Which vegetable oil is good for massage?

Heather Campbell
 min read

In our daily life, vegetable oils have become indispensable elements. Indeed, vegetable oils are frequently used for food and cosmetics, but vegetable oils are also good for massages. But which vegetable oil is good for massage?

Which vegetable oil is good for massage?We often find jojoba oil, macadamia oil, or coconut oil for massages.

In addition to contributing to the success of a moment of relaxation, the massage oil nourishes the skin, helps it breathe and especially brings elasticity and softness. It therefore contributes to the well-being of our skin.

Vegetable oils that are good for massages are gentle on the skin and present no risk of allergies. The more fatty acids a vegetable oil contains, the more fluid it will be and the easier it will be able to penetrate the skin.

But what do you know about the vegetable oils used for massage techniques? Read on for an overview of everything you need to know about these vegetable oils.

Which vegetable oil is good for massage? Introduction

First of all, what is a vegetable oil?

A vegetable oil is a fatty liquid obtained by cold pressing of a fruit, a nut or an oleaginous seed. The best vegetable oils are those extracted from the seeds or kernels. 

The oils allow different massage techniques and penetrate quickly into the skin. Thanks to their natural properties, they are very gentle on the skin and present no risk of allergies.

Each oil has its own properties, specificities and effects such as:

  • Moisturizers
  • Nourishing
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Antiseptics
  • Healing agents
  • Etc.

The presence or absence of vitamins and fatty acids and their content determine the action and effectiveness of each oil. The more fatty acids they contain, the more fluid they are and the faster they penetrate the body.

Among the most used oils, we can mention castor oil as well as nigella oil. However, even if their functions are numerous (for example, an aid for the growth of the hair) these two vegetable oils are not advised for body massages.

Related: Have a look at our other post for the most relaxing types of body massages.

Good to know: mix essential oils with vegetable oils for massage

It is always preferable to mix your essential oils with a vegetable oil before applying it to your skin (except in rare cases where you can apply them pure).

Indeed, vegetable oils are used as carrier oils and they also have their own properties, which complete and reinforce the action of essential oils.

So for a 3.38 oz bottle of moisturizing oil, you can add about ten drops of essential oil.

Which vegetable oil is best for a massage?

Whether it’s to nourish the skin, relieve muscular pain, or just for pleasure and relaxation, choosing the right vegetable oil for a successful massage is essential!

In aromatherapy, a variety of vegetable oils are used. Here are some of them:

Aloe vera oil

Coming from the aloe plant, which is one of the oldest medicinal plants, aloe vera oil has nutritive and revitalizing characteristics.

It is known for its healing properties and is also appreciated for its ability to regenerate the cellular system.

Perfect for dry and mature skin, it is often used in case of sunburn and to nourish dry and brittle hair.

Good to know: what is the difference between aloe vera vegetable oil and aloe vera gel?

The aloe vera oil has a soft texture and is different from the gel by its nourishing property. It is mainly used to provide the skin and hair with the necessary vitamins and trace elements.

This oil also helps to give a better complexion. People with dry skin will favor this oily texture. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory on irritated areas.

On the other hand, aloe vera gel is more hydrating. It compensates for water loss in the hair and face.

The gel penetrates more easily into the skin and can be used pure. If you see redness or tightness on your body, these are all signs of dehydrated skin. Therefore, it will be necessary to use a gelling agent.

Jojoba oil

Called “desert gold” and originating from the deserts of South America, jojoba is the plant from which jojoba oil is made. This resistant plant is cultivated in extreme conditions.

Native to arid and desert environments, it can be found in Arizona, Mexico and Southern California.

Jojoba prefers well-drained and aerated soils, such as granite. It grows rather well on soils with a significant depth, as this allows its root system to spread out and take up moisture.

For centuries, jojoba has been used by the Aztecs who discovered its various magical properties. With a virtuous composition, jojoba is rich in lipidic substances producing pleasant effects on the human body.

96% of its composition is made up of ceramide, a substance that promotes heat resistance. Jojoba oil allows to cover and moisturize the epidermal cells.

Together with vitamin E and linoleic acids, jojoba oil enhances the face and hair by contributing to the regeneration of their cells.

This oil is unique because its composition is close to human sebum.

As an ally of your beauty, jojoba oil penetrates very easily into the skin without leaving greasy traces. As effective on oily skin as on very dry skin, it also prevents the appearance of wrinkles and helps to firm the skin.

It is effective for oily hair and brings vitality, shine, and suppleness to all hair types.

Jojoba oil has many benefits for our hair and body. Here are some examples:

  • It regulates the production of sebum by our sebaceous glands.
  • It fights greasy hair and fights against dryness by moisturizing it.
  • Jojoba oil is a 100% natural skincare product that can be used on all skin types.
  • It allows to reconstitute the hydrolipidic film for a better protection against external aggressions.
  • It brings a pleasant softness to your skin by filling the water losses and restoring its elasticity.
  • It is also used as a massage and tanning oil.
  • It prevents and treats pimples and blackheads that most often form on the T-zone of the face, where the glands are particularly active.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is used as much in the field of cosmetics as in food. It has many benefits, especially for the skin.

