6 Massage Oils That’ll Make Relaxing Muscles Way Easier | Well+Good


A massage, whether from another person or performed on yourself, can be supremely relaxing. Adding massage oils intensifies those benefits, nourishing skin while also making it a little easier to glide hands over tight muscles. When it comes to picking out a massage oil for personal use, consider going with a simple, single-ingredient option, says T’ai Hanna, director of bodywork at Bathhouse, a spa and wellness space in Brooklyn. Her go-tos are grapeseed, coconut, and jojoba. “Ask any therapist at Bathhouse, the organic grapeseed we use has an amazing glide, and allows for minimal use with optimized effects,” she says. “It’s great for sensitive skin and easy application.”

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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Isa Lazo Body Oil — $126.00

This body oil also works as a massage oil because it needs a bit of a rub in for skin to absorb it. It contains botanical oils that help promote circulation and are anti-inflammatory in addition to hydrating.

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Maude Oil No. 0 — $35.00

This is a certified-organic massage oil made with cold-pressed oils, including jojoba and coconut. It’s also fragrance-free, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and made in the U.S.

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