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Should you take a shower after a massage?



One of the most common questions that people ask after receiving a massage is whether they should take a shower or not, and especially if oils and lotions have been used during the massage session.


During the massage, the therapist will likely have used a variety of oils or lotions to provide the right amount of slip and friction to get the most benefit from your massage.


Many people feel a shower or bath after a massage is a healthy and normal thing to do. There are different opinions and recommendations, though the general consensus is that it depends on your personal preference. However, depending on the type of massage you have had, it may be quite the opposite.


Some benefits of taking a shower after a massage are:

  • It can help you feel refreshed, clean, comfortable and relaxed, especially if you had a massage with oil or lotion.

  • It can wash away any excess oil or lotion that may clog your pores or irritate your skin. Some people have sensitive skin that reacts to certain products, so washing them off may prevent irritation or a rash.

  • It can rinse off any sweat or body moisture that may have arisen during the massage. Some massages, such as deep tissue or sports massage, may cause muscle soreness or inflammation. Taking a warm shower may help ease some of this discomfort, as the water can soothe and relax your muscles. However, avoid taking a hot shower, as this may increase inflammation and swelling.

  • It can enhance the effects of aromatherapy, if you used essential oils during the massage.


Some drawbacks of taking a shower after a massage are:

  • It can reduce the absorption of oil or lotion into your skin, which may diminish some of the benefits of the massage.

  • If you have received aromatherapy, the essential oils may continue to work on your mood and relaxation for hours after the massage. If you shower too soon after a massage it can wash away the oils and lotions before they have a chance to penetrate your skin and nourish it.

  • It can wash away some of the natural oils that your skin produces, which may dry out your skin or cause it to produce more oil.

  • It can disrupt the relaxation and calmness that you may have achieved during the massage.

  • It can interfere with the circulation and lymphatic drainage that the massage may have stimulated.


Ultimately, the decision to take a shower after a massage is up to you and your personal feelings. You may want to consider factors such as the time of day, the temperature, the type and duration of the massage, and your skin type and sensitivity.


A hot shower after a massage can be wonderfully relaxing, but it can also increase blood circulation and inflammation, especially if you have a muscle injury or soreness. On the other hand, a cold shower can help with pain relief and reduce swelling, though it can be uncomfortable and shocking to your body. A warm shower is usually the best option, as it can help you relax without causing any adverse effects.


There is no definitive answer to whether you should take a shower after a massage. You may wish to wash with a mild soap and warm water, but avoid scrubbing or exfoliating your skin. You may wish to moisturise your skin after a shower to help keep it hydrated and nourished. You can always ask your massage therapist for their recommendation based on your specific situation and needs.


In conclusion, taking a shower after a massage is not necessary; though it can be beneficial or detrimental depending on various factors. You should however leave a buffer period, of at least an hour, before taking a shower to allow your body to adjust and take advantage and benefits of the massage.

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