Oil is important to use during massage but that doesn’t mean you should reach for the first massage oil you can find. Different oils have different consistencies as well as different benefits. Some oils are better for light massage, others are best suited to deep tissue massage and men and women often prefer different scents too. So it is better to understand what are your expectations and then to find the best massage oil for that purpose.

Skin Should Feel Moisturised

One of the most important aspects of massage oil is that the skin should absorb it well, but leave enough moisture coating the skin to allow easy manipulation in order to gain real benefit. Oil should also be moisturising, strangely enough, some oils are actually drying to skin so be careful to select the right type of massage oil.

Massage oils ingredients and benefitsSome oils are pure essential oils, extracted from plants, flowers and fruit. Others are blended oils, sometimes enhanced with fragrance and other elements to deliver a great massage experience. Then some oils are designed for different benefits, for example, some people might want a massage to promote restful sleep (lavender is good for this), to encourage deep relaxation or reduce levels of stress whereas others might want a massage to boost energy (as an example, mint is excellent for rejuvenation) or to help with sports injury or post workout recovery. That’s why it’s vital that you have the right oils available.

Don’t be shy to blend oils yourself to create a product that glides over skin well (without over-spreading) with a great scent.

Remember, some people might use creams or lotions in massage but oil is the best product to use to minimize friction between the skin and the hands applying the massage.

The Best Massage Oil For Men

There’s simply no point in giving a man a deep tissue massage with a feminine, floral scent (unless that’s what they request!). The fragrance alone won’t be appreciated. Men need deep, woody scents or citrusy aromas. They might prefer something that is relaxing yet invigorating at the same time, designed to alleviate soreness in tired, over-used muscles and that will also awaken the senses. Good oil for this purpose is peppermint.

Mint essential oil is entirely refreshing and helps to boost energy levels plus its lively scent really clears the mind too. We recommend Brookethorne Natural’s Refresh Massage Oil which is infused with eucalyptus (uplifting) and peppermint essential oils. This massage oil boasts many therapeutic qualities and is ideal for a full body massage.

Retailing at just over $16.50 (depending on where you purchase it from) you get a generously sized glass bottle containing 8.5 floz of massage oil, which should last you for a long while. The oil isn’t sticky or slimy so it glides onto the skin; skin feels smooth post-massage due to the oil’s moisturising qualities.

Best Massage Oil For Women

Sensual Massage OilSome women actually like the more masculine scents so you might find that woody and citrusy essential oils work wonders for your female clients, however, generally, women prefer the floral and fruity scents. Lots of women want a massage that is calming and relaxing but some are looking for an invigorating session to boost wellness and improve mental clarity.

Others want a sensual massage, so they feel appreciated and if you want to try something at home with a partner, select oil containing almond and jojoba with lavender. One of our favourite massage oils for women is Honeydew’s Sensual Massage Oil With Pure Lavender which is blended with almond and jojoba oil. An 8 ounce bottle costs $10.95 (depending on retailer) and gives you plenty of massage oil for long-term use. 100% hypoallergenic and completely natural, it is excellent soothing oil that glides on skin leaving it feeling super-soft.

The fragrance instantly calms and restores balance while delivering a very sensual feeling all over, ideal for passionate nights! It doesn’t stain and works well as a muscle lubricant. This massage oil is also suitable for men.

Best Massage Oil for Baby

Weleda Baby Tummy OilBabies love gentle massage but obviously their skin is very sensitive so you need to take care to choose a kind massage oil that is 100% natural and 100% hypoallergenic. Make sure there are no additives, preservatives or chemicals that could inflame your child’s delicate skin and also check that the scent isn’t too overpowering for your little one. At just $9.50 (depending on where you purchase from) is Weleda Baby Tummy Oil which is packaged in a 1.7 ounce bottle.

Ideally, this is for your baby’s tummy and helps to release wind and stomach ache but it can be used on arms and legs too for a soothing body massage. Suitable for newborns upwards, it’s certified natural and dermatologically tested so it’s free from synthetic preservatives, fragrances, colours and mineral oils. Baby Tummy Oil is a combination of marjoram, chamomile and cardamom blended with a little sweet almond oil; all of these ingredients are gentle and kind to a baby’s skin.

Best Massage Oil for Sore Muscles

Massage Oil for MusclesPost workout or following muscle injury, you need a massage that concentrates on alleviating pain, discomfort and soreness so you should choose a massage oil that penetrates into the skin, reducing muscle ache. One of the best you can buy is the Relax Therapeutic Body Massage Oil by Brookethorne Naturals and designed for helping relieve muscle stiffness.

This blend of essential oils is made with all-natural therapeutic ingredients lavender, peppermint and marjoram and combined with sweet almond oil for excellent glide over the skin. A bottle costs approximately $16 (depending on retailer) for a generous 6 ounces of oil. As well as sore muscle relief, this blend delivers an excellent relaxing massage, perfect for unwinding after a busy day.

Best Massage Oil for Weight Loss

CIDbest Aticelulite Massage OilUsed in conjunction with a balanced diet and exercise, you can boost metabolism with high quality massage oil. Speeding up the metabolism is what’s needed to burn calories and aid weight loss. Be aware that no massage oil will actually make you lose weight but it can help.

Additionally, oil massaged into the hips, bottom and thighs can breakdown cellulite, the orange peel texture, smoothing out bumps so skin looks lump-free and is better toned. One of the best massage oils for weight loss and cellulite is the Anti Cellulite Massage Oil by Cid Best Official. This detoxifying oil actually targets unwanted fat tissue, firms the skin and reduces cellulite when used regularly.

