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There are few things better than relaxing into a good massage. Loosening your muscles, relieving built up stress – the feeling is one of complete and utter elation. Considering that you’re already here, you probably are well aware of the wonders that a good massage can bring.
But perhaps you’re wondering: what is the best massage oil for an at-home relaxation session?
In this article, we’re going to teach you the basics of these luscious lotions: what ingredients to look for and what to keep in mind when choosing an oil. After that, we’re going to give you our picks for the best sensual massage oils on the market.
What should I look for in a massage oil?
Massage oils can be a sticky subject – pun intended.
While some oils will be specifically designed for use in massages, other moisturizing and therapeutic lotions that were not designed for such sensual pleasures will work equally well.
The one major factor to keep in mind is that oils designed for massages will not necessarily moisturize very well, but any decent moisturizing oils should, as per their intended use.
If you’re looking to treat specific ailments, such as arthritis, through massage, you may want to look for oils that have ingredients like arnica, which has been widely used to treat inflammatory conditions.
If medicinal use isn’t on your mind, however, then your search should focus on finding an oil that has a scent and feel that fits your personal tastes.
Ingredient sourcing is another factor to keep in mind. The production methods for some oils, like palm oil, are known to be terrible for the environment. While palm oil isn’t very common in massage or moisturizing lotions, you may find it in some, so be careful if environmental concerns are a priority for you.
If you are allergic to anything, it is extremely important that you carefully read through the ingredients list on all massage oil products to make sure that there is nothing that will trigger an allergic reaction for you.
Some products, like ATHLETHERAPY from High Altitude Organics, state that their oils are all natural, which could lead you believe that they’re allergen-free, but it is still crucial to check all ingredients for yourself.
As far as quality goes, brands that are made in the good ol’ USA or European Union tend to have higher quality standards.
Considering that you’ll be rubbing this product all over your skin, we’d recommend that you try to stick with brands that are made in one of these two locations in order to ensure that you’re getting a product free of adulterants.
For many, the biggest factor that will influence whether or not an oil is a good fit will be personal taste. Each oil has different scents and a different feel – some are thicker, stickier, or evaporate faster than others.
While we’ve done our best to inform you about these differences for the products on our top 11 list, everyone has different tastes and there is no substitute for trying them yourself and seeing how you like them.
What ingredients will I find in massage oils?
Diving into the world of massage oils can be a dizzying experience: while many ingredients are well-known, there’s a bunch of terms that you likely have never heard of, and a number of ingredients with strange names that may be totally unfamiliar. Let’s break down some of the more common ones:
This is likely the most familiar oil you’ll find and it’s a very common ingredient in massage oils. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature and may be linked to some skincare benefits such as reduced inflammation and acne treatment. (1)
Fractionated coconut oil
While you’ve most definitely heard of coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil may be a new term for you. This oil also goes by “liquid coconut oil”, which is much easier to make sense of.
Basically, fractionated coconut oil is coconut oil from which some of the fats have been removed, specifically the long-chain fatty acids. This changes the oil from a solid into a liquid and makes it easier to use for massages.
If you’re vegan, you’re probably pretty familiar with almonds. The oil from these nuts is high in vitamin E, which may protect your skin from UV radiation damage and help with general skin health. The fatty acids can also aid in moisture retention, making this oil great for moisturizing. (2)
This oil comes from the jojoba plant which is grown in the American southwest. While the name may be unfamiliar to many, jojoba oil is popular as an acne, psoriasis, and dry skin treatment. (3)
This is a central European and Siberian herb that has been used medicinally to treat arthritis, insect bites, chapped skin, and other muscle and skin related pains. This is one of the more active ingredients you’ll find in a massage oil from a medicinal standpoint. (4)
Unless you live under a coconut, it’s unlikely you’ve never heard of essential oils. These substances are made by extracting raw materials from plants and then distilling them to create a concentrated liquid.
While any serious medicinal benefits outside of skincare may be hard to find, the aromas of these oils have may be very relaxing and improve your mood.
There are many more ingredients that you will find in massage oils, but these are the ones you’re most likely to run into. Overall, most other ingredients you’ll find are added for their scents and aromas.
What are the best massage oils?
Now that you’ve gotten the lowdown on what to keep an eye out for when beginning your sensual search, let’s take a look at our favorites:
Molivera Organics Fractionated Coconut Oil
This massage oil from Molivera Organics is a high-quality liquid coconut oil that’s perfect for relaxing massages.
