While many view spa days as a luxury, research shows that a simple massage is so much more: It can help beat stress, soothe tired muscles, and boost your mind. According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can harm your health over time, and Harvard researchers found that regular massages may relieve chronic pain. Add essential oils to the mix and you can bask in the benefits of massage and aromatherapy without leaving your house! Not sure what oils work best for massage? Explore 18 of our top recommendations and turn your home into the spa you deserve.
18 best essential oils for massage
There are many essential oils and blends that are great for massage; here are some of our favorites:
1. Basil essential oil: Cleanses and soothes the skin
2. Black Pepper essential oil: Has a spicy, energizing sensation that stimulates tired muscles
3. Cedarwood essential oil: Promotes the appearance of shiny, healthy-looking hair when massaged into the scalp
4. Cinnamon Bark essential oil: Creates a warming sensation on the skin
5. Eucalyptus Globulus essential oil: Invigorates tired muscles
6. Frankincense essential oil: Invites a moment of calm when your day is feeling overwhelming
7. Geranium essential oil: Has an uplifting aroma; traditionally used to promote the appearance of beautiful skin
8. German Chamomile essential oil: Soothes the skin
9. Ginger essential oil: Known as the “oil of empowerment” and creates a warming and comforting sensation
10. Lavender essential oil: Has a tranquil aroma that creates a peaceful space; soothes skin
11. Lime essential oil: Uplifts the senses and has skin-cleansing benefits
12. M-Grain™ essential oil blend: A combination of Basil, Marjoram, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Peppermint, and Helichrysum that works together to create a soothing aroma; works especially great for head and neck massage
13. Orange essential oil: Uplifts your massage with its sweet, citrus aroma
14. Peppermint essential oil: Has a cooling sensation that can soothe fatigued muscles
15. Raven™ essential oil blend: A cooling and relaxing combination of Ravintsara, Eucalyptus Radiata, Lemon, Peppermint, and Wintergreen designed to give you a refreshing breathing experience
16. Rosemary essential oil: Creates an invigorating, tingling effect during a scalp massage
17. Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood™ essential oil: Has a nurturing aroma that helps you unwind after a long day
18. Thyme essential oil: Has a stimulating effect when used with the Raindrop Technique®
How to use essential oils for massage
1. Find a buddy. Pair up with a loved one so you can unwind together with an aromatherapy massage.
2. Set the mood for relaxation. Dim the lights, cue soft music, and enjoy the peaceful moment.
3. Choose your favorite oils. Mix your desired oils in a bottle or the palm of your hands to find an aroma you love. Check out our recommendations for each type of massage below or pick one from the 18 essential oils and blends above.
4. Warm oils in your hands before applying. This simple step goes a long way with your massage, creating a warming sensation that brings comfort to the skin.
5. Massage away!
DIY massage mix with essential oils
Tailor your massage with scents that match your mood. When you’re creating a luxurious massage oil blend, keep these tips in mind:
- Add essential oils to V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex, Young Living’s proprietary blend of several carrier oils, including coconut oil, sesame oil, grape seed oil, sweet almond oil, and more.
- Complement some of our premixed massage oils with your favorite essential oils and CBD oils.
- Rule of thumb: Use 15–30 drops of oil per ¼ cup of V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex. Some “hot” oils like Black Pepper, Cinnamon Bark, or Oregano may need to be diluted further to avoid an intense or too warm sensation on the skin.
You can also use our tried-and-true recipes below for an indulgent, spa-like massage.
Ground yourself after a long day with a foot massage before bed. Use this blend for an earthy, uplifting scent to rejuvenate your tired, restless feet.
- 2 teaspoons V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex
- 2 drops Thyme
- 1 drop Geranium
How to give a foot massage
1. Start by gently massaging and pulling on the toes.
2. Use your thumbs in the sole of the foot, with the fingers rested on top of the foot.
3. Massage from the ball of the foot to the arch and down to the heel.
Did you know? The bottoms of the feet can absorb oils faster than other part of the body. Read this blog post to learn more about using essential oils on your feet.
Take a load off with a much-needed back massage. For a relaxing scent that melts away stress, mix essential oil favorites that have proven their worth time and time again.
- ¼ cup V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex
- 8 drops Frankincense
- 8 drops Lavender
- 8 drops German Chamomile
- 4 drops Orange
Store extra oil in a glass jar with the lid screwed on tightly.
