10 Best Massage Oils
that help heal overworked muscles!

Finding the best massage oils is essential for any massage practitioner. They provide a warm, soothing touch for clients, which promotes deep relaxation and releases stress and tension.

Many massage therapists will tell you that the most important tool they use is their massage oil, it's that important to them. 

Our 10 favorite massage oils are listed by type (with links to the page), and each oil discussed in detail including uses, recommended brands, and additional benefits.

Just as a musician is picky about their instrument (who touches it, plays it or repairs it), a therapist is exactly that way about his/her massage oil.

When a therapist chooses the oil that they will use on a daily basis, it is done with great care and caution.

They consider the specific ingredients in the oil (vitamins, natural products, enzymes, minerals) and how those products will promote healing for their clients. They will also consider the price of the oil, of course, as well as how it warms and glides when rubbed on the skin.

Some therapists use luxurious massage creams. Some therapists use massage gels, which are designed to provide specific therapeutic benefits like stress relief, or relief from aches and pains, but are also often used with massage stones. Most use a combination of all three.

Best massage oils and their benefits:

  • Almond
    Nourishes dry, itchy skin, anti-inflammatory,light, Contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and E - used in many massage techniques, great for hair and scalp massage
  • Apricot
    All-purpose oil for all skin types. Absorbs into skin slowly.Great alternative to nut oils. High in Vitamins A and E.
  • Arnica
    This is olive oil with arnica extract. Anti-inflammatory, nice scent, great for pain, stiffness, bruises, and sore muscles
  • Castor - slightly thick oil - one of the best massage oils for Scalp massage
  • Coconut
    Heavy, thick oil often used on rough, dry skin. Usually has to be warmed before using, unless mixed with other high-quality massage oils.
  • Emu
    Great for sensitive skin, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, speeds healing, great for clients who have eczema, burns, abrasions, and chronic skin conditions such as Psoriasis
  • Grapeseed
    All-natural, light, smooth glide. Absorbs into skin easily, and contains many vitamins and minerals - very popular with spas and therapists alike
  • Jojoba
    Cold-press, pure, smooth, silky glide. Rich in Vitamin E, resembles the body's own natural oil - a favorite with many therapists
  • Kukui Nut
    Pure, smooth, rich, tropical smell, natural oil. Usually contains safflower, coconut, kukui nut, almond and sunflower oils. Great for  Hawaiian body treatments, such as Lomilomi or Mana Lomi.
  • Olive
    Cold-press, pure, silky glide. Warms easily, great for soreness and stiffness
  • Sesame
    Often found in Ayurvedic massage techniques, most often 100% pure and made of high-quality sesame seed. Rich in vitamins and minerals. Good for psoriasis, eczema, arthritis and as a skin softener.

You may like to read what brand of massage oil  therapists recommend, before purchasing any oil in bulk.

Throughout many centuries, oils have been regarded as sacred elements of the healing process. Ayurvedic oils (like olive or sesame) were used in India over 5000 years ago to treat many types of ailments.

The most natural carrier oils are chemical-free, cold-pressed, pure oils. The best massage oils, along with pure essential oils, can be combined in a luxurious massage oil recipe that will enable your client to relax, rest and heal.

Using good quality, warm oils in the massage not only gives the smooth, gliding motions that are known to promote the deepest state of relaxation, but it is also great for nourishing the skin. A well-built massage oil warmer will keep your oil warm and your client comfortable throughout the massage session.

Other Resources

You can read more about carrier oils at Mother Earth Living.

While not one of our 10 best massage oils, massage gel is a favorite with many massage therapists. It offers easy glide, and has quality ingredients that are awesome for the skin.

It has the workability benefits of lotion, and the smooth glide of oil. It provides excellent coverage, so the therapist uses less of the gel than an oil. and is great for all types of skin, as it is hypoallergenic, unscented and water diespersable.

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