How to Make a Massage Oil

To prepare a massage oil, you’ll need a base oil of vegetable, nut, and/or seed oils (see below for suggested blends). To two teaspoons of base oil, you’ll add up to four drops of essential oil. If using in a facial massage, use up to two drops of essential oil and 1 teaspoon carrier oil.

As always, but especially important when using formulations on the skin, you’ll want to be sure to choose pure essential oils from a reputable source. See the article on buying essential oils for guidance. Before using the oils in a massage, be sure to do a skin patch test if this is the first time using the oil on your skin.

Citrus oils such as lemon, grapefruit, and bergamot tend have an energizing and uplifting effect, however you’ll want to avoid using them on any skin that will be exposed to sunlight/UV, as they are phototoxic. Please see Safety and Usage and the individual essential oil profiles for more safety information. The individual profile for each essential oil also includes blending guides (i.e., what essential oil blends well with another).

Note: Massage is not recommended for everyone and especially not for people with certain medical conditions such as (but not limited to) infection, heart problems, and/or high blood pressure. Consult your medical provider for further guidance and with any health concerns.

Some essential oils that can be tried in massage include:
Bergamot (Citrus aurantium subsp bergamia)
Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) (caution: can cause irritation to sensitive skin)
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata)
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) (caution: can cause irritation to sensitive skin)
Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum)
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) (caution: should be avoided by those with low blood pressure)
Lemon (Citrus limonum) (caution: an cause irritation to sensitive skin)
Neroli (Citrus aurantium)
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) (cautions: avoid at bedtime. possible sensitization.)
Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) (caution: can cause dermatitis, those allergic to ragweed may also find they’re sensitive to chamomile)
Rose Otto (Rosa damascena)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) (caution: can cause irritation to sensitive skin)
Ylang-Ylang (Cananga odorata var genuina) (caution: can also cause irritation to sensitive skin)

Recommended base blends for massage

Light Body Oil Blend
1 1/2 tsp sweet almond oil
1/2 tsp grapeseed oil

Rich Body Oil Blend I
1 1/2 tsp sunflower oil
1/2 tsp macadamia nut oil

Rich Body Oil Blend II
1 1/4 tsp sweet almond oil
3/4 tsp avocado oil

Normal Body Oil Blend
1 2/3 tsp sunflower oil
1/3 tsp apricot kernel oil
1/3 tsp jojoba oil

Sensitive Face Oil Blend
3/4 tsp sunflower oil
1/4 tsp jojoba oil

Rich Face Oil Blend
3/4 tsp avocado oil
1/4 tsp macadamia nut oil

Normal Face Oil Blend
1/2 tsp sunflower oil
1/4 tsp apricot kernel oil
1/4 tsp rose hip oil

For details of the benefits of each base oil, see:

Recommended reading:
The Massage Bible: The Definitive Guide to Soothing Aches and Pains by Susan Mumford

The use of essential oils is not recommended for the very young or aged, or pregnant/nursing women. It is the belief of this site that if using essential oils therapeutically that they should not be used internally, only externally and topically and only if properly diluted and under the direct supervision of a trained aromatherapist. It is further advised to consult your doctor or medical provider with any health concerns and before using essential oils, especially if you are using any medication or are currently under the care of a physician. You should always speak with your physician or other licensed and qualified healthcare professional regarding any treatment for a health problem. The information provided on this site is for documentation purposes only and is not guaranteed to be accurate or complete nor should it be regarded as medical or health advice.

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