Did you know that pure essential oils are 1000 times more potent than their leafy counterparts? That’s why diluting them with another substance, such as a carrier oil, lotion or shampoo, is so important.
Since essential oils are so highly concentrated, when they come into direct contact with your skin, they can cause sensitization which generally results in a rash. It’s important to note that once sensitization to a specific essential oil is developed, it can potentially be permanent and could effect your reaction to other essential oils. Occasionally, respiratory problems or anaphylactic shock can occur. Diluting essential oils is the best way to avoid these possible reactions, while still experiencing the vast benefits of using essential oils.
Another perk of dilution is financial. Diluting essential oils gets you more bang for your buck by not having to restock your supply as frequently.
A good number to keep in mind when diluting is 2% (1% for the elderly, pregnant women and children); this means you should add up to 12 drops of essential oil to each fluid oz. of carrier oil, water or cream you use (up to 6 drops for a 1% dilution). Dilutions of 3% or higher should be used seldomly and only for “spot” treatments, which is when they’re applied to small areas rather than the entire body.
Since droppers can sometimes vary from oil to oil, some people like to use more finite measurements. In this case, a 2% dilution is approximately 1/8 tsp. essential oil per fluid oz. of carrier. The important thing is to find the method that makes you feel comfortable and safe, because using essential oils should be a worry-free experience.
Below is a list of some commonly used carrier oils and their specific benefits. Some oils are better geared to certain skin types and conditions, so take that into consideration when selecting the best one for you!
Almond: One of the most useful, practical and widely used oils. Soothes, softens and rehydrates the skin in face and body care lotions and potions.
Apricot Kernel: Excellent skin moisturizer for both sensitive and prematurely aged skin.
Avocado: Highly beneficial for mild skin conditions.
Castor: Used for mild acne and to minimize signs of aging. Wonderful hair thickener and conditioner.
Grapeseed: Quickly absorbed into the skin. Doesn’t leave a greasy film. It has hypo-allergenic properties making it perfect for sensitive skin.
Jojoba: Close to the natural sebum of the skin, so it makes a perfect moisturizer for all skin types. It is very effective in helping to ease mild skin conditions, sunburn and chapped skin.
Sunflower: Easily absorbed into the skin and perfect for helping with dry, aged and weathered skin.