Natural Body Oils for Softer Skin
At Kari Gran we have created beautiful all natural products made from essential oils for the face and decollate, but what about natural body oils for the bod? Well, it’s not to say that one day we won’t have an array of products that you can lather all over your body, but for now we can make some recommendations for you.
Natural body oils sold at boutiques and spas aren’t cheap, but they are luxurious and relaxing. They also quench the skin’s thirst in a way that no store-bought lotion or moisturizer ever will, leaving your skin soft to the touch for days. Oprah mentions several natural body oil brands on her site, click here. Most of the brands she recommends are high-end and expensive, making lathering the bod a costly luxury. If you want to bring down the price you may want to consider making a batch yourself.
To start out, all you need is a carrier oil or two, an essential oil or two, and maybe a decorative herb or spice to dress up your bottle.
Let’s look at the carrier oils first.
Carrier Oils for Homemade Body Oils
This is one of the least expensive oils you can use, and it also happens to be one of my favorites. When I make a body oil, I’ll typically use grapeseed oil as at least half of the “base” oil.
Sweet Almond Oil
Another giant favorite of mine, sweet almond oil is more inexpensive than most carrier oils, as well. It’s super light and soaks into your skin rapidly, leaving behind a really silky smooth finish.
Absolutely THE least expensive oil you can include in your homemade body oil recipes, olive oil is beautifying, detoxifying, and fantastic for your skin health. If I’m running low on other oils (or if I’m running low in the bank account), I’ll beef up my oils with olive oil. Feel free to use it as your main body oil, though – just make sure it’s cold pressed or expeller pressed (this is true for any oil you buy) and extra virgin.
Apricot Kernel Oil
I’ll be honest, apricot kernel oil is kind of on my list of “eh” for body oil. It’s better used in facial oils, because it’s a little costly and very delicate. But if you see some at the store – and if it’s on sale – it’s still a good addition to whatever oil mixture you make. It sinks into your skin very quickly and is nicely softening.
Again, a little more costly here, but I do love me some avocado oil. Talk about nourishing! This stuff leaves behind the most silky skin you’ve ever seen. I don’t use much avocado oil in my body oil recipes (maybe a few tablespoons at most), but I do use it constantly to remove eye makeup.
The holy grail of body oils, jojoba’s properties are extremely similar to the oils already present on your skin. This makes it an incredible base for body oil, because it just feels like your skin is ultra hydrated – not at all oily or slick. However, this comes at a price. Jojoba is one of the more expensive carrier oils on the market. However, if cost is no object, make a body oil using only jojoba, a little vitamin E, and some essential oils, and you’ve got yourself some otherworldly skin.
The important thing to remember in making your body oils is that you don’t want it to be overpowering. In fact, too much essential oil (depending on type), and you could irritate the skin.
In a 1-cup carrier oil recipe, I’ll use somewhere in the range of 50 drops of essential oil. It sounds like a lot, but it’s really not. In fact, I just measured it out, and 50 drops of essential oil equals 1/2 tsp almost exactly. The best part about using essential oils is you’re also offering the oil-user (whether it’s you or the gift recipient) a hearty dose of aromatherapy. Here are some essential oils and what they can do for your mood.
- Vanilla: Aphrodisiac, balances mood, reduces stress, relaxes
- Ylang-ylang: Antidepressant, relaxant, aphrodisiac, reduces anger
- Lavender: Reduces stress, invigorates, relaxes, eases tension
- Rose: Elevates mood, aphrodisiac, calms, purifies
- Sweet orange: Sedative, relaxant, relieves anxiety
- Peppermint: Invigorates, energizes, stimulates, awakens the mind, eases nausea
- Lemongrass: Stimulates, antidepressant, deodorant
- Grapefruit: Calms the psyche, relaxes, energizes
- Frankincense: Reduces anxiety and tension, encourages a meditative mind and inner peace
- Bergamot: Eases depression, stimulates, encourages mental clarity
- Cinnamon: Alertness, mental clarity, mood lifting (should be used sparingly, as it can irritate the skin in high doses)
You can mix and match fragrances to your liking. Here’s a nice primer from Aroma Web for blending your own essential oils to create a signature scent:Aromatic Blending of Essential Oils
Natural Body Oils Recipes
Now remember, these are great jumping off points, and you can substitute the essential oils for any others (avoid using high concentrations of cinnamon or eucalyptus essential oils, as they can be irritating to the skin. Each of these recipes will make 1 c. body oil – and that’s actually a whole lot.
Simply Lavender Body Oils
- 1 c. sweet almond oil
- 1/8 c. jojoba oil (optional)
- 40 drops lavender essential oil
- 20 drops vanilla essential oil (optional)
- Sprig of lavender (optional)
Combine all oils in a small glass bottle. Shake well. Add the sprig, if you’d like, for decoration. In lieu of the vanilla essential oil, add a vanilla bean to the bottle instead. It’s a beautiful touch, and it will infuse the vanilla into the oil over time!
Cinnamon Spice Body Oils
- 1/2 c. sweet almond oil
- 1/4 c. jojoba oil
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 15 drops cinnamon essential oil
- 20 drops vanilla essential oil
- 5 drops clove essential oil
- Cinnamon stick (for decoration) (optional)
Combine all oils in a small glass bottle and shake well. Insert the cinnamon stick into the bottle, cap, and you’re done!
Refreshingly Minty Body Oils
- 1 c. grapeseed oil
- 35 drops peppermint essential oil
- 15 drops lemongrass essential oil
- 2 capsules vitamin E (or 1/4 tsp liquid vitamin E)
- Fresh peppermint sprig (for decorative purposes) (optional)
Combine all oils in a small glass bottle. Poke a hole in the vitamin E capsules (or measure out the vitamin E) and pour it into the bottle. Shake well. Add the peppermint sprig, if desired. Alternatively, you could peel a small strip of rind off of a lemon and curl it decoratively, placing it in the bottle instead.