how to properly dilute essential oils

Are you one of those who apply essential oils neat or undiluted? If so, let’s chat why dilution is crucial for your safety and the efficacy of essential oils. Today, we’ll cover the ins and outs of diluting essential oils and why it’s essential for everyone to follow this practice.

Why Dilute Essential Oils?

Essential oils are potent natural compounds extracted from plants, packed with therapeutic properties. However, using them heavily undiluted can pose risks. Just like you wouldn’t take a heavy dosage of medication without following instructions, using essential oils without dilution can lead to various issues:

  • Skin Sensitivities: Undiluted essential oils can cause skin irritations and sensitivities, especially for those with sensitive skin.
  • Desensitization: Overuse of undiluted oils may lead to a diminished response to the oil’s therapeutic benefits over time.
  • Potential Health Risks: In extreme cases, using essential oils undiluted can cause adverse reactions, including anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening.

The Importance of Following Dilution Guidelines

To ensure safe usage, it’s crucial to adhere to dilution guidelines provided by experts like Robert Tisserand, a renowned authority on essential oil safety. Tisserand’s dilution guide offers specific recommendations for various applications, taking into account factors like age, health conditions, and the intended use of the essential oil.

Dilution Guidelines for Different Applications

Here’s a brief overview of dilution percentages recommended for different applications:

  • Facial Cosmetics and Deodorants: 0.2% to 1.5%
  • Body Oils and Lotions: 1% to 3%
  • Bath Products: 2% to 4%
  • Acne Spot Treatment: 2% to 10%
  • Pain Rollers: 3% to 10%

It’s essential to adjust the dilution percentage based on individual factors such as age, health status, and sensitivity levels.

Dilution Guidelines for Children

When using essential oils on children, extra caution is necessary. Here are the recommended dilution percentages based on age:

  • 0 to 3 months: 0.1% to 2%
  • 3 months to 2 years: 0.25% to 0.5%
  • 2 to 6 years: 1% to 2%
  • 6 to 15 years: 1.5% to 3%
  • 15 years and older: 2.5% to 5%

Always consult with an aromatherapist if you have questions about using essential oils on children.

How to Dilute Essential Oils

To create a diluted essential oil blend, follow these steps:

  1. Determine the desired dilution percentage based on the application and age.
  2. Calculate the number of drops needed per milliliter of carrier oil.
  3. Mix the appropriate number of essential oil drops with a carrier oil such as almond or coconut oil.
  4. Store the diluted blend in a dark glass bottle to preserve its potency.


Diluting essential oils is not only about safety but also about maximizing their therapeutic benefits. By following proper dilution guidelines, you can enjoy the holistic benefits of essential oils while minimizing the risk of adverse reactions. Remember, when it comes to essential oils, less is often more, so always dilute before you apply.

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