It is very rich in fatty acids, myristic acid and lauric acid. It is an exceptional vegetable oil that has strong moisturizing, nourishing, anti-aging, softening, and repairing properties.

In addition, coconut oil is easily absorbed by the skin, giving the epidermis a smooth appearance and intense softness.

Even if its smell reminds us of heavenly beaches, you should know that coconut oil is extremely effective for hair and skin.

Indeed, this oil penetrates easily and deeply into the hair fiber to repair the damage caused by dryness or protein loss.

Its saturated fatty acids, including lauric acid, and its vitamins A and E provide good nutrition for the hair and prevent it from dehydrating.

But coconut oil is also a great ally for our skin. Indeed, it is a tanning oil but its protection index is too low to block UV rays. It is therefore necessary to complement it with a sun cream.

It makes the skin soft and shiny and helps to fight against premature aging of the epidermis by giving it elasticity.

In massage oil, the coconut oil makes it possible to remove the numbness of the muscles.

Good to know: a small overview of the benefits of the coconut fruit:

  • Its flesh is made up of 90% fatty acid, making it easy to digest.
  • Rich in vitamins, trace elements and minerals, it provides calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
  • This fruit can be consumed daily, as it is hydrating, energetic, antioxidant and promotes a good balance of blood pressure.
  • Coconut is highly recommended for pregnant women for its water pulp and especially for the milk.
  • Coconut milk is a product that can also be consumed from time to time to ensure the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system.
  • Some studies have even shown that the properties of coconut milk are similar to those of breast milk. Therefore, it is recommended to children for its high composition in vitamin C, minerals, and natural sugar.

Sweet almond oil

Originally from Asia, it is now cultivated throughout the Mediterranean basin. It is very versatile, it is the ally of the most delicate skins like that of babies.

With its softening and toning effects, sweet almond oil is perfect for deeply nourishing the skin and accelerating cellular repair.

During pregnancy, it is also the ideal care to avoid stretch marks. To do this, pour about ten drops of oil into your hand and warm it by rubbing your hands together. Massage your belly twice a day until the end of your pregnancy.

Thanks to its fortifying effect, sweet almond oil helps fight against dry hair and restores tone to your hair.

Beware, this oil is allergenic for all people sensitive to peanuts.

The argan oil

Native to Morocco, argan oil comes from the argan tree’s fruit. For a long time, the Berbers have used this tree as food for animals but also as fuel. It is only later that argan oil and its cosmetic virtues have been put forward.

Ideal to fight against the drying of the skin, the argan oil softens the epidermis.

It is also one of the bases of many massage oils. Indeed, argan oil is a dry oil that penetrates the skin quickly and leaves no greasy surface.

It also prevents skin aging through its firming and antioxidant action. Argan oil is also used to strengthen the nails and give life to dull and tired hair.

It is also used in cooking and would be ideal for people with high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Macadamia oil

Macadamia, specifically the macadamia nut, is the fruit of the Queensland walnut tree which is of tropical origin. It comes mainly from Eastern Australia and has been discovered for more than 5000 years by the aboriginal population.

The macadamia tree is a large tropical tree that can grow up to 50 ft. It is made up of evergreen leaves of dark green color. Its flowers are arranged in clusters and are white, pink or purple.

The macadamia fruit or nut is an edible nut, round in shape and medium in size, between that of a hazelnut and a small walnut. It is wrapped in a solid and crunchy shell.

Although the tree is typically native to Australia, macadamia is also cultivated in other tropical regions such as Hawaii, the southern Iberian Peninsula, California, Brazil and South Africa.

In addition, it can be found (though in low production) in North Africa, Spain and Italy. The cultivation of macadamia requires a drained soil, because it does not tolerate the cold.

Macadamia is a highly virtuous plant. In addition to being edible, it is highly nutritional and can be used for cosmetic purposes. Indeed, the macadamia nut is the most interesting part of the tree and favors its cultivation.

For this reason, it is possible to consume the fruit regularly because of its composition rich in nutrient supplements such as:

  • Fatty acids: these are necessary supplements that help fight against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  • Minerals and trace elements: potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus. These minerals are essential to ensure the proper functioning of the kidneys, the proper maintenance of heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Vitamins E and B allow the fruit to protect the cells against oxidation.

As it is a fruit whose composition is rich in substances contributing to better health, consumed daily or very often, a small quantity of the macadamia nut allows to:

  • strengthen the nervous and immune systems
  • maintain healthy muscles and skin, as well as
  • stimulate the development and regeneration of cells.

