Aromatherapy massage: which oil is right for you?

An aromatherapy massage is an ideal treatment choice for a spa day – and a failsafe if you’re buying a spa voucher for someone else. Let’s be honest: everyone loves a massage, and aromatherapy treatments can easily be personalised, with different strengths of massage and, most importantly, different aromatherapy oils.

The aromatherapy oils used in massage are blend of essential oils, extracted from plants and offering different effects when absorbed into the body, and carrier oils, which essentially dilute the essential oils from their most potent form.

But which oil you choose for your aromatherapy massage will depend on how you’re feeling that day, and how you want to feel after you’ve had your treatment.

Check out our quick fire guide to see which you should choose.


Aromatherapy oils for stress? You want lavender, sandalwood or clary sage

Aromatherapy massages are always relaxing, but if you’re particularly feeling the stress of everyday life, these oils can take the calming benefits of spa treatments up a notch. Lavender is the one of the most versatile essential oils, but its familiar aroma is best known for aiding relaxation and sleep. It’s also one of the few essential oils safe for use during pregnancy.

Clary sage, which is also thought to have benefits for digestion, helps to calm a whirring mind. Musky sandalwood scents are a great option for men wanting a heavier scent for their aromatherapy massage; it soothes skin as well as calming the mind.

Aromatherapy oils for healing? Try black pepper, ginger, or patchouli

These herbal-scented oils are a great addition to an aromatherapy massage if you’re in need of some healing properties.

Derived from the companion to your everyday table salt, black pepper essential oil has a powerful stimulating effect on the circulatory system, helping to ease muscular aches and pains, so it’s an ideal choice if you’re treating yourself to a massage after a big physical challenge like a marathon. Ginger also has musculoskeletal benefits, warming joints as well as muscles, and just like ginger tea is great for an upset stomach, ginger essential oil also has aids the digestive system.

Patchouli and aloe are better known for their skin healing benefits. Patchouli has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s particular good for skin that blemished, scarred, or even just a little dry and cracked. Aloe is a powerful skin healing agent – that’s why it’s used so much in skincare – and its particularly good for cooling skin that’s burned or inflamed.

Aromatherapy oils for energy? You want peppermint and citrus oils such as grapefruit or lemon

Refreshing, citrus aromas are the best choice if you’re after an aromatherapy massage that will leave you feeling energised. Citrus oils generally are considered safe to use in massage if you’re pregnant too. Grapefruit is a natural digestion stimulant, while lemon is cleansing as well as uplifting.

Peppermint is another very versatile oil, with boosting energy one of its primary benefits, as well as helping concentration and focus.

Aromatherapy oils for skin? You want rose, larch or eucalyptus

Any oil-based massage is going to rehydrate your skin, but there are some essential oils that have particularly powerful skincare benefits. Rose is known for its boosting effects to blood circulation, which has the added benefit of reviving skin.

Larch is less commonly found in the spa than rose, but it has a powerful restorative effect on the skin, strengthening its barrier function – so your skin can better hold on to its natural moisture, which reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Eucalyptus cools and refreshes skin – plus it’s an excellent decongestant if you’re suffering with an early winter cold.

Aromatherapy oils for happiness? Geranium, ylang ylang, jasmine

The hard-core aromatherapy aficionados believe some essential oils can alleviate symptoms of depression. While that may be a stretch, jasmine is certainly a good choice in an aromatherapy treatment to ease the mind and lift your mood.

Likewise, ylang-ylang is said to have a euphoric effect, inducing feelings of hope and joy, and while geranium is a slightly sweeter option that also lifts the mood and relaxes the mind.

Why not see which aromatherapy oils you love, with a spa day and massage treatment? Book yours today.

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