14 Best Oils For Body Massage And Their Benefits

14 Best Oils For Body Massage And Their Benefits

Authored by : Shreya Dalela
  • 12 June 2020
  • 14 mins read

"Give yourself a full-body oil massage on a daily basis. It is nourishing; pacifies the doshas, relieves fatigue, provides stamina, pleasure, and perfect sleep, enhances the complexion and the luster of the skin; promotes longevity, and nourishes all parts of the body."

The aforementioned phrase from an Ayurvedic textbook captures the many benefits of using a body massage oil daily. Before spas became popular, the art of massaging self with oil, also known as Abhyanga, was practiced extensively by people.

Even today, body massage is considered a powerful healing technique in Ayurveda. A good oil massage releases the accumulated stress and toxins from the body, leaving you feeling energized and rejuvenated. 

body massage oils

Do you suffer from problems like body aches, fatigue, anxiety, joint pain, or flakiness of skin? If yes, then a complete body massage with a suitable Ayurvedic body massage oil will be beneficial for you. Think of an oil massage as a way of oiling the engine of your body. The more often you do it, the better your body functions.

If you’re still wondering how a full body massage will help you, have a look at some of the well-known benefits associated with this traditional Ayurvedic ritual. 

  • Increases circulation and aids joint health
  • Eliminates body impurities
  • Calms nerves and promotes deeper, better sleep
  • Softens and smoothes the skin which reduces the effects of aging
  • Increases mental alertness and the levels of stamina
  • Tones muscles and nourishes the tissues
ayurveda body massage oils

Let’s now look at the best oils for body massage and their unique benefits -

14 Best Body Massage Oils For Relaxation & Pain Relief

Selecting the ideal oil for body massage goes beyond mere preference; it's about harnessing the therapeutic properties of nature. The right oil can elevate a simple massage into a transformative experience, offering profound relaxation or targeted pain relief. 

With the variety of oils available, each boasting unique benefits—from the deep moisturizing effects of almond oil to the soothing qualities of lavender—it's crucial to make an informed choice. 

In this guide, we delve into the nuances of various oils, exploring their benefits and origins, to help you find the perfect match for your massage needs.

1. Sweet Almond Oil Massage For A Deeply Nourished Skin

Is your skin is excessively dry and has Vata dosha? Then, it’s recommended to use a nourishing oil like organic Sweet Almond oil. It is pale yellow colored with a mild and sweet fragrance. It is a bit greasy but is not a heavy oil, so it is absorbed quickly into the skin (which also makes it suitable for balancing Kapha dosha). 

Almond oil nourishes the skin and makes it bright. It usually does not irritate the skin and is suitable for all skin types. In fact, it’s so mild and gentle on the skin that it can be used to massage babies as well.

almond oil for body massage

Benefits of using Sweet Almond Oil for Ayurveda massage:

  • It hydrates your skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. It gives relief from itching and rashes especially in conditions like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.
  • Almond oil always keeps you protected from skin damage caused by exposure to UV radiation. It also prevents tanning and sun damage. 
  • It relaxes your muscles and has mild pain-relieving properties. 

Also read - 10 Amazing Benefits of Almond Oil for hair, body, and skin

2. Coconut Oil Massage For A Youthful Glowing Skin

Do you worry about your skin aging prematurely due to environmental pollution and stress? Then, a regular body massage with coconut oil will help you.

Organic Coconut oil is rich in Vitamin E which considered skin’s best friend for bringing out young and healthy skin. Not only this, but coconut oil is also loaded with antioxidants that prevent the skin from wrinkling and sagging. 

coconut oil for body massage

Benefits of using Coconut Oil for massage:

  • Coconut oil will get absorbed in the skin if you let it stay on for some time without turning rancid.
  • It is also full of saturated fats that prevent drying and keep your skin moisturized. It is a stable oil that doesn’t let moisture escape from your skin.
  • The main benefit of coconut oil is that they help in treating mild to moderate levels of xerosis.
  • It also keeps skin healthy and prevents signs of aging as it is very rich in vitamin E and antioxidants.
  • You can add any essential oil to it is a good carrier oil.

Also read - Why is Virgin Coconut Oil so good for your hair and skin?

3. Castor Oil Massage For Pain Relief

Castor oil is known for treating arthritis. It is an ideal massage oil for relieving joint pain, nerve inflammation, and sore muscles as it contains anti-inflammatory properties. To relieve pain, simply massage the joint with castor oil and a place a hot water bag. It doesn’t absorb quickly and gives you an ample amount of time to massage it into the painful joints.

