How to Make Body Oil: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Make Body Oil: 12 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Make Body Oil: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

Scented body oils don't always need to come from a store or boutique. Try making your own relaxing or fragrant massage oils. If you invent a successful recipe, you can even present your friends with a small decorative bottle of your homemade body oil.


Part 1 of 2: Planning Your Body Oil

Make Body Oil Step 1
Make Body Oil Step 1

Step 1. Find amber glass vials to store the oil

Sunlight and air spoil oils over time. Store yours in amber glass bottles the size of a vial of perfume. The small size allows you to work with quantities you can use before they go bad, while minimizing the free space (air inside the jar) that accelerates product decomposition.

Use jars with a lid or stopper

Make Body Oil Step 2
Make Body Oil Step 2

Step 2. Choose an essential oil for the headnote

You can make a simple body oil with an essential oil and a carrier. However, many people prefer to make their own custom mixes. To get started, choose a "head note" for your scented oil. This note is a strong or sharp aroma that will catch your attention when you smell the mixture, but it won't last long.

  • Examples include mint, basil and most citrus oils. Beware, as many of the latter can cause severe burns if applied to the skin and exposed to sunlight.
  • If you need more ideas, smell the oils in an essential oil store, or the herbs in a plant nursery or supermarket.
Make Body Oil Step 3
Make Body Oil Step 3

Step 3. Select a heart note

This oil usually has a complex, full-bodied aroma. It lasts an hour or two on a perfume sample strip. You can choose a heart note to be the main theme of the fragrance. Alternatively, choose one that shares elements of the top and bottom notes, helping to harmonize the result.

Good choices include chamomile, ginger, rose and many other herbal and flower scents

Make Body Oil Step 4
Make Body Oil Step 4

Step 4. Choose a background note

For a classic three-note combination, the last essential oil needed is the base note. It should last for at least a few hours, as its main purpose is to fix the composition. Many oils used as base notes are also fixatives, which decrease the rate of evaporation of other aromas.

  • Try strong, deep scents like vanilla or sandalwood.
  • Once you have made all three choices, place a few drops of each on a cotton pad and pass the perfume towards you to test it. If you don't like the result, change your choices.
Make Body Oil Step 5
Make Body Oil Step 5

Step 5. Select a carrier oil

You must dilute essential oils in a carrier oil before applying them to the skin. Unless you plan to use body oil quickly, choose one with a long shelf life, such as fractionated coconut oil or canola oil. Also take into account whether you prefer a dense or thin oil and its scent. Beginners may prefer an unscented or unscented carrier oil, such as sweet almonds, so they can focus exclusively on combining the three essential oils.

  • You can use supermarket oil or buy a specific aromatherapy product without additives.
  • They are often called "base oils". Do not confuse with "base notes", another name for base notes.
Make Body Oil Step 6
Make Body Oil Step 6

Step 6. See if there is an allergic reaction.

If you haven't yet applied one or more of your chosen essential oils to your skin, test it out. It is especially important if you are taking medication or have any known allergies. Follow the procedure below:

  • Dilute a few drops of the essential oil in the carrier oil at twice the concentration you intend to use (see below for more details).
  • Moisten the inside of a bandage with the mixture and place it on the inside of the upper arm.
  • Remove dressing after 48 hours. If there is any redness or itching, do not use the oil.

Part 2 of 2: Blending Body Oil

Make Body Oil Step 7
Make Body Oil Step 7

Step 1. Measure the bottle size

Fill it almost to the top with water and pour into a measuring cup. Write down the number of milliliters in the bottle and multiply by 20 to get an estimate of the number of drops that will fit in the container.

  • 1 ml equals about 20 drops.
  • For example, if you intend to make a large batch of 50 ml, your bottle holds 50 ml x 20 drops/ml = 1000 drops.
Make Body Oil Step 8
Make Body Oil Step 8

Step 2. Calculate the total essential oil needed

Adults who intend to use body oil on a large area of the body should dilute it to 1%. If you intend to use it as a perfume or in a small area, you can try 3 or 5% safely. For a 1% dilution, multiply the number of drops the bottle holds by 0.01.

  • For example, if you have a 1000-drop bottle and you want to dilute it to 1%, you will need 1000 x 0.01= 10 drops of essential oil.
  • Expensive essential oils are often sold in diluted form to make them affordable. If the label says it's already diluted 5%, multiply the number of drops by 20, since 100% ÷ 5% = 20.
Make Body Oil Step 9
Make Body Oil Step 9

Step 3. Find the ratio of your three essential oils

As a starting point, try 2 parts background note, 1 part heart note, and 2 part head note. If you are not sure how to calculate in terms of drops, follow the example below:

  • This ratio uses 5 parts in total (2 + 1 + 2). That's 10 drops of essential oil, so to divide it into five parts, calculate 10/5 = 2 drops per part.
  • 2 parts of bottom note x 2 drops/part = 4 drops of bottom note.
  • 1 part heart note x 2 drops/part = 2 drops of heart note.
  • 2 parts of headnote x 2 drops/part = 4 drops of head note.
  • Sometimes the accounts don't come out so right and you don't get the perfect proportion. In that case, try to get as close as you can.
  • This isn't the only recipe you can use. If you want the heart note to be the centerpiece, you can even use a 1:3:1 ratio.
Make Body Oil Step 10
Make Body Oil Step 10

Step 4. Mix essential oils

Count the drops of each according to your calculations, put them all in the bottle and stir to mix them.

Make Body Oil Step 11
Make Body Oil Step 11

Step 5. Fill the bottle with carrier oil

Since all the math was based on the size of the bottle, you don't have to count the drops. Just fill it with as much carrier oil as you can. Close the lid securely and shake for a minute or two to spread the oils well.

  • If you plan to fill several jars, fill them all with carrier oil and pour them into a larger bottle. Shake to mix and distribute into each of the smaller jars.
  • At this point, you can smell the oil and mix in another drop or two of essential oil to change the characteristics. Remember that adding too much can raise your concentration to levels that irritate your skin.
Make Body Oil Step 12
Make Body Oil Step 12

Step 6. Store the bottle in a dark, cool place

Close it tightly and store in a box or shelf out of direct sunlight. Essential oils can last up to 2 years, but some of the citrus essential oils and many carrier oils have a shorter shelf life. To maximize shelf life, transfer oil to smaller bottles when using it so that there is never too much air trapped in the package. Keep out of the reach of children.

  • Discard the oil if it smells very different from when it was fresh or if it thickens or becomes cloudy.
  • Cooling it can help, but it's usually not necessary, and many carrier oils stay solid in the fridge. If you store it like this, allow it to warm to room temperature before using.


  • The most effective places to apply scented oils are the pulse points: the sides of the neck, just below the ears or on the inside of the wrists.
  • You can decorate the jar by putting some dried flowers or herbs in it. Dry them well to prevent them from rotting. Some flowers will add their own scent. Common additions include rose petals, mint leaves and rosemary sprigs.
  • A drop or two of your favorite perfume can prolong the hold of the fragrance. Be careful, it's easy to overpower the scent or make an unpleasant combination.


  • It is possible to develop an allergy to an essential oil, even if you have used it before. You may also have an allergic reaction to chemicals added to the oil or chemical changes that occur as it breaks down. The safest approach is to stick to one brand for each type of essential oil and follow the storage instructions given above.
  • Some essential oils are sensitive to the sun, including many citrus. Avoid long exposure to the sun and tanning beds if you have these oils on your exposed skin.
  • Consult a physician or an experienced aromatherapist before using essential oils on children and infants.

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