Retailing at $12.99 (depending on where you purchase it from), you get 3.4 ounces of luxurious oil packaged in a small, glass bottle. The oil is made from grape seed oil, cypress oil, citrus lemon and grapefruit oil, all pure and natural and known for hydrating, softening and firming

Best Massage Oil for Back Pain

Pain Relief Roll On OilBack pain is cripplingly uncomfortable and can render you completely bed-ridden. Some people suffer with it regularly and need massage or physiotherapy to loosen the muscles. It’s important to use the right massage oil to speed up the healing process and help manipulate the muscles that create tension.

One of the very best massage oils for back pain is Outback All-Natural Pain Relief, a generous 300 ml pump style bottle that contains topical oil. Retailing at $80, it’s certainly not cheap (depends on the retailer) but you do get plenty of oil for the money and if you regularly suffer with back pain, this product is invaluable. Infused with all-natural ingredients including tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, vanilla and olive oil, it penetrates deeply, getting far beneath the skin to joints and muscles.

With a pleasant earthy scent, it’s incredibly refreshing oil too which brings muscle pain relief and a sense of immense relaxation. The manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee so you feel confidence that you’re purchasing a quality product.

Best Oil for Pregnancy

Stretch Mark CreamWhile pregnancy is a magical time, it also brings weight gain (which is entirely natural) and some people experience stretch marks on their skin. You can fade stretch marks by using quality massage oil. Stretch marks are quite literally, the markings of skin as it stretches to accommodate a growing bump.

If skin is hydrated and elastic, stretch marks can be minimised. Buy high quality oil for pregnancy to combat these marks, we recommend Herbal Unity Stretch Mark Cream which is made using Rosehip and coconut oil. It deeply penetrates the skin to prevent scarring and reduce signs of scarring. Priced at $24.99 (depending on retailer) you get 16 ounces which should last you for a long while.

Rosehip oil contains fatty acids and omega 3 and 6, both vital for skin regeneration and the coconut helps to rehydrate tissue so skin feels refreshed, soft and supple.

Best Massage Oil for Dry Skin

Massage Oil for Dry SkinDry skin can be combatted using moisturising massage oil, one that glides over the skin, penetrating the epidermis so restoring balance. Some massage oils can be drying, so it’s important to look for one with natural hydrating qualities. If you are prone to dry skin, always look for all-natural ingredients so there’s no chance of inflaming the skin and further dehydrating it.

We love Ancient Greek Remedy Oil (4 ounces) which retails at approximately $16 (depending on where you purchase it from) and contains 100% organic oils olive, lavender, almond, grapeseed infused with Vitamin E. Suitable for the body, hair and face, this multi-purpose massage oil is an excellent all-round product. All ingredients are completely natural and this oil is so good, it’s ideal for use on sunburn, age spots, skin irritation and acne. It’s safe for use on adults and children.

Best Massage Oil for Relaxation

Lulu Sensual Massage OilMassage is known for its relaxing benefits; often a good massage can even lull you into sleep and certainly keep you feeling calm and serene for a few hours post-massage. If you do want a massage especially for relaxation then select the right type of oil and you will really enjoy a superb therapeutic experience.

We recommend LuLu Sensual Massage Oil which comes in a 16 ounce pump bottle and retails at just under $17. Scented with natural aromatherapy oil and sweet almond oil, it is the ultimate in relaxation. Made using geranium leaf, it’s lightweight yet strongly aromatic and designed to hydrate skin, reducing dryness and improve overall moisture. It smells heavenly and feels smooth and soft on the skin, yet leaves no oily residue. Ideal for men and women, it’s one of those massage oils everyone should keep in their bathroom.

Best Massage Oil for Cellulite & Cupping

Anti Cellulite Treatment Massage OilCellulite is one of those problems that happen to most women at some point in life and it doesn’t go away unless you take action! One of the best things you can do is to use massage to stimulate the circulation in the areas of concern and improve skin tone.

As well as a cellulite buster, the following oil is also beneficial for cupping, an ancient therapy used to alleviate pain and discomfort. At just under $12 (depending on retailer) is anti-cellulite treatment oil by Buena Skin. Eight ounces of all natural ingredients, this oil penetrates the skin far deeper than regular cellulite cream and targets unwanted fat tissue, encouraging it to naturally disperse.

Toning, smoothing and firming, this oil also softens the skin while nourishing it too. It penetrates deep beneath the epidermis, working on the fat deposits to stop the dimpled appearance. The oil attacks and shrinks the fat cells so skin looks tight and firm. Infused with vitamin C and the antioxidant Lycopene, it also decongests the lymphatic system. Completely natural, this oil is free from parabens, sulphates and phthalates.

Best Massage Oil for Sports and Athletic Massage

Relief Arnica Massage OilSports massage and athletic massage is designed to help speed up recovery time and also to reduce sore and stiff muscles, so they’re supple enough for the next intense training session. That said, it’s important to use the right type of oil to encourage best results.

We recommend Relief Arnica Massage Oil by Brookethorne Naturals, which is infused with all-natural arnica, sweet almond, lemongrass, rosemary, eucalyptus and jojoba oils for the ultimate result. Retailing at $34.95 (depending on where you purchase it from) you get an 8.5 ounce pump bottle of high-grade massage oil that is soothing and gives good relief from muscular aches and pains.

The oil is non-sticky and non-greasy, gliding over the limbs carefully and delivering a therapeutic experience. 100% natural, this oil is paraben free and not tested on animals.

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Carmen is an entrepreneur and content marketer. In a former life, as a corporate business executive, she relied on yoga, reflexology and other alternative practices to fight stress, anxiety and find balance. She’s on a mission to build healthy habits for a balanced, healthy life, connecting body, mind and spirit.