A deep, relaxing massage: just what you need after a long day. Whether you give yourself a rubdown or your partner does, you’re going to want to enhance the experience with the perfect massage oil. Massage oil helps prevent skin irritation during massage, while contributing added therapeutic benefits. While your muscles might not complain about which oil you use, your skin and your senses might be pickier about products.
Just getting started with massage? Here’s our guide to the best oils for your relaxing ritual. Already a pro? Read on for some new ideas to mix it up!
Invigorating Essential Oils & Soothing Massage Oils
First, let’s make a quick distinction: essential oils and massage oils are not the same thing. Essential oils are distilled and concentrated oils, often used for their aromatherapy benefits. If they are used during massage, they must be blended with a “carrier oil” that will dilute the essential oil to prevent irritation and provide the skin-soothing benefits during massage. Carrier oils can also be used on their own as massage oils. A few of the most popular carrier oils include:
- Sweet almond oil – Gentle and hypoallergenic
- Virgin coconut oil – Anti-microbial and soothing
- Jojoba oil – Easily absorbed, protective
Some people also use other natural oils like grapeseed, sesame, avocado, sunflower, and olive oils. There are many different options, but some are really too thick for massage, and don’t allow the hands to glide over the skin easily. Test a few carrier oils to see which one feels the best for you—then try adding a few drops of invigorating essential oil for the senses!
Gentle Oils for Baby Massage
Babies have soft, sensitive skin, so it’s important to choose an especially gentle oil for massaging little ones. Sweet almond oil and virgin coconut oil are among the best choices, because they’re gentle, soothing and all-natural. Oil blends formulated just for babies are often the best option, like the Biconi Baby Massage Oil, which contains a blend of virgin coconut oil, organic jojoba oil, and organic sweet almond oil. Before you use any massage oil on your infant, test it in a small area to make sure there are no reactions to the product. Don’t use essential oils in baby massage unless you talk to a certified therapist or doctor first, since they can be too intense for sensitive skin. Baby massage is intended to soothe and calm, with gentle strokes, instead of the therapeutic pressure favored for adult massage, so the massage oil you choose should soothe as well.
Factors to Consider
Before you choose an oil for massage, there are a few factors to consider for your own health and wellness. Here are a few things to think about while you shop:
Ingredients & Manufacturing Process
It’s always best to choose organic oils whenever possible, though not all oils will be available with an organic option. High-quality, cold-pressed oils are always the best choice, whether they’re organic or not, and it’s a good idea to choose products with no synthetic additives (your skin will thank you!). Some oils are often extracted with solvents (like grapeseed oil), so it’s best to choose oils that can be naturally processed, like sweet almond oil.
Any Allergies & Sensitivities
Many oils are nut-based, so if you have any allergies or sensitivities, read the label closely to ensure you won’t have a reaction to your massage oil. The good news is that there are so many different options, you’re sure to find an oil that won’t irritate your skin!
Consistency & Absorption
Thicker oils don’t absorb into the skin as well and can be greasy. If you’re worried about getting grease on your linens, choose a light, quick-absorbing oil like jojoba to help minimize mess.
Some oils are much pricier than others. Jojoba oil is sometimes twice the price of sweet almond oil, but they are both prized for their benefits during massage. Cost is a factor that could help you make a decision between comparable oils, but remember: a little oil goes a long way.
Entirely personal preference, but make sure you like the smell of whatever massage oil you choose. If it’s a light scent, you could enhance it with your favorite invigorating essential oils.
Are Commercial Blends Worth It?
Some massage therapists (and most consumers) just rely on commercial oil blends for massage. This is for a few reasons: they’re convenient, they usually smell good, and they tend to stain less than pure massage oils. Those are the perks of using a commercial blend, but there are some big downsides as well: they can be expensive, you have less control over the ingredients, and they’re more likely to be made using synthetic products and processes, which can be harmful to you and the planet.
If you do decide to go for a commercial massage oil over invigorating essential oils or pure organic oils, don’t just grab the first blend you find. Do a little research! Try to ensure that the manufacturer uses high-quality (preferably organic) ingredients and has ethical, cruelty-free manufacturing practices.
Blend Your Own Oils
If a single carrier oil seems dull to you, there’s always the option of creating your own oil blend that combines the scents of the invigorating essential oils you love with the soothing properties of a gentle product like sweet almond oil. Your creativity is your only limit, so if you love experimenting with beauty products, making your own massage oil is a great way to personalize your experience!
At Biconi, we offer oils that help soothe and repair the skin. Our Virgin Coconut Oil, Baby Massage Oil, and Sweet Almond Oil are all great choices for your next massage. Don’t forget that personal preference is the most important factor of all—so don’t be afraid to switch it up until you find the massage oil that makes you relax, enjoy, and forget all about the stresses of the day.