Choosing Massage Base Oils

Base, or Carrier Oils, can be full of nutrients and vitamins, and are ready to massage into the skin and hair. My guide below shows you the properties of each base oil. Use them as they come, or add essential oils for extra goodness! All are available to buy in the suite or buy almond, grapeseed and rosehip oil online.

We offer a range of classic massage treatments, speciality massage treatments and massage training, including aromatherapy training, in Southampton.


Almond Oil: Light, almost odourless. Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, D, E, protein, and a high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids. Protects, nourishes and calms eczema irritation, dryness or inflamation. Excellent hair and skin conditioner, as well as helping reduce muscular pain and tightness.

Grapeseed: Green in colour, extremely popular as a base oil for skin massage, noted for its fine texture and low odour. Contains Vitamin E, protein and a high percentage of linoleic acid (unsaturated fatty acid). It is a gentle emollient, leaving the skin silky without the grease.

Rosehip Oil: A beautiful golden red oil, usually organic from wild plants. Again, a high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids, but does not keep as long as almond or grapeseed. Good for scar tissue, wounds, sunburn, eczema and ageing skin.

Soya and Wheatgerm: High levels of Vitamin E, particularly good for dry and ageing skin.

Sesame: A clear, yellow oil with Vitamin E and rich in many vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium and phosphorus, proteins, lecithin and amino acids. Very commonly used in India for all Ayurvedic types, for head massage, and for blending herbs. Can help improve skin texture, for example in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, rheumatism, or arthritis, reduce swellings, alleviate muscular pain, and protect from the sun.

Coconut: A light, pale yellow oil widely used in Southern India, especially in the spring. Very moisturising and softening on the hair and skin, it also helps relieve inflammation, and is suitable for dry and brittle hair. Take care for use with sensitive skin. Solid at room temperature, so requires heating to liquify.

Mustard: A heavy, dark yellow, strong and pungent oil, one of the most popular oils in north-west India, and suited for the winter months because of its hot, warming sensation increasing body temperature. Take care for use with sensitive skin and always dilute with a lighter oil such as almond. Well known for its ability to break down congestion and swellings from tense muscles and relieve pain. For dryness of the scalp, using mustard oil with a small amount of turmeric can prove very effective.

Olive: Green, viscous and pungent, this oil is very popular in the western world for cooking. Containing protein, vitamins, minerals and high levels of unstaurated fatty acids, it stimulates heat in the body and is therefore useful in reducing tightness and pain. Mix with a lighter oil such as almond and use for dry skin and hair.

Please contact us for more help. Best wishes, Steve