Benefits of using Castor Oil for massage:

  • Castor oil helps in increasing immunity, boosts circulation, and gets rid of moles and cysts. 
  • Castor oil also treats dry, irritated, sunburnt and acne-prone skin.
  • If your skin has minor wounds or bruises, castor oil will not irritate it during the massage and rather heal it due to its antibacterial properties. 
  • Castor oil massage increases lymphocytes in the body which helps in strengthening the body's immune system

4. Sesame Oil Massage For Detoxing And Repairing The Skin

Sesame oil is the most popular massage oil in Ayurveda. Charaka Samhita, one of the most popular Ayurvedic text, lists the many benefits of sesame oil as a massage oil and claims it to be the best of all oils. For this reason, most of the Ayurvedic skin treatments use sesame oil as the base oil. It has powerful antioxidants that fight skin damage by free radicals and repair the skin from the damage caused by the sun.

sesame oil for body massage

Benefits of using Sesame Oil for massage:

  • Sesame oil helps reduce skin damage caused by UV exposure, it treats tanning, fine lines, sun spots and all the marks that are caused by sun damage. (8)
  • Sesame oil is also used to relieve inflammatory pain in the joints. (7)
  • In Ayurveda, Sesame oil is used in Abhyanga which is a massage technique that involves warming the oil and then mixing it with herbs before massaging it on your body. 

One skin treatment using Sesame oil as base is Jwalini. It works as an excellent after-sun remedy for sunburn, tanned or hyper-pigmentation when used as a body massage oil.

body massage oil to remove tan

5. Olive Oil For Relief From Muscle Spasms And Swelling

Olive oil is generally used for lighter massages. It is widely used in massages that involve repetitive movements as it gets absorbed into the skin at much slower rates. This massage oil provides relief from inflammation, swelling, aches, and muscle spasms. It has been used for thousands of years by Mediterranean cultures for its health and beauty benefits.

Benefits of using Olive Oil for massage:

  • Olive oil is excellent for treating dry skin as it has a moisturizing effect. When massaged in the right way, it helps in repairing skin damage by reducing oxidative stress. (4)
  • Ayurvedic practitioners always prescribe olive oil for relieving spasms, aches, sprains, swelling and muscle pain.
  • It helps in improving blood circulation throughout your body which in turn, improves your energy levels as the cells receive more nutrients and oxygen.
  • Olive oil massage also protects the body from the UV rays and harmful effects of pollution.
olive oil for massage

6. Sunflower Oil Massage To Soften Skin

This light and thin oil is not only used for cooking, but is also best as a massage oil. Sunflower oil turns rancid quickly, so it is better to buy it in small quantities and store in a cool and dry place. To improve its shelf life, you can try squeezing one or two vitamin E capsules into it.

Benefits of using Sunflower Oil fBenefits of using Sunflower Oil for massage:

  • Sunflower oil is a perfect oil for enhancing the texture of your skin as it contains linoleic and oleic acids in higher percentages than in olive oil. It also improves skin’s moisture levels.
  • It clears all the toxins in your skin, keeps it moisturized and prevents the signs of aging. Sunflower oil also improves the barrier repair function of our skin.
  • The essential fatty acids in the oil will boost cell regeneration and rejuvenate our skin and leaves a glowing and radiant skin.

7. Jojoba Oil For Use As a Carrier Oil

Jojoba oil is actually not an oil, it is a type of wax that is extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant. It is similar to Shea Butter, but unlike it in the sense that jojoba oil is not greasy and will not stain your sheets. 

Its antibacterial properties help in treating back acne and which is why it is mostly used for back massage. Jojoba oil needs reapplication as our skin tends to absorb it quickly. It’s commonly used as a carrier oil and in combination with other herbal and essential oils.

Benefits of using Jojoba Oil for massage:

  • Jojoba oil repair skin that is damaged by eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, acne, and acute dermatitis . It takes good care of our skin as it is rich in wax ester.
  • Jojoba oil gets mixed with herbs and essential oils easily and therefore it is an excellent choice for aromatherapy massage. This is the most preferred massage oil in spas as it does not irritate the skin.

Also read - 10 Benefits of Using Jojoba Oil For Face and Skin

8. Neem Oil for Treating Acne Prone Skin

If you’ve acne on your body, then you will benefit from adding a few drops of Neem oil to your massage oil. Neem oil can not be used directly on skin for body massage as it is quite strong. But when used with other carrier oils such as Almond oil or Olive, it helps in treating acne. 

