​What to Look for When Buying Massage Oil?

NICOLE ENAD     2nd Jul 2024

​What to Look for When Buying Massage Oil?

When purchasing massage oil, it's essential to make informed choices to ensure both safety and effectiveness. The right massage oil can enhance the massage experience, providing relaxation and therapeutic benefits. This guide, tailored for Australian consumers, highlights key factors to consider when selecting massage oil.

Factors to Consider

1. Ingredients

The ingredients in massage oils are critical. Look for natural and organic components to minimize the risk of allergic reactions and skin irritations. Common ingredients include:

  • Carrier Oils: Such as almond oil, jojoba oil, and coconut oil.
  • Essential Oils: Like lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint, which offer various therapeutic benefits.

Avoid oils with synthetic fragrances and additives, as they can cause skin sensitivity and other health issues.

2. Skin Type Compatibility

Different skin types react differently to massage oils. Here's a brief guide:

  • Dry Skin: Opt for deeply moisturizing oils like coconut oil and shea butter.
  • Oily Skin: Lightweight oils like grapeseed or jojoba oil are less likely to clog pores.
  • Sensitive Skin: Choose hypoallergenic oils free from fragrances and additives.

Which Oil is Not Recommended for Massage?

Not all oils are suitable for massage. For example, mineral oil, derived from petroleum, is often discouraged. It can create a barrier on the skin, blocking pores and potentially leading to breakouts. Additionally, heavily scented oils can cause irritation and allergic reactions, particularly in individuals with sensitive skin.

Types of Massage Oils

Massage oils generally fall into two categories:

  • Carrier Oils: These are base oils used to dilute essential oils. Common carrier oils include sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and avocado oil.
  • Essential Oils: These concentrated oils are extracted from plants and must be diluted with carrier oils before application. Examples include lavender, tea tree, and peppermint oil.

Best Carrier Oils for Massage

Choosing the right carrier oil can significantly impact the massage experience. Here are some top choices:

  • Sweet Almond Oil: Lightweight, easily absorbed, and suitable for most skin types.
  • Jojoba Oil: Resembles the skin's natural oils, making it ideal for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
  • Coconut Oil: Highly moisturizing, perfect for dry skin but can be too heavy for oily skin types.

Common Massage Oils Used in Parlors

Massage parlors typically use a variety of oils to cater to different client needs. Popular choices include:

  • Grapeseed Oil: Lightweight and non-greasy, ideal for a smooth glide.
  • Sunflower Oil: Rich in vitamins and minerals, great for nourishing the skin.
  • Apricot Kernel Oil: Similar to almond oil but lighter, suitable for sensitive skin.

Additional Considerations

1. Scent Preference

The scent of the oil can enhance the massage experience. Choose oils with calming scents like lavender for relaxation or invigorating scents like eucalyptus for an energy boost. Ensure the scent is not overpowering, as this can detract from the overall experience.

2. Oil Absorption Rate

The rate at which oil is absorbed into the skin can affect the massage technique. Fast-absorbing oils like grapeseed are excellent for deep tissue massages, while slower-absorbing oils like coconut are better for longer, more relaxing sessions.

3. Ethical and Sustainable Sourcing

Consider the environmental and ethical implications of your purchase. Opt for oils that are sustainably sourced and produced by companies that prioritize fair trade practices.


Selecting the right massage oil involves considering various factors, including ingredients, skin type compatibility, and oil type. By making informed choices, you can enhance your massage experience, ensuring it is both enjoyable and beneficial. Always test a small amount of oil on your skin before using it extensively to check for any adverse reactions.


This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using new products on your skin, especially if you have pre-existing conditions or allergies.


  • Healthline
  • Medical News Today
  • Australian Journal of Dermatology
  • Massage Magazine
  • Verywell Health
  • Australian Association of Massage Therapists
  • Aromatherapy Associates
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Ethical Consumer

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