5 Recommended Carrier Oils for a Therapeutic Massage

5 Recommended Carrier Oils for a Therapeutic Massage

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About Carrier Oils

Carrier oils are vegetable oils derived from plants. They can be extracted from the different parts of the plant, i.e. the nuts, the kernels or even the seeds.

Carrier oils are important because they have fantastic properties but also they help 'carry' essential oils to your body. Essential oils can irritate the skin or even burn it; some people can have a reaction to them so the carrier oils are important because we can use them to dilute essential oils before we apply them (topical application).

Carrier oils are different in the sense that they have their own therapeutic characteristics and properties, so it is important to choose the carrier oils depending on the therapeutic benefit we're looking for.

In this article we will talk about carrier oils that we think are good for therapeutic massage along with the properties each one has.

1. Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet almond oil is an excellent oil because it lubricates without penetrating. Sweet almond oil has become the most popular massage oil. It is very rich in properties and popular with many therapists who use it for their therapeutic massages.

Colour is golden and the odour is nutty.​

Fatty Acids

  • Oleic - 64.8%
  • Palmitic - 6.3%
  • Linoleic - 26.3%
  • Linolenic - 0.3%
  • Stearic - 1.4%

Natural Contents

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1, B2, B6
  • Vitamin D
  • Rich in protein
  • Rich in linoleic acid, and minerals

2. Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed makes an excellent massage oil because it has a gentle odour and its texture is really smooth (but not greasy). It has high content of Vitamin E, the colour is light green.

Grapeseed oil is has high linoleic acid value (more than other carrier oils) and is light and moisturising for the skin. The oil gets absorbed really quickly. ​This oil doesn't leave the skin feeling greasy and it's suitable for a variety of skin types. Combine it with jojoba oil for an excellent massage oil.

Fatty Acids

  • Linoleic acid - 72%
  • Oleic acid - 16%
  • Palmitic acid - 7%
  • Stearic acid - 4%
  • Alpha Linoleic acid - under 1%
  • Palmitoleic acid - under 1%

Natural Contents

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6
  • Vitamin E
  • Rich in linoleic acid, and minerals

3. Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is pressed from the delicious pulp that surrounds the avocado pit. It is a rich oil, for a good massage oil the organic avocado oil is recommended. It is a lovely oil packed with vitamins, amino acids, lecithin, sterols and pantothenic acid as well as other essential fatty acids.

This oil has healing as well as regenerating properties and works well on skin that is undernourished or dehydrated. It penetrates dry skin really well.​

Colour ranges from light Green to yellow to golden and it has a very characteristic smell.

Avocado oil extracted from the pulp of the fruit is rich in linoleic acid (6.1–22.9%), linolenic acid (0.4–4.0%), and oleic acid (31.8–69.6%). It also contains β-sitosterol, β-carotene, lecithin, minerals, and vitamins A, C, D, and E [94]. It is an excellent source of enrichment for dry, damaged, or chapped skin. Source.

Fatty Acids

  • Linoleic - 11.75%
  • Linolenic - 0.58%
  • Oleic - 65.18%
  • Palmitic - 14.60%

Natural Contents

  • Vitamin A, B1, B2, D, and E, Rich in protein, linoleic acid, minerals.
  • Vitamins B1, B2
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Rich in protein, linoleic acid and minerals

4. Jojoba Oil

A fantastic oil, mimics the natural human sebum in the skin. Jojoba is the liquid wax produced in the seed of the Jojoba plant. This great oil nourishes, protects, moisturises with the added bonus of a natural SPF of 5. The colour is golden yellow and the odour is a little waxy.

This is a good choice if you don't use massage oils regularly as it has a long shelf life. It doesn't irritate the skin and is well absorbed.​

Fatty Acids

  • Palmitic acid - 6.50%
  • Margaric acid - 0.03%
  • Stearic acid - 2.50%
  • Arachidic acid - 0.40%
  • Behenic acid - 0.20%
  • Lignoceric - 0.06%

Natural Contents

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1, B2, B6
  • Vitamin E
  • Myristic Acid
  • Plant Wax

5. Apricot Kernel Oil

This oil is good for facial massage. Apricot kernel oil has been extracted from the fruit's stone; the oil is a fantastic moisturiser and an excellent carrier base. It as high content of oleic acid, this oil is easily absorbed by the skin. 

The colour of this oil is light and this is a very good alternative to grapeseed oil and sweet almond oil (which are very good for massage). It is also a great oil for making scrubs.

Fatty Acids

  • Oleic - 64.2%
  • Palmitic acid - 6.50%
  • Linoleic - 28.3%
  • Linolenic - 0.2%
  • Stearic- 1.0%

Natural Contents

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1, B2, B6, B17
  • Vitamin E


Massage oils are important because of the benefits they provide to the skin. Please remember that at VMassage we don't use oil as to keep our visits mess-free.

If you would like to book with us please click on the button below and send us a message letting us know how many people you need the massage for, when and how often. 

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