Essential oils are the highly concentrated essences of plants. From common oils like Lavender and Eucalyptus to the rare and sacred Frankincense, essential oils offer many therapeutic uses. Topically applying essential oils is one method for targeting those therapeutic benefits to specific areas of your body. However, if you've ever run across some poison ivy, you know first-hand that just because a plant is natural doesn't mean it's going to play nice with your skin. To take full advantage of the therapeutic benefits of essentials oils with topical application, care must be taken to properly dilute your oils for skin safe use.
Diluting essential oils in thicker, heaver carrier oils can bring the concentration to a safe level for use on the skin. It also slows the evaporation rate of the essential oil, allowing more time for your skin to benefit from the essential oil. Diluting oils is not complicated, but it is important to pay attention to ensure you're selecting the correct dilution for your application.
Reference the chart below for recommended concentration of essential oils in carrier oils for different uses.
This chart is provided as suggestions, not dosages or prescriptions. Please consult with an aromatherapist or medical professional before using essential oils on children under two years of age. Certain "hot" oils, such as Cinnamon and Clove Bud should not be used on the skin due to risks of irritation.
To be extra safe: When using an essential oil, a safe practice is to place a drop of diluted essential oil to a small area of skin such as the inside elbow to monitor for adverse reaction. After application, be aware of any irritation for the first 24 hours. Possible reactions include skin irritation, headache, nausea, respiratory complaints or dizziness. If the patch test results in an adverse reaction, do not continue use.