How to Make Your Own Massage Oils

Massage is a healing therapy involving manipulation of the body's soft tissues. Massage can soothe muscle aches and pains, encourage relaxation, stimulate the circulation of blood and encourage the flow of lymph. Massage also has beneficial effects on the skin as well as calming and uplifting the mind.

There are numerous styles of massage but essential to most forms of massage (most but not all) is the selection of an appropriate massage oil. While used primarily for lubrication, the oil selected can also have benefits for the skin, as well as assisting the massage itself.

When selecting an oil for massage, each therapist or masseur will have their own set of criteria. But some things to consider are -

The style of massage - the amount of slip and grip required

The client's skin type - dry or oily, how hairy they are (absorbs more oil), any sensitivities or allergies.

The purpose of the massage - whether the massage will be improved or enhanced by the addition of appropriate essential oils. Eg calming oils such as lavender for a relaxation massage

If using essential oils, take into account the aroma preferences of the client.

The needs of the masseur - your own aroma preferences, any skin conditions or potential reactions.

Choosing the most appropriate oil and in the correct amount, should give you the slip and control necessary to carry out the massage while leaving your client with smooth soft skin that is not overly greasy.


  1. Image titled Make Your Own Massage Oils Step 1
    Choose a carrier oil. To start, you’ll need a “carrier” oil. That is the basic ingredient that provides most of the liquid in massage oil. These are usually vegetable based, and have different properties that may impact your choice. You can usually find these at the grocery store.
    • Grape seed oil:
      • a light, gentle, emollient oil with a low odour and good penetration. Readily absorbed by the skin and carries a low risk of allergy. Especially popular with professional massage therapists.
    • Jojoba oil:
      • not an oil , but a liquid wax, with natural moisturising and healing properties and suitable for all skin types. Like grapeseed oil, it is not a nut oil so very suitable for those with sensitive skin.
    • Avocado oil:
      • An excellent carrier oil for those with mature skin, or conditions that require special care. Re-hydrates and nourishes sun dried skin, and is easily absorbed
    • Almond oil:
      • very moisturising, rich in Essential Fatty Acids and Vitamins A & E. Light both in odour and colour and while it is suitable for all skin types, is particularly useful for dry or sensitive skin.
    • Apricot Kernel:
      • similar to Sweet Almond oil chemically, but with a wonderfully light consistency and aroma making it particularly suitable for facial massage and treatments.
    • Wheat germ oil:
      • renowned for its high content of Vitamin E, an antioxidant, as well as fatty acids and is particularly useful for dry or mature skin.
    • Hazelnut oil:
      • Has no taste or smell to overpower other fragrances. It penetrates deeply, and has great moisturizing capacity
  2. Image titled Make Your Own Massage Oils Step 2
    It’s time to select essential oils to go with your carrier oil. Essential oils are highly concentrated, and are used at a blend of two or three drops to a batch of oil. They are also prone to breaking down under temperature or light extremes, and should be stored in colored glass bottles, in a cool, dry location.
    • rosewood oil
    • geranium oil
    • sandalwood oil
    • cinnamon oil
    • peppermint oil
    • black pepper oil
    • rose oil
    • ylang ylang oil
    • jasmine oil
  3. Image titled Make Your Own Massage Oils Step 3
    Put them both together
    • Flowery Escape
      • 4 ounces of your preferred carrier oil
      • 15 drops of rosewood oil
      • 10 drops of geranium oil
      • 8 drops of jasmine oil
    • Spicy Massage Oil
      • 4 ounces of your preferred carrier oil
      • 15 drops of sandalwood oil
      • 9 drops of cinnamon oil
      • 6 drops of peppermint oil
      • 5 drops of black pepper oil
    • Stimulating Oil
      • 4 ounces of your preferred carrier oil
      • 15 drops of rose oil
      • 15 drops of ylang ylang oil
      • 10 drops of jasmine oil


  • The method of making each of these oils is the same. Add the essential oils to the bottle first, then top up with the carrier oil. Screw the cap on firmly then shake gently until combined. Lastly add a label on which you have noted what the blend is for, the ingredients used and the date it was made. Most blends made this way will keep for at least 3 - 6 months if kept in a cool dark place.
  • You can keep them in the fridge in hot weather if you like.


  • Handle your essential oils carefully, and do not apply them directly to skin. Some concentrated oils can be irritants, and even toxic. Others will cause skin sensitivity and irritation when exposed to the sun if there is a high concentration of that essential in your massage oil, and you go outdoors immediately.

Things You'll Need

  • A bottle to make and store your completed oil (preferably glass)
  • Carrier oil or oils
  • Essential oil or oils
  • Labels

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Massage Oils and Lotions