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There is nothing more relaxing than a massage mixed with aromatherapy oil. But if you want to get the great benefits of a great oil into your massage, there is one question you need to answer. What are the best essential oils for massage?

Knowing what are the top oils is not as easy as picking the best ones because different oils provide different benefits. So sometimes it is best to keep as many different oils on hand. Below I have comprised a list of the benefits of different oils that are best for aromatherapy oil massage and you can choose which ones you like best.

Click Here to Read the Top 10 Benefits of Massage

Why is Oil Used During Massage?

You may have wondered why do therapist use oils during a massage. And no it isn’t to make your skin shiny. It is actually used to prevent friction and make it easier for the therapist’s hands to flow gently over your skin.

Plain oils, such as vegetable oils, could be used but they provide no added therapeutic value to the patient.

Essential oils are used to provide a relaxing, stress relieving session as well as to provide other health benefits.

1) Lavender

I know you may be tired of hearing about lavender essential oils in every one of my posts but I would be lying if I didn’t put it on my list.

Lavender has been used in therapeutic massage therapy for centuries. It is probably because of its relaxing and stimulating properties. I mean if it is good enough to calm your body down enough before bed and help you sleep it is definitely good enough to relax your body during a massage, right?

However, lavender is not everyone’s go-to oil when it comes to massage. But that is understandable because what is good for the goose isn’t good for the gander.

Just be careful to check the labels when purchasing lavender to make sure it is true lavender (lavendula augustifolia) not spike lavender (Lavendula latifolia) or Lavandin (Lavandula x intermedia).

Click Here to Buy True Lavender From Amazon

2) Mandarin or Tangerine

Mandarin or tangerine essential oil is great for many reasons. It is at a great price point for one and that is always a plus for me. The smell is great and you can use it to as a fresh aroma for your home. But the main reason is that it is great for insomnia, anxiety, and scar tissue.

Since it is great for improving your skin you can use it for massage to help relieve acne, brighten your skin, and relieve anxiety all at the same time.

Click Here to Buy Mandarin Essential Oil

3) Peppermint

Peppermint is a great way to soothe achy muscles and feet due to its icy hot effect. I love peppermint for the effect it has on my digestive system and peppermint tea is one of my favorites.

It has one of the most intense smells, I mean think about how strong peppermint gum is?

So imagine how soothing and intense it would be used during a massage?

Just remember not to use it with children.

Click Here to Buy Peppermint Essential Oil

4) Frankincense

When inhaled, Frankincense has been shown to reduce anxiety and it is great because unlike our prescription meds it doesn’t give us any nasty side effects.

Frankincense can be a great way to improve circulation or get rid of joint pain and inflammation associated with conditions such as arthritis, asthma, or digestive issues. So massage some oil on those achy backs, feets, muscles, joints, and necks.

Plus, the smell alone is therapeutic and it is a great oil to blend with others such as lavender.

Click Here to Buy Frankincense Essential Oil

5) Geranium

Geranium has been around for centuries and was popular among the Egyptians to create beautiful, radiant skin. It now has many uses from acne to reducing anxiety.

It is in the floral family and is great for women because it can be useful for menstrual issues like menopause.

Just the fact that it is a mild oil and it great for the skin is a great reason to keep it around, wouldn’t you agree?

Click Here to Buy Geranium Essential Oil

6) Coriander

If you have digestive issues (or just want to enjoy the benefits) you may want to have this little puppy on hand. You can take some coriander oil(a few drops) and rub it on your tummy after eating a large meal to aid in digestion.

Click Here to Read More About Essential Oils for Stress

After a workout, you can take one drop of coriander oil in the palm of your hand and run it on your legs to help soothe your achy muscles.

Click Here to Buy Coriander Essential Oils

7) Sandalwood

Sandalwood is popular for its anti-inflammatory benefits. It can be used as a decongestant so having it handy to plop in a diffuser for stuffy noses is already a plus.

