Massage therapy soothes and relaxes score muscles and promotes blood circulation in the body. It can also nourish and regenerate the skin and have a calming effect on the mind. There are many different types of massage, and consequently, there are many different types of massage oils that are used for them. Essentially, massage oils are used to lubricate the skin in order to reduce the friction while doing a massage.
Whether you’re giving yourself an at-home massage or you work as a massage therapist, massage oil allows your hands to glide over skin without friction. There are plenty of oils and lotions to choose from, but not all measure up. Some can make skin feel greasy while others go rancid quickly and take on an unpleasant smell.
Knowing some of the differences between the oils can help you choose the best oil for the situation. Here are five oils that massage therapists often recommend.
We looked over dozens of massage oils in the attempt to find the highest quality products, taking into account the nature of ingredients, the type of massage, speed of absorption, price, Amazon ratings, and many other features that are relevant when deciding on the best massage oil. We picked out top 5 of the best-rated massage oils for ultimate relaxation.
Most massage oils are a combination of base oils and essential oils. Base oils are derived from plants and are usually pressed from nuts, kernels or seeds. Essential oils are highly concentrated essences that come from plants and fruit. In aromatherapy, base oils are used to dilute essential oils before they are applied to the skin.
Here’s our winner Sensual Massage Oil, the perfect massage oil for relaxation and the best gift for your skin
For maximum relaxation and skin benefits, we’ve identified Sensual Massage Oil w/ Pure Lavender Oil as a top choice. It’s a perfect blend of pure lavender, jojoba, and almond oil that soothes sore muscles and nurtures skin. Sensual massage oil is easy to apply, it absorbs at the right rate, and it enhances the most intimate moments.
Our Top Pick: Sensual Massage Oil w/ Pure Lavender Oil
Sensual Massage Oil w/ Pure Lavender Oil is formulated with perfect balance of base and essential oils to provide maximum relaxation and a soft scent that will enhance your most intimate moments with your loved one. Once applied to the skin the oil is absorbed at an optimal rate, without greasiness or residue buildup. Its texture enables smooth massage motions that soothe muscles and moisturize the skin. The reviewers particularly emphasize its pleasant scent of lavender which is not too strong so that both men and women enjoy it.
This oil is made with natural ingredients that are free of additives, silicones, and artificial fragrances. It comes in 8-ounce bottle at the price of $11 and if you’re not satisfied, you can get your money back.
Sensual Massage Oil w/ Pure Lavender Oil Key Features:
- A blend of lavender, jojoba, and almond oils
- Free of additives, silicones, and artificial fragrances
- Sensually invigorates all senses
- Moisturizes and nurtures skin
- No residue buildup or greasiness
- Money-back guarantee
- Available in 8oz
Our Runner-Up Pick: Invivo Essential Fractionated Coconut Oil
Ideal base oil for aromatherapy that also nurtures your skin, nails, and hair
Invivo Essential Fractionated Coconut Oil is a base oil made out of a whole coconut with unhealthy fatty acid chains being removed, so that only nutrients and antioxidants are collected. When diluted with essential oils, it becomes a powerful tool for aromatherapy. It’s also suitable as a moisturizer for hair, face skin, and nails as it promotes hydration and silkiness of the skin. It’s safe to be used by adults and kids alike and it’s ideal for the sensitive skin.
This fractionated coconut oil comes with a free pump dilution guide and an e-book. It’s available in 16oz at the price of $13.
Invivo Essential Fractionated Coconut Oil Key Features:
- Filled with vitamins and nutrients and free of fatty acid chains
- Great base oil for aromatherapy
- Nurtures skin, hair, and nails
- Comes with a free pump dilution guide and an e-book
- Available in 16oz
Best Budget Pick: NOW Solutions Arnica Warming Relief Massage Oil
A perfect massage oil to provide warmth and pain relief after a busy day at work or a strenuous gym session.
NOW Solutions Arnica Warming Relief Massage Oil has a therapeutic and soothing effect on sore muscles. It removes muscle tension buy providing warmth and pain relief. This product is a collection of olive oil, Arnica, essential oils and natural extracts that together create ultimate relaxation time after a busy day or an intense workout session.
Arnica Warming Relief Massage Oil is also beneficial for skin and can be used as a daily skin softener. It’s available in 8.6oz at the price of $9.
NOW Solutions Arnica Warming Relief Massage Oil Key Features:
- Therapeutic and soothing effect on sore muscles
- Provides warmth and pain relief
- Collection of olive oil, Arnica, essential oils and natural extracts
- Can be used as a daily skin softener
- Available in 8.6oz
Best Aromatherapy Massage Oil: Kiss Me Sensual Lavender Massage Oil
A blend of lavender and almond oil for relaxing aromatherapy massage and for setting up the mood.
Kiss Me Sensual Lavender Massage Oil is a mixture of lavender and almond oil ideal for aromatherapy as it reduces muscle tension and relieves from pain while providing a pleasant scent. The reviewers emphasize its great texture that doesn’t leave stains or greasiness and its light fragrance that adds up to the relaxation. This massage oil also contains vitamins and antioxidants that cleanse the skin and remove scars and stretch marks.
Apart from being an efficient aromatherapy tool and beneficial for skin, Kiss Me Lavender Oil is effective in setting up the mood for intimate atmosphere due to its soft scent and edible quality. It’s available in 8oz at the price of $11.
Kiss Me Sensual Lavender Massage Oil Key Features:
- Combination of lavender and almond oil
- Relieves muscle tension and pain
- No stains or greasiness
- Contains vitamins and antioxidants that cleanse the skin and remove scars and stretch marks
- Edible and pleasant-smelling
- No artificial preservatives or flavors
- Available in 8oz
Best Warming Massage Oil: Handcraft Blends 100% Pure Castor Oil
A warm massage oil that soothes sore muscles, promotes blood circulation, and keeps your hair thick and shiny.
