For people interested in DIY massage sessions at home, you don’t have to sell an arm for designer massage oils. There are lots of massage oil alternatives available for use.
Our top three massage oil alternatives are jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and grapeseed oil.
In this article, we will talk about the top 10 massage oil alternatives. Without any fanfare, our number one massage alternative is jojoba oil, down on the list is shea butter.
1.) Jojoba oil
Jojoba oil is a favorite amongst massage therapists. It is lightweight, non-greasy, and great carrier oil for other massage oils.
Jojoba oil isn’t an oil. It’s extracted as wax from jojoba seeds then melted. But you don’t have to worry, it is non-greasy and doesn’t stain massage linens and sheets.
Jojoba oil is top on the list because it is odorless. What about its benefits to the skin, you ask? Jojoba oil has lots of antibacterial properties that make it a good choice for clients with eczema and acne.
It also has hypoallergenic properties that are suitable for clients with allergic reactions.
2.) Grapeseed oil
Extracted from grape seeds, this oil’s lightweight texture glides smoothly on the skin and locks in moisture without clogging the pores.
Because of its anti-inflammatory and lightweight properties, it is a great option for clients prone to acne breakouts.
It also has a hypoallergenic quality that is suitable for clients with allergic reactions.
3.) Apricot kernel oil
If you have clients with allergies to nuts, you should consider using apricot kernel oil for them. This oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants for a supple sheen. Its lightweight texture makes it great for most kneading techniques.
Heads up, apricot kernel oil is pricier than coconut oil and other oils derived from nuts. On the flip side, it has a higher shelf life than its nutty counterparts.
4.) Hemp seed oil
Hemp seed oil is gotten from seeds of the hemp plant. FYI, it contains no traces of cannabinoids. People usually confuse hemp seed oil for CBD oil.
CBD oil is extracted from the leaves, flowers, and stalks of the hemp plant. It contains cannabinoids. Hemp seed oil on the other hand is extracted only from the seeds.
We ranked hemp seed oil here for its lightweight texture and even spread. It also doesn’t dry out quickly. This means that small amounts of hemp seed oil have high skin coverage.
It might be a bit more pricey than other oils, but it isn’t used up quickly. The hemp seed oil has high anti-inflammatory properties, making it good for relaxation, muscle rehabilitation, and stress relief.
5.) Sweet almond oil
We ranked sweet almond oil on our list because it has a light fragrant oil that most clients love. It is inexpensive and lightweight. It is also absorbed quickly into the skin.
Two things to keep in mind though, sweet almond oil is notorious for staining the sheets. It is also unsuitable for clients with nut allergies.
6.) Argan oil
We don’t know why, but argan oil just oozes off luxury. Maybe it’s because it is stored in dark bottles, or because it is one of the priciest oils on the market.
Whatever the reason, argan oil has a silky lightweight feel and distinct smell. We love it for these properties but it isn’t ranked top on the list for the price.
And not just the price, it dries out quickly, meaning the therapist will use more oils than usual for coverage. It also has a nutty smell which clients may not like.
Heads-up, do not use argan oil for clients with nut allergies. However, if you want a lightweight earthy smelling oil loaded with vitamin E, argan oil is your best bet.
7.) Coconut oil
Unfractionated coconut oil is heavy and clogs the pores. This oil is butter since it is semi-solid at room temperature. Clients may not also like the strong nutty smell.
Fractionated coconut oil on the other hand is light-weight and non-greasy because the long-chain fatty acids are filtered out. Fractionated coconut oil lasts longer than its unfractionated counterpart. It also has a milder smell.
Whichever form you use, coconut oil is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids. These properties make it a good (but not so great) option for dry skin. Do not use coconut oil if you have nut allergies.
8.) Sesame oil
Sesame oil has lots of therapeutic effects. It contains tyrosine, a protein used to make serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that improves mood and sleep.
Sesame has a high vitamin E content. This property makes it a popular ingredient for stretch marks and anti-aging creams.
What’s more, it is rich in calcium and manganese, making it a good choice for people at risk for osteoporosis and brittle bone.
Sesame seed oil also has a cooling effect, making it suitable for clients with sunburn or clients who want a massage after a tan. The downside is that sesame oil is pricey, unlike other regular massage oils.
9.) Olive oil
We all know the benefits of adding olive oil to our diets. These benefits aren’t only for the heart and blood vessels alone.
They are also for the skin. Olive oil is rich in vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids. These properties make it an excellent moisturizer for the skin. What’s more, olive oil is relatively affordable compared to other oils like argan and sesame oil.
Why then do we rank it so low, you ask?
Well, olive oil is heavy on the skin. It can block the pores and stain massage linens. Not just that, it has a robust and distinct smell that most clients find intolerable. For these reasons, we rank it number 9.
On the flip side, if you don’t find the smell and heavyweight bothersome, and if you don’t mind the spills, then you should give it a try.
10.) Cocoa butter
We know cocoa butter has a chocolatey smell and let’s be real, who doesn’t like chocolates? However, this smell can quickly become overpowering to the senses. Cocoa butter is also heavy and can leave residues on the skin and clog the pores.
In its defense, it has a high content of vitamin E, making it a common ingredient in anti-stretch mark creams. It also doesn’t spill and stain massage linens and sheets.
How to Choose the Perfect Massage Oil Alternative
Before choosing a massage oil you should ask yourself questions like:
- Do I have oily skin or dry skin?
- Do I have any nut allergies or skin allergies?
- Do I have a preference for smell?
- Do I have skin conditions that can influence the type of oil I use?
Do you prefer massages at a massage center?
You should go through these questions with your therapist. Your therapist will compare your preferences against existing medical conditions like allergies, acne, and psoriasis that can affect your choice of massage oil.
If you are planning a DIY massage at home, you should be mindful of massage oils that stain and leave residues on fabrics. To prevent this, consider using water dispersants to disperse heavy oils, and going nude for the massage.
Consider the cost too. Pricey oils like sesame, argan, and apricot kernel oil are great but if they stretch your budget, you should consider budget-friendly oils. If you want a mix of oils, rather than buy numerous bottles for home use, why not consider a session at a massage center?
That way you can try a cocktail of different oils without having to bother about what to do with the remainder.
Do you plan on purchasing oils for a DIY massage? Be mindful of oils with a short shelf life. Also source your oils from trusted businesses that prepare and sell authentic, unadulterated, and ethical products.
Now its time to hear from you:
Now that you know our bucket list of massage oil alternatives, which is your favorite and why?
Are there other massage oils you think we should have included in this list?
Feel free to comment below!