Sombra vs Biofreeze – A Massage Therapist’s Guide

If you have ever used analgesics in your office, had them used on you, or sold them in your office, you are most likely aware of the industry leader in cryotherapy – Biofreeze. Sombra is another cryotherapy option for massage therapists. If you read the comments below you will see that it is a favorite among massage professionals. Here is a very quick review of their products and where you can purchase them for your office.

I contacted Sombra. For $8.00 (cost of shipping) they send massage therapists this sample pack.

•Professional Product Brochure

•2 oz. Sombra Natural Pain Relieving Gel – Warm Therapy

•2 oz. Sombra Natural Pain Relieving Gel – Cool Therapy

•1 oz. Sombra Gel Oil

•1 oz. Sombra Massage Creme

•1 oz. Sombra Massage Lotion

You can contact them here to get your own.

Buy Sombra on Amazon

I contacted Biofreeze, for free they send massage therapists:

•5g packet of Biofreeze

• pamphlet

If you sell their products, I believe they send you up to 100- 5g samples per month.

Buy Biofreeze on Amazon


I will attempt to compare apples to apples here. Biofreeze is commonly listed as a type of cryotherapy and pain relief so I will compare that to the Sombra Cool Therapy Pain Relieving gel.

Sombra Active ingredient – Menthol, USP 6.0% (External Analgesic)

BiofreezeActive ingredients – Natural Menthol USP 3.5% (Cooling Pain Reliever)

Sombra Inactive Ingredients – Aloe vera extract, carbomer, decyl polyglucose, deionized water, grapefruit seed extract, green tea extract, lemon peel extract, queen of the prairie extract, rose water, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (preservative), vegetable glycerin, witch hazel, yucca extract.

Biofreeze Inactive Ingredients – carbomer, FD&C blue #1, FD&C yellow #5, glycerine, herbal extract (Ilex paraguariensis), isopropyl alcohol USP, methylparaben, natural camphor USP (for scent), propylene glycol, silicon dioxide, triethaolamine (TEA), purified water USP

The verdict


Like Soothing Touch, Sombra also hails from the “Land of Enchantment” –New Mexico. (Here is my of Soothing Touch) It does not have the widespread availability of Biofreeze and can be more difficult to find, but many massage suppliers do carry it. It comes in a pump, jars and a roll on. It has a lemon scent, but still has underlying medicinal scent that many analgesics have, including Biofreeze. It contains no artificial colors, fragrances, or alcohol. What I really liked is the fact that the “gel” is actually a lotion. From a massage therapy stand point this is great. It allows you to massage it on and work a little if need, not too long though, it does absorb quickly.


Performance Health, Inc. is the owner Biofreeze, Prossage, and TheraBand products. They are based out of Ohio (the first state to regulate massage therapy). Biofreeze has been on the retail shelves of many chiropractors and massage therapists for years. It is typically one of the top retail sellers for massage professionals. Biofreeze absorbs quickly, very quickly. It has no workability, which is great and ideal in certain circumstances. It is perfect to apply at the very end of a massage. Biofreeze is available in many application forms tubes, wipes, a roll-on, sprays, and new single application packets). They make wonderful marketing and displays for massage therapists that choose to sell Biofreeze in their offices.

As far as actual pain relief performance, I feel they are even. I prefer the ingredient list of Sombra and really liked its workability. Biofreeze has so many options for easy application and will always be a favorite for massage therapists and chiropractors.

What is your favorite product? Or do you have something else you prefer (Penetrex, DoTerra Deep Blue, YLO PanAway)? I would love to know!

Ivy Hultquist

Check out Biofreeze on Amazon

Check out Sombra on Amazon

Advanced Massage Techniques – Massage Therapy Continuing Education


  1. Pat Block says

    As a tennis professional and a sports trainer, I can say that I use both Biofreeze and Sombra (both cool & warm therapies) but, I MIX Biofreeze and Sombra together and it is absolutely fabulous! For tennis elbow, rotator cuff injuries, ankle sprains, and other muscle strains, it works wonders.

    I like Super Blue Stuff as well – it works very well on inflamation and muscle sprains/strains.

    I also recently started using Penetrex and it is really good. It has MSM/DMSO which really works well on muscle injuries.

    Both Sombra, Biofreeze and Penetrex are available online. Just GOOGLE the brand and you will find multiple websites where they can be bought

  2. Kathy says

    my 5yr old granddaughter has recently be dianoised with benign hypermobility syndrome and I had someone memtion the Sombra lotion and I was wondering if this might help with her pain?

  3. Carl Seaton says

    I’ve had repeated problems with urticaria (hives) and I find that Sombra Cool Therapy has been great for giving quick relief. My wife’s doctor introduced us to Sombra for treating the pain that accompanies diabetic neuropothy which worked very well for her.

  4. says

    Thank you for your opinions. As a physical therapist and running coach, I have been using and recommending Sombra for years. Like you, I like the workability of it, and I think it has a longer lasting effect. I actually like the smell of it.

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