Concerning macadamia oil, it is extremely rich in rare fatty acids. It is used to soften and protect sensitive, dry and mature skin. Extremely penetrating, it does not leave a greasy film, making it ideal for massages.

Thanks to its toning lymphatic effect, it is very effective against stretch marks. Applied to the hair, it protects it from external aggressions.

The macadamia oil, by its composition, offers us beauty, softness and protection for the well-being of our hair and body. Its nut provides our cosmetic needs with a large amount of monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamins.

There is nothing like it to nourish hair and skin and fight against dehydration.

Macadamia oil is a dry oil with the ability to penetrate very quickly into the skin and hair fiber. This 100% natural care will not clog the pores of your skin and with it you will have no risk of having oily hair.

So why not also use it in massage oil? It is particularly effective for heavy and tired legs. Thanks to its regenerative and anti-aging properties, Macadamia oil is also ideal for facial care.

The oily macerate of arnica

This oil is called macerate because it is obtained by macerating arnica flowers in a neutral oil. The flowers release their active ingredients in a few weeks of maceration.

The oily macerate of arnica prevents the appearance of hematomas, bruises and edemas after a shock or a blow.

As it is anti-inflammatory, it is also used to prevent muscle contractions, joint pain and rheumatism. It is also very effective in relieving burns and sunburns.

Used as a massage oil after intense physical effort, it effectively relaxes your muscles and allows you to recover more easily.

Carrot oil

Carrot oil promotes tanning and is also recommended as an after-sun treatment to soften the skin.

This beautifier acts on dull and tired skins by giving them a blow of brightness and delaying the effects of aging.

Carrot oil can also remedy hair problems. In fact, to moisturize your hair with carrot oil:

  • coat it with carrot oil,
  • then cover it with a towel,
  • leave it on for at least an hour, and
  • finally, wash your hair with a mild shampoo.

Try it, you will see that the result is great!

Hazelnut oil

Originally from Turkey, hazelnut oil is ideal for protecting and treating oily skin. Indeed, it regulates the production of sebum, promotes the elimination of blackheads and tightens the pores of the skin.

This oil is very appreciated as a “carrier oil” because it favors an excellent penetration of the active ingredients present in the essential oils without leaving a greasy film.

Apricot kernel oil

Coming from the apricot tree, this oil is known to improve the complexion. It is nourishing, moisturizing, regenerating, and softening because of its richness in vitamin A, E, and oleic acid.

It is often recommended for dull, tired and devitalized skin for a real radiance boost. Its use is perfect as a night cream.

Combine it with jojoba oil to make a daytime facial.

Avocado oil

While avocado oil is best known for its uses in cooking, it can also contribute to skin care.

Rich in vitamins A, D and E, avocado oil is known for its hydrating and regenerating properties.

It is also particularly suitable to soften, protect and strengthen dry and devitalized skin, making it an excellent anti-wrinkle product.

It is also a hair beautifier that solves the problems of brittle and dry hair and stimulates their regrowth.

Side effects are very rare and only affect people with pre-existing skin conditions, who should consult a physician before trying a new skincare product.

Saint-John’s-wort oil

Saint-John’s-wort is a herbaceous plant found in many parts of the world. This oily macerate has anti-inflammatory, anti-traumatic and healing properties.

It calms and reduces the consequences of burns and also has psychic properties to fight against depression and anxiety states.

Saint-John’s-wort flowers have always been used for therapeutic purposes. Their maceration in sunflower oil creates a mixture with remarkable properties.

Effective against pain in the nerves and joints, Saint-John’s-wort oil macerate is also very anti-inflammatory due to its hypericin content.

Finally, like many oily macerates and vegetable oils, its regenerative and soothing virtues relieve skin damaged by the sun.

Calophyll oil

Coming from the takamaka tree, native to the tropical regions of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, calophyll oil has many powerful active ingredients.

It helps with blood circulation thanks to its fluidifying effect, making it the oil of choice for all diseases related to circulation problems: varicose veins, hemorrhoids, or couperose (rosacea).

As calophyll oil also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, it is also healing and protects from the sun.

This oil will be very useful if you have dark circles or skin problems (such as eczema) but also if you suffer from heavy legs or other conditions due to poor blood circulation.

Which vegetable oil is good for massage? Conclusion

There are many vegetable oils that you can use on a daily basis, either to make wellness products or to enhance your diet.

Always use the appropriate vegetable oil to get the most out of it for your skin care.

In addition, these vegetable oils are excellent carrier oils for essential oils.

Now that you know a little more about these vegetable oils, go on and make lots of new beauty products, 100% natural and especially 100% homemade!

Do you need more convincing? Read our other post for the top reasons to use natural skin care products.

About Heather Campbell

As a dietitian, my field of specialization is science-based nutritional advice but more importantly, it is my goal to share capturing and inspiring stories, examples and solutions which can help plus-size individuals overcome their specific difficulties. Read More