DIY Massage Oils
DIY Massage Oil Recipe
Everyone loves to receive a good massage. One of the most important thing when giving or receiving a massage, is using a high-quality massage oil or cream. Massage oils are easy to make, generally inexpensive, and totally customizable! Read on for tips and tricks on creating your best massage oil
First things first: Carrier Oil
For those of you that aren’t aware of what a carrier oil is, it is essentially a base or vegetable oil that is used to ‘carry’ beneficial essential oils onto the skin (more on this later). This will make up the majority of your massage oil. Some carrier oils are easier to find than others. Try more than one, as you may be surprised how they all differ from one another.
- Almond Oil: An excellent, widely-used option as it spreads well on the skin. It is great for multiple skin types, is nearly odorless and is rich in B-vitamins. (Note: not ideal for people with nut allergies).
- Grapeseed Oil: Grapeseed oil is a great option for those who can’t use almond oil. This oil is easy to customize and is a good source of Vitamin E.
- Fractionated Coconut Oil: Regular coconut oil remains solid most of the time, however you will find that ‘fractionated’ coconut oil remains liquid at room temperature and is mostly odorless. Another great option to use as a base for your massage oil!
- Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil is very similar to sebum (the oily substance secreted by the glands in your skin) , thus making it easily-absorbed. Although more expensive and slightly harder to find (depending where you’re shopping at), jojoba oil also makes a
The Fun Stuff: Herbs + Essential Oils
Although time consuming, you may opt to infuse the carrier oil of your choice with a combination of skin-nourishing herbs. This will not only add a lovely fragrance, it will also provide beneficial nourishment to your skin! The first way to do this is by solar infusing the herbs. Although simple, it takes a few weeks to complete (TIP: place in a pretty jar with a lovely label, and you have a great idea for Christmas and birthday gifts).
How to Solar-Infuse Herbs into your Carrier Oil
1. Place dry herbs in a clean jar. If using fresh herbs, wilt them first for 12 hours to remove most of the moisture (too much moisture will cause your oil to go rancid), cut or tear into small pieces and crush with a mortar and pestle before adding to jar. (You won’t need to tear and crush if using dried herbs)
2. Pour carrier oil of choice into the jar, making sure to cover your herb selection by at least 1 inch of oil and leaving at least 1/2 inch of space at the top of the jar so the herbs will have room to expand. If your herbs soak up all of the oil, then pour more on top to ensure that the herbs are well covered at all times.
3. Stir well, and cap the jar tightly. (HINT: traditional metal mason jar lids contain BPA. DO NOT LET LID TOUCH YOUR PRECIOUS OIL)
4. Place the jar in a sunny and warm windowsill and shake at least once each day. Let your oil soak in those beneficial UV rays!
5. After at least two weeks (no more than 6), strain the herbs out of the oil using cheesecloth. Make sure and squeeze every precious drop of oil out!
6. Pour into pretty glass bottles and store in a cool dark place. The oil should keep for at least a year. Vitamin E oil or grapefruit seed oil may also be added to prolong the shelf life (especially if gifting).
Don’t have time to wait for your oils to infuse for a few weeks? You can accomplish the same process in a day using a slow-cooker or double boiler method on the stove.
Adding essential oils is another great way to add beneficial compounds to the carrier oil, though it is important to make sure to choose essential oils that are safe for the skin. (note that fragrance oils may also be added, but do not provide any therapeutic benefit and I would not recommend). Pure therapeutic-grade essential oils are best!
A combination of both solar-infused herbs and essential oils is ideal.
Massage Oil Ingredients
- 8 ounces carrier oil- Infuse your oil of choice with 1/4 cup each of chamomile flowers and calendula flowers (great for aches and pains). You may opt to solar-infuse or double-broil on the stove.
- 30+ drops of essential oil (optional)– I use approx. 30 drops of lavender essential oil. Another favorite is geranium. (reminder: make sure that any essential oils used are safe for skin)
- Infuse dried herbs into the oil and strain to remove the herbs.
- Combine infused carrier oil with the essential oils (if using) and stir lightly.
- Store in a pretty bottle (preferably glass) with label
What is your favorite carrier oil that you have used? Do you have a combo of herbs and oils that you enjoy for the skin?