Knowing you’re supposed to dilute essential oils for use on the skin is a good start – but as usual, I did it wrong for a few years before I got smart enough to find some resources and do the math.
Cutting essential oils with a carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil makes them appropriate for topical use (most can’t be used “neat,” or straight, on the skin). But there are different ratios for babies, toddlers, children and adults, and knowing how to dilute essential oils for each age group often takes some heavy thought and mathematics if you have a dilution chart with tons of numbers on it!
I learned that I was probably not using enough EOs when diluting for adults and perhaps a bit much sometimes when I applied oil to my younger children.
I just wanted a resource to tell me how many drops of essential oil to add to my coconut oil so I could be off and running with the remedy I needed. I’m not much for measuring in ounces or milliliters – give me a teaspoon any day.
How to Dilute Essential Oils to Use on Your Skin
I’m thrilled that Plant Therapy agreed to sponsor this post and allow me to put my teaching skills to use to create just that for you – I started with their essential oil dilution chart, and after my eyes uncrossed, I dug in to figure out how to make it simpler.
Turns out it’s as easy as 1-2-3!
- 1% dilution
- 2 tsp. carrier oil
- 3 drops essential oil
Starting with 1% makes the rest of your math much easier, so you can properly dilute essential oils for any age group and any percentage!
Diluting Oils for Babies and Toddlers Too…
Achieving the proper dilution is especially important when dealing with infants and toddlers as the percentage is VERY low for such tiny bodies. (Note: Many essential oils are not recommended for use in children under 2 anyway, and another set is not recommended for under 6. I love that Plant Therapy has a KidSafe line, formulated by Robert Tisserand, a real authority in the field.) Read more about essential oils that are safe to use with kids.
These are the recommended age percentage dilutions for essential oils for a whole body application (like massage):
- Essential oils are not recommended for premature infants.
- Age 0-3 months = 0.1% dilution (that’s only 1 drop in TWO tablespoons carrier oil)
- Age 3-24 months = 0.25% dilution
- 2-6 years = 1%
- 6-15 years = 1.5%
- 15 and older (adults) = 2.5%
Particularly if you’re using a targeted application, perhaps the bottoms of the feet or the chest, you may increase the amount of essential oil up to double these numbers (no higher) – but best to start with less and see how it goes.
Did you know that essential oils have a shelf life?
Katie here, popping in to tell you that those essential oils that have been sitting in your cabinet for a couple years and are still half full may have expired. Read more about what I learned when researching this topic, and you can even have the handy printable I made to help me remember how long which oils last.
Here’s How to Dilute Essential Oils
Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional of any kind, and this is NOT medical advice. It’s just math. What oils you use and how are up to you to determine.
Welcome to my makeshift classroom! Let’s see the number of drops per part carrier oil and some basic EO info:
If you can’t view the video above, click “how to dilute essential oils” to view it on YouTube.
I took a moment to make a one-page printable for you so you can snip an easy-to-read chart and tape it right onto your medicine cabinet door – wherever you keep your essential oils – so it’s always handy. It includes all the dilutions in drops of EO + tsp. or Tbs. of carrier oil for babies, toddlers, younger and older children, and adults. You shouldn’t have to do any math when you need a remedy now (you’re welcome).
Thanks again to Plant Therapy for making essential oils available to everyone and for sponsoring this video/post/printable!
Now friends…I’ve often shared about my journey with essential oils, and now I want to hear from you!
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