Essential oils are concentrated, highly potent substances. A working knowledge of how to use them safely is vital and should be respected. Knowing how to dilute essential oils properly will help you to use them safely and gain the highest possible therapeutic effects.
Essential oil dilution is a safety precaution for two reasons:
- Helps to avoid irritated skin, sensitivity, photosensitivity and sensitisation
- Helps to avoid systemic toxicity such as neurotoxicity and carcinogenicity. This may not be as obvious as skin reactions
The most effective way to dilute essential oils is in a carrier oil. A carrier can be any high-quality vegetable oil, such as almond, grapeseed, apricot kernel, jojoba, olive or sesame.
Percentage dilution is worked out on the basis that there are 20 drops of essential oils in 1ml. Aromatherapy for home use usually adapts the percentage dilution of between 1.5% and 3%.
Table of Percentage Dilution
Percentage Dilution Number of drops in 10mls of Carrier Oil Number of drops in 50mls of Carrier Oil
|Number of drops in 10mls of Carrier Oil
|Number of drops in 50mls of Carrier Oil
Never put undiluted essential oils on your skin
If you have sensitive skin, essential oils can cause it to become over sensitised. Once you become sensitised, you will probably remain sensitised permanently to that oil and even other similar oils. Don’t take the risk and ensure all your essential oils are diluted before applying to the skin. If you have sensitive skin and are unsure of using any oils, always do a patch test. Always remember, less is more.
Essential oil percentage dilutions given in this article are not intended for use for the following:
- Facial blends
- Body blends for sensitive skin
- Special conditions which need treatment ie pain, inflammation
- Elderly who are weak following illness or on any medication
- Those whose immune system is comprised or other serious health issues
- Essential oils should never used neat on the skin
- Essential oils should never be taken internally
- Essential oils should be stored out of reach of children and pets
- Essential oils are highly inflammable and should be kept away from naked flame and should be stored correctly