How much do you appreciate your legs after a busy day? We take them for granted don’t we, when in fact, our feet are our unsung heroes, supporting us through all our activities (they do carry a lot of weight, don’t they). But, by the end of the day, they feel tired and achy from all the walking and standing. And all we do to relax them is that we either sit or sleep, which is fine, but more needs to be done. They too deserve some pampering to help them relax and feel better.
Foot massage oils have emerged as a simple and effective solution for pampering and caring for our feet. With their health-based properties and ease of use, they offer a convenient way to unwind and rejuvenate tired feet. These oils are specially formulated to provide relaxation and relief, soothing away the day’s stresses with just a few simple steps. Whether used in a professional spa setting or in the comfort of one’s own home, foot massage oils have become an indispensable tool for self-care and well-being, offering a quick and efficient way to indulge in some much-needed foot care.
In foot massage, carrier oils and essential oils play distinct yet complementary roles. Carrier oils including coconut oil or sweet almond oil, serve as a base oil, diluting the potency of essential oils and providing lubrication for smooth application. They also have their own nourishing benefits, moisturizing and softening the skin. In many households, carrier oils are used as a standalone oil for foot massages. On the other hand, essential oils including peppermint or lavender oil, are highly concentrated extracts derived from plants, also possessing unique healthy properties.
When combined with carrier oils, they enhance the massage experience, delivering aromatherapeutic effects and targeting specific issues like inflammation or better skin health. Together, carrier oils and essential oils are a dynamic duo, taking foot massages to the next level with their combined benefits for relaxation, rejuvenation, and overall foot care.
A study published in the journal Procedia Computer Science on 2015 investigated the effect of foot care nursing on human brain functions. The research concluded that participants who did foot care nursing with aroma oils felt relaxed and comfortable. 
Foot Massage Oils – Essential & Carrier Oils
Essential Foot Massage oils
1. Tea tree essential oil
The oil of tea tree is renowned for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is derived from the Australian native Melaleuca alternifolia tree. It is ideal for combating foot odor and fungal infections. Tea tree oil is one of the common oil used for sore foot muscles and aches. It penetrates the layers of the skin thereby bringing in relief.
2. Geranium essential oil
This oil has soothing and balancing effects, which is perfect for lessening inflammation and promoting relaxation during foot massages. It is sourced from the fragrant Pelargonium graveolens plant. The pleasant smelling oil is best for night times use.
3. Peppermint essential oil
Provides a refreshing and cooling sensation while massaged on feet. It is useful in relieving tired and achy feet while imparting a revitalizing aroma. The oil is extracted from the Mentha piperita plant’s active ingredient. The aroma of peppermint oil can also lessen headaches.
4. Lemongrass essential oil
It has uplifting and energizing qualities, invigorating the senses and promoting a sense of well-being with its citrusy scent The oil of lemongrass is native to tropical regions and extracted from Cymbopogon citratus. The nerve endings at the feet are relaxed when massaged with an oil with nervine properties. Lemongrass oil is one of the popular oils for foot pain. It is known for reducing foot restlessness when applied at the bottom of the feet.
5. Cypress essential oil
This foot massage oil is known for its woody aroma and astringent properties. It’s extracted from the branches of the Cupressus sempervirens tree, offering a grounding and soothing effect during foot massages. Cypress oil may be the most commonly used oil for soothing foot and relieve pain before going to bed.
6. Lavender essential oil
The popular essential oil renowned for its calming and relaxing properties is, derived from the Lavandula angustifolia plant. It is perfect for promoting anxiety relief and tranquility during foot massage sessions. Lavender oil is famous for its herbal properties and is considered one of the best essential oils for feet.
7. Rose geranium essential oil
Boasting a floral and sweet aroma, and sourced from the Pelargonium graveolens plant, this oil is cherished for its balancing effects, both the mind and body. It is different from geranium oil. It is an excellent addition to foot massage blends. Rose geranium oil has antispasmodic properties that may also help counter restlessness from spasms.
Carrier Foot Massage Oils
1. Coconut oil
With its moisturizing and nourishing properties, extracted from the kernels of coconuts, coconut oil serves as an excellent carrier oil for foot massages. It leaves the skin hydrated and supple. It is also a good base oil for essential oils. It is the common oil to apply to bottom of feet to use before bed.
2. Jojoba oil
The oil of jojoba mimics the skin’s natural oils. It is prized for its lightweight texture and ability to deeply penetrate the skin, making it an ideal choice for foot massages, providing long-lasting hydration and promoting soft, smooth feet. The oil is a great choice as it is rich in nutrients for the skin.
4. Olive oil
This is a special oil known for its rich texture and moisturizing properties, olive oil is a popular choice for foot massages, providing deep hydration and leaving the skin feeling soft and supple.
