Puzzled by Essential Oil Dilution?
When I first began learning to use essential oils years ago, how to dilute essential oils puzzled me. For starters living in the United States we typically use ounces to measure liquids. Yet essentials oils are sold by milliliters.
Secondly, dilution charts always mention percentages but often don’t include who those percentages are safe for.
So, I put together this essential oil dilution guide to help you solve the puzzle! Pin now to come back to later, if you’re not ready to solve the puzzle now.
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Why Dilute Essential Oils?
Due to their high concentration, essential oils need to be properly diluted with water, body butter, carrier oils, or hydrosols before applying to the skin.
Diluting essential oils decreases the chance of skin irritation or sensitivity.
Why would essential oils cause skin irritation?
It all comes down to “neat” and “hot”. You see some essential oils are “neat” which means they can be
While others such as cinnamon and oregano are “hot” essential oils that need to be diluted before applying to the skin.
Luckily some companies include dilution instructions for essential oils typically applied to the skin right on the label, like Young Living!
What’s the simplest way to dilute essential oils?
Simply add a carrier to an essential oil before applying it to the skin. This spreads the carrier oil across the surface of the skin while slowing down the evaporation.
And carrier oils are the easiest way to do just that!
What is a carrier oil?
A carrier oil is a base oil used to dilute essential oils and absolutes before they are applied to the skin.
They earned their namesake because they carry the essential oil onto the skin.
There are a variety of natural carrier oils available. And each can make a big impact on the health and condition of your skin. Carrier oils are packed with vitamins and antioxidants essential for healthy skin.
Common Carrier Oils Include:
Essential Oil Dilution FAQS
- Essential oils do not become less effective when diluted
- “Neat” oils can be diluted too without affecting their benefits
- Diluting essential oils with a carrier oil slows the absorption into the skin allowing for a longer lasting effect
- 1 drop of essential oil goes a long way
How to Dilute Essential Oils
Knowing how to dilute essential oils is key to truly enjoying them and reaping their benefits.
Use this essential dilution to chart to confidently start diluting essential oils. I find it helpful to print and use a reference when I’m making roller bottles or other topical essential oil products.
Print a full letter size essential oil dilution chart from the Oily Chic Library or pin this one to refer to on your phone.
Essential Oil Dilution based on a common 10 ml bottle:
- 1 DROP = 0.5% – recommended for infants
- 2 DROPS = 1% – recommended for pregnancy, children, and sensitive skin
- 4 DROPS = 2% – recommended for common daily use
- 10 DROPS = 5% – recommended for non sensitive, short term use
Safety 1st Essential Oil Dilution Guide:
- It’s is best to start with the lowest dilution rate possible when applying an essential oil for the first time, you can always increase the percentage up to 5% over time.
- When applying a new essential oil to the skin a skin patch test can be helpful. To do so add one drop of essential oil to a cotton ball. Swipe it on the inside of your arm if redness, inflammation, or itchiness occurs within 15 to 20 minutes you may be sensitive to it.
- If an essential oil is “neat” you may want to dilute it for children, during pregnancy, or for those with sensitive skin.
- Some herbalist and aromatherapists may recommend diluting further – adding more carrier oil is always O.K.
You May Also Like: Kid Safe Essential Oils
One of my favorite ways to use essential oil is by making roller bottles. You can use the essential oil dilution chart above to fill bottles with a single oil or a blend of oils. Find so of Oily Chic’s favorite roller bottle blends here.