Neem oil is also rich in Vitamin E which helps prevent free radicals from harming your skin. It treats acne, fungal infections, warts, or moles. The undiluted neem oil can be used to spot treat affected areas but remember to dilute it with a carrier oil for massage. 

Benefits of using Neem Oil for massage:

  • Neem oil helps soothing skin ailments such as inflammation, itchiness, redness, etc. It reduces feverish body temperature and eliminates joint and muscle pain that are caused by rheumatic disorders.
  • It treats dry skin and fights the appearance of wrinkles. The antibacterial properties of neem oils treat acne, fades scans and fights off foot fungus.
  • Neem oil helps in stimulating collagen production and improve elasticity . This helps your skin stay as your age.
neem oil for body massage

Also read - Top Benefits of Neem Oil for Hair and Skin

Some essential oils help in wound healing, some help us sleep better, some strengthen our immunity while some make us more energized. Simply adding a few drops of essential oil to your massage oil can do wonders.

essential oils for body massage

9. Lavender Essential Oil for Mental Relaxation

Did you know that Aromatherapy, the science of using essential oils from plants to treat ailments, is one of the oldest natural remedies? Each oil in Ayurveda has a unique aroma which yields it special healing properties. Simply adding a few drops of essential oil to your massage oil can do wonders. 

For instance, Lavender Essential oil, derived from the Lavandula Angustifolia plant, is a panacea for modern-day stresses. Renowned for alleviating anxiety and fatigue, it's a remedy for sleepless nights, guiding you into restful slumber. 

Each drop evokes a serene journey through sprawling fields of vibrant lavender blooms. Its calming essence not only soothes the mind but also addresses skin concerns, reducing irritation, redness, and inflammation.

lavender oil for body massage

You can use Lavender oil along with the carrier massage oils like coconut, almond and sesame oils. You just need to add 2 to 3 drops and blend it with a spoon full of the carrier oil.

10. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil for treating chronic fatigue

Derived from the Ylang Ylang tree, the enchanting floral scent of Ylang Ylang oil promises tranquility, boosting confidence and inner peace. Beyond its captivating aroma, this oil is a shield against aging and skin irritation.

Remarkably, it uplifts the mood, dispelling negative emotions like anger or jealousy and combating issues like insomnia and chronic fatigue.

For optimal use, blend a drop or two with carrier oils such as coconut, almond, or sesame, ensuring a harmonious mixture tailored for relaxation.

Pro tip - If you are looking for the best massage oil to relax your senses, the Ayurvedic Madhuvanti Calming Oil is perfect for you. With calming Geranium, uplifting Ylang-Ylang and grounding Lavender essential oils combined in a skin-nourishing base of Jojoba, Sesame and sunflower oil, it soothes the body and mind. 
Check out our complete range of body massage oils here.

11. Lemon Essential Oil for Boosting Immunity

Lime Essential oil is cold-pressed and extracted from fresh slices of lime. It has refreshing and energizing ingredients that boost immunity and dispels anxiety-related symptoms. It also naturally cleanses the body due to its limonene content and promotes emotional balance and well being.

For skin, hair and body, add one or two drops of lemon oil in a teaspoon full of carriers oils like Coconut, Almond, and Sesame oils and blend it well. Lemon oil can also be added to bathwater to purify and uplift the water.

12. Basil Essential Oil for Respiratory Issues

For ages, Ocimum Basilicum, commonly known as Sweet Basil, has been revered for its natural healing and immunity-boosting properties. When applied to the skin, Basil oil combats acne and revives dull complexions. 

It's effective against bacteria, helping clear congestion, and also soothes the mind. Additionally, it addresses respiratory problems, mental tiredness, migraines, and feelings of sadness.

basil oil for body massage

Sweet Basil Essential oil smells like naturally sweet, warm, spicy herbals. Blend one to two drops of it with a teaspoon of Coconut or Almond or Sesame carrier oil.

13. Rose Essential Oil for Hormonal Balance

Rose Oil, derived from the Rosa Damascena plant, captivates with its enchanting aroma. Rich in the flower's aromatic compounds, it addresses a range of concerns from anxiety and depression to headaches, menopausal symptoms, and menstrual discomfort. 

Beyond its therapeutic benefits, Rose Oil is a stress-reliever that enhances sleep quality.

A treasure for skin health, it's packed with antioxidants and antimicrobial properties that refine the complexion. By deeply nourishing the skin, it imparts a youthful glow. Moreover, its powerful antioxidant properties shield the skin from UV damage and environmental pollutants.

