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Cooking Oils as Massage Oils and More: The Healthy Benefits

Updated on December 11, 2011

Cooking Oils Are Not Just For Cooking

When you finish using your oil for cooking or making a salad dressing, there are many more uses for the oil in that bottle - and with many other healthy benefits. For example, many cooking oils, also known as culinary oils, are often used as massage oils, either alone or as carrier oils when essential oils are added.

Essential oils are those oils, like lavender, patchouli, frankincense, myrrh and much much more. They are natural substances extracted from flowers, herbs, spices, grasses, trees, shrubs and resins. When used for massages, essential oils are added in small quantities to these carrier (cooking/culinary) oils.

Note: If you are applying oil to your skin for the first time, do a patch test to be sure you are not allergic.


Almond Oil - used in baking, sauces, salad dressings and desserts - is also an emollient

Because it softens and soothe the skin, almond oil is a great emollient and is even suitable for all skin types. The oil is an effective skin moisturizer that also helps reduce inflammation and relieve itching. Almond oil does not penetrate the skin quickly making it a popular massage oil; this is because it can be used all over the body and still allow time for a good massage before the oil sinks into the skin. The oil is also used as a carrier oil because of its non-greasy properties, ability to spread easily and nourish the skin. Used for massages, almond oil is also beneficial for relieving aches and pains.

Apricot Kernel Oil - good for cooking and salad dressings - is also good for sensitive skin

Apricot kernel oil is used both as a massage oil alone and as a carrier oil. The very rich vitamin E. content of apricot kernel oil makes it beneficial for helping skin maintain its suppleness and elasticity. The oil penetrates the skin easily without leaving an oily residue behind. It works very well on sensitive skin as well as dry and irritated skin. .

Grapeseed Oil - used for cooking and in salad dressings - is also the most popular massage oil

Commonly used for massages, grapeseed oil is beneficial for the skin type that does not absorb oil easily.

Hazelnut Oil - used for flavoring, baking and salad dressings - also has astringent properties

In addition to its astringent properties, hazelnut oil penetrates deeply and stimulates the circulatory system. It is also high in vitamins, minerals and protein. The texture of the oil makes it a good choice for moisturizers for people with oily skin. Hazelnut oil is often used for facial and body massages and works well as a carrier oil.

Hemp Seed Oil - used in cooking and salad dressings - is a rich source of omega-6 fatty acids

The fatty acids in this oil helps naturally replenish moisture in the skin. The omega-6 fatty acids are good for people who suffer from psoriasis, eczema, scaly and cracking skin, dry lips and dry hair. Adding this fat to the diet is how you improve your skin's natural appearance.

Macadamia Nut Oil - used in marinades, flavoring, cooking and salad dressings - is also the best regenerative oil

This nut oil is known as one of the best regenerative oils available on the market. This is because macadamia nut oil resembles sebum - the oil our skin naturally produces for protection. The protective oil has a high absorption rate and works well for healing scars, skin irritations, sunburn and minor wounds.

Olive Oil - for cooking and drizzling over food or to make salad dressings - also has a multitude of uses in addition to being a carrier oil

Olive oil has been used for centuries for a wide range of reasons. This includes not only for a healthy diet but a healthy complexion and hair as well

- use olive oil as a simple warm soak for dried brittle fingernails, ragged cuticles, to soften hands and feet, and relieve chapped lips

- as a hair massage oil to reduce frizzy hair

- add 2 to 3 tablespoons to bathwater mixed with your favorite essential oil to soothe skin

- olive oil is also used for face and body scrubs (see link below)

- many believe it is beneficial for weight loss (see link below for more information)

Pecan Nut Oil - used in baking, flavoring foods, marinades and salad dressings - is also good for dry skin

Pecan nut oil is a lightweight massage oil. It has skin soothing and softening properties and is especially good for dry skin.

