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Updated by theoldbrew on Dec 08, 2015
Headline for The Massage Essentials: What Types of Oil Can I Use?
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The Massage Essentials: What Types of Oil Can I Use?

Choosing the right type of oil is essential for a good massage that really targets the areas you want to work, is suitable for the techniques you’ll be using and the individual’s skin type. Massage oils are highly customisable and usually blend carrier oils and essential oils; the carrier oil is the primary oil used for massage purposes, where essential oils are often more fragrant and are added for their individual properties, which are beneficial for a wide variety of health purposes:


Avocado oil

Avocado oil is great for soothing dry skin and is easily absorbed. Usually blended with another type of carrier oil for the use in massages, its properties make it a good option for elderly people or those with skin conditions such as eczema.


Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang

This essential oil is an extremely common and useful ingredient in massage oils, as it has a sedative effect on the nervous system which helps to relax the body. When used for massage purposes it can also help to stimulate blood circulation and the production of endorphins, for pain relief. Ylang Ylang is adaptable for any skin type because it can moisturise dry skin as well as helping with oily or acne prone skin.


Sunflower oil

Sunflower oil is widely available and acts as a cheaper alternative to other carrier oils, however it can leave the skin feeling greasy. Although it spreads well, many supermarket sunflower are heat pressed – cold pressed oils are best to use as they preserve the full essence and character of the oil.




The eucalyptus essence has anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties which make it ideal for therapeutic massages which target muscle aches or strain. Eucalyptus oil is also good for use all year round; it has thermal properties which can cool the body in summer months and provide warmth during the colder seasons.


Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil is an easily absorbed carrier oil especially good for moisturising the skin and is suitable for all skin types. Jojoba oil is an excellent choice when massaging sensitive skin and will leave skin soft and nourished without leaving a greasy residue.


Tea tree

Tea tree

Tea tree oil is one of the only essential oils that can be applied undiluted to the skin. It is useful for its anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties and can promote healing to damaged skin when used for massage purposes. Tea tree oil is also beneficial for encouraging a healthy functioning of the respiratory system.


Grapeseed oil

A common carrier oil, grapeseed oil contains anti-oxidants which increase levels of vitamin C and aid with skin regeneration. Grapeseed oil is a great moisturiser and is frequently used for anti-ageing massages.




Lavender essential oil has a calming aroma, helping with relaxation, stress relief and sleep. It is often used to help with the healing process and the prevention of scarring as well.


Almond oil

Almond oil is one of the most commonly used carrier oils for massages and aromatherapy applications as it offers many benefits to health. Bitter or sweet almond oils are available, although sweet almond oil is mostly used for massage purposes. Sweet almond oil is helpful for the immune system, inflammation, digestion and it’s brilliant for moisturising the skin.