Which Oil Is Best For Massage

Category: Massage
Last updated on: 20/11/2023
Person dispensing massage oil from a bottle

Selecting the most appropriate oil for a body massage is to some degree a personal preference but there are also several subtle yet important factors that deserve careful attention.

You're probably eager for your treatment to start, but spend a few moments getting the best massage oil for your body and you'll get even more out of your next massage!



Good Massage Oil Blends

Massage treatment oils typically combine a base oil for lubrication with essential oils for fragrance or therapeutic benefits.


Base Oils

A 'base oil' acts as the carrier oil, providing lubrication for the massage and acting as a vehicle for essential oils or other additives.

In massage therapy, it's best to use natural oils for the base. 

Avoid mineral oils or petroleum-based products, as they can clog pores and lack the beneficial properties found in natural oils, hindering the therapeutic benefits of the massage.

There are many options for base oils, from coconut to jojoba, but we suggest you stick with one of the following two classics. These are also the most commonly used by massage professionals:

  • Almond Oil: known for its excellent lubricating properties, this is probably the most widely used base oil and is ideal for extended massage sessions. 
  • Grapeseed Oil: lighter and less lubricating than almond oil, grapeseed oil is a great alternative for those with nut allergies.


Essential Oils

To enhance your massage experience, add a few drops of one or more 'essential oils' to your selected base oil.

Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts known for their aromatic and therapeutic properties. Choosing which essential oils to add is a key aspect of aromatherapy massage therapy, so where possible take advice from a qualified aromatherapist. 

Massage oil infused with CBD in a small bottle

According to our London based massage therapists, some of the most popular essential oils used in aromatherapy massage treatments are:

  • Lavender: Renowned for its herbaceous sweet scent and therapeutic, antiseptic, and calming qualities. Ideal for a tranquil escape in the bustling city.
  • Turmeric: Experience the added benefits of turmeric massage oil, known for its potential anti-inflammatory properties which can be particularly beneficial for arthritis sufferers. Perfect for soothing Londoners dealing with the stresses of urban life. Learn more about the benefits of turmeric massage oil.
  • CBD: Explore the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD-infused massage oil, known for its relaxing qualities. A great choice for Londoners seeking a calming and stress-relieving massage experience. Learn more about the therapeutic benefits of a CBD oil massage
  • Tea Tree: A fresh-scented oil with accepted antiseptic cleansing properties, ideal for agitated skin. A refreshing option for those navigating diverse city environments.
  • Eucalyptus: A powerful and refreshing oil with calming properties, often found in high-end spas. Provides a touch of luxury to a massage, perfect for city dwellers in need of pampering.
  • Ylang Ylang: Sweet and deep, this heavily fragranced oil creates an atmosphere of instant calm. A delightful escape from the urban hustle for London residents.
  • Jasmine: Known as the Queen of essential oils, boasting skin-enhancing properties and a beautiful yet strong scent. Offers a regal touch to massage experiences, fitting for the sophisticated tastes of Londoners.



Book an Oil Based Massage 



Alternatives to Massage Oil

While oil remains the most popular choice for a therapeutic and relaxing full-body massage, some people don't like the potential difficult-to-remove stains and lingering sense of oiliness. If that sounds like you, try one of the following alternatives:

  • Massage Cream: Ideal for cooling massages, creams or lotions containing aloe vera, menthol, or lavender extracts offer natural soothing properties without the greasiness of oil. 
  • Powder: Although less common in the West, powder based massages are very popular in the East. Massaging with powder, especially herbal varieties, is believed to amplify the therapeutic properties of the treatment. Traditional Ayurvedic massage often incorporates powder alongside oil.



Other Considerations

Warmed Oil

In the colder months, take your massage experience to a higher level with the comforting touch of heated oil! This not only adds a delightful warmth to your therapy session but can also help accelerate muscle relaxation and tension relief throughout your body.

It's important to stay safe when using warm oil. Here's some tips:

  • Bottle Warmer: plug in a baby bottle warmer beside the massage treatment area. Place the massage oil bottle inside the warmer to gently heat the oil to a safe level.
  • Soy Wax Massage Candle: specifically designed for massage, these candles burn at a lower temperature than regular ones, producing a comfortably warm liquid wax that feels similar to oil and is suitable for safe direct application to your body during treatment.

We believe getting a massage with warm oil - regardless of the weather - is quite simply one of the best oil based massages around. Try it and see what you've been missing!


Spice Based Oils

Traditionally, spices like ginger and turmeric have been revered for their medicinal qualities. In recent years, a number of massage oils have been developed based on these beliefs. 

Turmeric trio showcasing vibrant flower, earthy root, and finely ground powder, perfect for crafting nourishing turmeric oil massage blends with natural goodness.

Turmeric massage oil stands out for its array of benefits, courtesy of the exceptional properties found in this golden-hued spice. Recognised for its robust anti-inflammatory attributes, this essential oil is blended into a base massage oil, such as almond oil, to alleviate joint and muscle discomfort. If you're suffering with arthritis or general muscular tension, this is a great oil to apply during your massage. Turmeric oil is also celebrated for its antioxidant prowess, contributing to improved skin health and a more radiant complexion.


Extraction of Massage Oils 

Choose oils that are cold-press extracted from fresh produce for a touch of nature's goodness on your skin during the treatment. This ensures you're getting high-quality, natural oils with the perfect blend of fatty acids.


Purity Matters

We highly recommend opting for natural oils with fragrances sourced from essential oils to create an authentic and therapeutic experience. Steer clear of oils that incorporate artificial scents!



Our mobile massage therapists usually bring along unscented almond oil to cater to a broad spectrum of preferences.

Feel free to ask your therapist to use your own preferred oil to tailor the experience to your liking.

Remember, not every treatment needs oil; for example, Thai massage is often performed without it, but if you desire an oil-based Thai massage, consider our Thai Oil Combo session.



In conclusion, the choice of massage oil is a personal decision that can influence the ambiance and effectiveness of your massage treatment significantly.

Whether you choose a classic unscented oil or provide your own favourite aromatic blend, the right choice adds an extra layer of enjoyment to your massage session.

So, take a moment to set the stage for a truly exceptional massage by curating an environment that engages all five senses. Scent and touch are heightened with the right oils, while the addition of soothing music, candles, and refreshments can transform your massage into a holistic sensory and physical relaxation session.


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