Essential Oils Blog

HOW to read the dilution chart

Do you have questions (2)

Click Here to Download Plant Therapy’s “How to Read the Dilution Chart” PDF

The dilution chart. We often get asked just HOW in the world you read this thing. We realize that this might seem intimidating – but we promise it’s not as bad as it seems! It’s important to remember that ANYTIME you apply essential oils to the skin, you’ll want to use a carrier oil. This chart helps you find the right ratio for your situation. Check out the illustration below for some guidance and the following discussion for some clarifications:

Once you learn how to how to read the chart there often are more questions:

1. How do I know which dilution rate to use?

For normal, daily use we recommend a dilution rate of 2%. For acute situations, like an injury or temporary condition you can  even go up to 5%-10% for a SHORT period of time. How long is this? Typically less than 2 weeks.

2. How do I get .5 of a drop?

You don’t. If you really want to be exact, you need to increase the amount of carrier until you come across a whole number! If you can’t do this, just round DOWN to the next whole number (example 1.5 drops becomes just 1 drop).

3. What about use on the face?

This normally means you’d like to blend into a facial serum or cream and will be using it daily. Stick to 1% dilution – the skin on your face is more sensitive and you should use a lower dilution.

4. What about my kids? or Babies?

For use with children, you can see guidelines in the bottom block. For the most part, we feel like a 2% dilution for spot treatments is fine. You’ll notice that this block refers to WHOLE BODY APPLICATION. Since we rarely cover our entire bodies in essential oils – a 2% dilution is fine.

5. What is “whole body application”?

In the case of a massage (or body cream) where a large portion of the skin is covered, you want to use a lower dilution. Since so much surface area is affected, this increases the total rate of absorption for your body.

That should cover most of the FAQs regarding this dilution chart. However, as always, we want to hear from you! Contact us by emailing for any questions, concerns or comments you may have. You can join our Facebook group Safe Essential Oil Recipes and participate in lively conversation with other essential oils users. We have your safety in mind – so come hang out with us to learn even more! We look forward to seeing you there!


40 thoughts on “HOW to read the dilution chart”

  1. I went to a YL “Make & Take” party and was given a recipe for a 5 ml allergy roller. I knew 40 drops were too much, but it allows me to take it home and dilute it more to be safe. I don’t have all the oils they used, so it’s a nice way to sample EO recipes. (plus more dilution) My question is: after using 10 drops Lavender, 10 Lemon, 10 peppermint, 10 copaiba, and filling to top with sweet almond oil, how can I dilute this to a safe level to be usable? That rep was using this on her children, which I shuddered at. She didn’t give details of botanical names, but they were on the bottles. I don’t know enough about oils to be picky, and they weren’t either. We have allergies and was interested in something to help. I know I can trust your answers. Thank you! Judy

  2. I googled dilution ratios and most charts I’ve seen so far have shown that a 30ml bottle needs 6 drops for a 1% dilution as opposed to yours which states 9. Can you explain why you state more than many others?

    1. There are several “versions” of dilution charts that we have seen. We have based our off of what is contained in Essential Oil Safety, 2nd edition by Tisserand and Young. Robert Tisserand works closely with Plant Therapy in ensure our safety information is accurate.

  3. Is the 1% dilution for the face per oil or overall? In
    Other words, if I’m adding 3 different essential oils, do I add 9 drops of each, or 3 drops of each. I feel like I should know this, but my basic math is failing me.

    1. Hi Beth! if you are using a 1% dilution and have 3 oils, you would use 3 drops of each for a total of 9 drops.

      1. Thanks! That makes sense but a lot of the recipes I see call for so much more. It’s really great to have this guide to make sure I’m not overdoing it!! You guys are awesome!

  4. New to oils here… I’m trying to make a teething blend for a 11mo old. I have Roman Chamomile and Lavender and found many recipes ranging from 5-12 drops each with a carrier oil. That doesn’t seem to match up with an 11mo old I don’t think?? What would you do for a 10ml bottle? Same thing with an Ear Infection Blend… I was thinking 2 Lavender, 2 Tea Tree, and 2 Chamomile? would that be safe for a baby? Thanks for any help you have, reading these dilution charts has confused me!

    1. We don’t generally recommend using essential oils on children so young. However for a short period of time, a specific purpose, and using KidSafe essential oils at a .25-.5% dilution would be safe. In a 10ml bottle that would be a total of 1 drop of essential oil. You can make a master blend of all of the essential oils then drop one drop into your 10ml bottle to properly dilute. Your essential oil combinations are great choices for your purposes, I would recommend that you only apply to the outside of the jaw and the outside of the ear. I hope this has answered your question!

  5. I’m making a scalp & hair oil, is the skin there more sensitive like the face (meaning, should I max out at 1% EO dilution) or is a 2% dilution safe for that application?

    1. 2% is a safe dilution, however if you’re going to be using it daily, for a substantial period of time, I would recommend sticking with a 1% dilution to avoid concerns associated with sensitization.

    1. I think the missing part for you Sharelle is how many drops are in a tablespoon for example. The way it is presented can be a bit hard to follow because they’re kind of talking apples and oranges. For example, in 15 mL which is 1 tablespoon there is between 250 and 300 drops (the variance comes from the viscosity or thickness of the oil, and therefore the drop size).
      The chart is an excellent tool to simplify, but I think what is missing for you is knowing the total number of drops in the complete blend. Because it’s incredibly tedious and time consuming to count out 250 or even up to 600 drops for a full ounce, following the chart is a good way to go. 🙂

  6. I have Respir aid on the way and want to make an everyday roll on for an elderly person. What would be the appropriate amount of drops for a 10ml roller bottle? TIA

  7. I am new to this guys so bare with me if you will. I purchased Nature shield synergy to ward off mosquitoes and knots. They attract to me like crazy. I would like to make a spray to use for this purpose. Any suggestions?

  8. I am thinking of making a herbal balm with 5% essential oil dilution. Is it ok with the dilution? I am making the balm to sell.

  9. Just ordered calming the child oil, so according to the chart to make a 10 ml rollerball I would add 6 drops of oil to the carrier oil, correct??

    1. Amanda, 6 drops in a 10 ml roller would be a 2% dilution. You could go as high as 9 drops of Calming The Child.

  10. Hello! Is it okay to use Nighty Night DAILY using a 2% rate on my 3 year old? I read that prolonged use can cause desensitization. Should I cycle in another blend that comprises of different oils after a one month period?

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