Written by, Becki Andrus
Learning to use essential oils can be confusing (especially in the beginning), and a common question is:
“I’ve heard about carrier oils for essential oils… what is the right ratio of essential oil and carrier oil?”
I wish there was a simple answer, but the truth is that it varies from one essential oil to the next. My goal with this blog post is to help you understand a little more about how carrier oils and essential oils work together, which will help you get a better idea of how much carrier oil to use.
Does Carrier Oil Decrease the Essential Oil Benefits?
First of all: understand that using essential oil in a carrier will not take away the benefits that the essential oil has to offer. In fact, some essential oils can be too strong when they are used without a carrier oil, which may cause skin irritation or discomfort.
Whenever there is a question about whether or not a carrier oil should be used, it is best to err on the side of caution… and use a carrier oil with your essential oils. This cautious approach is especially true with children and people with extra sensitive skin.
When you are using a carrier oil, it allows the essential oil to be spread over more area on the body. Carrier oils are also nice because they help to moisturize the skin.
Essential Oils and Children
Children are more sensitive to essential oils, and the essential oils should always be used with a carrier oil to avoid using too much on their little bodies. Here is a good rule of thumb to follow:
- For infants, use one to three drops of essential oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil
- For children between the ages of 2 and 5, use one to three drops of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil
Important Note: These guidelines are very general. It is best to research each individual oil to understand more about how much dilution is needed. The “hot” essential oils will need more dilution.
Ratios for Adults
Quality and potency of essential oils changes from one company to the next, so it is important to refer to the source of essential oil to determine exactly how much carrier oil should be used. The company that produces the essential oil will be able to provide details about individual oils.
With “hot” essential oils such as clove, oregano, cinnamon, etc. carrier oils should always be used, with a high ratio of carrier oil and a low ratio of essential oils. For example, the suggested mixture for clove is to start with 1% clove essential oil and 99% carrier oil, simply because clove will likely irritate the skin at a stronger concentration.
It is a good idea to have a few reference books that share details about how to use essential oils for specific health concerns, because those reference books will typically provide detailed information and recipes to use.
How To Mix Carrier Oils and Essential Oils
It is not necessary to have a bottle for each essential oil to be diluted in carrier oil. I keep all of my undiluted essential oils together, and have a carrier oil on hand as well. When I need to use a specific essential oil, then I add some carrier oil in the palm of my hand along with a drop or two of essential oil and apply it on location.
If there is a specific essential oil or blend that you use on a regular basis, it might be easier to have the carrier oil pre-mixed ahead of time for easy, fast access. But, it’s not necessary to do this with every essential oil that you own.
For example, I have a blend of essential oils that I love to use when I need a mood boost or if I am having a bad day, and I use this blend almost daily. So, I used a small glass jar and added a few drops of each of the essential oils, along with coconut oil and mixed everything together. Now, I can simply grab the jar and apply all of those oils at once without having to worry about multiple bottles of essential oil.
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