If you're someone who claims you don't like massages, chances are you've just never had a good one. Because the best massages don't only offer you an hour of phone-free bliss under the careful hands of an expert, but they're also scientifically good for you.
Massages are brilliant for reducing stress, increasing relaxation, improving circulation and lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. When you look at it like that, it's practically doctor's orders to schedule one regularly.
But if you don't have the time and/or finances to book a regular trip to the spa, you can replicate the experience at home with your own curated collection of massage oils. Just as beneficial but at a fraction of the price, the best massage oils will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated even after a quick 15 minute rub down.
When selecting a massage oil, choose one that suits your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, sweet almond oil is light and PH neutral. Jojoba oil works better on sensitive skin that veers into the oily category while avocado oil is best for dry skin. Grapeseed and apricot oils are popular choices, too. A good massage oil usually comes at a slightly higher price point than your standard skincare product so be cautious of cheaper carrier oil bases that may not benefit the body the same way.
If you'll mostly be using your massage oil before bedtime, choose essential oils known for their relaxing qualities like lavender, chamomile, frankincense and geranium. Using earlier in the day or looking for something a little more refreshing? Peppermint, eucalyptus, ylang ylang and clary sage have more uplifting properties that'll energise your muscles.
We've rounded up all of the best massage oils.
Clarins Contour Treatment Oil
Clarins' Contour Treatment Oil will have you feeling like you've just left the spa. This popular body oil is famed for its ability to smooth and detoxify skin, leaving you feeling cleansed and calm every time you use it.
Made from 100 per cent pure plant extracts including broom, geranium and marjoram, it's a rich, luxurious feeling oil that's perfect for anyone looking for a little extra TLC. Suitable for all skin types, it's a treat to apply that you'll enjoy particularly just before bed. Bonus: it leaves no marks or residue after application.
Buy now £42.00, Clarins
Gya Labs Relaxing Massage Oil
Gya Labs' Relaxing Massage Oil is one of the most popular massage oils around and comes in a few deliciously scented flavours. If you’re well-versed in the essential oil game, you'll be able to choose a specific blend to suit your needs but, if you're just dipping a toe into the world of massage oils, opt for the "floral and woodsy" blend just before bed or the "floral and citrus" bottle if you're looking for a little rejuvenation.
Designed to ease tension and soothe stress, Gya Labs' bottles are equally as enjoyable for taming muscles after a heavy workout as they are for getting you in the mood for bedtime.
Buy now £16.14, Amazon
Neal's Yard Geranium and Orange Massage Oil
Don't sleep on Neal's Yard Remedies when it comes to massage oils. Particularly the Geranium and Orange Massage Oil, which smells heavenly and promises to become a firm contender for your new favourite skincare product.
This rich, moisturising oil is a blend of essential oils with a nourishing base to restore your skin’s natural vibrancy, fusing together almond, wheatgerm and organic olive and sunflower oils with a delicious burst of fragrance to finish. Uplifting geranium and energising sweet orange just add to this versatile oil's power.
Buy now £17.00, Neal’s Yard Remedies
Votary Hydrating Body Oil – Bergamot and Mandarin
Votary's hand-blended oils are something of a cult product and, if you look past their higher price tag, it's easy to understand their constant hype. This body oil, with a subtle scent of bergamot and mandarin, is one that can be used after those Sunday self-care lengthy showers or as a massage oil just before bed.
The plant-powered luxury label's small batch formula means you'll only find the highest quality of oils here - something that sadly isn't consistent across the entire industry. Plum and black cumin work to deeply moisturise and give a little extra glow, while peach kernel oil adds velvety softness and camellia extract comforts and soothes.
Buy now £65.00, Cult Beauty
Elemis De-Stress Massage Oil
Elemis knows what's what in the spa world so it makes sense that the brand's massage oil is a firm favourite of ours. The Elemis De-Stress Massage Oil is one you'll reach for after long days when you need a little relaxation in oil form instead of a glass of wine.
With its potent blend of essential oils, including rosewood, melissa, marjoram, geranium, rosemary, lavender and chamomile, it ticks all the boxes for calming you down and providing a nourishing and hydrating experience. Expect moisturised and supple skin and a calmer mind at the same time.
Buy now £42.00, Elemis
ESPA Fortifying Body Oil
ESPA's body oils are completely vegan friendly and utilise the power of aromatherapy to deliver a burst of energy that your body will thank you for after long days on your feet. While it still manages to soothe you, the Fortifying Body Oil is more about giving your body a little extra energy and power.
Containing the brand’s Fortifying Signature Blend, it's one you'll want to use lightly the first few times thanks to its eucalyptus and tea tree oils. While it's not quite as strong as covering yourself in minty shower gel from top to bottom, it adds a fresh, cleansing, clarifying finish that you'll love first thing in the morning.
Buy now £36.00, lookfantastic
PIXI Rose Oil Blend
PIXI is the gift that keeps on giving in the skincare world and the Rose Oil Blend is no exception. It's rare to find potent rose oil in body products due to the high cost of producing it but PIXI makes good use of both Rosa Canina Fruit Oil (rosehip oil) and Rosa Damascena Flower Oil (rose oil from the Damask rose) along with a few other skin-loving ingredients like sweet almond and jojoba oil. This ultra-nourishing oil is one of the best for rejuvenating and renewing the skin's luminosity.
Buy now £26.00, Boots
The Organic Pharmacy Arnica Massage Oil
Arnica as a skincare ingredient is renowned for its ability to control bruising, reduce swelling and promote recovery, which is why it's recommended so often by doctors. The Organic Pharmacy Arnica Massage Oil is one of the best choices to use after injury or intense workouts, when its starring ingredient works its magic to bring your body back to its best.
Blended with both ginger and arnica, it gives a little extra buzz to the skin via the ginger, while the arnica works a little deeper to nourish from within. While it's marketed as a massage oil, this one can also be added to baths.
Buy now £36.00, lookfantastic
Tisserand Aromatherapy Total De-Stress Massage & Body Oil
Tisserand Aromatherapy makes some of the best budget friendly massage oils, utilising impressive ingredients without the typically high cost attached. A great option if you're looking to build up a collection of massage oils but don't particularly know where to start, this popular brand is one of the finest for setting the scene.
The Total De-Stress Massage & Body Oil is one of our favourites with a skin pampering base of sesame and jojoba oils rich in nourishing vitamins and antioxidants. With uplifting orange, comforting geranium and soothing nutmeg essential oils, it's subtly sweet and endlessly calming: a great choice that's versatile enough for both morning and night.
Buy now £11.00, Boots
Collistar Precious Body Oil Firms Nourishes Tones With Saffron and Ginger
Collistar's massage oils are for those who want a little extra luxuriousness in their massage sessions. Bringing together saffron and ginger in its popular Precious Body Oil, this silky smooth formula is one that takes inspiration from Ayurvedic oils to encourage firmer and plumper-looking skin.
Its invigorating blend of antioxidant-rich saffron and ginger heighten its abilities while vanilla extract adds a gentle, sweet, warming sensation when rubbed into the skin. The best thing about this oil? Its versatility: use it on your body, hair and face and expect a soothing sensation all round.
Buy now £30.60, lookfantastic
Clarins' Contour Treatment Oil is a wonderful all-rounder that nourishes, relaxes, smooths and hydrates all at the same time. If you only invest in one massage oil, make it this one.