The strong earthy aroma is even preferred by some and is also said to be an aphrodisiac, especially for men.

Click Here to Buy Sandalwood Essential Oil

8) Cardamom

Cardamom oil has a pretty funny benefit. If you are having trouble with gas you can do two things, rub a few drops on your belly, or diffuse it in your room, to help. Now I am not afraid to admit I have digestive issues so I don’t mind having a go-to oil to pull out when I need help and I will take natural over meds any day.

But cardamom isn’t only a gas reliever, it has other health, hair, and skin benefits.

It is rich in Vitamin C and manganese so it can help give you radiant skin and the antioxidants in it help fight against premature aging.

Click Here to Buy Cardamom Essential Oil

9) Vanilla Absolute

The smell of vanilla is a very sensual smell. Maybe it is the connection we have to our desserts or maybe it is our favorite perfume, but vanilla is a very familiar and relaxing smell.

Not only is vanilla oil used for a sensual massage it is used in many bath oils. Next to lavender, it is actually one of my favorites. Not to mention you can mix it with lavender for a relaxing combo that will promote healthy skin.

Click Here to Buy Vanilla Absolute Essential Oil

10) Jasmine

Jasmine is known for its deep floral scent and is known as a sensual aphrodisiac. It is great for calming your mind and your nervous system at the same time.

I am not a fan of the smell myself because of the strong floral notes but it actually can stimulate your senses and make for a very romantic massage. Okay maybe I can sacrifice the smell for the romance, haha!

Click Here to Buy Jasmine Essential Oil

11) Clary Sage

You may be thinking, “Clary sage, what is that?” Well, you wouldn’t be alone in asking. Clary sage has a lot of benefits especially for women but it isn’t a well know oil.

The fact that it is great for hormone balancing and helps with menstrual cramps and childbirth pains is a great reason for women to have this around.

This oil is also great because it naturally elevates your mood while relaxing the mind. It helps to soothe achy muscles so it would make a great massage even better after a hard workout.

Click Here to Buy Clary Sage Essential Oil

Safety Tips

Be careful with allergies. If you are not sure you may have an allergy to an essential oil, perform a skin allergy test.

If you do have an allergic reaction, do not use water to rinse the oil. The best way to remove the oil is to use a skin safe dishwashing soap and rub gently for 30 seconds.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding consult with a physician before using any essential oils.

Never ingest an essential oil unless the packaging says it is safe to do otherwise. Always read labels and instructions for proper usage.

Click Here for Proper Dilution Rates 


As we have learned in my earlier article, massages can provide many benefits, so adding an essential oil adds to those benefits.

There are many reasons to use essential oils during your massage session and these oils provide a wide range of benefits that moms and others can benefit from.

You don’t have to go to a spa to get a massage, you can test them out at home, just be sure to take precaution and test your skin for allergies before proceeding.

Do you have a favorite on this list? Is there an essential oil you would recommend for a nice relaxing massage? I would love to hear your suggestions below.

4 thoughts on “Best Essential Oils for Massage – 11 Soothing Oils”

  1. Wow, Melissa, I have become a huge huge huge fan of your articles and information about relaxing, massaging and oils that you always share with us. I am a big user of essential oils and they do help in relaxing us from head to toe. Most of the times I use peppermint and cardamom and always find these oil super duper as far as relaxation is concerned. It’s like having a Spa at home.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I thank you for your continued support. I too love essential oils because they are natural and provide so many different uses and like you said they are like having a spa at home. Peppermint is so wonderful. I thank you for sharing!

  2. I love cardamom essential oil. It has such an evocative spicy but grounding smell. I am a huge believer in these for mental and physical and even spiritual health benefits, and I’m happy to see it getting more mainstream. thanks for the great overview of essential oil medicinal properties.

    1. Hi Penelope,
      It is always nice to see others who enjoy the benefits of essential oils. I am glad you find this info useful. Thanks again for taking the time to comment!

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