14. Orange Essential Oil For Fighting Aging

Orange essential oil is best known for its energizing aroma that can uplift your mind and body. It promotes the production of collagen which helps in fighting with the signs of aging like wrinkles and dark spots. 

orange essential oil for body massage

Orange essential oil is a pale yellow-orange mobile liquid which smells sweet, fresh and fruity. You just need to add one or two drops of it to a spoon full of any carrier oil and blend it well to use it as a body massage oil.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

1. Which is the best body massage oil for adults?

For general use, almond oil and jojoba oil are popular choices for adults due to their moisturizing properties and suitability for most skin types.

2. Which is the best body massage oil for pain relief?

Eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil, often blended with a carrier oil, are known for their pain-relieving properties, especially for muscle and joint pain.

3. Which oil is best for body massage to reduce fat?

While no oil directly reduces fat, oils like grapefruit and cypress are believed to improve skin tone and reduce cellulite when combined with regular massage and a healthy lifestyle.

4. Which is the best body massage oil for males?

Sandalwood and cedarwood oils are often favored by men for their masculine scent and skin benefits. They can be blended with carrier oils like jojoba or grapeseed oil.

5. Which is the best massage oil for women?

Lavender and rose oils are popular choices for women due to their calming scent and skin-nourishing properties.

6. Which is the best body massage oil for stress relief?

Lavender oil is renowned for its stress-relieving and calming properties, making it a top choice for relaxation massages.

7. Which is the best oil for body massage in summer?

Coconut oil is lightweight and cooling, making it an ideal choice for summer massages. It also absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue.

8. Which is the best massage oil for muscle growth?

Arnica oil, often blended with other carrier oils, is known to support muscle recovery and growth due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

9. Which is the best body massage oil for couples?

Ylang Ylang and jasmine oils are often chosen for couples massages due to their sensual and relaxing scents. They can be blended with carrier oils for a luxurious massage experience.

10. How long should I oil my body?

For a typical massage, 15-30 minutes is sufficient to allow the oil to penetrate the skin and muscles. However, if you're using the oil for therapeutic or relaxation purposes, you can leave it on for longer, even overnight, before washing it off.

11. Is it good to apply oil to your body at night?

Applying oil to your body at night can be advantageous. The skin's absorption rate is higher during the night, allowing the oil to penetrate deeply and nourish the skin. It also aids in relaxation and promotes better sleep.

12. When should I apply oil to my body?

The best time to apply oil is after a warm shower when the skin's pores are open, allowing better absorption. If you're using the oil for relaxation or sleep, applying it before bedtime is ideal.

Conclusion -

A good body massage can provide your body just what it needs. There are so many body massage oils and each of them have their own unique properties. All you need to do is identify the one that is perfect for you. 

This guide educated you about the various body massage oils and their benefits. But, if you are still confused, there's good news for you - all of these oils are beneficial in their own ways and do not cause any side effects. 

So, the best way to find out which body massage oil works best for you is to pick up one and actually try out a body massage with it. You can either massage yourself or get someone to do it for you to get a more relaxing experience.


  1. The uses and properties of Almond oil - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20129403
  2. Effect of pre-treatment of almond oil on ultraviolet B-induced cutaneous photoaging in mice - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17348990
  3. A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15724344
  4. Olive oil-induced reduction of oxidative damage and inflammation promotes wound healing of pressure ulcers in mice - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27091748
  5. Effect of olive and sunflower seed oil on the adult skin barrier: implications for neonatal skincare - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22995032
  6. Traditional massage of newborns in Nepal: implications for trials of improved practice - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15677372
  7. Effect of light pressure stroking massage with sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) oil on alleviating acute traumatic limb pain: A triple-blind controlled trial in the emergency department - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28619303
  8. Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation -  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3263051/
  9. Clay jojoba oil facial mask for lesioned skin and mild acne--results of a prospective, observational pilot study - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22585103
  10. Chemical characteristics of toilet soap prepared from neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) seed oil  - http://www.imedpub.com/articles/chemical-characteristics-of-toilet-soap-prepared-from-neemazadirachta-indica-a-juss-seed-oil.pdf
  11. Topical application of neem leaves prevents wrinkles formation in UVB-exposed hairless mice- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1011134416303323

About the Author
Shreya Dalela
Shreya Dalela

Shreya Dalela is a certified Yoga instructor and a professional dancer trained at The Danceworx. She’s passionate about Ayurveda and holistic living with over 6 years of experience in doing extensive research and content creation in the domain.

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