6. Sesame oil
Also known as Til oil, this oil has warming and nourishing qualities. Sesame oil is prized in Ayurvedic tradition for its ability to soothe tired muscles and joints during foot massages, promoting relaxation and rejuvenation.
5. Castor oil
Castor oil is a potent oil renowned for its thick consistency and hydrating properties, castor oil is often used in foot massages to deeply moisturize the skin and promote circulation, leaving feet feeling soft and revitalized.
6. Grapeseed oil
Grapeseed oil is an excellent carrier oil for foot massages as it is light and easily absorbed. It delivers antioxidants and vitamins to the skin while helping to alleviate dryness and restore moisture balance. A randomized clinical trial, published in the peer-reviewed open-access medical journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine on 2020, studied on the impact of foot massage with grape seed oil and sweet almond oil on physiological leg edema on pregnant women. The study ratified the effectiveness of foot massages with the oils. 
Benefits of Using Foot Massage Oils
All Round Relaxation
A foot massage done well promotes deep relaxation and alleviates stress and tension, creating a serene environment after a demanding day.
Improved Blood Circulation in Feet
Enhances blood flow, which reduces swelling and promotes optimal foot health. Proper blood flow results in a refreshed and revitalized sensation throughout the feet.
Better Quality Sleep
Foot massages with oils are not a fad, it is a tried and tested practice. It helps to fully unwind the body and mind, contributing to a more restful and rejuvenating sleep, ensuring you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Basic Foot Health
Massages maintains the skin’s suppleness, protecting it from dryness or cracks, ensuring sustained comfort. Inculcating it in daily routine promotes overall foot health and vitality.
Good For Pain Relief
Delivers effective relief from foot discomfort. It does so regardless of whether the discomfort stems from prolonged standing or specific foot conditions, allowing for improved mobility and enhanced well-being.
Tit targets various pressure points with precision, thereby optimizing health-based benefits and fostering a sense of balance and harmony within the body.
Oils like lavender and geranium have a sweet floral aroma that ensures relaxation. Foot massages harnesses the power of aromatic scents to induce deep relaxation and alleviate stress during the massage, creating a serene and uplifting ambiance.
Better Skin Health
Massages with oil provides essential nourishment and hydration to the skin, enhancing its overall health and leaving feet feeling soft, smooth, and pampered.
Foot massages are holistic approach to bring in self-care into daily life. These massages are useful in nurturing physical and emotional well-being, and fostering a positive mindset.
DIY Recipes of Foot Massage Oils Blends
Here are 3 recipes with different purposes, along with general instructions for preparing them:
Remember: Before using any essential oils, consult a professional, especially if you are pregnant, have any medical conditions, or use medications. Always do a patch test on a small area of skin before applying topically.
Lavender & Chamomile Relaxation Blend:
- 2 tablespoons carrier oil (either sweet almond, grapeseed, or jojoba oil)
- 4 drops lavender essential oil
- 3 drops chamomile essential oil
- In a clean, dark glass bottle, combine the carrier oil and essential oils.
- Gently swirl the bottle to mix the ingredients without creating bubbles.
- Label the bottle with the blend name, ingredients, and date.
- Store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.
How to use:
1. Apply a small amount of oil to your palms and rub them together to warm it up.
2. Massage your feet gently, focusing on areas of tension and pressure points.
3. Apply more oil as needed.
4. Enjoy the relaxing aroma and unwind after a long day.
Peppermint & Rosemary Blend Foot Oil:
· 2 tablespoons carrier oil (either jojoba oil or apricot kernel oil)
· 4 drops peppermint essential oil
· 3 drops rosemary essential oil
1. In a clean, dark glass bottle, combine the carrier oil and essential oils.
2. Gently swirl the bottle to mix the ingredients without creating bubbles.
3. Label the bottle with the blend name, ingredients, and date.
4. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.
How to use:
· Apply a small amount of oil to your feet and massage them in circular motions.
· The peppermint will provide a cooling sensation, while the rosemary will stimulate circulation.
· This blend is perfect for tired, achy feet and can help boost energy levels.
Lavender & Tea Tree Blend Moisturizer:
· 2 tablespoons carrier oil (either avocado oil or coconut oil)
· 3 drops lavender essential oil
· 2 drops tea tree essential oil
1. Follow the same instructions as recipe 1 & 2, combining the carrier oil and essential oils in a dark glass bottle.
How to use:
1. Apply a generous amount of oil to your feet and massage them thoroughly, paying attention to dry areas and cracked heels.
2. The avocado or coconut oil will provide deep hydration, while the lavender and tea tree will promote healing and prevent fungal infections.
3. This blend is perfect for dry, cracked feet and can help keep them soft and smooth.
· Start with a few drops of essential oils and add more gradually to avoid skin irritation.