Pistachio Nut Oil - used for flavoring foods and salad dressings - will quickly hydrate the skin

Pistachio nut oil is used for massages because of its ability to be easily absorbed by the skin resulting in a soft and supple texture. The oil helps nourish, hydrate and soften the skin because of its vitamin content.

Sesame Seed Oil - used for stir-frying, flavoring and salad dressings - is also naturally antibacterial

In addition to being antibacterial, sesame seed oil is also anti-inflammatory and antiviral. It helps nourish the scalp in order to control dandruff and to kill dandruff-causing bacteria. The oil helps protect the skin from chlorine in swimming pools. Sesame seed oil has been used to kill lice infestations in the hair of children. Use this oil also to soothe your skin if has been exposed to too much sun and wind; it will calm a sunburn.

Safflower Oil - used for salad dressings and cooking - is also a popular carrier oil

This popular carrier oil helps to moisturize, condition, soften and regenerate the skin. As one of the most popular carrier oils, it is most beneficial for sensitive, damaged and dry skin.

Sunflower Oil - used as a cooking fat, and for salad dressings - is also good for sensitive skin

Sunflower oil is also good for sensitive skin that is dry and damaged. The oil helps to moisturize, condition, soften and regenerate the skin.

Wheatgerm Oil - good for flavoring and salad dressings - is also good for rough skin areas

Due to its ultra rich properties, wheat germ oil is useful as a massage oil. It is especially beneficial when used on rough skin areas. If you find the oil is too sticky on its own, mix it with a lighter oil such as almond oil.

Note: Keep in mind when it comes to massages, you do not need to head to a spa - you can massage these oils into areas of your skin yourself.

For more information about the many uses of cooking oil, as well as for cooking, see the links below. Also see the warning about buying and properly storing cooking oils.

Olive oil has many uses beyond cooking
Olive oil has many uses beyond cooking | Source


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    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      precy anza - I am glad you said that massage oil has helped you with asthma. I'd like to pass this on. There are healthy natural cures to everything - we just have to find them and then share this personal information. I also like the idea of olive oil and mayo for you hair. Others will also appreciate your tips. Thanks a million!

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 

      5 years ago from USA

      I use cooking oil as carrier oil, adding few drops of my lavender oil. And I believed that massage oil had helped me with my asthma that had lasted for almost a month. I also had use it (olive oil) mixed with mayonaise for my hair. :)

    • TheListLady profile image


      5 years ago from New York City

      Thanks for the grapeseed oil tip. For the first time - this is a winter with dry lips for me. I'll try your idea!

    • Deltachord profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      Very useful article. I've recently started to use grapeseed oil on my lips because of the high vitamin E content.

      Enjoyed your article. Voted up, tweeted, and Facebook.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks firewalker!

      Thanks for the reminder Peter Geekie about using cold pressed oils!

    • Peter Geekie profile image

      Peter Geekie 

      6 years ago from Sittingbourne

      Dear Bkcreative

      I'm all for using cooking oils for certain applications. However you do need to remember that most cooking oils (except Olive) are produced from either acid or alkali refining process. When producing essential oil blends where the carrier oil is part of the active ingredients I prefer to use cold pressed oils.

      I'm very keen to follow your hubs.

      Kind regards Peter

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Olive oil, used cooking oil, they all make great biofuel

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hope you try it and like it jo - I've been hearing amazing results and at least we know it is not toxic.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have used olive oil for various things but not on the body, since I am having some skin problems, I will give it a try......

      Thanks for the info...

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      So glad you like the information - and so glad to meet you too!

    • Melis Ann profile image

      Melis Ann 

      7 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      This is a great reference I can bookmark for continual inspiration. I've only ventured to use olive oil beyond cooking.

      Great Hub!

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Wheat germ oil smells nice - hope you like it jtrader!

    • jtrader profile image


      7 years ago

      I have never tried wheatgerm oil. I'll have to look out for it.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thank you urmilashukla and thanks for the votes!

      Ah yes, Veronica Allen - I remember your excellent hub about olive oil and how useful it is in beautifying the breasts. Worth rereading - thanks too for the votes!

