Massage oils

The 10 Best Massage Oils

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: June 9, 2017
The 10 Best Massage Oils

If you are wondering why you should use massage oil in the first place, you've likely never had a good massage. If someone gives you the rub down with dry hands, then you may end up doing more harm than good with skin friction. Olive oil, which many of us may only know from cooking, was used by the Ancient Romans for cleaning and hygiene in their baths and the Ancient Greeks used it for massage during the beginnings of what would become the Olympic games. You can use creams and lotions to get a similar effect, but the problem is that there are often unwanted chemicals which may not be good for your skin. That's why oneHOWTO has the 10 best massage oils to keep you supple and relaxed, naturally.

You may also be interested in: What is the Ayurvedic Massage Technique
  1. Aloe vera oil
  2. Almond oil
  3. Chamomile
  4. Juniper
  5. Eucalyptus
  6. Lavender
  7. Lemon or citrus fruits
  8. Melissa
  9. Orchid oil
  10. Sandalwood
See more >>

Aloe vera oil

Many people may think that massages are reserved for special occasions like spa days or vacations with a massage therapist in your hotel. However, massage is something which can be learned at home (perhaps not as good as the pros) and there are more benefits than just saving money. You can choose the right massage oil for you and your skin, learn new techniques and provide quick therapy if you are tense at a time when you cannot see a professional. Our list of top 10 best massage oils will look at different oils for your different needs, starting with aloe vera.

Hydrating oil with aloe vera regulates the humidity of the skin and keeps it soft and elastic whilst you enjoy this incredible massage. Among all of its benefits for the skin, we should point out it's a good option if you have spots on your back. It was called the "plant of immortality" by Ancient Egyptians (another ancient culture which knew the benefits of massaging with oils) because it helps keep you youthful and healthy looking.

It acts as a moisturizer and many people use it after they've been in the sun too long as a natural aftersun lotion. It's full of nutrients and can also be helpful to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

The 10 Best Massage Oils - Aloe vera oil

Almond oil

Almond oil is rich in nutrients, protein, minerals and vitamins A and E. Furthermore, it has a high concentration of essential fatty acids, which makes it one of the best skin moisturizers. You can also add the almond oil to a regular hydrating cream if you don't want to get too sticky.

Some claim that you don't just blanch almonds, but they can blanch you. If you have areas of skin which have dark patches, some massage therapists suggest using almond oil to help lighten the skin again. It is also a natural emollient. These are the type of creams and lotions you might be prescribed by the doctor if you have dry skin. It helps keep you skin soft and supple, perfect when you want to get in to deep tissue massage.

The 10 Best Massage Oils - Almond oil


Used in a tea, chamomile is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. There is even some research that suggests it might be beneficial in preventing certain cancers. This is down to a chemical called apigenin which has shown that, while it does not affect growth of normal human cells, can inhibit growth of certain cancer cells. This is particularly the case for skin, prostate, breast and ovarian cancer. It also has potential benefits for mental health as it can be effective in combating anxiety and insomnia.

Chamomile oil is also beneficial to the skin. There are two main types of chamomile, German and Roman. Along with apigenin, they both contain valuable compounds which are beneficial to the skin, including bisabolol and chamazulene. The main benefit to skin is their anti-inflammatory properties. If you find yourself with puffy or flabby skin, it may not cut out the fat, but it can help with areas which are uncharacteristically inflamed. This means it is particularly good for those with sensitive skin. You can use chamomile oil or even use the tea infusion of chamomile mixed in with your regular cream or massage lotion.

The 10 Best Massage Oils - Chamomile


While some of us may be more aware of juniper's use in drinks (gin and tonic anyone?), it is a multi-faceted plant like all of our 10 best massage oils infusions. It is anti-rheumatic which is particularly important if you are older and the probability of developing arthritis is increased. This can be helpful if you ingest it (unfortunately the detrimental effects of overconsumption of alcohol will likely outweigh the benefits of drinking gin), but there are other uses on the skin.