· Do not use essential oils on broken skin or open wounds.
· If you experience any discomfort, discontinue use immediately.
· These recipes are for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice.
How to apply Foot Massage Oils?
Here’s a simple guide to applying foot massage oil for a delightful and relaxing experience:
Preparing the mixture:
- The basic routine: You’ll need a clean space, a towel, warm water, foot massage oils. Other options include Epsom salts or essential oils for a soak.
- Clean your feet: Wash your feet thoroughly with warm water and soap to remove dirt and grime. This ensures a clean and effective massage.
- Foot soak (Optional): Prepare a warm foot soak with Epsom salts and a few drops of essential oils. Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes to soften the skin and promote relaxation.
- Warm the oil (optional): Briefly warm the massage oil by placing the bottle in warm water for a few minutes. This improves flow and makes it more comfortable on your skin.
Applying the oils:
- Be in a comfortable environment: Sit or lie in a comfortable position. Dim the lights and play calming music if desired (this is optional).
- Start with one foot: Apply a small amount of oil to the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together to warm the oil and evenly distribute it.
- Begin with gentle strokes: Using your thumbs or fingertips, apply gentle pressure with circular motions on the soles of your feet, ankles, and toes.
- Focus on different areas: Pay attention to areas of tension and pressure points like the arches, heels, and balls of your feet. Use firmer pressure on these parts. However, always listen to your body and avoid causing pain.
- Work your way up: Massage the tops of your feet, including the toes, using lighter pressure.
- Repeat on the other foot: Once you’ve finished one foot, repeat the massage process on the other.
- Massages done by someone else is always more satisfying. Communicate with your partner if you prefer more or less pressure in any area.
- Do not jerk the foot. Use long, flowing strokes.
- Take your time and enjoy the process! A good foot massage should last around 10-15 minutes per foot.
- After the massage, wipe off any excess oil with a clean towel. Always be mindful of walking after having a foot massage.
- Elevate your feet for a few minutes to help reduce any swelling.
- Apply lotion to your feet for extra hydration.
Safety Tips to Follow While Using Foot Massage Oils
Here are some important safety tips to follow while using foot massage oils:
- Always perform a patch test: Before applying any essential oils blend to your feet, do a patch test on a small area (your inner arm or thighs). Wait 24 hours to see for any allergic reaction.
- Never apply undiluted essential oils: Essential oils are concentrated plant oils that must be diluted. Direct application can cause irritation or burns on the skin. Always dilute them in carrier oils including jojoba, sweet almond, or coconut oil before use.
- Consult a physician or aromatherapist: This is imperative especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any medical conditions, or are taking medications. Because, some oils can interact with medications or be harmful to certain individuals.
- Mindfulness of open wounds and abrasions: Do not apply foot massage oil to broken skin, open wounds, or irritated areas.
- Store oils safely: Keep essential oils in cool, dark places away from heat and sunlight. This helps preserve their quality and effectiveness.
- Use with caution around children and pets: Keep essential oils out of reach of children and pets.
Special considerations for foot massage oils:
- Be mindful of slippery surfaces: After applying oil, your feet may be slippery (duh!). Take extra care while walking on smooth surfaces and use a bath mat in the shower or bathtub. Take some support while walking.
- Allergies alert: Some people may be allergic to specific ingredients in foot massage oils. Be aware of any potential allergens and choose your blends accordingly.
- Don’t overuse essential oils: Essential oils do have therapeutic benefits, but using them excessively can be harmful. Stick to the recommended dilution ratios and frequency of use.
- Listen to your body: If you experience any discomfort or irritation during the massage, stop immediately and wash your feet with soap and water.
By following these safety tips, you can enjoy the benefits of foot massage oils while minimizing any potential risks. And always remember, when in doubt, always consult a professional for personalized advice.
By including foot massage oils into your self-care routine, you can reap a multitude of benefits – from relaxation and stress relief to improved foot health and overall well-being.
With their health-related properties and soothing effects, these oils are a simple yet effective way to pamper your feet and nurture both body and mind.
Make foot massage a regular part of your routine. Indulge in moments of relaxation and rejuvenation with foot massage oils, ensuring your feet feel revitalized and your spirits lifted.
- Eto, K., Yamazaki, A.K., Yonekura, K., Mukuda, M., Kabasawa, Y., Yoshida, H., Ito, K. and Ogiwara, M., 2015. A preliminary examination of effect of massage and aroma oil massage in foot care nursing. Procedia Computer Science, 60, pp.1524-1531.
- Navaee, M. and Rakhshkhorshid, M., 2020. Comparing the effect of foot massage with grape seed oil and sweet almond oil on physiological leg edema in primigravidae: A randomized clinical trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2020.