How-To Dilute Your Pure Essential Oils Properly

Because of the concentrated strength of pure essential oils, proper dilution is a fundamental component of practicing safe aromatherapy.  When we talk about dilution, we are referring to the practice of mixing drops of pure essential oils into a carrier oil, water, or other unscented delivery methods such as lotions and creams.


There are a few different ways to measure and dilute your essential oils. Some may choose to measure by the drop either from an insert called a reducer or by a glass pipette. Others prefer using measuring spoons, especially when mixing larger amounts. Any of these choices work depending on the container you're using for your DIY.  


Most dilution rates should be 3% or less for topical use. An example would be 3 drops of essential oil to 97 drops of carrier oil. This dilution rate would be considered safe and effective for most aromatherapy applications. The exception would be for children, pregnant women, the elderly, or anyone weakened from chronic illness. In those cases, a 1% dilution is recommended although even less might be appropriate.  


Always remember in aromatherapy, more is not better. Too great a concentration can lead to an unwanted reaction. The following is standard dilutions and conversions.


  • 1 percent dilution: 6 drops per ounce

  • 2 percent dilution: 12 drops (about ⅛ teaspoon) per ounce

  • 3 percent dilution: 18 drops (a little less than ¼ teaspoon) per ounce

How you want to use your essential oil will determine what dilution percentage you should use.  For example, for facial cosmetics, a lower range of 0.2-1.5% is recommended but for room sprays, a higher percentage can be used.  The chart below shows the dilution range for the most common end uses.

 

End-Use

Dilution Range

Facial Cosmetics

0.2 - 1.5%

Body Massage

1.5 - 3%

Bath & Body Products

1 - 3%

Hair Care

1.5 - 3%

Air Mist/Room Freshener

2 - 3%

Surface Spray

3%

 

If you are measuring larger amounts it can be easier to use measuring spoons instead of trying to keep track of the number of drops you’ve used. The following conversion chart is a helpful tool for whichever measuring method you prefer.

 

Approximate Measurement Conversion Chart

12 drops

⅛ tsp

1/48 oz.

⅙ dram

⅝ ml.

25 drops

¼ tsp

1/24 oz.

⅓ dram

1 ¼ ml.

100 drops

1 tsp

⅙ oz.

1⅓ dram

5ml

150 drops

1½ tsp

¼ oz.

2 drams

7.5 ml

300 drops

1 Tbsp

½ oz.

4 drams

15 ml.

 

Happy blending!