I remember when I ordered my first bottles of essential oils. Eager to reap their benefits, which I’d been hearing so much about, I massaged them into my knee. This knee, injured years ago, sometimes hurts.
So I figured these aromatic oils, which contain natural anti-inflammatory compounds, as well as natural analgesic agents, would dull the pain.
Next, I opened a few of my essential oils and held them over my knee. I poured about 10 drops from each bottle and rubbed them into my skin.
Why Do You Need to Dilute Essential Oils
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At the time, little did I know that this was a really bad idea. Essential oils are incredibly strong. So you need to use them sparingly. The more I learn about these amazing natural remedies, the greater appreciation I have for their strength. I’ve come to understand that less is more. And that aromatic oils can do their job in relatively small quantities.
I’ve also learned that essential oil carrier oils are vitally important, for several reasons. Diluting essential oils in a carrier protects your skin. Also, for reasons I’ll explain in a minute, using a carrier makes it more likely your essential oils travel into your body.
How to Dilute Essential Oils for Skin
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad information on how to use essentials. I was swept up. A few years ago, after seeing so many beautiful essential oil images on various social media platforms, I knew I needed to own a collection.
However, even after I bought them, I didn’t know how to use them. I put them on my skin directly. Also, I’d put them in water or add a few drops to my tea. This was really stupid. No one should take aromatic products internally, unless they’re working with a qualified professional. This could mean a medical doctor or an aromatherapist with expertise on using essential oils this way.
Why You Need to Use Carrier Oils
Swayed by the abundance of bad essential oil advice, I continued to put these aromatics on my skin, straight from the bottle. The good news is nothing bad happened. My skin isn’t sensitive. So the oils didn’t irritate it. I also didn’t develop a sensitivity, which, I’ve heard is a real risk, especially if essential oils are used the wrong way.
Since then, I’ve developed a much greater respect for both essential oils as well as for carrier oils. I now know that aromatic oils evaporate fast. If you put them directly on your skin, they may be gone before they’re absorbed. However, the carrier oil is a stabilizer. The term “carrier” has a literal meaning. It helps “carry” the oils into your system. So, if you’re using essential oils topically, carriers are just as important as the aromatic itself.
Carrier oils also have certain therapeutic properties. For instance, sweet almond oil and grapeseed oil are often used as skin conditioners and wrinkle fighters.
How to Dilute Essential Oils With a Carrier Oil
Now I know that you only need to put a tiny amount of essential oil into a carrier oil. When I researched the proper dilution ratio, I thought it might have been a mistake. But it wasn’t. One widely cited recommendation is to put two or three drops of aromatic oil in one teaspoon of carrier oil.
One of the best resources I’ve found for safe essential oil dilutions is Plant Therapy. I have immense respect for this family-run business, located in Idaho. (This is also where I’ve purchased a lot of my own oils.) It puts out clear and straightforward information on essential oil safety, including the fact you just need a little aromatic for therapeutic purposes. Plant Therapy stresses this, despite the fact it means its customers probably won’t be buying as much of their products, since they won’t be using them as quickly.
I absolutely love these oils, which aren’t sold through multilevel marketing networks. They are tested twice for purity. One test is run by an independent party. I’ve been using Plant Therapy oils for years. Peppermint oil was the first bottle of Plant Therapy oil I purchased.
How to Dilute Concentrated Essential Oils
Essential oils are highly concentrated. That’s why so little is needed. There are different dilutions for different situations, according to the Plant Therapy website. Out of all the aromatherapy resources on the Internet, I believe Plant Therapy among the most trustworthy. This company has a line of essential oils formulated for children. These were developed with world famous essential oil safety expert Robert Tisserand.
Plant Therapy has published a chart on its site. I wish it were easier to read, and all of the conversions were in teaspoons instead of using the metric system. However, I could glean that for most instances, a 2 percent dilution is suitable. In layman’s terms, this is three drops of essential oil to one teaspoon of carrier oil. However, this would be reduced for children and the elderly, or if you planned to use essential oils on a large area of your body.
There might be times an adult could use a stronger dilution, between 5 to 10 percent, according to the information on this page. However, this should only be done for a short period of time.
How to Dilute Essential Oils for Use On Face
The Plant Therapy site says to use a lower dilution (1 percent) if you’re adding essential oils to a homemade facial solution. That’s partly because you’ll probably be using it on a daily basis. One of the things I love so much about my essential oils is that you can use them to make DIY cosmetics.
I often use use essential oils on my face. (I’ve thrown away all of my chemical-based skin creams, and I don’t miss them at all. For me, plant-based products work much better.) Sometimes I’ll use just plain rosehip seed oil on my skin. But most of the time I add something else, such as palmarosa essential oil. Lavender essential oil is another of my favorites. I use this if I’ve been out in the sun too long, or if I have a blemish.
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 unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.