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Skin Care Secrets Revealed: How to make your own Therapeutic Massage Oils the Aromantic way
by Kolbjorn Borseth
There are many good base oils and blended massage oils on the market these days. However they may not be ideal for individual skin types and conditions, which require special blends of oils. Tailor-made massage oils are more like prescriptions than just simple lubricants. I believe that prescribing massage oils for each client is the way forward. You can do this in many ways, at the very minimum I would suggest that, as a minimum, you make up base massage oil blend for each skin type, and then add different essential oils and active ingredients to suit the client’s personal preferences and/or skin conditions. Mixing the different vegetable oils can create a blend of oils that is better suited to the particular purpose for which it is intended than the simple use of one or other oil. Get to know the different oils and their characteristics. This prescription approach would definitely yield better treatment results as well as customer satisfaction than simply using a standard vegetable oil blend for all of your clients. Are you ready to take on the challenge?
You can find out more about the properties of vegetable oils in my book The Aromantic Guide to Unlocking the Powerful Health & Rejuvenation Benefits of Vegetable Oils or attend our courses, especially:
Massage products are derived from either mineral oils (like Vaseline® or paraffin) or Vegetable Oils.
For a long time people have used natural oils and fats for skin, health care and massage. These cannot be replaced by the synthetic 'oils' extracted from petroleum (Vaseline® and paraffin).
The following comparison extracted from The Aromantic Guide to the use of Herbs in Skin, Hair & Health Care Products illustrates why:
Mineral Oils (Vaseline & Paraffin)
Cannot be absorbed by healthy skin. Create a thin film on the surface of the skin, blocking the pores and preventing the skin from functioning normally. Do not contain any vitamins and disturb or even stop the skin from being able to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Are detrimental to the skin with long-term use. Mineral oils appear to moisturise the skin but in reality they suppress its normal, healthy functioning. The skin then becomes 'dependent' on constant applications of mineral oil which, in turn, result in a deterioration of the skin's character and ability to keep itself healthy. They do not contain any fatty acids and do not go rancid.
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Vegetable Fats & Oils
Are readily absorbed by the skin. Are used to nourish (give energy to) the skin and body. Needed to create new cells and for other important processes in the body. Most vegetable oils contain vitamins, which are necessary and good for the skin (such as provitamin A, D, and E). They can stimulate the skin to function better and create better circulation. They soften the skin and make it pliable, helping it to retain its own moisture more effectively. Contain the essential fatty acids. Go rancid after a time. So it is clear from this that natural vegetable oils can actually help the skin to function better. Often they will even help to resolve some of the simpler skin problems, e.g. irritation of the skin caused by soaps, cosmetics, clothes or deficiencies in fats or vitamins in the skin. Vegetable oils and fats consist of glycerine, fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins (where applicable) and other fat-soluble ingredients.
The Fatty Acids can also be subdivided into four categories:
- Saturated Fatty Acids
- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
- Duounsaturated Fatty acids
- Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
Saturated Fatty Acids
These are solid at room temperature (e.g. Stearic acid) and become a thick liquid inside our bodies. These fatty acids are the ones which are supposed to be responsible for vascular and heart disease when consumed in large quantities. They are absorbed slowly by the skin and are added to give massage and skin oils more lubrication. In face oils they make the skin’s own oils even oilier. With oily skin the presence of these fatty acids will mean that the pores become more easily blocked, which will cause them to enlarge. These fatty acids keep well and do not go rancid so
quickly. Saturated fatty acids are found primarily in animal fats such as lard
and tallow but they are also found in coconut butter, cocoa butter and shea butter.
Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (Omega 7&9)
These are liquid at room temperature. The most common monounsaturated fatty acids are those oleic acids found in most oils. Oleic acids keep well. Examples of oils high in monounsaturated fatty acids are: avocado, hazelnut, olive, jojoba, apricot kernel, peach kernel, sweet almond, macadamia, moringa, castor and high-oleic sunflower.
Duo (Omega 6) and Polyunsaturated (Omega 3) Fatty Acids
Amongst these we find linoleic (duo-) and alpha linolenic acid (poly). Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) is the one most disposed to becoming rancid. They are thin liquids, which are quickly absorbed by the skin. They are ‘drier’ than the other fatty acids. Because they have a tendency to go rancid easily they often need added vitamin E (as an antioxidant). Duo- and polyunsaturated fatty acids combine with the fats and oils in the skin to make them thinner and help in reducing the size of pores. Therefore they are very important to use for oily skin, large-pored and combination skin. They act like vitamins for the skin. The most important fatty acids are the essential ones, i.e. alpha linolenic and linoleic acids, which in some countries are known as vitamin F. They are called ‘essential’ because they are essential to the proper functioning of the skin and indeed the whole body.
Examples of oils high in omega 6 are: sunflower, grapeseed, thistle, walnut, borage, evening primrose and hemp seed. Examples of oils high in omega 3 are: kiwi seed, chia seed, camelina and rosehip.
Tips for mixing Skin and Massage Oils
- Mixing the different Vegetable Oils can create a Blend of Oils which is better suited to the particular purpose for which it is intended than the simple use of one or other Oil. Get to know the different Oils and their characteristics. Test them on your own skin to learn how they feel and how quickly they are absorbed by the skin.
- Then try making your own Blends, test them in the crook of your arm first to test for any possible allergic reaction and then use on those body parts you have made them for.
- Store your Vegetable Oils in the fridge but never in the door as they get shaken and that creates oxidation of the product.
- Make up small quantities of Blends so they don't have to stand for too long before being used.
Store these at room temperature.
- Always add a little Vitamin E (0.5%) to blends of Oils which contain a lot of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (Omega 3). This will delay the rancidity process.
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Recipes for Massage Oils
Dry Skin Massage Oil
- 10g Coconut Butter
- 30ml Olive Oil
- 20ml Sweet Almond Oil
- 15ml Jojoba Oil
- 17ml Apricot Kernel Oil
- 5ml Thistle Oil
- 2ml/g Vitamin E Oil (100%)
- 12-15 drops Essential Oils as required
Sensitive Skin Oil
- 15g Shea Butter (Organic)
- 40ml Apricot Kernel Oil (Organic)
- 25ml Jojoba Oil (Organic)
- 13ml Thistle Oil (Organic)
- 5ml/g Vitamin E Oil
- 1ml/g Vitamin A Palmitate
- 6 drops Rosemary CO2 Extract
- 12-15 drops Essential Oils
Swedish Massage Oil for Healing (all kinds of skin infections)
15g Shea Butter (melt before adding to the blend)
20ml Calendula Oil
30ml Jojoba Oil
12ml Thistle Oil
10ml Comfrey Oil
10ml Borage Oil
4ml/g Vitamin E Oil (undiluted)
2ml/g Vitamin Palmitate
2ml/g Calendula CO2 Extract
10-15 drops Essential Oils (optional)
5 drops Rosemary CO2 Extract
Sports Massage Oil
20ml Jojoba Oil
10g Coconut Butter (melt before adding to the blend)
10ml Comfrey Oil
8ml Arnica Oil
5ml Thistle Oil
5ml Camelina Oil
5ml St. John’s Wort Oil
35ml/g Vitamin E Oil (undiluted)
1ml (20-25) drops Essential Oils
12 drops Rosemary CO2 Extract
- Melt the coconut butter or shea butter in a bain-marie and then add the vegetable oils.
- Finally add the vitamin E oil, the essential oils and the rosemary CO2 extract.
- Bottle and label.
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