How To Dilute Essential Oils

How To Dilute Essential Oils

There's no doubt about it: essential oils are fantastic tools in your holistic health toolkit.

However, just because they're natural, doesn't mean they're automatically safe for use exactly as they are! While using essential oils for inhalation aromatherapy is ok straight from the bottle (ultimate quick-fix: open a bottle and breaaattheee), when it comes to topical application (ie. applying essential oils to your skin), they need to be appropriately diluted first.

How do I dilute essential oils?

Essential oils are diluted by adding them to a carrier (also often referred to as a "base") oil. There are plenty of different carrier oils available, and luckily, they also have their own benefits for your skin - yay! Not only do carrier oils make essential oils safer for topical use, they also actually make essential oils easier to apply, and can also help with absorption. Carrier oils include the ones we stock, such as Jojoba, Sweet Almond & Apricot Kernel oil, but other oils such as olive oil are fine to use too.

How do I know which carrier oil to use?

We recommend you do a bit of research on the different characteristics and benefits of each oil in regards to what you're wanting to use your oil blend for, and go from there. Carrier oils will vary in absorption rate, viscosity and texture, colour, and even smell - so each are better suited for different uses. For example, you may want a lighter, fast absorbing oil such as Jojoba for facial oil, or a slightly thicker oil with a medium absorption rate such as Sweet Almond for massage oil blends.  It's really down to personal preference and intended use.

I've got my essential & carrier oils... now what?

Once you have all your ingredients together, you need to work out quantities; in order to do this, you need to work out 

a) how many mls you want to make (in total)

b) what dilution your want your oil blend (ie. how potent*)

*when it comes to essential oils, more is not always more! Start with the lowest dilution, then increase if you feel it's needed. 

As a general rule of thumb, when using for adults, for facial oils/masks, a dilution of 1% or less is recommended; for massage oil blends & other full-body stay-on oils, a dilution of 2% or less; and for bath products that are rinsed off after application, a dilution of 3% or less is recommended. We don't recommend going above a 5% dilution for topical application.

Once you've worked out how many mls total your oil blend will be, and at which dilution, you can then work out how many drops of essential oil you'll need. We've made a handy guide chart below, but it can also be downloaded (free) here

When filling your bottle, roller or container, we recommended dropping your essential oil in first, then topping up with your carrier oil. This will help you avoid accidentally over-filling your container and wasting any oil.

Note: If you are wanting to use two or more types of essential oil, it's important to not exceed the total number of drops.  For example, if you wanted to make a 20ml bottle at 1% dilution using Lavender & Frankincense essential oil, you would add 2 drops of Lavender and 2 drops of Frankincense - or whichever ratio you prefer, as long as the total number of drops doesn't go over the amount needed to maintain your chosen dilution.

What else do I need to know?

This is a guideline only: you will need to do your own research on your chosen essential oils before choosing dilutions or applications. For example, some essential oils such as Bergamot are phototoxic (meaning it can cause the skin to become susceptible to damage or irritation when exposed to ultraviolet light), and therefore aren't suitable to be used on skin that will soon be out in the sun.

In saying that, it's incredibly rewarding to use essential oils to make your own skin and soul care - as long as you do it safely. If you have any questions or need some guidance, feel free to get in touch. We're happy to help!

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