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Diluting Essential Oils Safely

Updated: Feb 6, 2022

Essential oils applied to the skin directly can cause irritation and sensitivity due to the potency of the oils.

Essential oils are common in cosmetics, perfumes, and household items, and as they are becoming more popular for regular consumption, I think most people are not aware of the dangers of not properly diluting their oils.

This is one of the cornerstones of using essential oils, especially when applying them to your skin topically.

Knowing how to properly dilute your oils will help you to use them in a safe and effective manner.

Since the oils are also volatile they evaporate very quickly, by adding the carrier oils to your essential oil you will enhance your experience but also help the oils to penetrate into your skin.

General Dilution Chart

Topical Dilution Chart


Essential oil %

Dilution ratio

Massage Oils


4-6 drops in 2 teaspoons of carrier oil

​Massage Creams


4-5 drops in 2 teaspoons of base cream

Compresses and Fomentations


(10 drops in 100 ml water)



4-10 drops in 2 teaspoons of base ointment


Up to 10%

2 drops in 2 teaspoons of base lotion

Foot Baths


4-6 drops in the bath depending on age

Shampoos and Conditioners


20-30 drops in 1 cup of shampoo/conditioner



2 drops in 2 teaspoons of base lotion



Essential oil %

Dilution Ratio

Air Spray


50-100 drops in 300 ml water



​Up to 2 drops (depending on age) in a bowl of steaming water, in a diffuser or on a dry medium such as a cotton ball

​Insect Repellant Sprays


40-50 drops in 100 ml water

Floor and Furniture Cleaners

2% ( your olfactory preference)

40 drops in 100 ml water

Diluting by Age Group


Essential oil %

Dilution Ratio

2 – 6 years

0.25% Dilution

(1 drop per 4 teaspoons of carrier oil)

Over 6 years of age

1% dilution

1 drop per teaspoon of carrier oil; 6 drops per ounce

Average healthy adult

2% dilution

2 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil; 12 drops per ounce

The best recommendation for children is to use hydrosols and herbs, essential oils should be your last option.

For most healthy adults with acute issues such as muscle cramp, or severe pain, 25% dilution may be appropriate.

Please consult your primary care physician precaution before using any essential oils, thereafter, seek assistance from a qualified aromatherapist.

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