Love massages but don’t fancy spending tons of cash on high-end natural massage oils? Happy Valentine’s Day!
My husband and I absolutely LOVE giving each other massages. And while we’ll sometimes treat ourselves to one of those delicious-smelling Lush massage bars, we usually make our own oil blend.
When we first started experimenting with DIY massage lotions, we just used coconut oil or olive oil or whatever we had in the kitchen (plus a few drops of lavender or sweet orange essential oils). And this is fine. But I noticed that professional massage oils had a different texture to them. They had less “slip” and more “drag”. This means that the oil allows your hand to slide over your partner’s skin with just the right amount of friction. Too much slip and you can’t go in for deep tissue massage. Too much drag and the friction becomes uncomfortable.
After much experimentation, I think we’ve found the perfect blend.
Geeta’s perfect massage oil:
- Olive or almond or coconut oil (I like organic)
- Castor oil (available at most pharmacies)
- Essential oils of your choice (I like lavender, sweet orange and geranium)
- Glass or stainless steel container (to prevent leaching of phthalates from plastic)
- Blend the carrier oil (that’s your olive or almond or coconut oil) with the castor oil in a ratio of 9:1. In other words, 9 parts carrier oil and one part castor oil.
- Add a few drops of essential oil. I usually add lavender and sweet orange in a ratio of 5:1. For some reason, the mix of these two fragrances makes the oil smell like orange chocolate!
- Shake gently to combine and let stand overnight. It takes about 12 hours for the fragrance to stabilize, so don’t worry if it smells less than sophisticated when you first mix it.
Why we use castor oil
Castor oil is a weird oil. It is thick and viscous and frankly, not very oily at all. It feels a little like really runny honey. And here’s what’s strange about it: it’s an oil that actually has a drying effect on your skin.
It’s what produces that feeling of “drag” in our oil blend. And it also leaves your skin feeling nicely moisturized but not super greasy after your massage.
I’ve shared our basic recipe, but if you prefer an oil with more drag, just increase the amount of castor oil you use. Just don’t overdo it because the oil itself is pretty sticky. And you don’t want to throw your skin’s balance out of whack.
- It’s better to use just a few drops of essential oils: Less is definitely more in the fragrance department. I learned this this hard way. I’d often get overzealous and use too much and then we’d end up with an oil that was overpowering (and not very romantic).
- Store your oil in a cool, dark place: Direct sunlight or heat can turn your oils rancid. This oil blend can be refrigerated and should be good for 12 months.
- Check to see if it’s still good: Oils don’t usually need the same level of germ-controlling preservatives as water-based products like creams do. But it’s best to give your oil a little sniff before you slather your partner with it. If it smells “off” or changes texture, toss it. Trust me, rancid oil is hideously difficult to wash off!
- If you want a richer blend, use heavier oils like coconut. Note that coconut oil will solidify into a butter in the winter or in the fridge. Don’t panic, this doesn’t affect the blend’s efficacy in any way. Just place in a bowl of warm water (taking care that the water doesn’t enter your oil container) and it will melt into a liquid. Or just use the butter!
The best part is that you can use this oil as a moisturizer after the gym or shower. You can even use it to remove makeup (as long as you haven’t overdone the essential oils. People with sensitive skin might prefer to leave them out of the recipe).
I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe. Did you enjoy it? Does your partner now think you’re a total god or goddess? Leave us a comment!