Massage Oil Components: Key Ingredients and Usage

Posted by MassageTools Staff on Jun 28th 2016

Most commercial massage oils are a combination of a carrier oil and an essential oil. There are numerous combinations that can be made and sometimes a combination of oils is used, but all massage oils contain those 2 basic ingredients. The carrier oil chosen and type of essential oil used will determine the final properties of the oil.

Massage therapy is meant to soothe and relax sore muscles to stimulate the circulation of blood and encourage the flow of lymph within the body. Massage has a beneficial effect on skin and can also calm and uplift the mind. There are as many types of massage oils as there are methods of massage. The type of oil you choose will depend on the type of massage being given and any patient sensitivity. The primary function of massage oil is to provide lubrication, but it can also have a beneficial effect on the skin.

When choosing a massage oil, it's important to take into account the amount of slip and grip required for the style of massage. Rougher massages targeting deep tissues will require an oil with more grip. Massages designed for relaxation will require oil with greater slip. The oil should improve or enhance the quality of the massage. Additives to the oil, like essential oils, can add an aromatherapy benefit, further enhancing the effects of the massage oil.

When creating your own custom massage oil, start off by choosing a carrier oil. Carrier oil is the basic ingredient in massage oil and is typically vegetable-based. Grape seed oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil and hazelnut oil are all popular choices and make great carrier oils. Once you've selected your carrier oil, it's time to add an essential oil. Only a drop or two is needed and different scents can be mixed to create custom blends. Essential oils are prone to breaking down in the wrong environment, so store them carefully to maximize effectiveness. Popular essential oils for massage include lavender, peppermint, cinnamon and rosewood.

Whether you make your own massage oil or buy it already mixed, knowing what's in your massage oil will help you choose the right oil for your client's skin type, allergies and preferences. The best massage therapists take into account every aspect of their work, which includes the oils they use. For a great selection of affordable massage oils, check out