Essential Oil Topical Dilutions


I often get asked what percentage of essential oil should be diluted in carrier oil. With the amount of recipes posted on social media by essential oil reps, it’s no wonder that people are confused. 

Not a day goes by that I don’t see a recipe posted suggesting the use of extra strong topical dilutions. Many dilution charts coming from a particular MLM company suggest the majority of their oils should be applied either neat or at approximately 30% – 50% dilution! You have to stop and wonder is this just another marketing ploy so you will use up your essential oil quicker and need to purchase more?

No matter how pure and natural the essential oil being used is, safety should always be considered  This is what inspired me to create this basic topical dilution guide. ( Topical meaning skin application for anyone who is confused)

Please note that this is a very general guide. Some essential oils should not be applied topically and other ‘hot’ oils (eg. cinnamon bark) or phototoxic oils (eg. lemon cold expressed) should be diluted at much lower concentrations. Other factors to consider are age of person being treated, any known medical conditions, if you have sensitive skin, are you on prescription drugs, are you pregnant or breastfeeding, and what issues are you hoping to be treated?

Always refer to a health care practitioner prior to treating medical conditions.

So here is how you do the math!

Basically 1ml of essential oil equals 20-40 drops of essential oils. 30 drops being the average amount.
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Some bottles will have bigger or smaller drop sizes depending on the size of the orifice reducer.
The viscosity of the oil may also affect the drop size. Thicker oils will have bigger drop sizes. It’s best to do your measurements first to see how many average drops is in a ml with the oils you use.

For example : if you were creating a blend with a 3% dilution of essential oil in 30ml of carrier oil, you would work it out like this ~

0.03 x 30ml = 0.9ml
0.9 x 30 = 27 drops of essential oil total

Other dilution percentages per 10ml of carrier oil are listed below

( print files above)

Another great chart by Robert Tisserand from Tisserand Institute can be downloaded here
Robert is one of the world’s leading experts in aromatherapy. This is the same dilution guidelines that I have posted above which is recommended to follow by.

I hope this article helps you! If you have any questions comment below.

 Reference : Tisserand Institute

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