Handcraft Blends 100% Pure Castor Oil has versatile use, but it is considered an efficient warm oil that promotes blood circulation and relieves sore and overworked muscles. It’s highly viscous so it penetrates deep into the skin and hydrates it with fatty acids. Castor oil is also beneficial for hair as it promotes hair growth and it preserves moisture.
Handcraft Blends 100% Pure Castor Oil is unfiltered, undiluted, and additive-free. It’s available in 16oz at the price of $14.
Handcraft Blends 100% Pure Castor Oil Key Features:
- Promotes blood circulation and relieves sore muscles
- Hydrates the skin
- Promotes hair growth and preserves moisture
- Unfiltered, undiluted, and additive-free
- Available in 16oz
Who Should Buy a Massage Oil?
The purpose of a massage oil is to reduce friction while performing a massage by lubricating the skin. Any massage can be done without a massage oil, but this product makes the massage much easier to do as it enables smooth motions. Also, a massage can be much more effective with the help of a massage oil as its texture penetrates deep into the skin allowing the muscles to relax.
Apart from helping relieve muscle tension, massage oils also contribute to the soothing effect with their pleasant fragrances and can be quite beneficial for the skin by hydrating and nurturing it. If you plan on scheduling a massage session, the use of a massage oil can make the session much more relaxing and enjoyable.
Here’s our winner Sensual Massage Oil, the perfect massage oil for relaxation and the best gift for your skin.
Important Features to Consider
A massage oil should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when choosing a massage oil to help you relax:
- Density and purity. A massage oil should not be very dense and it should be pure, as pure oils are generally feel better to the touch and are less greasy.
- Viscosity. Oils used for massages should have low viscosity, which means that they should flow easily on the skin. A massage oil is formulated to reduce the friction during a massage and to enable smooth motions of the hands. A massage oil shouldn’t be sticky and its texture should enable it to move along with the hand.
- Speed of absorption. A massage oil needs to be absorbed into the skin, but at the right rate, not too quickly and not too slowly. The oil should last during the massage to enhance the soothing effect and get absorbed by the skin afterwards, without greasiness buildup.
- Moisturization. A massage oil should seal moisture inside the skin to keep it hydrated. Oils that moisturize well keep the skin nurtured, smooth, and soft for a longer period of time.
- Natural ingredients. As it is the case with any other product, a massage oil is more beneficial and healthier if it’s made with natural ingredients, and without artificial flavors, preservatives, additives and other chemicals that can potentially endanger health.
- Odor. Oils that have unpleasant or strong scent are rarely used for a massage, unless it is necessary for some reason, for example because of their nutritious nature. Odor of an oil plays an important role during the massage as the pleasant fragrance adds up to the soothing and relaxing effect the massage is trying to produce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do people use oil for massages?
As we’ve previously mentioned, a massage can be performed without the oil, but the application of oil makes it much more easier and effective. A massage oil lubricates the skin and minimizes friction while massaging so that hand motions are smooth and easily glide across the skin. An oil is meant to enhance and improve the quality of the massage as it gets absorbed by the skin and helps relieve muscle tension. Also, oils hydrate the skin by moisturizing it, and some of them are formulated to reduce marks and stretches and combat acne. Most oils used for massage have pleasant odor which contributes to the calming effect. Therefore, incorporating oils into your massage routine will not only make your massage more effective and enjoyable, but it will also be beneficial for your skin.
Can you use body oil for massages?
Both body and massage oils are a mixture of base oils and essential oils. However, the difference is in the type of the base oils used and the ratio between base oils and essential oils. Body oils and massage oils are absorbed differently by the skin as they serve two different purposes. Body oils are meant to make the skin soft and smooth, while massage oils are formulated to soothe sore muscles. Body oils contain richer base oils and are absorbed quickly by the skin, making it silky for a longer period of time. Although body oils can be used in lighter massages, they will not produce the same results as massage oils, which are specifically made to penetrate deep into the skin and relax tense muscles.
What kind of oil is used for massages?
Almost all massage oils are made from a combination of base oils and essential oils. Base oil is the main ingredient of a massage oil and is most often derived from vegetables. Some of the most commonly used base oils are grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, and jojoba oil. Sweet almond oil is perhaps the most popular choice, as it spreads easily, nourishes the skin and has a very mild scent. Grapeseed oil gets absorbed quickly without leaving greasy residue and it is considered to be effective in treating acne, wrinkles, stretch marks, and dermatitis among others. Jojoba oil is similar to the natural sebum in our skin and it contains a myristic acid, a natural anti-inflammatory that helps in treating rheumatism and arthritis.
You only need a small amount of essential oils to mix with base oils. Some of the most popular choices are lavender oil, tea tree oil, and eucalyptus oil. Lavender oil is an antiseptic that can be applied directly to the skin to treat burns or stings. Tea tree oil can also be applied undiluted to the skin as an antiseptic and an anti-inflammatory. Eucalyptus oil is known for helping treat muscle sprains and cramps. It’s also used for preventing and healing scar tissue and opening blocked nasal passages. Coconut oil for skin and hair is another popular option and a great moisturizer. For massaging, fractionated coconut oil is usually the best choice.
How do you apply a massage oil?
First of all, make sure to learn about properties of your desired massage oil to check whether it’s suitable for your skin type and sensitivity. Remember to dilute essential oils in a base oil before applying it to the skin. It’s better to apply it on a small area of the skin first to be sure that it won’t cause any reactions. Once you’re sure that it suits you, simply rub it into desired skin