Buying scented massage oils has the unpleasant downside of restricting you to a single texture and you might have trouble finding your favorite scent. A much better way to find the right massage oil for you is to simply get vegetables oils, that give you a lot more control when it comes to consistency, and add your own essential oils, a process that allows you to try new aromas every time.
Mineral oils and petroleum-based oils aren’t at the top of the list for massage therapists and most prefer to use vegetable oils. Even if they have a shorter lifespan, plant-based is the way to go when you’re looking for the best massage oils.
If you choose vegetable oils, you might not need to look for them farther than your pantry. Discover the best massage oils, that can be used in their most natural form or scented with essential oils for a more complete aromatherapy experience. No matter which oil you choose, you can control consistency by heating it (to make it thinner) or adding vitamin E oil (if it’s not thick enough).
Sweet Almond Oil
The only reason why you should avoid sweet almond oil is having a nut allergies. Otherwise, this is one of the best massage oils and it’s a top choice for most massage professionals. It has a pleasant smell so you don’t have to add essential oils to it if you don’t want to and the consistency is just right for most types of massage.
If you don’t use massage oils that often and you’re afraid they’ll go rancid, jojoba oil is the best choice, since it’s actually a wax, not an actual oil. Excellent for back acne, jojoba oil is on the thin side of the spectrum and it’s easily absorbed into the skin, so you’ll have to choose between reapplying it more often than other massage oils or thickening it before use.
Fractionated Coconut Oil
While regular coconut oil is very thick, the fractionated version is one of the best massage oils thanks to its non-greasy texture. It should be your top choice if keeping your sheets stain-free is a big priority. It also has a longer shelf life that most massage oils and if you’d like a thicker consistency, you can easily mix it with olive oil.
Apricot Kernel Oil
Praised by many massage therapists for its consistency and texture, apricot kernel oil won’t leave your skin greasy, but it doesn’t need constant reapplication either. Just like jojoba and fractionated coconut oil, you can store it for longer without fear of it going rancid.
With a light consistency and almost completely odorless, grapeseed oil is one of the best massage oils you can use without any additions. It might not be the best choice for aromatherapy, since unlike most oils it isn’t directly pressed from seeds. Extracted with the help of a solvent, it might not be the best choice if you’re only looking for the most natural massage oil.
Even if it’s very praised in Ayurveda, Indian traditional medicine, sesame oil shouldn’t be your top choice if you’re not willing to create the perfect consistency yourself. Don’t use it on its own if you hate oily residue on your skin. Instead, use a lighter carrier oil to create the perfect mixture and add a few drops of essential oil if you don’t like its strong smell.
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the best massage oils you can find in most kitchens, but if you’re not particularly fond of its smell, you should mix it with another oil. You can also use it to thicken lighter oils, but you’ll need to use a lot more of it than vitamin E oil for the same results.
Some studies have shown that sunflower oil is better for the skin than olive oil and it includes fatty acids that enforce your skin’s natural role as a barrier. Many people consider it one of the best massage oils, but it’s also one of the most perishable, unless you mix it with vitamin E oil.
Good Massage Oils with Bad Consistency
Other excellent massage oils include avocado oil, safflower oil and wheat germ oil. They’re not considered great on their own because of a thicker consistency. The secret to using them is to simply use lighter oils, like apricot kernel and sweet almond to get them to the right consistency for massage.