Just in time to brighten up your days with a burst of sunshine as they start to get cooler, we are bringing Kumquat back in a big way! Once just an Oil of the Month, we are now offering it on our website for everyone to enjoy!
Here at Plant Therapy, we are committed to making sure you have the information you need to safely and effectively use all of your essential oils. Due to the volatile and highly concentrated nature of essential oils, comprehensive and understandable guidelines on their appropriate dilution is critical to ensure everyone’s safety.
First, let’s discuss the purpose of dilution.
Safety and essential oil dilution are inextricably connected to one another. Using an essential oil directly out of the bottle, without diluting it first, can quickly become a one-way ticket to sensitized, irritated skin, or worse. According to world-renowned Essential Oil Safety Expert Robert Tisserand, essential oil dilution has two primary safety concerns. “One, to avoid skin reactions: irritation, sensitization, and phototoxicity. Two, to avoid systemic toxicity, such as fetotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, carcinogenicity and neurotoxicity. Adverse skin reactions are obvious when they happen, but systemic toxicities may not be. Skin reactions are totally dilution-dependent, and safety guidelines exist to minimize the risk.”
Simply put, we dilute essential oils before applying to the skin to minimize adverse reactions and systemic toxicity. Applying undiluted essential oils to your skin can easily cause short term or long term adverse reactions, and there is no good reason to take the risk.
Diluting not only saves your skin, but your bank account will appreciate it, too. Diluting with a carrier oil before applying to your skin prevents the essential oil from evaporating as fast as it would if not used with a carrier oil. This reduction in volatility means that more of the essential oil’s therapeutic properties are able to absorb into your skin, it can be spread over a larger area, and you will use less essential oil overall.
There are many different types of carriers for your essential oils.
While carrier oils seem like the obvious choice for carrying essential oils, they are not your only option. Lotions, creams, butters, shampoos, conditioners, castile soap, and aloe jellies are fantastic choices to dilute your oils, and many of these products may include natural preservatives, which may suit your needs.
Now let’s learn the correct dilution rate for your situation.
Plant Therapy aligns its dilution rate to the Tisserand Institute’s recommendations. These values are approximate and have been rounded to whole drops. Please keep in mind that “drops” are not an exact measurement since the drops depend on the size of the orifice reducer and the viscosity of the oil. Also, the dilution rates presented here do not imply that each are safe for all essential oils in all situations:
This rate is recommended for children over the age of 2, facial applications, long term use, daily use, and accessing the subtle energetic effects of the oil.
10 mL/ 2 tsp = 3 drops
15 mL/ 3 tsp/ 1 tbsp = 4 drops
30 mL/ 6 tsp/ 2 tbsp/ 1 oz = 9 drops
This rate is recommended for children, bath and whole body products, and is great for regular daily use of an oil.
Many of our KidSafe blends have dilution recommendations that range from 2-5%. These dilutions are fine to use with children under the age of 10 for spot treatment or acute situations. We do always recommend starting on the low end of dilution recommendations and then working your way up as needed.
10 mL/ 2 tsp = 6 drops
15 mL/ 3 tsp/ 1 tbsp = 9 drops
30 mL/ 6 tsp/ 2 tbsp/ 1 oz = 18 drops
This rate is recommended for specific localized discomfort.
10 mL/ 2 tsp = 9 drops
15 mL/ 3 tsp/ 1 tbsp = 13 drops
30 mL/ 6 tsp/ 2 tbsp/ 1 oz = 27 drops
This rate is recommended for short term use for a specific concern, no longer than two weeks.
10 mL/ 2 tsp = 15 drops
15 mL/ 3 tsp/ 1 tbsp = 22 drops
30 mL/ 6 tsp/ 2 tbsp/ 1 oz = 45 drops
This rate is recommended for small areas of concern and acute situations.
10 mL/ 2 tsp = 30 drops
15 mL/ 3 tsp/ 1 tbsp = 45 drops
30 mL/ 6 tsp/ 2 tbsp/ 1 oz = 90 drops
Use this chart to help you calculate various dilutions.
A good rule of thumb is to use one drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil for a 1% dilution. For a 0.50% dilution, because you cannot measure half of one drop, increase the amount of carrier oil used. If you are unable to add more carrier oil, round down to get a whole number for you essential oil drops. For example, 1.5 drops would become 1 drop.
Take extra caution when diluting for young children.
Children have thin, porous skin that readily absorbs anything topically applied. We do not recommend essential oils be used topically on premature infants, but the dilution for full term infants, ages 0-3 months, is 0.10% to 0.20%. This equals 1-2 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier when being used for whole body application. For spot usage, you can use 3-9 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier.
Additionally, we recommend that anyone wanting to use essential oils on children under the age of two years consult with a Certified Aromatherapist or medical professional to help you decide if this is the safest and most effective course of action.
For children ages 3-24 months, we recommend a general dilution of 0.25%-0.5%. This equals 2-4 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier when being used for whole body application. For spot usage, you can use 9-27 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce carrier.
For children ages 2-6 years, we recommend a general dilution of 1%-2%. This equals 9-18 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier when being used for whole body application. For spot usage, you can use 9-45 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier.
Use this chart to help you calculate various dilutions, specifically for children.
The dilutions recommended on this chart are for whole body applications using our KidSafe essential oils and blends only. For both adults and children we recommend starting with a lower dilution and adding more for specific applications when needed.
Contact an experienced aromatherapist before skipping dilution and going “neat.”