How to give a back massage
1. Start with about 1 tablespoon of the oil blend above or your chosen premixed massage oil. Add more if necessary.
2. Use long, fluid strokes to spread the massage oil over the whole area.
3. Knead the muscles with your fingers and palms.
4. Spend about 30 seconds on each muscle group.
5. Massage the muscles on either side of the spine, avoiding the spine itself.
Raindrop Technique: Created by Young Living Founder D. Gary Young, this full-body technique is harmonizing and rejuvenating. Learn more about the Raindrop Technique .
Soothe tired muscles when they need it most using a blend that’s both calming and bright. Plus, you’ll love the pleasant sensation after a hard workout.
- 1 tablespoon
- 2 drops Black Pepper
- 2 drops Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood
YL tip: Our powerful CBD Muscle Rub is a great alternative to this liquid massage oil recipe. It offers a cooling sensation and soothes tired muscles in seconds.
How to give a post-workout massage
1. Start with light pressure on tired muscles, then build up pressure. Stop massaging if it hurts.
2. Begin by rubbing the massage oil over the area with flat hands, then build up to kneading for a deeper massage.
3. Depending on where you’re feeling muscle fatigue, you may want to mix more massage oil. In that case, follow the same ratios above.
4. Your massage technique will vary depending on where you feel muscle fatigue.
Neck and shoulder massage
It’s easy to strain your neck when you’re sitting at a desk all day, carpooling kids around, or glued to your phone. Tackle neck and shoulder stiffness with this relaxing, cooling combo.
How to give a neck and shoulder massage
1. Use light, long strokes with firm but not intense pressure.
2. When you find knots, apply concentrated pressure using your fingertips.
3. Knead thumbs up and down along the back of the neck; use hands and fingertips along the shoulders and up the sides of the neck to the base of the head.
4. Use the heel of your hand in circular motions on the back of the shoulder blades; do the same motion just under the collarbone.
Head tension massage
Tackle that tension headache with a scalp massage! Add more relaxation by using your DIY roll-on during the day, then double down in the evening by massaging in the same area. This soothing CBD blend used with a massage can do the relaxing trick before climbing into bed.
How to give a head tension massage
1. Apply oil to back of neck, forehead, and jawline. Stay away from the eyes, mouth, and nose area.
2. Use gentler pressure than normal, especially at the beginning of the massage.
3. Rub in gentle, circular motions on the temples.
4. Glide your fingers up the jawline and into your hair.
5. Follow the directions above to massage the neck, paying special attention to where the neck meets the head.
Give your scalp a tingling sensation during your shower routine using two of our favorite essential oils for hair. This blend combines gentle soothing with a sweet scent.
- ½ teaspoon V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex
- 1 drop Rosemary
- 1 drop Cedarwood
How to give a scalp massage
1. Start by running your hands through your dry hair.
2. Use your fingers to make circular motions all over the scalp, moving slowly from front to back; do the same movement from back to front.
3. Use your fingertips instead of your fingernails to work the oil into your scalp.
4. Rub your ears and the spot right behind your ears.
5. Hop in the shower to rinse off. The oils can leave your hair feeling greasy.
This massage utilizes a roll-on for easy application to your knees, elbows, and other joints. This recipe includes tangy Lime oil, spicy Ginger oil, and more!
Add essential oils to the bottle and top off with V-6 Vegetable Oil complex.
YL tip: The Deep Relief™ Roll-On is another great option for targeted massage if you don’t want to make a blend yourself.
How to give a joint massage
1. Use the roll-on for precise application of oil to the joint.
2. Before you get into the joints, massage the larger area around the joint for a few minutes to warm up the muscles.
3. Use small strokes like rubbing back and forth in a small area and making circles with your fingers.
4. Apply a warm compress before or after for additional relaxation.
We use our hands frequently during the day, so of course they need some love too! Warm up your palms and fingers with this recipe!
How to give a hand massage
1. Start with the fingers, rubbing them up and down and gently spreading them apart.
2. Squeeze the part of the palm between the thumb and forefinger.
3. Use the thumb to rub the entire palm, starting from the wrist to the base of each finger.
4. Use fingertips to massage the top of the hand.
Premade massage oil blends