Photo courtesy of http://www.oilsdirect.com.au
In addition to my soap making, I also have been making massage oils for my friends and family. Soon, I plan to sell some of my favourite scents at my Etsy shop. Massage oils are not difficult to make: The simplest blends contain just your preference of essential oil and a carrier oil. But what is a carrier oil and which one should you use for your particular project?
Carrier oils are vegetable oils used to dilute essential oils without loosing the scent and without compromising the characteristics of essential oils. In other words, they are oils that are used to carry the scent and properties of the essential oil onto the skin. This is done because many essential oils can irritate the skin when applied directly. There are many different types of carrier oils that each have a distinct purpose when used in a therapeutic fashion:
Grapeseed Oil - This oil is a preferred carrier oil of mine because it is considered an all purpose oil and has a thin viscosity. Is has an almost clear colour and a light, nutty aroma.You can't go wrong with grapeseed oil! Indeed this oil is very common in aromatherapy products (as it hold scent exceptionally well) including massage and bath oils, and it is noted for it's high content of fatty acids that are excellent for your skin. The only downfall of grapeseed oil is that is has a relatively short shelf life from 6-12 months. You are likely to find this carrier oil at your local grocery store.
Sweet Almond Oil - This oil has similar attributes of grapeseed oil: It is considered all purpose and has a light, nutty scent. However, this oil can generally be stored a few months longer than grapeseed oil and it has a slightly thicker viscosity. Also, as grapeseed oil is relatively clear, sweet almond oil has more of a yellowish tint. It is still very a pleasant and highly recommended oil to use for your bath and body crafting projects.
Olive Oil - I decided to write about olive oil, because I suspect many of my readers would now say something along the lines of, "Olive oil is a vegetable oil. I have some in my kitchen right now! Can I use it?" The answer is YES! You can use olive oil for you bath and beauty crafts, BUT I highly discourage it. My reasons being that olive oil is very thick compared to other carrier oils, has a very distinct green colour and if you are planning to sell your product, many do not like the overpowering olive scent of this oil. However, if you do choose to use it, olive oil contains fatty acids great for the skin and it can be easily purchased at your local supermarket. Make sure you buy a cold pressed olive oil for the best product.
Jojoba Oil - Jojoba oil is a wonderful carrier oil to use for massage products. This is mainly because of it's natural anti-inflammatory properties and it is most compatible with the skin. Also, this is the best oil you can use if you are creating a product directed towards those who have oily or acne prone skin. This carrier oil absorbs very well and has a medium viscosity with a yellow tint. Jojoba oil has almost an indefinite shelf life.
These are some of the best and most well rounded oils you can use, but if you feel courageous some other great carrier oils are: Apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, pomegranate seed oil, hemp seed oil and macadamia nut oil.
So, I encourage you to test out your own massage oil recipe! Just add the desired amount of essential or fragrance oil to a small amount of your selected carrier oil, and VOILA! Your own handmade massage oil! I invite you to share your findings and recipes in the 'Comments' section of this post. Happy crafting, everyone!