I'm often asked what oils I use for massage so here are the details with the pros & cons. I use one of a number of so called base or carrier oils for massage. These are the oils often used in aromatherapy for diluting essential oils.
Typically derived from seeds, nuts or other plant materials, they provide a range of therapeutic and healing benefits and lubricate the skin to enable massage. They are also extremely beneficial for softening and improving the condition of the skin containing essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
I don't use scented or blended massage oils in part because they are expensive but more importantly people can find them an irritant on the skin and/or have allergies to them. However for if just for your own use you may find you prefer some of these for example if you like the scent.
My top 3 go to massage oils are Fractionated Coconut, Grape Seed and Sweet Almond. All are available in various sizes with 5L being the best value. They are available from many brands but I find Naissance to offer a good and consistent quality at a reasonable price.
Fractionated Coconut oil is made from coconut oil by separating out the different fats which melt at different temperatures.
The resulting oil is lightweight and easily absorbed by your skin and is good for the hair. Perfect for all over moisturising as well as massage, it is especially good if you have oily skin. Being clear and odourless it doesn't stain towels or cloths but as with all oils will soak into them over time.
Grape seed oil is a byproduct of the winemaking process. It’s rich in vitamin E which many believe heals the skin and reduces wrinkles, although research is inconsistent.
Grape seed oil is medium viscosity and easily absorbed by the skin with a neutral scent. It can feel a little sticky compared to Fractionated Coconut oil. It is odourless but will stain towels heavily and doesn't wash out easily so expect to need to replace towels often if used regularly.
Almond oil is an edible oil made from the kernels of almonds and is one of the most popular massage oils.
The oil is lightweight, absorbs easily, and is a great moisturiser for dry skin. It often has a slight nutty aroma which many like. Obviously avoid if you have nut allergies.