How to make Massage Oil Candles
Imagine a relaxing massage with fragrant and warm oils poured directly onto your skin.
The temperature is perfect and the feeling of the moisturising oils is pure bliss! This is the experience you’ll have with a handmade massage oil candle and if you’ve not come across them before you’re in for a treat. They’re romantic, all-natural, and easy to make yourself.
The tutorial below will take you through how to make them and the links provided are there to help you find the right ingredients and materials. The actual process is very quick – once all of your ingredients are assembled it’s literally a matter of minutes before your candles are poured. After they’re set you can decorate the tins and use the candles immediately. Massage oil candles make great gifts for Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, bridal showers, or even wedding favours.
Recipe for Massage Oil Candles
makes two 100 ml / 3.4 oz candles
The ingredients listed below are in weight – I always use weight in both cooking and making beauty products since it’s WAY easier to measure things like Cocoa Butter, which doesn’t easily fit into ‘cups’. If you do not have a kitchen scale, please buy one. Once you start using it, you’ll never turn back to measuring fiddly things like butter in cups ever again. Another thing you’ll need a scale for is making handmade soap.
Also, the links below will direct you to Amazon. I’ve tried to find the approximate amounts you’ll need for the recipe but if you know of another source or have a friend who can share with you then feel free to organise your materials that way.
Ingredients & Materials
45g /1.6 oz Shea Butter
40g /1.4 oz Soy Wax
40g /1.4 oz Cocoa Butter
40g /1.4 oz Sweet Almond Oil (or another liquid oil)
1/8 tsp / 0.6 ml High IU Vitamin E Oil* – you could also use the contents of a Vitamin E capsule
1/8 tsp / 0.6 ml Rose Geranium Essential Oil (Pelargonium graveolens)
1/4 tsp / 1.2 ml Palmarosa Essential Oil (Cymbopogon martinii)
Two 100 ml/ 4 oz glass or aluminium containers. Square tins / Round Tins
Candle Wick & two sustainers (for large soy wax candle diameters-Eco 14) or buy Pre-made Wicks
Find these materials in the United Kingdom: Shea Butter, Soy wax, Cocoa Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, High IU Vitamin E oil*, Rose Geranium Essential Oil (Pelargonium graveolens), Palmarosa Essential Oil (Cymbopogon martinii), Round tins, Raw wick + Sustainers, Pre-assembled Wicks + Sustainers
* High IU Vitamin E oil is supplement graded and not the kind of oil you’d find in the drugstore beauty department. It should not be used undiluted on the skin and is used in this recipe as an antioxidant: it helps the oils to have a better shelf life.
An ordinary sauce pan
A rubber spatula for stirring
A wooden skewer
Two wooden chopstick sets – don’t break the pieces apart
Cut lengths of wick that when measured from the bottom of your candle container, will stick out by 1/2″. The raw wick you purchase should be all-natural fibre and made to burn in soy wax candles. It should also be for candle diameters much larger than your own container so that it burns faster and will create a wax pool in less time than a smaller wick.
After the lengths are cut, feed the wick through the hole of a metal sustainer using a wooden skewer. The sustainer helps hold the wick in place and you should choose a standard or slightly larger size for this project. Slide the sustainer all the way down to the end of the wick so that no wick is sticking out of its bottom. Using pliers, squeeze the metal feed on the top of the sustainer over the wick so that the wick is held in place.
Place all of the oils (except Vitamin e oil), butters, and wax into the sauce pan and heat on low until completely melted. It’s better to do this using a double boiler method but you can heat directly on a hob if you keep an eye on it and are stirring the entire time. If you’re using raw wicks/sustainers that you’ve assembled yourself, place them into the oil so that they can absorb some of it – this will help the wicks to burn cleaner. If you’ve purchased pre-made/waxed wicks just keep them aside – there’s no need to put them in the oil.
When the oils are melted, take the pan off the heat and set it aside to cool. Before you add the rest of the ingredients these oils will need to cool down to about 130F / 54C. You can use a digital thermometer to get the right temperature or you can just wait about five to ten minutes. While it’s cooling, continue onto the next step.
Using the wooden chopsticks, centre your wicks inside your containers. If you’ve used raw wick and had it floating around in the oils, fish them out with your spatula and wring the extra oil out with your clean fingers first.
Step 4: Add your Essential oils and Vitamin E & Pour
When the oils have cooled down, add the essential oils and the vitamin E and stir it together well. The blend of Rose-Geranium and Palmarosa is but beautifully floral and deep but not too ‘girly’.
Once the fragrance and vitamin e is blended in, gently pour the oils into your containers, using the spatula to get every last drop. If the wick bottom moves around during this time, use the wooden skewer to push it back into place. Now leave the candles to sit for at least 12 hours to harden and to cool completely.
When the containers are no longer warm to the touch and the oils have hardened it’s time to trim the wick. Remove the chopsticks and then use a pair of scissors to cut the wick flush with the top of the container.
Clean the tins (and lids) with a clean, dry cloth and then fit the pieces together. You can decorate it simply with a ribbon or go all out and print labels. The pink label on my tin is printed using this design onto an A4 sheet of salmon-pink card paper. The labels are 1″ tall and fit around the round tins perfectly. Secure them with a small piece of clear tape.
Please be aware that if you leave the candle burning for more than half an hour the tin can get warm from the flame. Be careful when picking it up and also make sure that the temperature of the oil isn’t too warm. To test, just pour it into your hand rather than more sensitive skin.
Kept sealed, the candles will have a shelf-life of up to two years or the closest expiration date of the ingredients you use. If you use an oil that ‘expires’ in nine months and all the others are good for longer than that your candle’s shelf-life will be nine months. Also, once you begin using a candle, make sure to use it within six months and to never touch the oils in the container directly.
Have a fun time making and using these romantic candles…ooh la la!
PS – If you like the idea of these candles but don’t have the time to make them just yet, I retail my own Massage Oil Candles online. They’re made with Rose-Geranium, Ylang Ylang, and Sandalwood essential oils and poured into a handmade Celtic heart ceramic pourer created by Kathryn Mitchell Ceramics. Once the candle is finished, you can clean the pourer and keep it forever.