, cramps, sores and stiffness, nourishes and heals damaged or torn tissues and is beneficial in arthritis and ligament injuries. Whereas Shantam body and bath oil is best to distress your mind and body after a long stressful working day. The oils in this blend are effective in steadying nerves, relieving tension, reducing stress on the limbic system and countering situational irritation and anxiety.
Anita’s Aromatics: A good massage with a well blended oil or massage candle improves circulation, replenishes moisture and relaxes frayed nerves. A well blended harmonious aroma is a powerful cocktail of emotions and memories.
Aroma Treasures: The Aromatherapy massage oils are 100 per cent natural, created using the purest of Essential and Vegetable Oils. The oils are blended by qualified professional blenders who undergo strict quality control inspection by expert Aromatherapists. The highly creative and skilled R & D team have dealt with different skin and health related cases to develop easy-to-use, highly effective and result-oriented products.
RK’s Aroma: Word of mouth publicity and quality usually talks for itself though the brand does promote it further.
Soulfower: Social media is a great tool for customer engagement. Creating unique concepts and content and making it viral through all digital mediums. Hosting contests like the ‘SOAPIE’ contest which had gained a lot of popularity through Whats App. Also giving offers and discounts on top-sellers or seasonal offers help in driving traffic to the brand’s website.
Omved: The brand mostly promotes its oils on social media and blogs. As products are very effective word of mouth publicity plays a major part of the promotions.
Anita’s Aromatics: The brand custom makes blends as per the client’s spa or salon theme, too. They have designed oils for different zodiacs, five elements and of course a good and consistent quality of product takes you a long way in maintaining and engaging your client.
Aroma Treasures: The brand takes special interest to collect valuable feedback from their clients, which comprise of spa owners, masseurs, beauty therapists and a loyal customer base, which in turn helps them improve continuously.
RK’s Aroma: The brand usually does promotions through word of mouth, seminars and workshops.
Soulfower: Massage oils are an integral part of Indian beauty and wellness regime. The brand provides customers with the finest quality of massage oils, which is great for the skin, muscles and also suits the various moods of the customers. Challenges are integral part and they look forward to them in order to improve. Soulflower follows the theory of constraint and they believe in removing constraints from the system to provide a better customer relationship.
Omved: Being an eco-friendly company, it is ensured that from product to packaging and promotional material is biodegradable. But the brand is searching for an eco-friendly way for customer loyalty programme to avoid using plastic cards. They overcame this problem by starting the mobile number based loyalty programme. Also since people are not much aware of the authentic and real Ayurveda and Aromatherapy, educating people on it is a real challenge. They use of block tent cards and informative charts to help people understand the concepts and products better.
Anita’s Aromatics: The price volatility of this market is a big challenge. Lavender which may cost Rs 2,400 per kg shoots up to Rs 9,000 per kg at times. By constantly re-inventing and re-designing to strike a balance between competitive pricing and a good quality product.
Aroma Treasures: India is a vast country and to reach out to the target audience is a humongous task. The brand makes constant efforts to include new markets and maintain and serve their clientele. Their dedicated team continuously plans, develops and implements market growth strategies and promotional activities tailored specifically for particular geographical segments.
RK’s Aroma: Competition is always there in business and there are several new companies that are coming into Aromatherapy, but quality and purity is all that matters in this business. The brand overcame this concern by giving quality products at reasonable prices.
Plans for the future
Soulflower: The brand has developed its massage oil category which not only benefits the skin and muscles, but also matches the mood of the customer. They educate the spa goers to choose the right massage oil for their skin and mood, unlike the unknown massage oils used at spas.
Omved: The brand keeps reinventing new categories and discovering new and more effective ingredients, whether it’s a new base or a new aroma.
Anita’s Aromatics: The brand has indigenously developed massage candles and is coming up with self-heating oils which improve the circulation and self-cooling oils to help relax frayed nerves.
Aroma Treasures: Being one of the oldest known remedies and beauty booster, Aromatherapy oils have great potential. The benefits of pure essential oils are manifold. As the awareness of Aromatherapy has increased over the years, the brand is in the process of introducing tried and tested ‘World class oil blends’ to their customers.
RK’s Aroma: The brand has recently started customising massage oils for individual clients, especially for salon, spa and massage parlours and they further intend to develop still larger ranges of formulations, which as of now have over 300 varieties.