Massage melts are a unique body product because they stay solid at room temperatures, but when applied directly to your skin, start to soften and melt due to body temperature. Their main purpose is to moisturize dry skin, as well as, relax and soothe tight muscles.
Essentially, massage bars are composed of natural butters and oils. Most recipes for this type of product call for the use of cocoa butter. Even though it has great moisturizing properties, I feel this butter produces too hard a product. Therefore, I recommend using such butters as shea and mango, which create a silkier, luxurious feeling to your melts.
For oils, I highly recommend using sweet almond and jojoba. Sweet almond oil is light and penetrates easily making it well-suited for dry skin conditions. Plus, it is effective on all skin types. Jojoba oil, which is not actually an oil but is a liquid wax, is similar in composition to the oil your skin secretes, which is known as sebum. Jojoba is a quickly absorbed oil that soothes the skin, as well as, extends the shelf life of other oils.
Other “light” oils you can substitute, for the above, are apricot kernel, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower, or soybean. Rounding out the rest of the ingredients are beeswax, vitamin E, and essential and fragrance oils.
Beeswax helps formulations keep their shape, as well as, act as a humectant. Vitamin E oil protects your product from rancidity and is also a great natural antioxidant. Essential oils are natural ingredients that are the very essence of the plant itself.
Extracted from the flowers, fruit, leaves, bark, and roots of the plant, the oils are used for scent and therapeutic purposes. A word of caution, due to their volatility, research any essential oil before use. Fragrance oils, though synthetic in nature, do provide an inexpensive and easy way to achieve a scent that might not be possible with essential oils.
- 3 ½ oz. of shea butter
- 3 ½ oz. of beeswax
- 2 oz. of jojoba oil
- 2 oz. of sweet almond oil
- ¼ tsp. of Vitamin E
Mold(s) of your choice
1 digital cooking thermometer
2 Pyrex glass measuring cups
1 small digital postal scale
1 set of measuring aluminum spoons
Wax paper for measuring on the scale
Plastic wrap to cover Pyrex cups
Step 1: Gather all equipment onto a clean, sterile surface. Place a sheet of wax paper over the small digital postal scale to measure out the shea butter and beeswax base. Place base in a Pyrex cup and cover with plastic wrap. Melt ingredients, completely, in the microwave.
Step 2: While the base is melting, use the second Pyrex cup for your jojoba, sweet almond, vitamin E, and essential/fragrance oils (if used). Mix, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.
Step 3: Once the base has melted, mix thoroughly. Pour the Pyrex cup from step 2 into the base Pyrex cup, mix together, and pour into your mold(s). Set aside for a couple of hours to cool and set. When soft, transfer the melts to the fridge until they are really hard. They should just pop out of the molds easily. Massage into skin and let product become absorbed. Due to melting properties, keep unused portions out of direct sunlight and store in a cool place.
Note: If you plan on using essential and/or fragrance oils in your recipe, place a digital thermometer in the melted shea butter and beeswax base. Wait for the temperature to drop down to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything higher will burn off the fragrant oils. After the temperature has reached this point immediately dump your Pyrex cup from step 2 into the Pyrex cup with the base, mix quickly, and pour into your mold(s). Follow the rest of step 3 instructions.
Muscle Relief Essential Oil Blend
- ½ tsp. of Eucalyptus
- ½ tsp. of Peppermint (do not use if pregnant)
- 30 drops of Rosemary
Tropical Fragrance Oil Blend (Substitute shea butter with mango butter)
- ½ tsp of Heliotrope fragrance oil
- ¼ tsp of Coconut Milk fragrance oil
- 30-50 drops of Tahitian Vanilla fragrance oil
Photo. Tabitha Mort