The right oil can turn a regular massage into something truly special. When used expertly, you can reach new heights of body contact that relieves stress and gets rid of tension like nothing else. Unfortunately, not all oils are created equal, and the same rule applies for skin types. Finding the right oil takes a bit of experimentation, and there are a few minor hazards along the way. If you choose the wrong one, it can end up aggravating your skin, provoking an allergic reaction, or leaving your body feeling like a greasy mess. In general, you won’t know how you’re going to react to a particular oil until you’ve tried it. But that’s what fingers are for! Start off slowly by testing and sampling rather than going right in with a full of massage. You can also base your decision on past experiences with different lotions and creams that contain these same ingredients.
It might seem like a time-consuming process to find the right massage oil, but when you finally land upon something that works – it’s completely worth it! Here are some of my favorite massage oils, and the reasons why they might be a fit for you.
This is a wax product that comes from the associated plant. It goes on gently and usually doesn’t end up the irritating skin, even for people who suffer from blemishes and acne. In fact, it has been used successfully for people with back acne because of its antibacterial properties.
Sweet Almond Oil
I love this oil for the smell alone, but it also happens to work wonders with massage. It goes on smoothly with a slightly oily feeling that lends itself to the right amount of friction when giving a message. It’s also quite popular because it’s one of the less irritating oils around unless of course if you have a nut allergy.
Apricot Kernel Oil
If you happen to have a nut allergy, this is a great alternative that gives much the same effects as almond oil. You’ll find it also contains a nice amount of nutrients to help bolster the strength of skin.
This is a personal choice based on the fact that I simply love avocados. Like food, it’s one of my favorites, and I use it for natural skin remedies as well. The oil form is pressed from the avocado fruit and usually works better when combined with other lighter oils.
This isn’t something you would ever use all by itself. It’s thick and has a heavy tone, and works a lot better when you use it as a smaller component combined with other oils. But it also happens to give you wonderful results in small doses, and it can help people with dry skin as well.
This oil is obviously known for cooking more than it is for massage. It’s more of a last resort item if you can’t find anything else, and most people tend to avoid it because of its heavy association with food.
Kukui Nut Oil
This is another nut-based oil that works for all skin types. It has a nice aroma and can be used for both oily and sun damaged skin. It’s a product that comes from Hawaii – a place where many natural ingredients are used successfully to maintain skin.
I have a hard time using this oil myself because I happen to use it for cooking as well. I don’t usually like to smell like my food. But I happen to know that other cultures use it successfully for massage, especially when blended with other light oils.
Fractionated Coconut Oil
This is one of the best all-purpose oils around, and there are many benefits to using it. It’s cheaper and has a long shelf life. It’s also safe for most skin types and goes on clean without the threat of staining sheets.
General rules – avoid mineral oil if you can find another alternative. It’s less effective and not as healthy for your skin.
Be careful when buying plant-based oils because they can go bad rather quickly. You can solve this problem by buying in smaller quantities.
Don’t be afraid to mix-and-match, but make sure to differentiate between heavier components and light ones. Combining two heavier types isn’t going to do much good for your skin, and it can create a greasy mess. You can also experiment with ingredients used for aromatherapy to increase the therapeutic that fits your message.