Everything You Need To Know About Diluting Essential Oils

how to dilute your essential oils

I recently did a Youtube video where I shared a common misconception among essential oil users. Sadly enough this misconception has been birthed directly from the majority of essential oil companies… especially the big more commonly known and used companies like DoTerra, Young Living, and Miracle – just to name a few.

This misconception is… that you can use essential oils without first diluting them. This statement is 100% false!

I have to admit, I never thought I needed to dilute something that was all natural – it’s natural so how could it hurt you and besides the companies we buy the oils from say it’s ok, so it must be ok… right? 


Neat is the term used to state you can use it undiluted. Using essential oils neat or undiluted is very dangerous.

Essential oils are a compressed and highly concentrated extract of that plant. Every heard to much of a good thing… is a bad thing?

Well… in this case it’s true.

What Can Happen If I Use Undiluted Essential Oils

itchy skin due to allergic reationEssential oils in their undiluted form, when ingested or applied directly to skin will cause a reaction known as Sensitization. This condition is basically a hyper sensitivity to that plant, meaning you won’t be able to even interact with that plant in it’s natural state without a severe allergic reaction, let alone every use that oil or any product containing that oil…ever again.

The symptoms of sensitization can vary from individual to individual, it’s like a skin allergy that results in a severe and/or itchy rash. More severe cases of sensitization can potentially lead to respiratory issues or even anaphylactic shock.

Once you develop sensitization to an essential oil, most likely you’ll remain permanently sensitized to that essential oil… even if you begin to adequately dilute it. You may also develop a reaction to other essential oils as well and will also experience reactions to products that contain any of these oils.

How Do I Dilute My Essential Oils Safely

You don’t need to be afraid or avoid essential oils, the benefits of aromatherapy accompanied by holistic living can have a huge positive impact on you and your families life – just remember… less is more when it comes to essential oils.

Always dilute your essential oils prior to use on the skin. Keep in mind that if you’ve been using essential oils undiluted to date and you haven’t had a problem, that doesn’t guarantee that you won’t develop sensitization with repeated exposure in the future. Proper dilution is always recommended, no matter what the company you buy them from says.

fractioned coconut oilThe best and safest dilution ratio to achieve for adults is a 2% ratio.To easily achieve a 2% dilution, add 12 drops of your chosen essential oil to 1 fl. oz (30ml) of carrier oil.

If you have an undiluted essential oil blend, you will do the same. Use 12 drops of that blended oil to 1fl oz of carrier oil. My favorite carrier oil is fractioned coconut oil, because coconut oil has so many amazing natural healing properties.

This is the fractioned coconut oil that I buy because it comes with a spray bottle for me to mix my essential oil blend and my carrier oil all in one- for just $13. But you can also use jojoba oil, extra virgin olive oil, grape seed oil or almond oil if you choose.

Guide To Diluting Oil That Require Less Then 2%

There will be some oils like Star Anise or Lemongrass that may state a dilution maximum recommendation. This is because they are especially strong oils and are more prone to causing sensitization. Again no need to freak out, you may decide to only place these in a diffuser to be on the safe side or you can do alittle math to find out the correct amount of drops to use. The 2% ratio is based off the Essential Oil Saftey Guide, using 600 drops as the equivalent of 1 fl oz.  So we would simple multiply our percentage against 600.

For example, to find a dermal maximum of 0.7% for a particular essential oil like Lemongrass Oil. You would multiply 600 drops (the average number of drops in an ounce) by 0.007 (this is the decimal version of 0.7%), resulting in a maximum recommendation of 4.2 drops per ounce, and that can be rounded down to 4 drops per fluid ounce.

Make sense?

Do You Need To Dilute Your Oils If Placing In A Diffuser or Bath

essential oils bathNope.

When placing your essential oil blends in a diffuser or a bath, the water or other liquid acts as the carrier oil and dilutes the oils to a safe exposure. But use common sense, use the ..less is more rule of thumb.

Many individuals have become accustomed to heavily scented commercial fragrances, lotions, cosmetics, soaps and room fresheners scented primarily with synthetic chemicals. So the aroma of a 2% dilution may seem weak or barely aromatic at first. If you’re used to strongly scented products, be assured that over time, you will begin to adjust and savor the nuances of your diluted blends.

I’m going to assume that you’re using essential oils as alternative healing, so I’m going to also assume you would hate to start having severe allergic reactions to flowers, herbs and plants around you! So please share this information with someone you know who uses essential oils and spread the awareness 🙂

P.S. I’d stay away from companies/distributors/consultants who are telling you to use essential oils neat.

Also stay away from massage therapist who use a practice known as “Raindrop Therapy” – which focuses upon applying pure, undiluted essential oils directly onto the skin somewhat in a dripping “raindrop” fashion. The burning and pain that is felt is considered by some to be the body releasing toxins. This is a crude generalization… if you rub up against poison ivy and get a rash – is this a sign that your body is detoxing??? Detoxing happens when you draw out from within the body. If your skin burns, itches or creates a rash from something is being applied to it… that’s a reaction, NOT a detoxification.


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