Grapeseed oil is also a favorite of Gretchen Frieling, MD, a dermatopathologist and founder of Soyier Skin—she recommends looking for products that contain oils like safflower, pumpkin seed, and meadowfoam, as well. When it comes to what ingredients to avoid, Dr. Frieling recommends picking a massage oil that doesn’t include alcohol and fragrance, which may cause irritation or dry out your skin. And Hanna personally steers clear of products with palm oil, parabens, and synthetic ingredients.
It’s also helpful to understand the difference between massage oil and body oil, as the two aren’t often interchangeable. “Massage and body oils can vary widely, with different scents, consistencies, and ingredients,” says Dr. Frieling. The primary purpose of massage oil is to ease sore muscles, relax tension, and decrease friction during massage, while body oil is supposed to nourish the skin, she explains. “A massage oil is typically heavier in consistency, spreads easily, has a higher essential oil concentration, and is less absorbed by the skin,” says Dr. Frieling. “A body oil is usually more of a ‘dry oil’ with more rapid absorption and less of a ‘heavy’ or ‘greasy’ consistency.”
Shop 6 of the best massage oils, below
Aesop Breathless — $35.00
This oil has a medium consistency, and it is formulated with a blend of sweet almond, jojoba, macadamia nut, and sunflower seed oils. It also contains nourishing, inflammation-fighting vitamin E.
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