A lot of people try to use baby oil as a carrier oil. Is baby oil a carrier oil, and can it be used with other oils? No. Most baby oils are made from mineral oil, which actually prevents essential oils being absorbed into the skin.
Baby oil and mineral oil use petroleum ingredients that form a coat on top of the skin. It actually inhibits the skins ability to breathe freely and stop moisture being absorbed. You should never use it in massage therapy.
I covered all the common carrier oils that are used. Some carriers such as almond oil are inexpensive and easy to use, while evening primrose oil has it’s own therapeutic benefits. So there are much more suitable oils than baby oil.
What Is Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is a petroleum derivative. It’s an odorless and colorless oil, and is available is different viscosity and grades. There are uses for mineral oil, it features in a lot of different household products, such as cosmetics, lubricants, medicine and more.
Most people are more familiar with the term, petroleum jelly. It’s one of the most effective moisturizers and is widely used in cosmetic products. This oil does ‘coat’ the skin as mentioned earlier.
This has caused some controversy about it’s use in massage therapy. It can block the pores of the skin and stop toxins being released. There are so many other oils that are much more effective that I don’t recommend using baby or mineral oils in with massages.
Best Carrier Oils for Use in Massage
It’s hard to know what oils are best for using during massage. There are so many on the market to choose from, but it’s really not complicated. I can narrow it down to the best four to get you started with.
Sweet Almond Massage Oil
This is probably the most popular and commonly used massage oil. It’s made from almonds (of course) and has a pleasant, sweet scent. It’s not overly oily, making it easy to work with and a great carrier oil.
It’s absorbed quickly into the skin and doesn’t leave an oily residue. People experiencing skin irritations are rare, and it’s an inexpensive all-round easy choice. Not recommended for nut allergy sufferers.
Apricot Kernel Massage Oil
If you suffer with nut allergies apricot kernel oil is the next best choice to almond oil. It’s very similar in texture and color. Slightly more expensive in most instances, but it has a longer shelf-life which is a huge plus.
It’s rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E. It’s easily absorbed and doesn’t leave any greasy residue, characteristics of a good massage oil. It has a soft and pleasant scent and is easy to work with for beginners.
Jojoba Massage Oil
Jojoba oil has a very long shelf-life, so it’s suited to those who aren’t going to use it in a hurry. The oil is extracted from the jojoba plant’s seeds, it has natural anti-bacterial properties and works wonders on back acne.
It’s much more silky than apricot kernel and almond oil and absorbs quickly. Often requiring to be mixed with other oil and reapplied. It’s a little more expensive than almond oil, but it has a lovely scent.
Fractionated Coconut Massage Oil
Fractionated coconut oil is a thin and non-greasy oil. Coconut creme’s and moisturizers are thick and require working with the hands, the massage oil is very different. This is because as the name suggests, it’s a fractionated oil.
The unique selling point to coconut massage oil is that it doesn’t stain sheets like other oils. It’s also reasonably priced and has a long shelf-life. A good all-round option for a nice scented massage and a carrier oil.
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.