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essential oil dilution

more is not always good

Now that we are talking safety, often we find instructions like dilute before use however, this doesn’t give us a complete picture of safety because there are still many other factors that need to be considered like age of the individual and questions like, does he / she have certain medical conditions? Is she pregnant? Is the essential oil you’re using skin nourishing or potentially skin irritating? Is the essential oil phototoxic (meaning will it render your skin susceptible to damage when exposed to light / UV light)? This is why it is important to look for sources who take your safety seriously and diligently versus rushing into closing a sale because essential oils, while they are natural are also very potent. It is 50-100 times more concentrated than in plant or versus a herbal extract.


That being said, the dilution guide in the next part is by no means exhaustive because there are many factors that need to be considered when blending but is a good place to start.


When diluting essential oils for topical use, doing a bit of math is unavoidable. I hope the chart in the next part can help ease things a bit for you and will help you understand what it means when I suggest different dilution percentages.


As a simple guide, every 1ml of oil is equivalent to 20 drops. Bear in mind that this is an approximation and will vary depending on dropper size and thickness of the essential oil being used but for the purposes of this guide, we will use 20 drops as an approximation for every 1 ml.

Other safety dilution guidelines I found helpful from Tisserand Institute:


Facial Cosmetics – 0.2%-1.5%; Body massage – 1.5%-3%; Bath and Body Products – 1%-4%; Specific Problems – 4%-10%; Pain, Wounds -5%-20%


These are general guidelines however which have yet to take into consideration essential oil specific safety guidelines. I also added a separate section on safe use of essential oils for children. Generally, I start with 1% dilution for children and clients above 60 and those with medical conditions and go for 2%-3% for healthy adults, if the product is intended for daily use. The only time I go for higher dilutions is for acute situations and / or short-term use blends.