Many massage therapists still purchase Holly oil in large quantities for massage. They like the thin liquid feel of the product, finding it goes a long way and is more economical than other nut, seed or plant-based oils.
The trouble I find with Holly Oil is the name. It is misleading…
You would think that it was plant-based but in fact, Holly Oil contains over 90% liquid paraffin and at best the holly content is an essence or holly extract in minute quantity. The ingredients are often not included on the bottles purchased from distributors of this oil and I feel it unfair not to fully disclose ingredient listings on the bottles of product used on the skin. Massage Therapists know how much is absorbed through the skin after all and most people also know that paraffin is a petroleum derivative and therefore should be avoided for use on the skin.
When Googled just now, here is what two different sellers of massage supplies had to say about Holly Oil. Note the second one which does not fully disclose the ingredients on their labels and uses words like “holly oil is derived from a cold-pressed process”. They avoid saying cold-pressed from what? This is misleading. Holly oil is liquid paraffin. It also gives you the idea the oil is jojoba and vitamin e which again is less than 10% of the overall product.
Description 1: Holly Oil has long been a popular massage oil. It is extremely light to the point where sheets will not be stained. It also has a pleasant cooling effect. Nonetheless, this is offset by the mineral oil in the blend that blocks pores and limits the effects of a therapeutic massage.
Description 2: Holly Oil is derived from a cold-press process. A water-based Vitamin E, (Cyclo-Alocaine) is then added along with Jojoba as a therapeutic moisturizer and to add glide. This non-nut-based oil is unscented and non-staining. Holly Oil has a 5-year shelf life and is the perfect carrier for essential oils.
Fractionated Coconut Oil
This oil is derived from coconuts. The difference is it stays liquid at room temperature where most other coconut oil is solid. For massage therapists, the liquid oil is more convenient and more hygienic keeping the quality of the oil without repetitive heating to turn it liquid in our long winters.
I think it is a perfect replacement for holly oil.
A natural product that has had some refinement but is naturally based not petroleum-based and it has almost the identical feel and slip.
It is water dispersible and does not stain sheets or linen if washed soon after use.
We have sold many therapists on the conversion to fractionated oil. We think it is a good move. Telling your clients they have coconut oil on them never hurts.
So what do they do to Fractionated Coconut Oil to keep it liquid?
“Fractionated coconut oil” has had the lauric acid component removed. Lauric acid from coconut oil is known as a strong antimicrobial component and therefore is used as a preservative in many commercial applications. Anytime you refine a product you take away some of the natural goodness. Here is the microbial action of the original oil. The fractionated oil can be derived from different qualities of coconut oil so make sure you are purchasing from a trusted supplier.
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