You should never add essential oil to carrier oil – for measuring, always add the EO to your container first, then add the carrier. Unless you’re measuring by weight, that is – but since most folks measure in drops, it’s important to add them in the right order so the amounts are more accurate. If you’re making a 10% rollerball, you’ll need nine ml of carrier to one ml of oil, or about 20 drops. If you add the EO first, then top off the roller, you’ve got ten total ml. If you add the carrier first, unless you’ve got measurement markings you could end up with more carrier than you need.
How much essential oil should you add to a carrier oil? The answer might surprise you.
There’s a lot of misinformation about the right way to use essential oils. Some of this is potentially dangerous.
Aromatherapy is very safe, when used as directed. But, because essential oils are so strong, you can’t put them directly on your skin. First, they need to be mixed with a carrier oil.
If you don’t use a carrier oil, it’s possible nothing will happen. But you raise the risk of becoming sensitized to an aromatic oil. That means you probably won’t be able to use it again.
Also, some essential oils have the potential to burn your skin, if you don’t use a carrier oil.
Why Do You Need a Carrier Oil?
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One of the most popular carriers is fractionated coconut oil. This lighter type of coconut oil helps “carry” the medicinal compounds into your body. (Carrier oils are named for a reason.)
Also, carriers have their own potential benefits. Most of them are very good for your skin. For instance, if you have dry skin, you may want to mix your essential oils with pure natural avocado oil. This is one of my favorite carriers. I like to use on my face in cold weather. (Thanks to carrier oils, I’ve been able to replace my chemical moisturizer with plant-based substitutes.)
How Much Essential Oil to Add To a Carrier Oil
If you’ve seen suggestions, on social media, to put undiluted essential oils directly on your skin, please understand this isn’t what professional aromatherapists recommend.
Instead, you need to use a carrier oil if you plan to use essential oils for massage. A standard dilution is 2 percent. This equals about 3 drops of essential oil to a teaspoon of carrier.
This might be a little lower dilution than some other recommendations. But I’m going with it. I defer to Plant Therapy for essential oil safety. What you see on this page are the Plant Therapy guidelines. Because I’m writing for a wide audience, I have to go with the ratio that’s the most safe, taking into account that some people are more sensitive than others to essential oils. All I can say is, “When in doubt, use less.”
How Much Essential Oil to Add to a Carrier Oil For Skin
I know this doesn’t sound like much. But I’ve noticed my essential oils are still strong, even when diluted. You’d need to use a 1 percent dilution if you plan to use this mixture on your face, or on a large area of your body. Children and the elderly also need a weaker dilution.
Most essential oils are safe to use on children aged 2 and older. If parents are reading this, I like to steer them to KidSafe essential oils, just to be on the safe side. Plant Therapy, a trusted aromatherapy supplier, is where I get a lot of my own oils. You can see some selections from its KidSafe line below. (These oils can also be used by adults.)
Plant Therapy Germ DestroyerPlant Therapy Nighty NightPlant Therapy Tummy Blend
Carrier Oil Essential Oil Ratio
Using essential oils judiciously is something I’ve written about before. But I think it bears repeating. It was a message I didn’t get before I purchased my first bottles of essential oil. I proceeded to put them full strength on my sore knee. Now, I’m horrified that I did this.
Essential oils are so concentrated that it’s been said that just one drop of peppermint essential oil is the therapeutic equivalent of 15 to 70 cups of peppermint tea. So they’re very strong. The longer I use them, the more respect I have for their potency.
I use essential every day. I use them for pain relief, to help me focus and to life my mood. I put them in my homemade cosmetics. That’s because certain oils, such as frankincense oil and lavender essential oil are considered good natural wrinkle fighters. Aromatic oils are also good for cleaning and pest control. So I’m careful about not putting them directly on my body, because I don’t want to become sensitized.
Essential Oils Carrier Oils Blend Ratio
I buy a lot of my essential oils from Plant Therapy because I trust this company. It’s so important to do your research before buying essential oils, so you can avoid a number of pitfalls.
One is essential oil fraud. This is a serious problem. Essential oils are very popular and the scammers know it. If you don’t buy from a reputable company, you potentially run the risk of compromised purity.
Also, some aromatherapy companies must mark their oils up because they’re sold through multilevel marketing reps. (Someone has to pay these commissions.) So I prefer to buy from a company with a more direct sales model.
Also, I have brand loyalty to Plant Therapy. That’s because it tells you the straight story. Essential oils must be very diluted before they’re put on your skin. One of the best resources for calculating the correct dilution ratio is the Plant Therapy dilution chart.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils.
For More Reading
Why You Shouldn’t Ingest Essential Oils
When It’s Dangerous To Use Essential Oils
National Center for Holistic Aromatherapy Dilution Recommendations