Whether you’re just starting out using essential oils or you’ve been around for awhile, you may have (and should have) heard that it is a good idea to dilute your oils. Sometimes people will even say to “heavily dilute” your oils. What exactly does this mean and why would you want to dilute?
Some reasons to dilute your oils include:
- Reduce chance of sensitization: Sensitization occurs when a person is overexposed to a particular substance. This may start out with a simple rash and can progress into life-threatening anaphylaxis (a full-body reaction that makes breathing difficult and can lead to death). While this could happen at the first exposure to a substance, it most likely occurs over time with prolonged and/or overexposure. Using essential oils neat (undiluted) greatly increases this risk.
- Reduce chance of irritant contact dermatitis (ICD): ICD is a localized reaction to a particular substance. The affected area may become red or inflamed, itchy, discolored or blistered. This is more likely to occur when the highly concentrated essential oil is used neat (undiluted).
- Save Money: Let’s face it: essential oils are expensive! Diluting oils saves you money. Carrier oils tend to be much less expensive than essential oils. Consider that 4 oz of jojoba oil could cost as much as $20, while the same $20 will get you less than 1 oz of lavender essential oil. Save even more money by using even less expensive carrier oils such as olive oil or fractionated coconut oil.
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Dilution is an important thing to understand when creating blends with essential oils. There are several factors to consider, however there are some basic guidelines that are a great place to start.
|Dilution %||Used For:|
|1%||Children over 2 years old, Elderly, or Immunocompromised|
|3%||Acute use: Short term and small area.|
Other things to consider regarding choosing a dilution include:
- Maximum dermal use percentage (For example with a phototoxic oil, to avoid a phototoxic reaction)
- Misc. safety considerations for each essential oil (refer to Essential Oil Safety Second Edition by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young)
- General health of intended user
- Medications being taken by the user (check for possible interactions and contraindications)
- Oxidation level of of essential oil (it is NOT recommended to use oils that have become oxidized as they can cause irritant contact dermatitis)
Please keep in mind that the above quick dilution guide is an extremely simplified guide to figuring out how much essential oils to include in your blends. If you are considering using a blend that falls outside of these basic parameters, I recommend that you find a qualified aromatherapist to help you to figure out the best blend for your individual circumstance.
Okay, so now you know that you should dilute and even how much to dilute, but how in the world do you figure out how many drops to use to get the desired dilution? I’ve created some calculators to help you to figure out just that. I was tired of trying to do the math every time and wanted something that would just do it for me. I decided to create something that I can go back to again and again and am sharing it here with you. This is going to forever change how you use essential oils by making it easy to get dilutions just right!
Bookmark this page and come back whenever you need to figure out how many drops to put into your blend. You can also use this page to find out what the dilution percentage is for a recipe you found somewhere. If the dilution of a recipe is too high, you can use these calculators to get it back down to a safe level.
What do you think? Will this help you with figuring out dilutions for your blends? If you have any suggestions for another calculator, I’d love to hear about it!
While we’re talking about essential oils, did you know that I’ve interviewed over 20 essential oil companies? Find out what companies I’ve already posted and sign up to have Marvy Moms updates sent to your inbox to be sure you see all the essential oil company profiles as I post them!
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Only you and your qualified healthcare provider can decide the best treatment for your individual circumstances and condition(s). Please contact them for guidance. Read Marvy Moms full disclaimer for more information.
EO Dilution Calculator is now available as an app
UPDATE: The EO Dilution Calculator is now available as an app. Learn more and download the app to your device.