Tips n Tricks – How to Dilute Essential Oils

dilution chartEssential oils should be diluted before using them! There are a few reasons we should do this…

1. Essential oils are extremely potent and concentrated!

Think of it this way… 1 drop of peppermint essential oil is like drinking 20-something bags of peppermint tea. The essential oil is way, way more concentrated than the dried herb. You probably wouldn’t drink that much tea, so why use that much oil?

There ARE times when you may choose to use an oil undiluted (neat, as it’s called), but that should not be on a daily basis. See more about dilution ratios and applications below.

2. Cost-effectiveness

We tend to live in a culture where we think, “If a little bit was good, MORE must be even BETTER!” That is not the case with essential oils. They are just as effective when they are diluted! Promise. So this means you can save money by not having to use so much of your precious essential oil.

3. Environment & sustainability

It takes pounds and pounds, sometimes hundreds or thousands of pounds, of various plant material to make essential oils. For example, it can take 30 lbs of lavender flowers to make just 15mL (250 drops) of lavender essential oil. Lavender is one of the most common and versatile essential oils, and my favorite supplier has been known to sell up to 1 million bottles of it in a single month. That is a lot of lavender, you guys!! Let’s be gentle with our planet and use these natural gifts responsibly.

So, how do I dilute my essential oils?

You are going to want to have a few supplies on hand. I like to buy empty roller bottles (the 5mL and the 10mL size are great for most of my needs), pipettes, and labels. I buy carrier oils such as jojoba, almond, or sesame oil from Aromatics International or Mountain Rose Herbs. You’ll want to have some small 1-ounce or 2-ounce glass vials or jars available for blending as well. I have found those on Aromatics International.

Into the 1 or 2 ounce jar, you will add:

1 ounce carrier oil (whichever oil you are choosing to use, this is where you get to play and see what you like best!) + however many drops of essential oil you are adding. Look at the chart above to see if you need a 1%, 2%, or 3% dilution.

Once your essential oil is mixed with the carrier oil, you can use a pipette to transfer the blend into a rollerball for easy use.

1% is best for children, the elderly, animals (although you cannot use all essential oils on animals so please do your research there), or anyone with sensitive skin.

If you already know you have sensitive skin – dilute!!

1-2% is best for regular, everyday use. For example I love to apply some Clary Sage essential oil to my 3rd eye chakra before I meditate. Clary Sage is the Oil of Clarity and Vision. Perfect for the 3rd eye chakra, right? I use this frequently, so I definitely want to be using a very diluted amount.

3% dilution can be used when you need something a bit stronger or have a more acute issue. For example, perhaps you occasionally experience some head tension and would like to use an essential oil that can soothe that. Or maybe you are clumsy like me and walk into chairs for no apparent reason, and would like to use an essential oil that can provide comfort and relief to those resultingly tender areas.

In some cases essential oils can be used in up to a 25% dilution, or even neat (completely undiluted), but for most people and most applications, a 1-3% dilution is what you’ll use most of the time.

So there you go, pretty easy peasy, huh? If you’d like to learn more about how to use essential oils,  contact me, I can help you learn!