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How to make your own massage oil

How to make your own massage oil with essential oils

There are so many different types and brands of massage oils and products available, most of them have essential oils because they pose benefits to the person receiving the massage such as relaxation and aromatherapy benefits. It's not hard to make your own version of these massage oils and the number, as well as the quantity of essential oils you use, depends on your own discretion so you have full control over the benefits and characteristics of your massage oil when you make your own. 

There are other reasons why you might want to make the best massage oil for your massage treatments, some massage therapists have clients with very specific needs or they might have allergies and sensitive skin which makes it hard to find a massage oil that can cater to your requirements. As mentioned earlier, you have full control so you can make your massage oil both relaxing and calming for clients who are really stressed or have extremely tense muscles.

Or you can also use essential oils and carrier oils that are moisturising for clients that have both dry and sensitive skin because although most massage products are paraben-free, some of them have emollients (hydrating agents) that don't react well with certain skin types.

Our range of massage products is reliable and safe, Naqi is dermatologically tested and Songbird and our own brand of massage oils have barely any non-natural ingredients or very limited ingredients so they are very unlikely to cause any irritation. Nonetheless, as emphasised earlier, creating your own massage oil can still give you peace of mind about what's in the massage oil that you use because you will literally make it from scratch. 

Before we show you how exactly you will go about making your new oil, we are just going to go through some basic information about massage oils, carrier oils and essential oils

What are Essential Oils?

Essential Oil refers to the oil that is extracted from different plants because of the properties that they have or the benefits they are known to provide. This is done by either distillation or a process called mechanical pressing which, as you can imagine, just means squeezing the oil or substance out of the plant.

Essential Oils have been used for millennia and have been the historical source for many chemical compounds used for health and well-being purposes, in fact, the first known use of essential oils for aromatherapy was in China between 2697-2597 B.C.E although some sources cite essential oil use as early as 3500 BC in ancient Egypt and some regard it as 2000 BC, either way, you get the gist - it's an historically established practice

What are the benefits of essential oils in massage oils?

Essential Oils pose numerous benefits during massages, they are especially effective for aromatherapy and many essential oils have become synonymous with certain feelings, for example, the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Lavendar is calmness and relaxation which is more likely due to the smell than the actual chemical make-up of Lavender essential oil acting like medication.

This is because although Lavender has been proven to have a positive effect on the parasympathetic nervous system and linalool (alcohol extract of lavender) has been identified as very effective for relaxation; these effects are mainly felt as a result of aromatherapy. Most essential oils also offer a second benefit or use besides aromatherapy, for example, some essential oils are anti-bacterial, anti-septic or have anti-inflammatory properties.

If you are interested in learning about which essential oils are in our range of massage products then please visit our Massage section which has a handy table that shows you the essential oils, their uses and benefits and the products they can be found in. 

What are carrier oils or base oils?

The terms carrier oil and base oil might sound a bit confusing but they let us know exactly what they are used for. Carrier oils or base oils make up the bulk of massage oils, especially simple massage oils that you can make yourself. You can't use pure essential oils for massage, well you can but they would run out very quickly and wouldn't be properly absorbed.

So the base or carrier oil basically 'carries' the essential oils, allows them to be absorbed and they also have their own benefits for the skin and for making massage treatments more effective. 

Now that we have hopefully answered any questions you may have had about the ingredients needed for your massage oil, we will show you our range of essential oils and carrier oils and instruct how you can go about making your personalised oil. 

Base Oils & Carrier Oils 

Choosing the best carrier oil for your personalised massage oil might not seem as important as your selection of essential oil but it is. This is because different carrier oils pose different benefits for your massage oil, for example, some might be better for certain skin types and some might offer more or less glide for specific massage therapy techniques. Carrier oils are also high in different vitamins which obviously pose different benefits to whoever is receiving the massage. 

Bulk Grapeseed carrier oil

1. Grapeseed Massage Oil 

Grapeseed oil is one of the most common oils for massage therapy but because it is a great base for essential oils, it can also be used as a carrier oil for whatever essential oils you choose to add to it. 

Special Skin Types: Sensitive Skin 

Massage Techniques: Facial massage, Full body, Sports and Swedish Massage 

Uses/Benefits:

Grapeseed Oil contains Vitamin E  which offers numerous benefits to the person receiving the massage; it is an antioxidant, it helps repair cells, Vitamin E is also a great immune booster and is anti-cancer but more so for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy as Vitamin D is better for helping to prevent cancer.

Grapeseed oil is particularly good for people with sensitive skin because it does not have anything that irritates or reacts badly with the skin. This means it is a great option of carrier oil for massage oil you can use on people with acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.

