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Making Your Own Massage Oils

Updated on July 8, 2009

There is something about massage that lets the body relax, helps you connect with the peace within, and can even help you connect to the person giving the massage. Good massage oils are often expensive and it can be hard for you to find one you really like. However, with common ingredients and a little trial and error you can make the perfect massage oil that meets your needs.

Why Should I Make My Own Massage Oils

There are a lot of advantages to making your own massage oil. When making your own you can make a product you love. You have control of the ingredients and know what's in the final product. You can also choose your ingredients to meet the specific needs of your skin and also to meet your personal prefrences. You can spend how much you want to spend (as little or as much as it is you want to spend). Finally you never have to worry about them discontinuing your favorite product!

Ingredient Options

You really only need a single oil to make a massage oil. You can even use inexpensive canola oil and call that good. However, mixing more then one oil together is often good for making a great massage oil. To that you may want to add essential oil (oil derived from plant materials) for fragrance (never use fragrance oil which is synthetic). You can choose essential oils based on their fragrance, their aromatherapy benefits, or their medicinal qualities (available for some essential oils). You can also choose to add an herbal or tea infusion, vitamin E oil, and or Aloe Vera gel.

Carrier Oils

The carrier oil is the base in which you will mix the other ingredients into. You can choose a single oil (such as canola oil) or you can pick out a variety. You will find that each oil has a different feel and produces different results. Choosing more than one is always a good thing. Some of the really common oils used are:

  • Olive oil which is inexpensive, readily available, and rich. It is a good thing to have in your oil, but it can be to heavy and rich for sensitive skin and skin that is prone to breakouts.
  • Sesame Oil is a medium oil that is lightly scented.
  • Sweet almond oil is a very rich oil that is great for dry skin and good for wintertime use.
  • My favorite is grape seed oil which is rich, but not so heavy that it causes breakouts with my acne prone skin.

Essential Oils

While you don't have to add essential oils to your massage oil, this is what gives it its great smells. You can simply pick out your favorite scent and use that (lavender for example). Or you can mix a great mix (apple cinnamon?). Or you choose one based on its areomatherepy properties. Here are a few essential oils to consider:

  • Romantic- Orange, Cinnamon, Ylang Ylang
  • Energetic- Balsa Fir, Pine Needle, Wintergreen, Peppermint, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grapefruit, Tangerine
  • Relaxation- Sandlewood, Rosewood, Lavender, Chamomile, Jasmin, Neroli
  • Sensuality- Jasmine, Rose, Geranium, Patchouli, Ylang Ylang

You can also choose to mix more than one essential oil together. Another option is to choose your essential oil based on its medicinal qualities for your skin. Some oils that are good for the skin are Chamomile, Lavender, Tea Tree Oil, and Basil (just a few examples).

Tea Infusions

Tea and herbal "teas" can add a lot of good things to your massage oil making it even better for your skin. Some good choices are green tea, echinacia, chamomile, and peppermint. You can add the properties to your oil by making an infusion. To make the infusion put about 1/2 cup of the oil or oils of your choice into a glass canning jar. Add your tea bag or tea bags to it and stir (or swirl) it well. Then put the lid on and put it in the window. Let it sit for two to three days. Now you have an infusion that you can use with your massage oil. You can then add this oil to your massage oil.


In addition to tea infusions you can also add good things like Vitamin E oil and Aloe Vera gel. Both of these are great for your skin and easy to add. Add a teaspoon of each and you will be well on your way to a great massage oil.

Mixing Your Oils

Once you have decided what ingredients you are going to use to make your massage oil you will want to mix it up. You have a few different option. You can put your ingredients in a bowl and mix it with a spoon, but using a canning jar and shaking it is often easier. To make it mix about 1 cup of oil (or oils) of your choice. You can use an infused oil as part of your oil. Add to this 10-20 drops of essential oil of your choice. Finally add any Vitamin E oil or Aloe vera that you desire. Mix it or shake it well.

Storage Options

You must store your massage oils in a glass container of some sort because the essential oils can and will deteriate plastics. Choosing one that is dark in color is always a good idea, but a canning jar will do the trick if you don't have a dark container available. Store in a cool, dark place. However, it isn't advisable that you store them in the fridge. They will last a few months (depending on the oils you choose and how hot they get). If they don't look or smell right then it is time ot get rid of them.

Using Your Oils

To use your oil place a small amount in a small microwavable bowl. Heat in the microwave for 15-30 seconds. Place the oil on the palm of your hand and rub hands together. Use both hands for massaging.


  • You should not use handmade massage oils on baby's under the age of two because they can cause skin issues and essential oils can be dangerous for babies.
  • Do not use on pregnant women because massaging them can be dangerous and essential oils can also cause issues.

Making your own massage oils can be a great way to spend a little time. You can make a product you can enjoy (or even give away). You know what is going into it and you will enjoy using it as well!


Submit a Comment

  • Kristen Howe profile image

    Kristen Howe 

    3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

    Great hub. Very useful with clever ideas. I might give it a go someday this spring.

  • restrelax profile image


    6 years ago from Los angeles CA

    Great hub. Thanks for sharing.

  • vocalcoach profile image

    Audrey Hunt 

    8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

    One of the best articles I have read on making massage oil. You have explained ingredient options very well. Good hub and I thank you. I am now a fan!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Great info, I usually just use grape seed oil or almond oil with a little aromatic oils added ...

  • Ibizabird profile image


    8 years ago from Ibiza, Spain

    I like the idea behind this but as a qualifies aromatherapist I know how difficult it can be to get the right blend. Sometimes you can add too many base notes and it can feel really heavy, also many oils contradict each other. By all means read books and go and learn the basic 16 or so oils. Other than that I would be dubious about people making their own remedies unless it's dropping a little lavender in carrier or the bath.

    Please use with caution as these oils are more potent than many people give them credit for.

    Oh yes and remember to use in a well ventilated room :-S

  • cblack profile image


    9 years ago from a beach somewhere

    Nice hub. A good massage is my favorite thing in the whole world!

  • aidenofthetower profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago


    All oil will go bad over time. You can leave your herbs in there, but it will have a shorter life span. It depends on the type of oil you put it in. You can add vitamin E oil to extend the life some. You can also keep it in the refrigerator to keep it longer. To know if it has gone rancid you will want look for spots that aren't herbs in the oil.

    Good luck!

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    just wondering if i can leave the plant matter inside for an aesthetic effect. i want to make a massage oil and leave them inside but am worried that they might go bad and ruin the oil

  • steffsings profile image


    9 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

    You have inspired me! Once long long ago I was passionate about essential oils... Even had a small mail order thing. But time, life, stuff and 25years later - I read a hub that reminds... I'm putting it back on my list of Must Dooo's!

  • prasetio30 profile image


    9 years ago from malang-indonesia

    thanks for share. great hub.

  • RGraf profile image

    Rebecca Graf 

    9 years ago from Wisconsin

    Great info. I'm beginning to look more and more into doing my own things instead of buying ready made products.


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