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Use all-natural ingredients to make massage candles for you and your partner or for romantic gifts. Massage candles are lit like ordinary candles, but you use the melted oils directly on the skin as a warm massage oil. They’re warm and relaxing and the combination of ingredients is great for your skin!
If you’ve not come across massage oil candles before, then you and your partner are in for a sensual treat. Though they can look like traditional candles, they’re actually a solid body oil. Once you light them, the oils melt into a pool that you pour directly into your hand and use for massage. They don’t burn at all and feel decadent and sensual poured onto your back by the one you love. Though you can use the massage candle oil for a warm massage, you can also use them as a personal lubricant, with a caveat discussed a bit further on.
The way massage candles work is that ingredients such as shea butter and cocoa butter are solid at room temperature. If you blend them with a natural wax that burns at a low temperature, then the oil pool that forms when the candle is lit will be warm, not hot, like ordinary candles. The liquid oil in the recipe helps lower the melting temperature even more and helps speed up how quickly the massage oil melts. You may feel hesitant to pour the melted oil into your hand (or skin) the first time. I think you’ll be surprised at its comfortable temperature, though.
Massage Candles are a Romantic Gift Idea
The tutorial below will take you through how to make massage candles and how to use them. The process of making them is very quick and once all of your ingredients are assembled it’s literally a matter of minutes before each massage candle is poured and cooling. After that, it’s a matter of waiting overnight for them to harden up, then you can label them if you wish. Massage candles are a great bachelorette party gift but you could save them for Valentine’s Day, your anniversary, or use them right away. Maybe several of those occasions!
The video at the end shows you how it’s done and also gives a demo of how you’d pour the massage candle wax into your hand. Honestly, the oil will be warm, not hot. Using a massage candle may look similar to using a normal candle but they’re completely different. On that note, you should avoid using beeswax or paraffin wax in any massage candle project. Both melt at hot temperatures so their melted wax will also be very hot. So stick with the ingredients listed, and if you use food-grade ingredients, massage candle wax can be edible too.
Choosing the Right Ingredients for Massage Candles
Massage candles are very easy to make. It’s a matter of gently melting the main oils, preparing the wick, pouring, cooling, and using them on a romantic night in. You can use massage candles the very day you make them if you wish! You do need to have the right ingredients though, including pure oils, the right wick, and the container.
In the original video (see below) and recipe I included 1/4 tsp of vitamin e oil. I’ve left it out as it’s not necessary. You could still choose to add it if you wish. It was there as an antioxidant, previously, but most vitamin e oils are just not strong enough to work as one to protect the oils. Work with ingredients well within their best-by date and you don’t need an antioxidant anyway.
One thing to remember is that candles that you burn to scent the home are different from massage candles. They are skincare and as such, you need to ensure that all of the ingredients you use are safe for the skin. If you wanted to make a massage candle with edible oil, for more, ahem, intimate use, then choose food-grade oils and leave out the essential oils. Instead, you could flavor the massage candle with a cosmetic flavor oil such as vanilla, strawberry, or passionfruit. On that note, if you plan on using massage candles as a personal lubricant, please also avoid essential oils and be aware that oil can compromise latex. That means that oil and condoms are not a recipe for safe play.
Wicks for Massage Candles
Now that the ingredients are cleared up, you should also ensure that the wick you choose is either raw or primed with soy wax, not paraffin. I actually recommend that you get raw wick and I show how to prime it in the instructions below. With raw wick, you can cut the length that you need, and that’s important for non-standard containers like ceramic pourers.
You should also choose your candle wick type with care. Get wicks that are suitable for natural waxes and the diameter of the container that you’re using. If in doubt about the wick, check with a candle ingredients supplier.
Containers for Massage Candles
There are two types of containers shown in the photos for this massage candle recipe. The first is standard steel candle tins, which are very easy to find online. You can find them in silver, black, and other colors, and square tins or round tins. You may also use glass candle containers or ceramic pourers. Whichever you use is up to you. Because massage candles burn at lower temperatures and aren’t lit for very long, the container doesn’t get hot. When the candle is empty, you can even reuse the container. It washes out easily with hot soapy water.
Massage Candle Recipe
Massage Candle Recipe
- Stainless steel measuring spoons
- Two sets of wooden chopsticks (not broken apart)
- Wooden skewer
- Two stainless steel pans, one being smaller than the other (or a double boiler)
Herbal Hand Salve Recipe
- 45 g Shea butter 1.6 oz
- 40 g Soy wax 1.4 oz
- 40 g Cocoa butter 1.4 oz
- 40 g Sweet almond oil 1.4 oz
- 1/8 tsp Rose Geranium essential oil 0.6 ml / optional
- 1/4 tsp Ylang ylang essential oil 1.2 ml / optional
- 2 Candle containers 3.4 oz (100 ml)
- 2 Wicks For natural wax and for the diameter of your container
- 2 Candle sustainers metal bits for the end of the wick
Assemble the Wicks
- Cut lengths of wick that when measured from the bottom of your candle container will stick out by 1/2".
- 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 it 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.
Melt the Oils
- Place the butters, sweet almond oil, and soy wax in the saucepan and heat on low until completely melted. It's better to do this using the 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 that you've assembled yourself, place them into the oil so that they can absorb some of it – this primes the wicks and will help the wicks to burn cleaner. There's no need to put pre-made commercial wicks in the oil.
- When the oils are fully melted, take the pan off the heat and set it aside to cool. Before you add the rest of the ingredients the oil will need to cool down to about 130°F / 54°C. While it's cooling, continue to the next step.
Get the containers ready
- Using the wooden chopsticks, center 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.
Add the essential oil
- When the oils have cooled down, add the essential oils and stir well. The blend of rose-geranium and ylang-ylang is beautifully floral and relaxing.
- Now gently pour the melted oil into your containers, using the spatula to scrape out every last drop. Fill the oil to 1/4" (6 mm) from the top of the container. If the wick bottom moves around during this time, use the wooden skewer to push it back into place. Leave the candles to sit for at least 12 hours to harden and cool. The oils will solidify to a creamy tone
- Trim the wick when the containers are no longer warm to the touch and the oils have hardened. Remove the chopsticks and 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 on a sheet of pink card paper. The labels are 1" (2.5 cm) tall and fit around the round tins perfectly. Secure them with a small piece of clear tape.
How to Use Massage Candles
To use the candle, light it and leave it to burn for 5-15 minutes or until a sizable pool of warm wax has formed. During this time the scent of the essential oils will begin to fill the air. Now blow out the flame and pour the warm oil directly into your hand and immediately massage into the skin with your fingertips. The first time you do this you’ll be surprised at just how pleasant the temperature of the oil is.
Please be aware that if you leave the candle burning for more than half an hour the tin can get warm. Be careful when picking it up and also make sure that the temperature of the oil isn’t too hot. Kept sealed, the candles will have a shelf-life of up to two years. Have a fun time making and using these romantic candles ❤ And if you’d like to explore more candle ideas, here’s some further inspiration:
- Make Wine Bottle Candles
- How to make Cute Soy Candles in Ramekins
- Make Ombre Candles in Pink, Blue, and Yellow
- Make a Glowing Sea Glass Candle