One thing to look out for – this actually isn’t organic like the company name would imply, so if you’re dead-set on an all-natural massage oil, look elsewhere. That said, this oil penetrates the skin very nicely and moisturizes it really well.
We found that the pump can be a little leaky and make things messy, but because the oil gets into your skin so well it’s not much of an issue. Overall, we really liked this oil.
- Great for moisturizing
- Pump can be leaky
- Misleading advertising – this product is NOT organic
Maple Holistics Relaxing Massage Oil
Next up we have a wonderful smelling oil from Maple Holistics. If we had to pick out one thing we loved about this oil, it would have to be its aromas – makes sense as this product is geared toward aromatherapy.
Each bottle contains lavender and sweet orange to create some tantalizing scents that we absolutely adored.
As far as skincare goes, there’s almond oil, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help keep your skin nice and healthy. The feel of the oil is a little strange but doesn’t seem to be much of a problem.
The brand also places a lot of importance on sustainability, which makes this a prime candidate for any eco-minded vegans.
- Great smell
- Eco-friendly brand
- Lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- A bit of a strange sensation when applied to the skin
Honeydew Relaxing Massage Oil
Honeydew may market this product primarily as an erotic oil, but it definitely will serve anyone looking to get a purely platonic stress-relieving massage as well.
That said, this is one of the best massage oils for couples that we’ve found. Similarly to the oil from Maple Holistics, this product contains lavender, almond oil, and jojoba to aid in effectively moisturizing your skin.
The smell is a bit hit or miss. Some may enjoy it quite a bit, but it can definitely be overpowering for others. The oil doesn’t last too long on the skin, but it works well while it does.
- Essential oils to help moisturize your skin
- Oil doesn’t last very long on the skin
- Smell can be overpowering for some
Ora’s Amazing Herbal Natural Unscented Body Oil
Ora’s Amazing Herbal kicks the therapeutic value of massage oils up a notch by including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory compounds in their line of lotions. This product is designed to alleviate skin problems: particularly psoriasis, dry skin, and eczema.
While not originally intended to be a massage oil, it really does work quite well when used as such, and its medicinal moisturizing qualities make this a good all-in-one solution for those who need to both relax and refresh their body.
- Inclusion of anti-inflammatory ingredients
- Not intended as a massage oil, but works very well as such regardless
Majestic Pure Fractionated Coconut Oil
If you’re in the market for an odor-free oil, this fractionated coconut oil from Majestic Pure may fit the bill.
While there’s no scent mixed in, it’s possible to combine it with other aromatic oils, giving you the flexibility to go scent-free or spice things up when you feel like teasing your olfactory system a bit with your favorite aromatherapy oils.
The inclusion of a pump is a very convenient feature, although there seem to be some issues with its durability and functionality. Luckily, it’s possible to get a replacement, and Majestic Pure offers a 60 day satisfaction guarantee, so if worse comes to worst you can always get your money back.
- No scent which offers flexibility regarding aroma choice
- 60 day satisfaction guarantee
- The pump has some durability and functionality issues
Weleda 200ml Arnica Massage Balm
This oil from Weleda throws arnica, a flower with anti-inflammatory properties, into the mix.
Geared mainly towards those with arthritis, this product moisturizes well and customers suffering from arthritis report that it greatly helps to alleviate their symptoms.
At only 200ml, this oil does not leave you much to work with. Still, the balm itself is very high-quality and may work well for those dealing with inflammatory conditions.
- Anti-inflammatory ingredients may help those with conditions such as arthritis
- Only 200 ml per bottle
Kerah Lane Sensual Massage Oil
This USA-made oil from Kerah Lane features a host of natural therapeutic ingredients to moisturize and heal your skin.
The lotion has a pleasant aroma and rubs in well without leaving that dreaded oily residue we all know and despise.
The fact that it’s paraben free, hypoallergenic, and manufactured domestically should ease the minds of those with concerns about what they’re putting on their bodies.
- Made in the USA
- Paraben free and hypoallergenic
- None that we could find!