If you still want to use an undiluted essential oil topically, please get advice from a Certified Aromatherapist first. There are some specific situations where you can use oils neat, however, err on the side of caution. A sudden burn after touching a hot pan or a stinging bug bite are both examples of acute, short-term issues where using an oil neat may be beneficial. If this is the case, receive professional guidance on safe usage. Not only can some essential oils irritate the skin, but you will increase your risk for sensitization. Please note that we always urge safe, conservative use of essential oils so that you can continue to reap the benefits of these wonderful tools without creating additional problems.
Contraindications to consider:
If you are on a course of treatment with prescribed medication, have epilepsy or asthma, have a compromised immune system, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any doubts about how an essential oil may negatively affect your health, seek advice from your physician.
When it comes to essential oils, the saying “I’d rather be safe than sorry” should be taken seriously. Applying essential oils directly to your skin without proper dilution increases the risk of adverse reactions significantly. Keeping safe use of essential oils in mind, always use the lowest dilution possible that gives you effective results.
If you are concerned about a negative reaction to a new essential oil, we recommend conducting a patch test. For first time use of an essential oil, a safe practice is to place a drop of diluted essential oil to a small area of skin, such as the inside elbow. After application, be aware of adverse reactions for the first 24 hours. Possible reactions include skin irritation, headache, nausea, respiratory complaints, or dizziness.
**The advice shared is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness or disease nor is it intended to replace proper medical advice. When using essential oils we always recommend you consult with your doctor.
Looking for more information on essential oil dilution? Check out these in-depth educational pieces from the Tisserand Institute:
Just a handful of ingredients come together to make a delightfully luscious body butter just in time for fall!
You’ll love celebrating the changing seasons by diffusing our limited-time Pumpkin Pie Fall Blend, and we’re making our own Pumpkin Pie body butter, inspired by our new fall scent! The sky’s the limit for some amazing autumn body butters – let your imagination run wild!
When autumn rolls around, it’s time to open our hearts and give thanks for all the things we are grateful for. That crisp morning air is exhilarating, the bright color spectrum of the foliage is remarkable, and who doesn’t love finally bringing out all of their sweater-weather wardrobes? If you’re a fan of fall (and really, who isn’t?), then now is the perfect time to bring the aromas of this wonderful season into your life!
So, what does fall smell like to you? Is it warm and spicy? Rich and sweet? Does it just make you want to curl up on the couch under your softest blanket with a delicious mug of tea? Even though we all may have different ideas about the best parts of fall, there are definitely some quintessential aromas that come to mind. We’ve gathered together some of our favorite fall essential oils for you to enjoy during this amazing time of the year!
Crack open a bottle of this spicy essential oil and you may instantly start imaging hot cups of Chai tea, warm apple butter, and an extra cozy evening. Clove Bud has a distinct aroma that is very easy to pick out. In fact, it can quickly overpower a blend with just a few drops, so use carefully! It adds the perfect touch of spiciness to your favorite fall blends and can even be used topically to enjoy its therapeutic benefits. Dilute this powerful essential oil to a maximum of 0.5% in your favorite carrier oil and massage onto aching joints for some all natural pain relief.
Warm like Clove Bud, but strongly sweet instead of spicy. Vanilla is a scent most of us have been familiar with since we were children digging in the cookie jar! Its inviting aroma makes it a perfect autumn essential oil, whether you want to diffuse it – or wear it! Dilute it to 1-2% in a carrier oil for amazing solid perfumes, lip balms, or a delicious smelling roll-on bottle (just remember to shake it good every time you use it! The Vanilla will settle). Not only does Vanilla smell enchanting, it can also help reduce nervous tension and agitation, and with the holidays coming up, well, sometimes we could all use a little help to keep our cool!
Autumn air is filled with the delicious aromas of baked treats, and with those cookies, pies, and pastries heating up, so is the irresistible scent of cinnamon. With Cinnamon Essential Oil, you can keep that smell with you – without all the cooking and calories! As a very strong oil, it is best to diffuse rather than apply topically. Combine 2 drops of Cinnamon with 4 drops of Vanilla Oleoresin and 2 drops of Orange Sweet to fill your home with a vibrant fall fragrance. You can also sprinkle a few drops on a dish filled with pine cones, to give a small room a cozy, sweet, and spicy smell!
Need a few more amazing fall-time essential oil suggestions? Try these oils in your favorite fall blends and DIY projects to bring out the cozy, inviting, and warm aromas of the season!
Please keep in mind that not all of the oils mentioned here are safe for young children to be exposed to. Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark, Cinnamon Cassia, Nutmeg, and Ginger are not considered safe for children age 10 and under. Additionally, use these oils cautiously if applying topically, as they each have very high dilution rates for safety.
Fall might not technically start until September 22nd, but with the sweltering summer heat starting to cool, it’s hard not to get a few steps ahead of the calendar and start planning out all your favorite fall DIY projects!
If you can’t wait any longer to enjoy one of the most quintessential aromas of fall – that delicious Starbucks-inspired pumpkin spice latte – then trust us, we feel your struggle!
If you are already wishing your house could smell like the scrumptious aroma of a Pumpkin Pie Latte, you’re going to love this simple diffuser blend:
Okay, okay. Not really – technically, fall starts on September 22nd. But hey! We can’t help but get excited about the cooler weather, changing leaves, and fun fall festivities! We’re helping you celebrate the changing season by bringing you three remarkable synergies that will bring the lovely aromas of fall into your home – but this seasonal set is only available for a limited time!
We all experience discomfort at one time or another. Pain in our muscles or joints can make everyday tasks suddenly very unpleasant. Whether it’s an achy, overworked muscle, or joints feeling sore from inflammation, you are going to love this quick and easy DIY that will help you manage your perception of pain.
Adding our Rapid Relief in this salve guarantees you will be using an expertly blended mix of essential oils that will help warm the area of concern and increase circulation, giving you a sense of relief and ease.