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. Still, with all of these benefits and uses, it’s worth the investment.
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 Recipe
- 8 oz sweet almond oil (or grapeseed oil, fractionated coconut oil, or jojoba oil)
- ¼ cup chamomile flowers (optional)
- ¼ cup calendula flowers (optional)
- 30 drops essential oil (such as lavender, optional)
- If using the chamomile and calendula flowers, use the double boiler method in this post to infuse them into the oil.
- Strain to remove the herbs.
- Combine the infused carrier oil with the essential oils if using, and stir gently to combine.
- 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?
Discussion (13 Comments)
Apricot kernel oil is great for massage it is organic and you can add any essential oil to it.
I would not use mineral oil on anything! Why bother spending money on pure essential oils only to drop them in mineral oil?
I am so confused on what oils is OK and what isn’t! i did find this website that helped a little http://www.reformationacres.com/2015/06/the-best-homemade-fly-spray.html although if someone on here wants to clarify that would be great. thanks
I can’t really decide what they are saying about the oils. Celeste can you elaborate? What oils are good?
What are they saying in those trials they did with olive and sunflower oil?
You should know – olive oil is bad for adult skin, and even more so for newborn/baby skin.
Why is olive oil bad for adult skin? Or any skin for that matter?
I bought some aura cacia lavender massage oil at Target and I love it. It was only $8 or so. It smells wonderful and a little goes a long way. I will also add a drop of frankincense to a bit and massage it on my toddler’s upper body when she has a cough and it helps a ton.
Hi Sierra, How did the oils work for you?
I have been using the Cool Relief Blend that my massage therapist uses each time I visit her studio.
I would encourage you to remove Fractionated Coconut Oil from the list. This oil has been so altered from it’s original state that it will undo any therapeutic benefits you will get from using organic carriers and essential oils. The other options suggested would all be better choices. All the certified Aromatherapists I know (myself included) will not use Fractionated Coconut Oil.
Hi, what do you recommend? I have lymph swelling with metal toxicity.
I have just been intorduced to Fractionated Coconut Oil this year, I was happy with it untill just now I read your post here…Can I get more info on this please. It is a real concern of mine as to who is telling you the truth about the products they sell to us as to how honest they are with their product…You want to trust but people making money could be all they are about as to whether they are selling us a true NATURAL product or not. I usually do a lot of research on items before I buy. And look for lots of good feed back.
I know Fiji grow lots of coconuts as I have been there, maybe I should look for FCO from their country.
You may have just burst my bubble on FCO….