I get asked often how much oil do I use, can I use it neat, what is a good carrier? These are all such good questions and a lot of times I am thinking about them too. How much essential oil depends on what you are using it for and what your health goals are. As a standard I like to use the dilution ratios here:
1 or 2 oz of carrier oil or lotion, cream, aloe gel to your number of drops of essential oil
1 oz (30 ml) — 5 to 6 drops
2 oz (60 ml) — 10 to 12 drops
1 oz (30 ml) — 10 to 12 drops
2 oz (60 ml) — 20 to 24 drops
1 oz (30 ml) — 15 to 18 drops
2 oz (60 ml) — 30 to 36 drops
and so on. Some times you will need a higher percentage for a short period of time and that is totally fine, these are guidelines. You want to use caution with those pregnant mamas, elderly and kiddos as they are much more sensitive.
Why dilute? I just want that oily goodness!
I totally get that but these oils are seriously powerful and we need to respect that. More is not always better. Some oils can be skin irritating and we do not want to create a situation where someone gets sensitive to an oil or even burning to a dermal layer. Because of their concentration we can usually get the desired effect from using a small amount so why use so much that it drives up your costs as well as product demand. I like to think of it this way if I can get what I am looking for from 5 drops why not. If I try a smaller amount of oil and it doesn't quite do it I can always add more and increase the dilution. Plus that leaves me a lot more drops to use later, it also helps with production of plant material on the environment.
Can I use it neat?
Yes and no. There are some oils it is totally not recommended to use neat but others like Lavender or Helichrysum might be extremely helpful to drop onto a bee sting or minor burn. Again you have to think can I get the desired effect with it diluted, can I dilute it right now, is this a skin safe oil or can it be irritating?
The possibilities are endless. You just want to use something with a fat content to disperse the essential oil. I love Jojoba it is nourishing to the skin, doesn't go rancid and just rocks in my opinion. You can use any oil, lotion, aloe vera gel, bath salts with whole milk or cream added or another oil, scrubs etc. What your preference is will determine what carrier you use. I do like to use carriers that do not have any synthetic ingredients because anything we put on our skin we are absorbing that is one reason essential oils work.
What are your favorite carriers and dilutions? We learn from each other let's hear ya :)