The Best Oils for Massage Therapy

Nina Dali Sunday, March 31, 2024

Choosing the right oil can turn a good massage into an amazing one. But with so many options out there, how do you know which ones are the best for massage therapy? 

Whether you're looking for something to soothe sore muscles, nourish your skin, or just help you relax, the right oil can make all the difference. Let's dive into the world of massage oils and discover which ones stand out as the best choices for enhancing your massage experience. 

Coconut oil 

Coconut oil is an obvious top choice. With its rich and creamy properties, coconut oil is easy to apply to the skin, and is renowned for its tropical scent. 

While some oils don't smell great, coconuts take people to a place of relaxation heaven. Coconut oil is a staple for therapists, and many carry it with them. 

The pros: 

  • Coconut oil is abundant in fatty acids, making it ideal for people with dry skin. After one session, you'll notice your skin feels softer and healthier. 
  • Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid and is known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties. Regular use maintains skin health and can even prevent infections. 
  • While some oils can be greasy on the skin, coconut oil is easily absorbed and leaves no visible trace. 
  • It's also easy to combine with other oils, creating a therapeutic and healing experience. 

Potential drawbacks: 

  • If you're prone to acne and other skin problems, coconut oil could worsen your condition. People with sensitive skin might experience allergic reactions. 
  • Coconut can prove problematic in cooler months as it might solidify. However, most therapists know how to store their oils. 
  • When used in excess, it can stain sheets and clothing. 

Grapeseed oil 

When it comes to massage oils packed with vitamins and nutrients, grapeseed oil is always a great choice. Abundant in Vitamin E, fatty acids, and antioxidants, it's light on the skin and has a subtle scent. 

Therapists often use it for individuals prone to acne, as it nourishes without clogging the pores. 

The pros: 

  • If you prefer a lightweight massage oil, grapeseed blends won't sit heavily on your skin. 
  • It absorbs into the skin quickly while still providing a moisturising effect, leaving the skin feeling healthy after your massage. 
  • The oil nourishes the skin with its combination of vitamin E and antioxidants. 
  • Individuals with reactive skin can use grapeseed oil as it doesn't block the pores or worsen acne. 

Potential drawbacks: 

  • Grapeseed oil doesn't have a distinctive scent, which might be a negative if you love the smell of coconut and other oils. 
  • Due to its cost, some therapists will charge extra if you want them to use grapeseed oil. 
  • In rare cases, the skin might experience an allergic reaction. 

Olive oil 

Olive oil is another massage oil that doesn't skimp on fatty acids and vitamins. It's renowned for its texture and ability to act as a moisturiser. 

Individuals with painful joint conditions such as arthritis might find olive oil reduces their symptoms, while older adults love it for its anti-ageing effects. Using it regularly can enhance the skin's elasticity and moisturise it. 

The pros: 

  • Olive oil is one of those massage oils that will always be available. Wherever you go, you'll find it. 
  • The combination of antioxidants and fatty acids allows olive oil to act as a moisturiser while preventing your skin from experiencing damage. 
  • Some people appreciate the subtle scent of olive oil, which is distinctive but not overpowering. 
  • The oil is fine but also makes an excellent base for other oils. 

Potential drawbacks: 

  • Some people find olive oil is too heavy on their skin, creating a greasy effect. In some cases, it can also block pores, resulting in acne.
  • Olive oil can stain sheets and clothing, but most therapists will take steps to avoid this from happening. 
  • Olive oil's quality depends on where it's sourced, and extra virgin oil is the best option. 

Sweet almond oil 

As the most popular massage oil, sweet almond oil feels luxurious on the skin while offering multiple properties. With its combination of powerful vitamins A, B, and D, sweet almond oil can be a lifesaver for dry skin. 

Linoleic acid also contributes to healthier skin, reducing sensitivity and nourishing it. Whether you use almond oil on its own or combine it with other oils, its many properties are why so many massage therapists swear by it. 

The pros: 

  • Sweet almond oil has a light texture, making it ideal for sensitive skin. It won't clog the pores or leave any residue. 
  • Vitamin E and fatty acids have moisturising properties, and this massage oil is abundant in them. 
  • Individuals with psoriasis and eczema often find that sweet almond oil relieves their skin and makes the symptoms easier to manage. 
  • The oil makes an excellent base for mixing other ingredients to create a unique experience. 

Potential drawbacks: 

  • Individuals with nut allergies should never use sweet almond oil, which can cause severe reactions. 
  • The oil has a short shelf life, which makes it more expensive than some alternatives. 
  • Like most massage oils, sweet almond oil can stain clothing and sheets. 

Choosing the right massage oil for your needs 

When choosing your massage oil, never be afraid to ask for advice. The therapists at I Love Massage can help you understand which oils are best for your skin type and needs. 

Coconut oil is a great choice if you want to leave the session with a lingering scent, while sweet almond oil will always be the gold standard of massage oils. Once you're used to massages, it's easier to try different combinations and see which works best for your needs. 

Book your massage session today 

If you're searching for a massage service that prioritises convenience without compromising quality, we're confident you'll find everything you need with us. Our website is full of qualified female and male therapists skilled in numerous techniques. 

Please book your appointment online or contact us with any questions.