Those who are new to using essential oils sometimes question the importance of dilution. They point out that if over 90 percent of the substance evaporates after being applied to the skin, what does it matter? The short answer is a lot. Below are some reasons why essential oil dilution should never be taken for granted.
Undiluted Essential Oil Can Cause Sensitization
The symptoms which are associated with sensitization may vary from one person to another, but the outcome is always unpleasant. At best, you will develop a rash which is painful or itchy. At worse you may develop respiratory problems or possibly anaphylactic shock. Those who develop sensitization for an essential oil will usually remain that way permanently, even if you try diluting it in future attempts. You could also potentially develop adverse reactions to oils you haven’t even tried.
Essential Oils Are Similar To Medicine And Should Be Handled Accordingly
Just as medications have rules and guidelines as to how they should be used; the same applies to essential oils. Undiluted oils tend to be concentrated, so much so that applying them directly to the skin can result in an adverse reaction. Each essential oil is also unique with some being photosensitive which means after applying them to the skin (citrus for example) you don’t want to go out into the sun.
You need to do your homework before using essential oils. While some are safe for kids, others are less so. Understanding the dos and don’ts of the oils you’ve purchase will prevent you from using it in a manner which is hazardous. At minimum, all oils should be diluted before use. It may seem like a hassle, but developing an agonizing skin reaction will be more so. Just because you’ve used oil many times undiluted and haven’t had an issue doesn’t mean one won’t occur.
How Essential Oils Should Be Diluted
As a general rule of thumb you will want to dilute most essential oils by approximately 2 percent. For children or the elderly essential oils should be diluted further, by about 50 percent. Before using oil on a child it is critical to do research on the oil to ensure it is safe for them. Thanks to the internet there are a variety of websites and sources where you can quickly look up various oils to determine their properties and characteristics.
A lot of people are used to commercial products which are strongly scented and full of synthetic ingredients. As such a dilution of two percent might not seem very effective, at least initially. However, over time you will develop a taste for it as your body and skin adjusts to the new blend. The simplest way to dilute and work with oils is to use a dropper. However, one drop of oil may not be the equivalent of others due to viscosity and the size of the dropper, but it will suffice for smaller blends that will be applied topically.