Bliss of Greece Daily Moisturizer
With a mix of sweet almond, cold-pressed olive oil, lavender, grapeseed oil, and vitamin E, this Hellenic oil from Bliss of Greece does a great job moisturizing and treating skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
While not specifically designed to be a massage oil, this moisturizer does the job pretty well. However, those looking for something that can double as a facial moisturizer beware: this product contains oils that can cause issues when applied to the face.
That said, if you plan to use it anywhere else on your body, you’re good to go.
- Good mix of oils and ingredients
- We loved the Greek style
- May cause issues if applied to the face
NOW Solutions Sweet Almond Oil
NOW has been around since 1968 and has established itself as one of the most reputable and trusted brands when it comes to natural products.
As you’d expect from this brand, this oil is high-quality and can be used either as a moisturizer or for massages.
The only ingredient is 100% pure almond oil, so if you tend to get worried when you have to read through a long ingredient list full of words you can’t even pronounce, then you’ll definitely want to give this product a look.
The only thing that may be a turnoff for some is that this oil does not have any added aroma – in fact, the natural smell of the almond oil may be off-putting to some in itself.
However, it’s always possible to mix this with other aromatic oils, which can have the benefit of letting you choose what scents you’d like to add instead of being stuck with what the brand decided to go with.
- Reputable and trusted brand
- Pure and simple: only one ingredient
Handcraft Blends Fractionated Coconut Oil
This oil for Handcraft Blends is another scentless lotion that’s designed to be used as a carrier for other essential oils and fragrances.
One thing we noticed about this oil is that it’s very thick, much thicker than many other oils. This may be great for some but undesirable for others, so you may need to give it a shot and see how you feel.
We liked that this product is all-natural and free of preservatives and other chemicals. The pump was convenient and all in all we liked this oil.
- Preservative and chemical free
- Very thick oil – could be good for some, but many will find it problematic
High Altitude Organics ATHLETHERAPY Deep Tissue Massage Oil
High Altitude Organics ATHLETHERAPY is designed for those with an active lifestyle: gym-goers, runners, dancers, etc.
Whether or not you fit into that category, you can still reap the benefits of the healing and anti-inflammatory ingredients such as arnica and ginger, among many more. This product works great for muscle relaxation, really getting deep into the tissues and loosening things up just like the name says.
There’s a pleasant warming sensation upon application that really brings this oil to a new level. Definitely should be near the top of the list for therapeutic lotion.
- Pleasant warming sensation when applied to the skin
- Good ingredients
Our pick for the best massage oil
If you’re looking for a high-quality, all-natural oil to use for massages, look no further than Kerah Lane’s Sensual Massage Oil. This is a great lotion that utilizes a diverse array of plant products in its proprietary oil blend. We loved the fact that it’s made in the USA and that each bottle is guaranteed to be animal product- and cruelty-free!
This is a highly therapeutic moisturizing oil and it’s also great for couples that want to spice things up or help each other unwind. The oil smells wonderful and the fact that it’s paraben-free and hypoallergenic is a plus as well.
If you’re looking for a way to unwind and soothe your skin while connecting with that special someone in your life, massage oils may be just what the doctor ordered (figuratively speaking, of course).
Hopefully, after reading this article you’ve learned a bit more about massage oils and will be well on your way towards a relaxing and euphoric experience.
If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.
About The Author:
Phil Grossman is a lifestyle, real estate, and culture writer based out of New York.
A polyglot who speaks French, German, Spanish, a bit of Japanese, and a little Norwegian, Phil likes to put his love for language to good use both through traveling and writing in his second language: music. An experienced composer, Phil teaches and writes both electronic music and music for media.
Phil has been interviewed on the TODAY Show and featured on CBS 2 News, Anderson Cooper 360, and in the Journal News for his work as an education activist. Passionate about many different societal and institutional issues, Phil has shifted his current focus towards veganism and environmentalism.
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- Julie Corliss | Cracking the coconut oil craze | https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cracking-the-coconut-oil-craze-2017041011513
- Yasmin Sultana 1, Kanchan Kohli, M Athar, R K Khar, M Aqil | Effect of pre-treatment of almond oil on ultraviolet B-induced cutaneous photoaging in mice | https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17348990
- Annamarya Scaccia | Jojoba Oil and Acne: Does It Work? | https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/jojoba-oil-acne
- Carol Eustice | Arnica as a Natural Treatment for Arthritis | https://www.verywellhealth.com/arnica-what-arthritis-patients-should-know-189149