These are all skin conditions that are caused by something else, the typical cause being your immune system as all of them are auto-immune diseases or immune-mediated chronic skin conditions.

Another reason why grapeseed oil may be good for these conditions is it is anti-inflammatory and as mentioned above, it is a good immune booster. 

2. Sweet Almond Oil 

Sweet Almond Oil is another popular choice as both a massage oil and carrier oil, it is used widely for the same purposes as grapeseed oil but it is less suitable for sensitive skin and a much better option for dry skin

Special Skin Types: Dry Skin 

Massage Techniques: Full body, Sports and Swedish Massage 

Uses/Benefits:

Similar to grapeseed oil because it also has Vitamin E, which as mentioned above is an antioxidant, is a great immune booster and it helps repair cells.

It also has Fatty acids, although you might think fatty things usually wouldn't be a great idea for health-based products, they are used quite widely in cosmetics and skincare products because they work great as an emollient.

They, therefore, help to hydrate and moisturise the skin by sealing in the skin's moisture which prevents skin dehydration. The fatty acids will also help to thicken your custom massage oil and make it have a workable consistency.

Due to the Vitamin E and Fatty Acids, Grapeseed Oil is particularly great for dry skin and eczema conditions such as contact dermatitis and atopic eczema. 

Cologne for making massage oil

3. Sports Cologne 

Sports Cologne, although not a typical carrier oil works great as a base oil that you can add essential oils to make your own personalised version which can be used as a massage oil 

Special Skin Types: Oily Skin 

Techniques: Sports Massage and Swedish Massage 

Uses/Benefits:

Sports Cologne is a skin cleanser that is designed to lightly and gently cleanse the skin before and after massages which makes it ideal for use as a base oil that you can add your own choice of essential oils so that it can be used before and after massages for additional aromatherapy benefits.

As the name suggests, it is ideal for use in Sports Massage or Massage therapy for someone who is active and stressed. It is especially good for providing an invigorating massage so it is therefore great for use by sports therapists in warmer months to give their players a refreshing boost after an event, training or treatment.

The cologne has a strong spirit base so it can even be used to cleanse work surfaces and therapy couches of excess oil. The other benefits of using this as a carrier oil are that it is effective for skin hydration and reducing oiliness.

Sports cologne also has the special benefit of preventing oil residue from absorbing into clothing after a massage. 

Waxes that can be used as a base or carrier for your essential oils 

Although we doubt you won't be able to find a Songbird massage wax product that won't suit your's or your clients' needs and wants, we do still also understand that the whole point of making your own custom massage oil is you have full control over your massage medium. This obviously means that by making your own massage medium, you can also control the glide of your massage medium and most massage oils have a lot of glide.

Massage waxes offer a much thicker consistency that can be used to work out stubborn knots, muscle tension and they are especially good for deep-tissue and soft-tissue massages as well as myofascial release although specific fascial massage wax might be better suited for myofascial release. We have therefore included some plain massage waxes in this guide that you can use to make your custom massage wax that offers the benefits you want. 

4. Songbird Unscented Massage Wax 

Songbird's Unscented massage wax is a great base for your personalised massage wax because songbird products are very natural and organic so you can rely on them for being a universal and non-reactive massage medium, it even comes as a vegan option.

It has no essential oils in the formula, but besides that is pretty much identical to all other Songbird Massage Waxes. The consistency and viscosity are the same as the rest of the range as well unless it is the vegan unscented massage wax, which sometimes has a slightly different consistency.

Songbird Unscented also comes as a Liquiwax, Vegan massage wax and there is also an unscented reflexology wax as well as a vegan massage wax version of this. 

Special Massage Techniques: Reflexology, Sports Massage, Remedial Massage

Uses/Benefits:

Massage waxes are extremely good for sports massage and remedial massage. Remedial massage refers to massage techniques aimed at easing muscle tension, knots and damaged muscles.

The unscented waxes also have olive oil and natural vitamin E, you should hopefully know the benefits of vitamin E by now and Olive Oil promotes blood circulation, refreshes, detoxifies and is good for the skin. Olive oil also helps with muscle and general relaxation. 

Soft tissue massage

5. Naqi Soft Tissue Massage Wax

Naqi's Premium Soft Tissue massage wax is another wax that you can use as a carrier for your essential oils, it is suitable for all skin types so you can use it for all of your soft tissue massages regardless of skin type.

Like the rest of the products in the Naqi range, it is Paraben & Formaldehyde-free, it is also an unscented hypoallergenic massage wax so it is perfect for universal use or people with allergies and very sensitive skin. 