As it helps with fluid retention, it has he potential to help prevent the formation of cellulite. It also can help with blood circulation, so it should give you an all over wellness feeling after massaging with juniper oil. If you have dry or sensitive skin, juniper oil can be great for a massage. It has been shown to provide positive effects on psoriasis, eczema and acne. If you have bacne (back-acne), then using juniper as a massage oil can be of great help. It's use as a stimulant to the circulatory system is thought to be beneficial in bringing firmness to the bust, providing a helpful toning effect when used as one of our best massage oils.

The 10 Best Massage Oils - Juniper


Used to alleviate problems with muscles, arthritis, and rheumatism. Its use relaxes the skin of the face and body. it is most commonly known as an anti-septic which is why it is commonly found in cough sweets and medicine. It can help soothe and clean infections when ingested (however, it can be toxic in large doses, so caution is required when doing so).

This anti-septic property can also be useful on the skin. If used on broken, but not open wound, skin, it can be helpful to protect it from infection. However, eucalyptus oil is very strong, so you should not put the concentrated form directly onto skin. Diluted it with another oil to receive its benefits. If you want to know more about how to do this, read our article on how to make eucalyptus oil.

The 10 Best Massage Oils - Eucalyptus


Lavender is know for its calming, antiseptic and healing properties. This is not to mention, like other oils on our 10 best massage oils list, it has a very pleasant bouquet. In addition to dealing with rheumatic pain it is used to reduce hypertension, alleviate skin infections, injury and bites of insects.

If you are under a lot of stress or have insomnia, lavender is the best essential oil to use in a massage.

The 10 Best Massage Oils - Lavender

Lemon or citrus fruits

Eating vitamin C which is found in citrus fruits is very important for a healthy life. It effects everything from our eyes to how we oxygenate our blood to stay alive. In this way it in an essential vitamin for us to ingest. However, it can also have great skin healing properties when used as a massage oil in a lemon or citrus fruit infusion.

It is vital in synthesis of collagen, which is the protein used to create skin, bone and other vital tissues. It has antioxidant properties, but also protects against photodamage (damage to the skin caused by negative properties of sunlight). Grapefruit can also boost your immune system and can help with depression and fatigue. Perhaps the most common and useful citrus fruit is the lemon and an infusion of essential oils is great for massage.

The 10 Best Massage Oils - Lemon or citrus fruits


Melissa is perhaps more commonly known to you as a woman's name, but it is also an excellent sedative and a relaxing tonic that reduces anxiety and nervousness too. It is also known as lemon balm or balm mint and is great for aromatherapy as the smell is divine. This is one of the reasons it is used alongside citronella.

There is insufficient evidence to suggest that it has real scientific benefits on a cellular level, but it is calming, smells wonderful and will grease you up as good as any of the oils on our 10 best massage oils list.

The 10 Best Massage Oils - Melissa

Orchid oil

Orchid oil has many moisturizing properties and is very relaxing too. It's refreshing and can also give your skin a more youthful look. Although it's use in traditional medicine is disreputable, it is one of the nicest smelling oils on our 10 best massage oils list and for this reason we think it's great. Even if the relaxing effect when used in massage is a placebo, it is very pleasant.

The 10 Best Massage Oils - Orchid oil


This wooden-scented oil also hydrates and acts against the dryness in the skin. It is also good for anxiety and digestive problems. When used as a massage oil, sandalwood oil is similar to many of the other oils on our list. This is due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. However, one important property of sandalwood oil when used as a massage oil, is that it has antispasmodic effects. This means if you are suffering from spasms, aches or tightness, it can help relax muscles and nerves better than some other oils on the list.

If you are an athlete, perhaps sandalwood is a good choice for you. It can help your muscles and skin relax and become more supple, especially when working together with the physical benefits of the massage itself.

The 10 Best Massage Oils - Sandalwood

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The 10 Best Massage Oils