Massage oil enables your hands to glide over skin without causing any friction, and while there are plenty of lotions and oils to choose from, not all of them measure up.
That is why we asked experts to recommend some of the best and most effective massage oils out there:
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Licensed Massage Therapist
In my opinion, the best massage oil is jojoba, which is actually a liquid wax (it will solidify in cold temps). Jojoba is known to be the closest thing to the oil our skin produces.
Therapists like different oils for different reasons. I like a good, lasting glide with oil that is light. When massaging a larger area, such as a person’s back, I don’t want to have to keep applying oil so that I can do massage effectively (and have it comfortable for the client). I apply oil as I start massaging a person’s back & twenty minutes later, I still have a good glide with minimal reapplication.
In addition, jojoba is not a nut oil, which is a concern for people who may have a nut allergy. Jojoba is non-allergenic. It’s a great base oil to which I add organic essential oils.
Jojoba also does not oxidize or go rancid, is non-comedogenic (does not clog pores so it won’t contribute to the creation of pimples) & it is absorbed into the skin so clients do not feel oily after a massage.
Skin is our biggest sensory organ, so we can understand how a massage is so relaxing. Our feet and hands have a complex number of nerve receptors and for this reason, massage of the feet and hands provides a sensational feeling of comfort and well being.
For both feet and hands, I use vegetal oil and essential oil. Vegetable oil moisturizes the skin and also helps the slip of the massage maneuvers. Essential oils, each essence has an active product and can be used to treat a specific symptom. The most important thing is should be natural to works effectively.
Many patients come to me with heel pain, more specifically with the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. The pain may be acute or chronic and gets worse in the morning when you take the first steps and after standing up.
In this case, I recommend myofascial release, or rather a myofascial mobilization. For this technique, I use a small amount of vegetable oil: sweet almond oil, grape seed oil or arnica oil. I add a few drops of essential oils such as peppermint, ginger or lemongrass.
Sweet almond or grapeseed oil
I also assist patients with peripheral neuropathy caused by Diabetes Mellitus for example. In this case, the patient presents tingling, burning sensation and decreased the sensitivity of the feet, as well as dryness of the skin. For these patients who are looking for me specifically for foot massage, I work with Reflexotherapy.
Reflexotherapy is based on the application of pressure to certain points of the feet (“reflex zones”) that correspond to the organs and systems of the human body.
In this case, I use sweet almond or grapeseed oil for better skin hydration and add a few drops of lavender and chamomile essential oil
When it comes to hands, people come to me for joint pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis and also pain from Quervain’s tenosynovitis. In both cases, I use the massage associated with physiotherapy. For the massage technique, I use vegetable oil and add a few drops of chamomile, eucalyptus or basil essential oil.
Contraindications to foot and hand massage include open wounds, fractures, skin allergy and during pregnancy certain specific points on both feet and hands should be avoided. For this reason, is important to search for a specialized professional.
Contraindication to essential oils must also be taken into consideration for pregnant woman, nursing mothers, and babies.
Couples Massage Instructor, SexyWellness
In over 30 years of working with Massage, I tried dozens of oils. Jojoba oil is my all-time favorite. It has lovely gliding and nourishing properties. It also absorbs easily into the skin. Most important, it doesn’t go rancid. It’s pricier but well worth it.
Plant-based oils are healthy for the skin and great for a massage but you need to use them up while they’re fresh. All nut and seed oils turn rancid in a short amount of time. They can also make your sheets and towels smell bad.
Petroleum-based oils deplete our skin’s natural oils and thus can be pro-aging. Avoid these! Read labels.
Some plant oils have an undesirable smell from the get-go. I don’t know anyone who wants to smell like olive or sesame oil — as if they’ve been working in a restaurant for ten hours.
I have a very keen sense of smell. As a child, I’d sniff everything from food, leather wallets, and Barbie dolls, to tape recorders. People called me “The Sniffer.” My mom used me to figure out what foods to throw away from the fridge, saying, “The nose knows!”
Jojoba has a very neutral fragrance. But it’s also wonderful to add a couple of drops of essential oil to the massage oil if desired.
Citrus notes are usually men’s favorite, whereas ladies often choose the flowery, smoother scents– rose, amber or geranium.
Soothing Touch Herbal Lavender
It is water-based instead of oil-based so it doesn’t stain your sheets or leave a heavy residue. It also doesn’t leave a strong smell. I am allergic to bio tone and it eats the skin off my hands.
I am also a fan of Simply Earths fractionated coconut oil. I like to add just a couple drops of my favorite essential oil and make my massage experience more personable to my client.
Owner, Wayfare Wellness
I use essential oils with many of my massage therapy clients, and one of my favorites is Lavender essential oil. It’s one of the most popular essential oils out there, and with good reason!
Not only does it fill the room with a sweetly crisp aroma to create a more soothing atmosphere, but it also helps relieve muscle tension and promotes relaxation within the body. Which means, it amplifies the pain relief and relaxing aspects of massage therapy, so our clients leave feeling more satisfied, relaxed, and happy.
There are also numerous claims that lavender oil can act as an anti-depressant, anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory. It has also been reported that lavender can improve sleep, boost stamina, and increase energy levels as well. It feels like it’s a one-in-everything essential oil!
Holistic Skincare Expert | Licensed Esthetician | Founder & CEO, Celsaderm Skincare
If you’re seeking; affordability, a sensual yet viable slip, deep penetration, and a boost of hydration; then grapeseed, sweet almond, and sunflower seed oils are your superstars of choice!
Being non-fragrant emollients, these natural plant oils are perfect for all skin types and light enough to glide over the skin without leaving a greasy residue.
Equally, these multi-talented besties offer more than stress relief; they feed the skin with potent antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Two nutrients have proven to nourish neglected areas, heal unseen damage, soften surface texture, and eradicate dry skin.
Certified Mental Health Consultant, Enlightened Reality | Relationship Expert, Maple Holistics
Muscle Relief Massage Oil
If you’re looking for a natural way to relieve muscle pain Maple Holistics has formulated a plant-powered, therapeutic-grade massage oil that’s cruelty-free to heal aches and pains.
The healing aromatherapeutic qualities of lavender, rosemary, and lemon essential oils work in synergy to relax and reinvigorate both body and mind. All of these oils are touted for their anti-inflammatory properties to soothe and alleviate your aches.
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