Special Massage Techniques: Soft Tissue Massage 

Uses/Benefits:

As mentioned above, this massage wax is a very neutral massage wax designed for all skin types so it is also non-greasy and hydrating which can help create that all-important moisture barrier needed for the skin.

As you might have already gathered it can be used for soft-tissue treatments by providing the optimal control and glide with a special selection of fine oils. Due to it being hypoallergenic it is a great option for people with allergies but it is very universal as it is also technically good for dry and sensitive skin types 

Essential Oils

Here's a list of all common types of essential oils used in massage oils and waxes; please note some of these can also refer to the by-products or derivatives of the plant/flower typically associated with the essential oil. For example, Citral, Limonene and Linalool could be referred to as Orange, Lemon and Lavender respectively. 

What essential oils are is massage oils? 

  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Orange
  • Peppermint / Menthol
  • Chamomile
  • Grapefruit
  • Arnica
  • Hypericum (St John’s Wort)
  • Manuka
  • Tea tree
  • Rosemary Oil
  • Aloe Vera
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Camphor
  • Eucalyptus
  • Calendula

Please visit our Massage section for more information on essential oils and carrier oils, we even have a handy table with all of them, their uses/benefits and the products they can be found in.  Or if you are looking for information on massage mediums then take a look at our Massage Oils, Lotions, Cremes 

Unfortunately, we are not the massage oil version of 'build a bear' so we don't have all of these essential oils or extracts in their purest form, most of them are only ingredients in other products but we do have a range of 100% pure essential oils 

Our Essentials Oils 

Lemon

Detoxification, lymphatic drainage. Also known for its cleansing and refreshing properties

Lavender

Promotes good sleep and relaxation, anti-inflammatory, cleanser. Used to treat anxiety, fungal infections, allergies, depression, insomnia, eczema, nausea. Great for massage therapy, stress-relief massage, and sports massage

Eucalyptus

Can be used to help decrease pain and promote relaxation. Moisturises dry skin 

Peppermint

Good for nausea, headaches. Reduces inflammation and soothes joint pain. Cleansing, antiseptic and antibacterial. Particularly useful for sports massage due to its refreshing and cooling effects

Tea Tree

The more economical version of Manuka and the Australian equivalent of its New Zealand counterpart, except marginally less effective as an anti-bacterial and far more anti-fungal. Anti-inflammatory and calming which makes it great for a sports massage and general massage therapy as well

Now that we have shown you our full range of Carrier oils and Essential Oils, all that's left is to choose the ones that appeal to you or will be something you can use universally as your own custom massage oil or wax. 

How much essential oil do I put in my massage oil? 

This is the most important part of formulating your own personalised massage oil, getting the ratios right is paramount to how the massage oil will turn out and this will affect how effective it is in terms of consistency and the benefits it provides. 

As a guideline, you should have a maximum of 18 drops of Essential Oil for every 30ml of carrier oil and this is scaleable at this ratio so 60ml of carrier oil can have a maximum of 36 drops of different essential oils and 90ml of carrier oil can have 54 drops of essential oil. You can of course have less than the maximum amount, it is up to your discretion at the end of the day so make it exactly how you think it should be.

Some combinations of essential oils can be overpowering so depending on the essential oil, some combinations can have only 15 drops of an essential oil per 30ml and this selection of essential oils would be in equal quantities of course. If this isn't possible then you can always just put more of the essential oil you think will be the most beneficial. If you follow the recommended ratio mentioned above then for a 300ml bottle, you would be putting a maximum of 180 drops of essential oils.

Empty bottle for massage oil

We would recommend buying an empty massage oil bottle so you can mix your new massage oil in large quantities and have it ready to go when you're done, we sell a 300ml empty massage oil bottle and a 200ml bottle as well.

This way, if you end up getting a 5 Litre bottle of carrier oil then you can easily dispense it into the smaller bottle when you want to make your own custom massage oil. 

If you are planning on making multiple massage oils then it's probably a good idea to get a few empty bottles 

Sources and References 

Anderson, C., Lis-Balchin, M. and Kirk-Smith, M., 2000. Evaluation of massage with essential oils on childhood atopic eczema. Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives, 14(6), pp.452-456.

Nasiri, A., Mahmodi, M.A. and Nobakht, Z. (2016). Effect of aromatherapy massage with lavender essential oil on pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 25, pp.75-80.

Hongratanaworakit, T., 2010. Stimulating effect of aromatherapy massage with jasmine oil. Natural product communications, 5(1), p.1934578X1000500136.

Yip, Y.B. and Tam, A.C.Y., 2008. An experimental study on the effectiveness of massage with aromatic ginger and orange essential oil for moderate-to-severe knee pain among the elderly in Hong Kong. Complementary therapies in medicine, 16(3), pp.131-138.

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