The best massage oil

Massage & Relaxation

To keep your massage oil fresh, it’s best to store it in a dark-colored bottle and keep it in a cool, dry location.

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Which massage oils are best?

For the most comfortable, therapeutic massages, you have to start with high-quality massage oil. It helps the hands glide effortlessly over the body without any tugging and creates the perfect mood with a soothing scent. 

Not all massage oils are created equal, though. You have to choose a formula that suits the type of massage as well as any skin sensitivities you might have, so you have the most enjoyable massage possible. If you want the most convenient, soothing massage oil, the Badger Company Deep Tissue Massage Oil is the top choice. 

What to know before you buy a massage oil

Low-friction vs. high friction massage

It’s essential to choose the right massage oil for the type of massage being performed. You don’t want much friction with lighter massage techniques, like Swedish massage, so a heavier massage oil works best. For low-friction massages, olive oil and avocado oil are excellent options. These heavier oils aren’t absorbed as easily into the skin, so your hands glide more easily over the body. 

With deep-tissue massage, high friction is used to help stimulate muscles and connective tissue as well as to soothe aches and pains. However, it’s more intensive than low-friction massage, so it can be more uncomfortable at times. A massage oil with a lighter consistency absorbs into the skin quickly, so your hands won’t slip during a deep-tissue massage. For high-friction massages, grapeseed oil and coconut oil work well.

Skin Sensitivity

You won’t enjoy a massage much if you wind up with irritated skin. If you have sensitive skin, look for a hypoallergenic massage oil. Formulas that are fragrance-free or feature a light scent are your best option.

It’s usually best to avoid nut oils too. Instead, opt for organic or virgin oils, which offer a pure formula that doesn’t contain any additives. Massage oils with a jojoba or grapeseed oil base are usually the least likely to be irritating.

No matter what massage oil you choose, it’s always a good idea to do an allergy test. Apply a small amount of the oil on your skin and wait 24 hours to see if there’s any reaction. If your skin doesn’t become irritated, you can usually use the oil all over without issue. 

What to look for in a quality massage oil

Scent

While you should avoid scented massage oils if you have sensitive skin, a scented formula can create the perfect mood for your massage if you don’t have any sensitivities. Most formulas feature a natural scent, such as lavender, mint, chamomile or sandalwood. Other oils have a naturally light fragrance, such as coconut oil-based formulas. 

If you choose an unscented oil, you can mix in essential oils to provide the scent you prefer. Some essential oils even offer benefits during the massage. For example, peppermint oil is an excellent option for soothing aches and pains. 

Applicator

For a full-body massage, a massage oil that comes in a bottle with a pump is your best option. The pump makes getting more oil during a massage much easier, as you don’t have to worry about the bottle slipping out of your hands. 

The majority of massage oils do have a pump, but some feature a screw top or flip top. If you like a formula that comes with a screw or flip top, you can usually purchase a separate pump for more convenient usage.

How much you can expect to spend on massage oil

Massage oils usually cost between $6-$35. You can get small bottles for $6-$10, but most formulas in this price range don’t feature organic or virgin oils. For $10-$20, you can get a high-quality massage oil with a pump and durable packaging. If you want the highest-quality oil that comes in larger quantities or features organ, virgin formulas, you’ll typically pay more than $20. 

Massage oil FAQ

What’s the difference between massage oil and massage lotion?

A. Both massage oil and massage lotion can work well during a massage. Oil is obviously more slippery, so it’s more likely to cause an accident if there’s a spill. However, massage lotion often features synthetic chemicals that can irritate the skin. They also take longer to warm up than massage oils. 

What type of massage oils should I use if I’m prone to clogged pores?

A. To avoid clogged pores, look for a massage oil that’s labeled non-comedogenic to avoid any issues. Formulas with a grapeseed or jojoba oil base are your best option because they’re lower on the comedogenic scale. Avoid massage oils that contain avocado oil. It can clog pores easily.

What’s the best massage oil to buy?

Top massage oil

Badger Company Deep Tissue Massage Oil

Badger Company Deep Tissue Massage Oil

What you need to know: This is one of the easiest to apply massage oils, and its organic formula works especially well on sore, aching muscles. 

What you’ll love: It comes in a bottle with an easy-to-use spray applicator and is available in lavender and ginger scents. The formula contains organic essential oils, including lemongrass, ginger and sage, and provides a warming, calming sensation. 

What you should consider: The bottles are pretty pricey, considering they only hold 4 ounces.

Where to buy: Sold by iHerb and Amazon

Top massage oil for the money

Honeydew Sensual Massage Oil w/ Pure Lavender Oil

Honeydew Sensual Massage Oil w/ Pure Lavender Oil

What you need to know: This massage oil is ideal for anyone with sensitive skin, but its consistency and scent make it an excellent option for nearly anyone. 

What you’ll love: The gentle formula is unlikely to irritate sensitive skin and features a light, pleasant fragrance. It warms up easily in your hand and doesn’t absorb too quickly into the skin. It has a thin, lightweight consistency. 

What you should consider: It can feel somewhat greasy, and the cap leaks sometimes. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Fox Envy Massage Oil for Women, Men and Couples

Fox Envy Massage Oil for Women, Men and Couples

What you need to know: This light, vanilla-scented oil creates a perfect mood for couples and is ideal for relaxation and stress reduction. 

What you’ll love: The oil isn’t greasy or too thick and absorbs quickly into the skin while offering a wonderful vanilla scent. Its pump is easy to use, and the oil leaves you with soft, smooth skin. A small amount of the oil goes a long way, so a bottle can last a long time.

What you should consider: It doesn’t warm up quickly in the hands like other massage oils. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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