      Thank you restrelax!

    • restrelax profile image


      7 years ago from Los angeles CA

      Very useful hub.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      I love olive oil for skin use. I will have to try the other oils as well. Very useful. Voted up!

    • urmilashukla23 profile image


      7 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      I have to share this to my friends. Once again great

      article on cooking oil as massage oil. love it. Useful and voted up!

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Makes so much sense Jewelz1313 - nothing should be wasted!

      Glad you liked the information RTalloni and thanks for the vote.

      DeBorrah K. Ogans there is nothing like popcorn popped in hot coconut oil. Glad you liked the hub!

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      7 years ago

      BK Creative, What great healthy suggestions! You really are quite creative! I must try popping the popcorn in coconut oil! Thank You for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

    • RTalloni profile image


      7 years ago from the short journey

      Such great news about cooking oils. I'm so glad to learn of the benefits of sesame oil! Thanks for putting this together for us. Generating great comments, too. Voted up.

    • Jewelz1313 profile image


      7 years ago from Branson, Missouri

      So funny. I also do things like this. I call it recycling food. ha ha ha

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks maxravi for sharing that. Great to meet you too and thanks for the vote!

    • maxravi profile image

      Ravi Singh 

      7 years ago from India

      Thanks for your hub.. I uses olive oil often on skin for massage..voted up!

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks so much VioletSun - always grand to hear from you.

    • VioletSun profile image


      7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      I love olive oil for the skin and use it at times, but was not aware of the uses for the other oils. Thanks for this info! You always educate us about natural health and more. :)

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      So true Debby Bruck. We do need the lubrication.

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 

      7 years ago

      They certainly are healthy for you inside and out. Lubricate. Pour it on.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks so much Debby Bruck - nice to meet a happy and regular oil user. I'm madly in love with these oils.

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 

      7 years ago

      Excellent Hub BK ~ I love my olive, sesame seed and grapeseed oils, but those others have wonderful properties, aromas and tastes too! Blessings, Debby

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks akirchner! I suspect this is why so many women in the past had such great skin - they used whatever natural products were on hand and then - wow!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      7 years ago from Washington

      Great tips and who knew so many good things could be done with cooking oils? I'm definitely going to try these and especially like Pamela's face mask - no wonder she looks so good~

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks gchicnotes! I'm glad you found the information useful. If you try the oil on your back I hope you'll let us know how it works.

      Thanks thelistlady - and that sharing works more than ever for me now - whatever I buy I share with friends and they do likewise. And knowing these oils can spoil - well, why waste it.

      Thank you CountryCityWoman and I agree with your philosophy about everything being multi-purpose and nothing should go to waste.

      Ah PWalker281 - you may like the idea of oil pulling. It's an ancient Indian treatment for maintaining good health or improving it. It's about swishing the oil in the mouth and getting those enzymes activated. The best website, with absolutely nothing to sell is - lots of info there. And it was another hubber here who wrote about using coconut oil for the oil pulling. I do prefer it.

      You're welcome Pamela99. I'm glad you liked the hub and thanks for sharing that info about the mask and letting us know how well it works.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This is great information to know. I never thought of using many of those oils in that way. I do make a mixture of olive oil and honey and use it as a face mask leaving it on for about 20-30 minutes about once or twice a week and it really softens your skin. Thanks for all the information.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Yes, you're write BKC, it does harden when the temp drops, but that's a rare occurrence where I am so the coconut oil I keep on hand is usually in a liquid state.

      Btw, what is oil pulling??

    • CountryCityWoman profile image


      7 years ago from From New York City to North Carolina

      Lots of great information. I'm so glad we finally know that oils are beneficial in so many ways. Every product we bring into our homes should have multi purposes and earn its shelf space.

      Rated up - thanks so much!

