The art of diluting essential oils is simple, once you get more familiar with it. Essential oils are very concentrated and potent. For that reason, people mix them in recipes with other ingredients, or combine them with carrier oils. You may hear the use of essential oils which are undiluted referred to as “neat”. Generally, aromatherapists and other essential oil connoisseurs do not recommend that your skin come in direct contact with undiluted or neat essential oils. There are differing opinions on this topic, however.
Let’s assume, for the sake of this piece, that applying essential oils to your skin is okay, as long as you use the correct mixtures such as carrier oils with which to dilute the strength of the essential oils.
Diluting Essential Oils – Why Do It?
As mentioned above, essential oils are exceptionally concentrated. In some cases, when certain individuals have applied full strength undiluted essential oils to their skin, they have experienced skin reactions. Just because something is made from plants, which essential oils are, doesn’t make them okay to ingest or apply (undiluted) to skin. The problem does not lie in the chemical makeup – the problem lies in the fact that it is highly concentrated. Into a single pound of essential oil, huge quantities of plants are used. Some 1500 lemons and 10,000 pounds of rose petals are used for just 250 pounds of lavender essential oils. Professionals are trained to dilute essential oils because of their potency to prevent toxic or adverse reactions.
Just because a plant itself or an herbal extract of a plant is safe, that does not make it safe to apply essential oils from that plant to your skin. What’s in the bottle is more concentrated than the plant by about 50 to 100 times!
Diluting Your Essential Oils
Carrier oils (vegetable oils) are used to dilute essential oils. These are made from the plant’s fatty portion such as the nuts, kernels, or seeds. They differ from mineral oils and other oils because of their purpose. To the skin (for example), they carry the essential oils.
The recommended rule of dilution goes as follows: 30 mL/1 fluid ounce of carrier oil with a dozen drops of your chosen essential oil. This is going to give you about a 2% mixture, which is the recommended dermal maximum amount.
Variations on the above 2% mixture can be as follows:
- A 1 to 4% mixture for body and bath products.
- A 1.5 to 3% mixture for body massage.
- A 0.2 to 1.5% mixture for facial cosmetics.
Types of Carrier Oils
All carrier oils are not created equally. Some of the most common carrier oils include jojoba oil, virgin coconut oil, and sweet almond oil. But carrier oils, in general, do not have the same properties and they do not behave the same way when combined with essential oils.
For example, carrier oils that contain vitamin D can extend the life of the oil because they act as antioxidants.
The opposite effect, however, can be made on essential oils when the carrier oil contains fatty acids. Now your essential oils will age more rapidly and turn rancid quicker.
The amounts of nutrients contained in the specific type of carrier oil differs, as well as their aroma and their viscosity. When selecting your carrier oils, all of these factors should be considered.
Plant Guru carries every essential oil you could possibly need and numerous carrier oils to combine with them. Our products are organic, reasonably priced, and free shipping is always available.