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January 10, 2013

About That Oil . . . .

Regular readers may remember that I recommended massage oil as a moisturizer for dry winter skin. As a testament to that advice, I order an 8 oz bottle of grape seed oil from PurePro, the maker of high quality oils that I used in my massage practice.

Then I began to run into trouble. After about 4 days, I began to notice the smell of old cooking oil around the house. Mostly, I noticed it in my bedsheets and my bath towel. So off to the laundry I went. The next week, the problem became worse. I began to smell it in my work clothes, the sofa cover, and my jeans. My bath towel, despite being freshly laundered smelled of rancid oil. What was going on here?

I never noticed a problem with my massage oil creating a rancid smell during my massage practice. In fact, one client reported my sheets smelled like toasted almonds. I had discovered what other therapists describe as "skunky" oil. The problem being oil in fabrics that are allowed to sit around for days without being laundered. This never happened to me in my practice because I was in the habit of coming home from work and immediately starting laundry with hot water and bleach (as the law requires), and if necessary, orange de-greaser.

So, word to the wise, unless you do laundry daily, you may want to rethink using massage oil as a personal moisturizer. There are plenty of commercial products out there formulated to moisturize skin without tainting fabrics. If you're really sold on oil as a moisturizer, I can suggest Neutrogena's body oil, made from light sesame oil that I used my 20's. I do not recall having a rancid oil problem with that product, but that was a long time ago . . . and memories can be faulty.

Posted by linda at January 10, 2013 5:19 AM

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