How to dilute essential oils
Dilution of essential oils is a hot topic now a days. Primarily due to lack of knowledge. People who don’t know which oils to use, for what and how to apply them and especially how to dilute essential oils should be informing themselves before purchasing an oil and applying it.
Knowing how to dilute essential oils is important for two different safety reasons as stated by Robert Tisserand (1) who is a well known educator on the science and benefits of essential oils and their safe and effective application.
- To avoid skin irritation, sensitization and phototoxicity
- To avoid systemic toxicity which is not always immediately obvious upon application
This does not mean that every person who uses an undiluted oil will have an adverse reaction but diluting certain oils for topical application will certainly minimize this risk. It is also advisable to dilute the more potent oils and when trying an oil for the first time or when applying to sensitive skin or children.
The standard doTERRA recommended dilution ratio is typically 1 drop of essential oil to three drops of carrier oil. You can prepare the mixture before applying it by mixing the oils in an empty glass bottle or if it’s a single oil you can mix it directly on your hands.
Dilution is done simply by mixing a quantity of essential oil or blend of oils with the correct and safe quantity of a carrier oil. This provides a good medium for the oil to be absorbed into the skin. Its also a good way to make your oils go further so to speak as you can use them to cover large areas of the body like chest or back with the same quantity of essential oil.
There are several factors to consider when diluting an essential oil. Some of these include: age, potency of the essential oil, photosensitivity of the essential oil, health issues, pregnancy or breastfeeding and sensitivity of the skin.
Here are the three main classifications of doTERRA oils for topical use.
- Neat – These can be applied topically without dilution on most people. These oils are mild and generally don’t cause any skin sensitivity. Examples of neat oils would be lavender, frankincense, melaleuca, melissa and sandalwood.
- Dilute – These should always be diluted with a carrier oil before applying topically. These oils are potent and so this application method must be respected. Example of these oils are oregano, clove, cinnamon, thyme and cassia.
- Sensitive – These oils should always be diluted when using on young or sensitive skin. Examples of these oils are peppermint, ginger, eucalyptus, wintergreen and black pepper.
What is a carrier oil?
A carrier oil is a type of vegetable oil that essentially ‘carries’ the oil into the skin. These types of oil usually have the best shelf life. Some of these included coconut, jojoba, grapeseed, olive oil and almond. A super easy way of using diluted essential oils is by mixing them in a 10ml roller bottle following our dilution guidelines. You can buy these roller bottles via your wholesale account or through our shop.
Our recommendation when diluting doTERRA essential oils is to use Fractionated Coconut oil for the following reasons:
- Indefinite shelf life
- Doesn’t get hard so can be mixed in roller bottles for easy application
- Odorless and colorless
- Does not stain
- Absorbs quickly and easily
- Great benefits for the skin and body
How to dilute the oil
- One method of dilution is by pre mixing the carrier oil and the essential oil in a small bowl for example (following the guidelines below) and then applying it.
- Another method would be to mix fractioned coconut oil in a 10ml glass roller bottle with the appropriate amount of essential oils.
* There are many essential oils dilution guidelines available if you google search it, but be wary. Dilution of essential oils that require dilution or are necessary for children, is important.
The chart above was created based on essential oils safety information provided by Robert Tisserand and the Tisserand Institute (2)