At Naipo, we love a good massage. Whether it’s seeing a professional or relaxing in one of our massage chairs, there’s no question that we love massage in all forms. One thing we’ve noticed when we’re visiting a therapist for some R&R is that they always use massage oil, which begs the question: why do we need oil when having a massage? After a bit of research, we found the answer to that question and more. Here is the complete lowdown on massage oil.
What Is A Massage Oil Used For?
The simple, most direct reason for using massage oils is that it reduces friction between our hands and skin. Obliviously this is good when you have a masseuse running their hands over our body. By reducing the friction between the two, the skin can be worked better which in turn allows for a more thorough massage.
What Defines A Good Massage Oil?
A good massage oil depends on certain factors. While most oils made for massage have many of the following properties, it’s still best to run the oil you use by this list to ensure you get exactly what your skin needs.
Processing Method – Is it refined and has a nice touch, or is it cold-pressed and greasy? Unlike beauty products where unrefined is preferred, go for a refined oil here.
Absorption – Take the Goldilocks approach: the oil must be able to absorb into the skin but not fast enough so the masseuse is always adding more oil, yet not so slow that it never gets absorbed.
Moisturizing Properties – This refers to how moisture is kept inside the skin. In the case of massage oils, better moisturization results in smoother and hydrated skin.
Viscosity – Low viscosity is the way to go. What that means is that the massage oil is not too thick or sticky, and can be easily spread across the applied area.
Cost – It might be sourced from some far corner of the world but if it’s going to break the bank, skip and find something more affordable.
Types of Massage Oils
Massage oils come in many different kinds with some even serving as a carrier oil for aromatherapy. Here are a few of the more popular types of massage oils.
Almond Oil – The most popular type of massage oil thanks to having all the properties listed above – the essentials a massage oil requires.
Coconut Oil – Another popular choice as it heats up when applied to the skin.
Grapeseed Oil – Has an easy absorption as it is a light oil. It also contains large amounts of linoleic acid which can hydrate and plump the skin.
Sunflower Oil – A cheap alternative that can be purchased in most stores. It has a low viscosity but may leave you feeling a little greasy afterwards if too much is applied.
Olive Oil – This oil keeps the skin looking young and radiant. It is often used when massaging infants but people of all ages can use it to improve skin elasticity.
Next time you get a massage, you can ask your therapist about the massage oils they use and then surprise them when you know even more than they do. Is there something you know about massage oils that we might have missed? Let us know in the comments below. Have a happy massage everyone.