Several years ago, a friend told me she put almond oil on her skin every day and I thought that sounded kind of gross and, well, oily, but she convinced me to give it a try, so I bought some Weleda rose oil and loved it! But it is pricey and I also developed an allergy to almonds so I had to stop using it. And once I started studying essential oils, I realized how easy it is to make your own.
I have been making my own body oil for several years now, and I vary my ingredients depending on the season, what my skin needs right then, and what I want to smell like at that particular time.
This recipe is for my everyday oil – a warming, comforting, romantic and sensual blend of some of my alltime favorite oils. I put in on as soon as I get out of the shower and it immediately warms the skin as it gets massaged in. It sinks in really fast, makes the skin so soft, and fills the room with the most intoxicating scent.
The scent slowly disappears over the course of the day, but some of it must linger, even though I don’t notice it, because people who come into my office at work say things like: “It always smells like a spa in here”; “Being in your office calms me down”; “Is it you who smell so good?”
It also works great as a luxurious pre-wash hair treatment: before washing, apply a generous handful to your hair and scalp, massage it in and leave in for ½ – 1 hour, then wash and condition as usual. It makes the hair silky soft, and fuller too.
About the Ingredients
You can use any of the many carrier oils available, and you may have to do a bit of trial and error to find the ones that work best with your skin, but the ones I use in this recipe seem to work for pretty much everyone:
Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) is actually not an oil; it is a liquid wax that is very similar to our skin’s own natural sebum. It is a very healing oil that also protects the skin, helpful for a wide variety of issues in both dry and oily skin, such as dermatitis, eczema, and acne. It sinks in very quickly and is extremely shelf stable, no matter how you store it, it keeps for years.
I sometimes use patchouli-infused jojoba in this recipe both because I love the scent and because it gives it even more skin healing properties, but any herbal infusion would work great and gives you the opportunity to add different properties to your blend.
Olive Squalane, another wonderful protective oil with lots of skin healing properties, is sometimes referred to as a “face lift in a bottle”. It is clear and odorless and is absorbed very quickly. It helps the skin retain moisture, so it is great in the winter, and for dry skin year round. Note that squalane oil can also be derived from shark liver, so make sure its Olive.
Rose Essential Oil
Rose essential oil is distilled from different types of roses in various parts of the world, but it is the Bulgarian Rose (Rosa Damascena), also known as Rose Otto, you want. Rose, with its soft, feminine, pretty scent is wonderful for dry and sensitive skin, and it is both antibacterial and antiviral. Soothing and calming, it brings warmth to both body and soul, helps with anxiety and insomnia and balances female hormones. It is also an aphrodisiac, and is said to help those who have been hurt be able to trust and love again.
Many think of Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) as a “hippie oil” and people seem to either love or hate it. I love it, especially paired with rose; the earthy, rich, spicy scent adds a daring sensual touch to the feminine and romantic rose. It also offers a wealth of health benefits: it is a wonderful skin healer and tissue regenerator that helps with issues like eczema, acne, and dandruff, and some say it helps with cellulite as well. A well-known aphrodisiac, it is calming and stimulating all at once and is said to help with stress, anxiety and depression.
Patchouli is one of the few essential oils that improves with age and really old batches can fetch a high price. I always order an extra bottle when I buy mine, write the date on the top and keep it for the future.
Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is another amazingly powerful skin healer with anti-aging and UV protective properties, and in Europe and Asia, it has long been used to calm inflammation and relieve pain. Studies have shown that it helps prevent radiation damage1, It is a semi-thick, rich dark orange oil that smells faintly of citrus, and used straight up, it will stain the skin. But you only need a small amount to get the benefits from it, and the dilution here does not stain.
A note about quality
There are lots of lower grade oils on the market, where various components have been added to bring down the price. Make sure to only use organic carrier and essential oils, and only buy from reputable companies. Remember, anything that goes on your skin is absorbed into your body. You will have to pay a little bit more to get good quality oils but it is worth every penny. The rose oil in particular is an indulgence; it is not cheap, but it is very potent and you only need a few drops, so a bottle lasts a long time. I get all my essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs and Nature’s Gift. They both have huge selections and everything is top quality.
Batch Size & Storage
I usually make the body oil in small batches of 50 ml at a time, partly because even a little bit goes a long way, and partly because I keep them in the bathroom. Even though they’re in dark glass bottles, that heat and humidity is not an ideal environment for oils, so I prefer to make new batches more frequently rather than store them in a dark and cool place. If you keep yours dark and cold, you could certainly double the recipe and make it less often. Regardless of where you keep your oils, you want to store them in amber or dark blue glass bottles to slow down deterioration.
I like these amber glass bottles with phenolic screw caps. Make sure to sterilize them before putting the oils in; I run them in the dishwasher and then rinse them out with high proof vodka and let them air dry. Rubbing alcohol works too.
50 ml dark glass bottle with cap
Pour in the jojoba and olive squalane in your bottle. Add the rose and patchouli one at a time, (do not remove the dropper in the bottles – without it, you can’t count the number of drops). Last, add the sea buckthorn, and make sure to watch – I’m not sure why this happens, but it doesn’t blend right away; it just floats in the middle, making the whole thing look like a lava lamp. I find it quite mesmerizing!
How to get essential oils out of the bottle
It can sometimes be a little bit tricky to get the oils out, especially if you store them in the fridge (which you should), or if it’s very cold in the house. If they have solidified to the point where you can’t get anything out of the bottle, let it sit in room temperature for a while (or roll it gently between your hands to warm it up) until it’s liquid again. If it is liquid but nothing is coming out, tap the bottom of the bottle with a fingertip while holding it upside down over your jojoba/squalane mix. You will hear faint clicking sounds as you tap, and that’s a good sign. Keep tapping until the oil starts to come out.