To Dilute or Not to Dilute?

Oil drop diluteTo Dilute or Not to Dilute?  That is the Question.

That is the question frequently for everyone who uses essential oils, but we need to understand how and why we dilute essential oils to know when it is appropriate to do so.


Reasons to Dilute

  1. To reduce evaporation- essential oils will actually penetrate into the skin better when mixed with a carrier oil than when applied neat
  2. To reduce sensitivity issues- a carrier oil can help reduce the chances of a hypersensitive reaction for people with sensitive skin, children or for use with ‘hot’ oils
  3. To increase coverage- by mixing essential oils with a carrier oil a few drops of oils will go farther and allow application over a larger area of the body
  4. To reduce the amount of essential oil used- carrier oils are much less expensive than essential oils, so if the oil is effective with dilution it can save the amount of essential oils you actually use

How do you know how much to dilute?

  • For adults, an equal ratio of 1 drop of essential oil to 1 drop of carrier oil is recommended
  • For children, a ratio of 1 drop of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of of carrier oil is recommended

We use fractionated coconut oil, as most of the major oil companies recommend and sell. While coconut oil is usually solid at room temperature, fractionated coconut oil has been modified to allow it to remain liquid without adding extra ingredients. It is odorless, absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue, and has the added benefit of an SPF of 8. Who knew?

I suggest mixing your oils and carrier oils in spray or roller bottles, depending on how you will use the mixture.  These can be purchased from a wide variety of companies online. You can also save used essential oil bottles to make mixtures in as well.

Here are a few more things to remember when using oils topically:

  • Citrus oils are photosensitive, meaning that exposure to sunlight and other UV radiation should be avoided for 12 hours after applying oils to the skin.
  • More is not better! Essential oils are potent, so always start with just a few drops. You can always add more drops later.
  • If you’re unsure about your sensitivity to an essential oil, apply 1-2 drops to a small area of the skin first, then wait 2-3 hours to be sure no sensitivity has occurred. If you find that you are sensitive, dilute with a carrier oil. You can use roller bottles or spray bottle to mix essential oils and carrier oils for topical use.

Terms you need to know:

  • Applied Neat- This means that the essential oil is applied directly onto the skin with no dilution
  • Carrier oil- Any oil that is mixed with essential oils- we recommend fractionated coconut oil, which is a liquid at room temperature, won’t go bad like vegetable oils, and leaves your skin feeling smooth rather than slimey
  • Hot oils- These are oils that feel hot when applied and typically need to be diluted because they are very strong, such as oregano and cinnamon.


Do you have questions or comments about this blog? Would you like to find out more about purchasing essential oils for yourself? Click here or complete the form on the right side of this page and I’d be happy to help you!

*These claims have not be evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have serious health concerns, consult a doctor- and bring your oils with you! You never know which doctors will be willing to help you take a more natural approach to health care!

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