The 7 Best Massage Oils of 2020

Relax and rejuvenate with these picks

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best Overall: Viva Naturals Sweet Almond Oil at Amazon

"Spreads easily and leaves skin moisturized without feeling oily."

Best Budget: Unscented Neutrogena Sesame Body Oil at Amazon

"Not at all greasy and an excellent value for the price."

Runner-Up, Best Budget: Organic Sunflower Oil at Amazon

"A quality product at an inexpensive price."

Best Multi-Purpose: Hobacare 100% Pure Jojoba Oil at Amazon

"Can be applied to wet or dry skin, and your hair and scalp."

Best for Sensitive Skin: Maple Holistics Pure Grapeseed Oil at Amazon

"Packed with antioxidants like vitamin E and beta carotene."

Best Warming: Weleda Muscle Massage Oil at iHerb

"A warming massage oil for chronic pain relief."

Best for Sore Muscles: Arnica Massage Oil at Amazon

"A homeopathic remedy for muscle soreness and swelling."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Viva Naturals Sweet Almond Oil

Viva Naturals Almond Oil

Courtesy of Amazon

Sweet almond oil is a favorite among massage therapists because it absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave behind any residue. Made from ripened, pressed almond kernels, this oil from Viva Naturals is unscented, undiluted, and contains no added ingredients. A source of skin-nourishing vitamin E, it spreads easily and leaves skin moisturized without feeling oily. 

The oil’s anti-inflammatory properties also help reduce dry, flaking skin. You can prepare your own custom, homemade massage oil by adding essential oils such as peppermint oil or lavender oil since sweet almond oil works well as a carrier oil. It’s also one of the least expensive massage oils, so you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck. Keep in mind, of course, that it shouldn't be used on people with nut allergies.

Best Budget: Unscented Neutrogena Moisturizing Light Sesame Body Oil

If you’re plagued by itchy, dry skin, this light sesame body oil from Neutrogena provides instant hydration, leaving skin soft and smooth. It’s lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin, so it’s a perfect option for post-shower or a self-massage when you’re time-crunched.

While some people don’t like the scent of sesame oil, this one is fragrance-free. Users love that it’s not at all greasy and an excellent value for the price. You only need a few drops for all-over moisturizing, so a little bit goes a long way.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: Banyan Botanicals Organic Sunflower Oil

If you’re a frequent giver or recipient of massages, you’ll want to have a big bottle of massage oil on hand. This organic sunflower oil from Banyan Botanicals is a quality product at an inexpensive price. Sunflower oil is a light, non-greasy oil that’s rich in the essential fatty acids and powerful antioxidants, including vitamins A, D, and E.

Whether you want to combine this oil with your favorite aromatherapy oils or use it straight from the bottle, you’ll love how it makes your skin feel smooth and nourished. Reviewers also say it works well as a face moisturizer and hair oil. Keep in mind that sunflower oil can go rancid quickly, so don’t get it if you use massage oil infrequently. People with allergies to nuts should also avoid sunflower oil.

Best Multi-Purpose: Hobacare 100% Pure Jojoba Oil

Another popular massage oil, jojoba oil is very similar to human skin oils, which allows it to be easily absorbed by the body. This 100% pure jojoba oil from Hobacare has a thin texture, so it glides across the skin. This versatile oil can be applied to wet or dry skin, and can also be used on your hair and scalp to add some hydration and luster.

Since it absorbs so easily, jojoba oil is a good carrier if you want to add some essential oils for an aromatherapy massage. It doesn’t turn rancid and has a long shelf life, so it’s a nice option for those who don’t use massage oil on a daily basis.

Best for Sensitive Skin: Maple Holistics Pure Grapeseed Oil

Massage therapists love grapeseed oil because it’s non-greasy but still glides smoothly across the skin, and doesn’t stain sheets or clothes. Gentle and non-irritating, this silky, lightweight oil from Maple Holistics is an excellent choice for sensitive skin. The oil is extracted from the grapeseed using a natural cold-press method, which means that no solvent is used during the extraction process.

It’s packed with antioxidants like vitamin E and beta carotene to help fight signs of aging, as well as omega fatty acids, which promote moisture retention. This oil is also a great choice for acne-prone skin because it doesn’t clog pores. It has little to no odor, but grapeseed oil is one of the best carrier oils for aromatherapy, so you can add your favorite scent with essential oils.

Best Warming: Weleda Muscle Massage Oil

Welda Muscle Massage Oil

 Courtesy of iHerb

Overdid it at the gym? A warming massage oil can help relax your muscles and relieve pain after vigorous activity. Made with arnica extract and birch leaves, this one from Weleda is perfect for an invigorating yet calming massage. It’s not greasy, has a light, pleasant smell, and is totally free of synthetic ingredients, parabens, and phthalates. If you’re looking for a massage oil for chronic pain relief or post-workout massages, it’s a good value.

Best for Sore Muscles: Brookthorne Naturals Relief Arnica Massage Oil

If you’re looking for relief from muscle stiffness and soreness, check out this arnica massage oil from Brookthorne Naturals. The therapeutic oil is made with a combination of sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, and jojoba oil, as well as arnica, a well-known homeopathic remedy for muscle soreness and swelling. Users love that it goes on without any stickiness, leaving skin feeling silky smooth, and provides natural pain relief to sore areas. It has a light, refreshing scent from the eucalyptus, lemongrass, and other essential oils.

Our writers spent 8.5 hours researching the most popular massage oils on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 20 different massage oils overall, screened options from 12 different brands and manufacturers, read over 410 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 1 of the oils themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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