"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.
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.
Let’s now look at the best oils for body massage and their unique benefits -
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.
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.
Benefits of using Sweet Almond Oil for Ayurveda massage:
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.
Benefits of using Coconut Oil for massage:
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:
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.
Benefits of using Sesame Oil for massage:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.