Even the most skilled masseuse won’t be able to provide an exceptional, relaxing, and rejuvenating massage without the right oil. Every massage therapist has personal preferences when it comes to massage oils, but most agree that natural, organic oils have an edge over synthetic alternatives. Read on to find out about five of the massage oils most frequently recommended by professionals in the field.
Avocados are rich in essential vitamins that benefit the skin, including vitamin E and fatty acids. And so is the oil pressed from these popular fruits. It’s a heavy, deep oil that is usually mixed with other, lighter oils like sweet almond to produce well-balanced massaging oils. Massage therapists need to keep in mind that clients who are sensitive to latex may also have a bad reaction to avocado oil. But true allergies are rare.
Sweet almond oil is a vitamin-rich, pale yellow massage oil extracted from almonds. It glides easily over the skin, but it absorbs more quickly than other oils and is prone to building up on sheets. Sweet almond oil won’t irritate clients’ skin, but massage therapists who use it should ask about potential nut allergies in advance. Those with nut allergies should not come into contact with almond oil.
Safflower oil is rich in linoleic acid, an essential nutrient for supporting skin health. It’s found not just in massage oils, but also in acne products. Massage therapists wouldn’t use safflower oil by itself, but it is an ingredient in many popular oils and it’s perfect for those with acne problems.
Despite its misleading name, jojoba oil is actually a wax extracted from jojoba seeds. It’s not greasy, doesn’t stain sheets, and has a long shelf-life. So massage therapists don’t need to worry about jojoba oil going rancid. Jojoba oil is also thought to have antibacterial properties, which makes it a good option for clients suffering from back acne or candida overgrowths.
The primary downside of jojoba oil is that it absorbs quickly. That means massage therapists must either reapply it frequently or use it with other oils. Some boutique massage oils contain jojoba as a key ingredient, alongside other true oils that are less prone to quick absorption.
Fractionated Coconut Oil
Although untreated coconut oil is greasy and heavy, fractionated coconut oil is a little different. It contains only the medium-chain triglycerides ordinarily found in coconut oil, so it’s stickier and less greasy. Fractionated coconut oil is best for shorter massage strokes since it has less glide than the other oils mentioned above.
Like avocado oil, fractionated coconut oil may irritate the skin of clients who have latex allergies. Massage therapists should also ask about coconut allergies. Since fractionated coconut oil is relatively inexpensive and has a long shelf-life, there’s no harm in buying some even if not all clients like it.
Choosing the right massage oils can be challenging. Especially for those who have only recently gotten into massage therapy and home practitioners without professional training. The most important thing is to purchase oils made from natural ingredients and supplied by trusted manufacturers. Most feature a combination of oils and come in a variety of scents. Which makes it easy for consumers and massage therapists alike to choose the ones that fit their needs.