Our family tries to focus on giving experiences instead of material gifts whenever possible. Often this involves museum memberships, scavenger hunts, or movie tickets, but this year my husband got me the best gift I could imagine: a couples massage video course where an award-winning massage therapist teaches couples massage techniques they can use at home (in a PG and easy to follow format!)
Since back massage is my love language, this has been one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. (TIP: If you are struggling to find a last-minute gift idea for your spouse, the massage course makes a great last-minute gift idea!)
Natural Massage Oil
In the Melt Massage course, they recommend using a natural oil such as almond oil as a massage oil. This works well on its own, but there are also endless ways to customize a massage oil for skin and relaxation needs. I share my favorite blend below, but a good massage oil will have these elements:
There are several great options for a base or carrier oil:
- Almond Oil: An excellent option for many skin types. It is nearly odorless, spreads well on skin and is rich in b-vitamins. Those with nut allergies may not be able to tolerate this oil.
- Grapeseed Oil: A good source of Vitamin E, grapeseed oil is a good option for those who can’t use almond oil and is easy to customize.
- Fractionated Coconut Oil: Coconut oil that is liquid at room temperature, mostly odorless and won’t clog pores as easily as unrefined coconut oil. This is another great carrier for massage oil.
- Jojoba Oil: The composition of Jojoba oil resembles the composition of sebum and it is a highly nourishing and easy to absorb option as a base for massage oil. The only downside is that it is more expensive than other oils.
Herbs + Essential Oils
If you have the time, you can infuse the carrier oil with a combination of skin-nourishing herbs to add scent and beneficial compounds. Solar infusing is a simple way to accomplish this, though this process takes 2-4 weeks. If you don’t want to wait that long, you can accomplish the same process in a day using a slow-cooker or double boiler 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 that any oils added are skin-safe. Essential oils concentrate the beneficial compounds in plants and can have a therapeutic effect when used correctly. They are also a great way to add scent to a massage oil.
A combination of infused herbs and essential oils is ideal and this is my favorite combination:
Massage Oil Ingredients
- 8 ounces carrier oil- I prefer sweet almond oil (I get my carrier oils here)- I infuse this oil with 1/4 cup each of chamomile flowers and calendula flowers using the double boiler method in this post. Both of these flowers are beneficial to skin and gentle enough to use on young children and pregnant women.
- 30+ drops of essential oil (optional)– I use 30 drops of lavender essential oil. Make sure that any essential oils used are safe for skin and safe for you to use.
How to Make Massage Oil
- Infuse dried herbs into the oil and strain to remove the herbs.
- Combine infused carrier oil with the essential oils (if using) and stir gently to create desired scent.
- Store in a pump bottle for easy use.
Consult a qualified aromatherapist to make sure any essential oils used are safe t0 use topically. Test all oils on a small patch of skin to make sure there are no allergies or reactions before using on a large part of the body.
In general, it is not considered safe to use essential oils internally at all during pregnancy or topically in the first trimester. Consult a doctor or midwife before using any essential oil in pregnancy or on children.
What is your favorite oil to use on skin? Ever taken a massage course to use on your significant other?