How to Properly Dilute Essential Oils with Carrier Oils: A Complete List

When it comes to applying Essential Oils (EO), things can get pretty confusing. Everywhere you look, someone is telling you something different. Its hard to really know how much to apply or how much of a carrier oils (CO) to use.

I want to break it down for you. So that we all may have a better understanding of what we are actually doing with these oils.

We can start with, What is a Carrier Oil? A carrier oil, or a CO, is simply a seed oil, that is preferably organic and cold pressed. Examples of these would be, olive oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc. The purpose, is to dilute the highly concentrated essential oil before you apply it to you skin. Not all essential oils need to be diluted, but we will get more into that later on.

Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils are highly concentrated. What do I mean? According to the Essential Oils Reference Guide book, (p.1) it takes 5,000 lbs. of rose petals to produce 1 kilo of rose oil. Making these oils, very potent and powerful indeed.

Why is it important to choose only Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils? Adulterated and mislabeled oils present a danger to consumers. Today, most Lavender oil sold in America is actually a hybrid called “Lavandin” and then sold as Lavender. It is typically mixed with synthetic chemicals to give it a more fragrant or “perfume” like scent.

Properly distilled Lavender is a very soft fragrance. Nothing similar to what you would find in a market perfume. Sadly, misled consumers are happy to purchase this at $7 or $10 per half ounce. Blissfully unaware that it could be potentially be more harmful to them.

Adulterated oils mixed with synthetic chemicals extenders, can cause a series of health concerns. Including, rashes, burns, skin irritations, and even allergic reactions. Besides being completely devoid of any therapeutic qualities.

How do you know if you have a “real” high quality essential oil? Chapter 4 in the Essential Oils Reference Guide Book, provides a detailed list of questions to ask your supplier. Start by asking:

  • Does your supplier grow and distill organically grown herbs?
  • Are the distillation facilities part of the farm, where the herbs grow so they are freshly distilled, or do they wait days to be processed and lose potency?
  • How is the distillation process preformed? Is it done with low pressure and low temperature to preserve the chemical constitute of the oils?
  • How long has your supplier been in business?
  • Also look for bottle labels to have the common name of the actual plant such as, Lemon (Citrus Lemon) or Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) 

You want to be sure that what you are absorbing to your body, or inhaling into your lungs is 100% therapeutic quality. No exceptions. No excuses. If you are unsure, I highly recommend finding out. If that information is not readily available, I would second guess using their products until you know for sure.

You do not want to take chances with something that is supposed to provide health benefits. Only to find out later down the road, it has caused more concerns then it has helped. Know your oils. Be confident in what you are using and sharing with others.

Now I want to share with you a complete list of oils that are broken down by the necessary dilution requirements. Some oils can be applied neat, meaning they do not require any carrier oil.  And are also considered safe to apply on children 2 and up, as such. (children under 2, should always use a carrier oil with application, at least 1 -2 drops per tsp) While with other oils, it is recommended that you use a carrier oil with every application. As they can be more sensitive when being applied directly to the skin. These too can be applied to children safely, but will require the oil to be additionally diluted.

According to the Essential Oils Reference Guide book, children 2 and over can safely use oils up to 15 drops per ounce. There are exactly 2 tablespoons, in one ounce. So, I did the math and that comes down to about 7-8 drops per Tbsp and roughly 2-3 drops per tsp. Children over 6 are considered to able to use oils just like adults, with caution. Always, always, always start with the proper dilutions on children, and see how it effects them before continuing.

With that said, the following is the complete list of oils and their suggested dilution rates.

These oils may be applied neat, or with a carrier oil of your choosing. Should you decide to use a carrier oil, it wouldn’t require much. Use only as much as you would need to cover the area in which you wish to use it. The CO, will not take away from the benefit of the actual Oil itself. As it simply allows the oil to be spread further and use it more sparingly.

Biblical Sweet Myrrh, Blue Cypress, Blue Tansy, Cedarwood, Cistus, Copaiba, Elemi, Frankincense, Geranium, German Chamomile, Helichrysum, Idaho Tansy, Ishpingo, Jasmine, Lavindin, Lavender, Ledum, Manuka, Melissa, Myrrh, Neroli, Patchouli, Ravintsara, Roman Chamomile, Rose, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Spikenard, Valerian, Vanilla, Vetiver & Yarrow.

These oils should be used with a carrier oil, but only at 50/50, or 1:1. As they are considered to be slightly more sensitive to the skin. This is solely based on your skins sensitivity. Some people may enjoy the benefits of applying these neat. They won’t hurt you, or damage the skin. But, some people simply find that these oils make their skin more sensitive. I always recommend starting with a CO and go from there.

Amazonian Ylang Ylang, Angelica, Anise, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Calamus, Canadian Fleabane, Cardamom, Carrot Seed, Celery Seed, Citronella, Citrus Hystrix, Clary Sage, Coriander, Cypress, Davana, Dill, Dorado Azul, Douglas Fir, Eucalyptus Blue, Eucalyptus Citriodora, Eucalyptus Dives, Eucalyptus Globulus, Eucalyptus Polybractea, Eucalyptus Radiata, Eucalyptus Stigeriana, Fennel, Galbanum, Ginger, Goldenrod, Grapefruit, Hinoki, Hong Kuai, Hyssop, Idaho Balmn Fir, Idaho Blue Spruce, Idaho Ponderosa Pine, Juniper, Laurus Nobilis, Lemon, Lime, Manderin, Marjoram, Mastrante, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree), Melaleuca Cajuput, Melaleuca Ericifolia, Melaleuca Quinquenervia, Micromeria, Mugwort, Myrtle, Nutmeg, Ocotea, Orange, Palmarosa, Palo Santo, Peppermint, Pine, Plectranthus Oregano, Rosemary, Roesmary Cineol, Ruta, Sage, Spanish Sage, Spearmint, Spruce, Tangerine, Tarragon, Tsuga, Vitex, Western Red Cedar, White fir, White Lotus, Wintergreen, Xiang Mao, Ylang Ylang, Yuzu.

While other oils, require a bit more dilution. These oils should be diluted 20/80 or 1:4. As these are considered “hot” and some could cause sever skin reddening. With the exception of the bottoms of your feet. These can be applied directly without irritation, as needed.

Basil, Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Cumin, Lemongrass, Lemon Myrtle, Mountain Savory, Oregano, and Thyme.

Keep in mind, you should also consider diluting any blends that contain any of the aforementioned oils, where a carrier oil is recommended.  A good rule of thumb is to check the oils components for each blend and base your dilution off of what you see listed.

For instance, Thieves contains, clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus radiata & rosemary cineol. At least two of the oils listed are considered “hot”. If you plan on applying it anywhere on your body, other then your feet. You should start with the minimum of 1:4.  If you find that the oil is still too “hot”you can apply more of the CO directly to the skin, to dilute the effects. As mentioned before, it will not take away from the effect of the actual EO. It merely soothes the irritation on the skin instantly. However, if you find that the oil doesn’t bother your skin at all, then you can adjust it as necessary and go from there.

Don’t be afraid to play around with application or dilution as you gain more confidence in using your oils. Everybody is different, as is every body. What works for someone else may not work for you. Just as food affects people in different ways, so do oils. Always do what works for you. And feel free to experiment with the healing gift, that is essential oils.









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