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Recipe: Custom Homemade Massage Oils

Massage therapists often keep several different massage oils on hand for various complaints and personal scent preferences. This recipe is enough for one full body massage. Make up a custom blend on the spot, or increase the amount of favorite blends to have on hand.


  • Vitamin E (Optional. 1-2 drops) An antioxidant, it helps prevent rancidity and prolong the life of your oils.
  • Choose 1 or more carrier oils: (2 Tbsp.)
  • Sweet almond oil: Nutty aroma. The most popular oil for massage, it is light and thin, flows well on the skin and does not absorb too quickly.
  • Olive Oil Pomace: Affordable and odorless. Olive oil is known for improving and strengthening the skin. 
  • Grapeseed oil: Very little scent. A glossy feeling oil, high in skin supporting compounds and great for balancing oily or combination skin.
  • Sesame oil: Strong, nutty smell. Highly prized in Ayurveda, sesame oil is high in beneficial nutrients and has a rich, smooth texture.
  • Choose 1 or more essential oils: (6-12 drops)
  • Relaxing and soothing: lavender, sweet marjoram, relaxation blend
  • Clarifying and balancing: geranium, clary sage
  • Romantic and sensual: ylang ylang, sweet orange
  • Purifying and cleansing: tea tree, purify blend
  • Energizing and uplifting: peppermint, energize blend
  • Muscle warming: fir balsam


  1. Pour 2 Tbsp. carrier oil(s) of choice into an amber glass bottle. The 2 ounce size works well for this recipe.
  2. Before adding essential oils, if combining more than one, test a drop of each on a cotton ball to ensure you like the scent combination.
  3. To obtain a basic 1% dilution of essential oils, add 6 drops total. For a stronger 2% dilution, add 12 drops.
  4. If you are making larger quantities to have on hand, add 1-2 drops of vitamin E oil per oz (or 2 Tbsp) massage oil that will be stored.

To Use:

  • When using new oils, test a small amount on the skin with a Q-tip before a massage and wait a few hours to test for skin sensitivities.
  • For immediate use, place a small amount of oil in the palms of your hands to warm it before a massage.

Shelf Life and Storage Information:

Recipe makes enough for one massage.  For larger batches, store leftover massage oils in a cool, dark place. Shelf life is determined by shelf life of chosen carrier oil. Also note that the effectiveness of essential oils may begin to diminish after 3-4 months.

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At A Glance

TOTAL: 30 minutes
YIELD: Makes 2 Tbsp., or 1 ounce.