How to Use Massage Oil in Your Relaxing At-Home Routines

Ahh, massages. They can add some relaxation into your evening after a long work day or help loosen up some tight muscles after a workout. Either way you massage, enhance it with some massage oil. 

You may be wondering: do I even need massage oil? What’s the point of it? You may want some as it can help beyond helping skidding skin-on-skin or massage gun-on-skin contact. This article will explain the benefits of massage oil and give some suggestions on what kind of massage oil to buy and where to find it. So read along and get ready for a relieving massage.

What is massage oil?

Massage oils are a combination of base and essential oils that help your hands and massage gun glide along your body. 


There are plenty of benefits when it comes to massage oil. For starters, it can help prevent skidding, irritation, or roughness against your skin. On the flip side, massage oil can be easily absorbed into your skin to keep your skin moisturized.

However, it is best to apply enough that your skin does not dry out. This can be easily addressed by adding more. Lastly, it is important to check to see if you are allergic to what you plan on using by rubbing a bit on your inner arm to see if there is a reaction. 

Professional massage therapists may also use massage lotions, creams, or gels to help reach deep muscle tissues. 

What can be used as massage oil?

As mentioned above, massage oils are comprised of base and essential oils. It’s important to choose the best option for you based on your personal preferences as well as skin type. It is best to keep in mind that massage oils do have the possibility of being greasy on your skin, go rancid quickly, or even have an unpleasant odor. It’s important to select a high-quality oil with great reviews. 

Here are some popular oils you may find in or use as massage oils:

  • Fractionated coconut oil
    • Unlike cooking coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil is light, non-greasy, and liquidized from the removal of fatty acids.
    • If you are looking for a massage oil that is great for shorter massage strokes to focus on certain muscle tensions, you’ll appreciate this stickier form of coconut oil. 
    • This oil has a long shelf life, is less expensive, and won’t stain your sheets. 
  • Almond Oil
    • Almond oil is popular for massages, and it’s easy to see why. It can easily slide over the skin, absorbs at a decently quick rate without feeling the need to reapply, it has a sweet scent, and is reasonably priced. 
    • If you have nut allergies it is best to avoid. It can also stain sheets. 
  • Jojoba oil
    • Fun fact: jojoba oil is actually a type of wax taken from the jojoba plant which is why it feels less greasy than other oils and won’t stain your sheets (with the exception of microfiber). 
    • Jojoba oil is known to help those with acne, so if you have some on your back or shoulders, this might be an extra benefit for your massage. 
    • This oil might be best for you if you have some inflammation.
    • It is odorless and non-irritating if you have sensitive skin, and has a long shelf life. However, make sure to apply it liberally as it can be absorbed quicker than others. 
  • Apricot kernel oil
    • Apricot kernel oil is very similar to almond oil and might be a great choice for those with nut allergies. It may cost slightly more than almond oil, but it has the same benefits and has a long shelf life. Feel free to add some of your favorite essential oils to this massage oil as it is a mild oil.
  • Sunflower oil
    • Sunflower oil is very light, making it a great option if you don’t like feeling greasy. 
    • Keep in mind that sunflower oil can spoil quickly. To prevent spoilage, purchase it in small quantities, or add one to two capsules of Vitamin E to the oil to help extend the shelf life.
  • Avocado oil
    • Avocado oil is a very heavy oil and is often mixed with lighter oils to help lighten it. It can be used as a massage oil but those who have a latex sensitivity may also find themselves with a sensitivity to avocado oil. 
    • It is also very expensive because it is produced in smaller quantities.
  • Cocoa butter
    • This oil is actually solid at room temperature but cocoa butter is a great additive to other massage oils or to focus on a very small area on your body. Cocoa butter can be a great moisturizer and it smells great!
  • Shea butter
    • Like cocoa butter, Shea butter is a solid at room temperature and is not often used as a massage oil on its own. However, you may find it in other massage oils you buy. 

Why use it during massages?  

Unless you want your skin to be raw and red thanks to friction, it is best to grab the massage oil. It can help a massage therapist (or partner) glide their hands over your skin while being able to reach some really deep muscles as they can press down and rub harder. 

What are the benefits of using massage oil?

Besides helping reach deeper muscles and being more gentle on your skin, these oils can also improve your skin’s health. Massage oils can help with dry patches of skin and cracks. Depending on what is added into the massage oil, it can also be aromatherapeutic. Oils like CBD, lavender, and eucalyptus can really help with calming anxiety and easing pain. 

Where can you buy massage oils?

You can easily find massage oils at your local big box stores or pharmacies. Massage oil can also be found at your favorite beauty stores and online. Choose whichever oil is best for you if you are shopping for your at-home remedy. It’s best to think through how much you need, how often you use it, and how much you want to spend. After that, you are totally free to do as you please. 

How do you use massage oil?

Fortunately it is rather simple to use massage oil:

  1. Make sure your hands are clean. You don’t want to rub bacteria and other dirty particles into your or your partner’s skin. So wash up!
  2. Decide where you want to start first. Knowing what area of the body you want to focus on will help determine how much oil you want to start with. If it’s an area like your calf, you’ll need much less than you would on your back. 
  3. Squeeze an appropriate amount of massage oil in your hands. Spread it around your hands to make sure they are properly oiled. If you need more, it’s okay. Just add some more until you feel like your hands are not dry.
  4. Begin massaging. You may immediately notice that you may need more due to that dried out feeling. Feel free to grab more whenever this might happen. It’s better to add more than rub someone (or yourself) with dry hands. And if you accidentally get what seems to be way too much, just reach for your hand towel to help mop some up. 
  5. Please note if you are going to use some kind of item like a massage gun, make sure that it is okay to use massage oil with it. It probably can, but it is best to double check.. Some options, like the Percussion Therapy Massage Oil, are made specifically to be used with a massage gun

Final Thoughts on Using Massage Oils

Massaging is a breeze when you grab the massage oil. Regardless of which oil you choose and if you add some aromatherapy or not, you or your partner will be happy you picked it up. Focus more on reaching sore muscles and knots and less on reddening the skin. With your massage oil handy, your next massage will make you feel even more relaxed and comfortable.