    • TheListLady profile image


      7 years ago from New York City

      Great hub and thanks so much. I often want to try many of these oils but I figured why spend all that money just for a recipe. Ah, well I can use it as a massage oil. And I can even say to a friend 'here's some great oil for a massage' which sounds so much better than 'you need some oil for cooking something?'

      Thanks a lot and rated up and more. Yay!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow! I've never even heard of some of these oils! Great information and well written. I've have to try some of these especially the almond oil for aches and pains. I wonder of it will work on my back? Voted up and useful.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      So glad you wrote Thelma Alberts and shared your personal experience. I'm so ready for massages with all these oils. Thanks for the vote!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      7 years ago from Germany and Philippines

      Great hub. Thanks for sharing. I have used most of the oils that you have mention, in my massages. They are really great massage carrier. Voted up. Have a nice day!

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks habee and I hope hubby listen to his very wise woman. Thanks too for the vote.

      I'm glad you found the information so useful justmesuzanne. It's been awhile since I've bought peanut oil and it's one of the best for high heat cooking. Well, now I can moisturize with it too. Thanks for the vote.

      Coconut oil is my all time favorite oil for cooking everything - even popping popcorn, PWalker and I use it almost every morning to do my very healthy oil pulling. But it does harden when it gets cold outside. Doesn't matter if my home is heated - it still somehow knows the temperature outside and gets hard - so it can be hard to work with for massages and so on. I first used sesame oil when I lived in S. Korea and it was the real thing so it was hard to use for oil pulling. I found most of the Korean people didn't use it for cooking but more as a seasoning in their foods. Quite interesting. Thanks for the vote!

      You're welcome Pollyannalana. And olive oil is one oil I also keep on hand. I have been trying it for weight loss as in the link I included. So often I forget to take a tablespoon each morning. If several days go by it seems my stomach does get a bit bigger but once I start back it goes down. So wonderful.

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      7 years ago from US

      I use olive oil for so many things and it is very heart healthy so I have started buying the kind to cook with, such as baking and deep fry. It is also great to use now and then to give hair a super shine. You have given me some new ones to look at, thanks!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hey BKC, what about coconut oil? I've been using that to cook with and also include in my protein shakes. I understand it has wonderful health benefits, most of which are found in the various fatty acids it contains and is good for the skin.

      My daughter introduced me to sesame oil a while back - it is used a lot in Asian cooking which I can't seem to get away from here in Hawaii, so if you can't beat 'em, join' em, right?

      Great hub, very informative as usual. Rated up and (very) useful!

    • justmesuzanne profile image


      7 years ago from Texas

      Lots of great information! I use peanut oil! It's inexpensive, non-hydrogenated, stable for cooking, and excellent as an after-bath moisturizer! :) Voted up and useful!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Great ideas! Maybe I can get hubby to follow your advice. lol. Voted up!

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I'm so glad you like the hub dinkan53. And thanks for the votes!

      You're welcome KwameG. Thanks for commenting!

    • KwameG profile image


      7 years ago from MS

      WOW, this is really interesting. Thanks for the great info.

    • dinkan53 profile image


      7 years ago from India

      thanks for introducing various oils and its benefits. Some of them I even doesn't know that it exists. Bookmarking this one for further reference. my vote goes up and useful.

    • BkCreative profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks so much Tina. As a matter of fact I often want to do a particular recipe that may call for one of these oils and then I have wondered - what am I going to do with the leftover oil? And I'm not paying all that money to drizzle that expensive oil over that wonderful salad - and then what, let it sit on the shelf?

      Jeez - well, I could be moisturizing my face or massaging my scalp or adding it to one of my essential oils and putting it in the tub - and well so much. And you're right - those oils in the kitchen I now look at them differently. And they will not go to waste.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 

      7 years ago from Sweden

      I will look at the different oil in the kitchen differently from now on! Even though I know oil is good to use on the body I have never thought of using cooking oil. Or, I have forgotten what they where good for. I will use them now with this excellent article as a user manual! Thanks for sharing, voted up, useful and bookmarked



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