Body massage is a great way to relax, improve blood circulation in your body, feel more energetic and be healthy. However, sometimes a massage might not feel as great. You might develop some kind of irritation on the skin or just feel too much greasy after the massage. The reason for this could be the oil used for massage. Some oils are absorbed in the skin almost immediately, while others are too heavy to seep in. Body massage oils are of different kinds and available as a single or blended mixture and so you have many options to choose from.
Mostly, heavier aromatherapy oils are added to single lighter oils and the mixture is used during spa treatments. The six types of oils mentioned below are among the most preferred choices for massage.
Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet almond oil, as the name suggests, is a pale yellow colored oil that is extracted from almonds. Sweet almond oil is absorbed easily into the skin and is only a little greasy. Unless you are allergic to nuts, almond oil is the best choice for a massage.
Apricot Kernel Oil
Apricot Kernel oil is costlier than almond oil but looks very much like almond oil. Its properties like high vitamin E content and longer shelf life makes it a popular choice for massage. It is also absorbed easily and is a good alternative for people who cannot use almond oil due to nut allergies.
Jojoba is a plant from which this oil is derived. It is expensive oil because of its anti-bacterial property. It gets absorbed into the skin very fast so it is usually blended with other base oils and used for massage. Jojoba oil also has a very long shelf life. So, once purchased, you can use it occasionally and keep it for years.
Fractionated Coconut Oil
As the name suggests, this oil contains only a fraction of the raw coconut oil. The whole oil consists of long chain triglycerides (LCTs) as well as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs); the fractionated oil consists of only MCTs while the LCTs are removed. Fractionated coconut oil is relatively cheaper than other oils mentioned above.
This oil is extracted from the seeds of sunflower plant. Sunflower oil is also light and non-greasy. This oil is very good for the skin because it comprises of palmitic acid, stearic acid and linoleic acid – which is a fatty acid. Our bodies also have linoleic acid naturally, but with time its presence diminishes. Use of pure sunflower oil can improve your skin texture. However, despite all these benefits, sunflower oil has a small shelf life. It also needs care while storage, as it should be stored properly in dark and cool place. You may add a few drops or 2 capsules of vitamin E oil into sunflower oil to increase its life.
Sesame oil is widely used for massage due to its relaxing and healing properties. It is a heavy oil with strong aroma, so it is often used in combination with other lighter oils. It is one of the most popular oils that are used in Ayurveda, which is the rich traditional medical science with its origins in India. Sesame oil nourishes and detoxifies the body and in turn makes it healthy and also fights ailments like constipation, stomach disorders, dryness, anxiety and improves blood circulation.
Other than those mentioned above, there are some other heavy oils that are used in combination with the above oils due to their unique benefits, they are:
Avocado oil is heavy oil, deep green in color and is derived from the avocado fruit. It is often used mixed with other lighter oils so as to obtain ease of massage and also to balance the high cost.
Cocoa butter is also heavy oil and is used with other oils for aroma therapy. It has a chocolate aroma that is very soothing while taking the massage.
Shea butter is also used in combination with other oils and cannot be used on every part of the body. It is extracted from a tree found only in Africa.
Grape-seed oil comes from grapes and is light and non-greasy. It has a smooth and silky texture and little or no smell. This oil is also used for aromatherapy and used in combination with other oils.
Kukui Nut Oil
Kukui nut, from which this oil is derived, is found in Hawaii. It is light and non-greasy oil – good for all skin types.
Wheat Germ Oil
It is also heavy oil and is blended with other massage oils as it is very rich in vitamin E.
There are many oils used for massage, only that you should choose what suits you best.