How Much Should I Dilute My Essential Oils?
Like many others, I have some pretty strong feelings about how doTERRA essential oils should be used. To help I’ve included the safety chart below. First, I think it is really important to point out that this chart is really for adults and one drop of oil. With doTERRA you really only need one drop of oil in the majority of situations. There is this common misconception that more is better, but unfortunately, that is very untrue. There is actually something called the law of diminishing returns which simply means that the benefit can actually lessen or you can have a negative outcome.
So let’s dive a little bit deeper with Topical use…
It is important to stress that even if an essential oil is labeled that it is okay for Neat use, that doesn’t mean you have to use it neat. Most of the time diluting the essential oil is beneficial. It helps keep the oil from dispersing into the air and diluting with a carrier oil means that you can cover a larger area of skin (remember it is only one drop of oil). I personally, with the exception of Lavender, Melaleuca and Balance always dilute with a carrier oil. I prefer Fractionated Coconut Oil because it doesn’t stain, smell and it absorbs quickly into the skin with no tacky feeling.
With Sensitive skin oils, I always recommend diluting them. When you think about it, really what does it hurt? One of the problems with skin is that there are many layers and you can’t always tell what is going on below the surface. The skin could be unhappy and you might not know it. In fact, with repeated use sometimes you can end up with a sensitivity and then you might struggle to be able to use the oil at all. So diluting is really ideal when an oil is marked for sensitive skin.
For oils marked with that bright red D for Dilute… that means always, always, always dilute. It never fails to frustrate me when I have someone tell me that they don’t dilute such and such oil because it doesn’t bother them. Chances are… it is bothering them and they just don’t know it. Eventually the skin will bring it to their attention in a big way that it is unhappy. In some cases it can mean that an oil can never be used again regardless of how much it is diluted which can be no fun at all. We commonly call these oils ‘hot’ oils and we do it for a reason. If you haven’t diluted enough your skin can start to feel warm or even hot. When that happens, just keep applying a carrier oil until the feeling goes away. Never go to water or jump into a bath. it will drive the oil deeper and you will have amplified the effect.
So how much do we dilute? I have a chart at the bottom of the page for you to use as a guideline. Remember… you can always dilute more.
My last tip on topical use – essential oils do not ever belong in the eyes, ears or up the nose. It can cause permanent damage and is very dangerous. So don’t do it.
For Internal use, I’ve written a separate post on the topic that dives deeper into the issue, for this chart, if it says that it is safe for internal use then refer to the bottle for the appropriate amounts. Most of the time it is one drop for 4 ounces of water or liquid (remember more isn’t better). I also strongly recommend a drop of Fractionated Coconut Oil or other carrier oil when you are using the oils internally in a gel cap or otherwise. Remember, using oils internally is a personal preference and isn’t mandatory. If you’d like to know more: Using Oils Internally – Is it Safe?
Below you’ll find two essential oil safety chart for doTERRA Essential Oils. One is for single oils which just means there is only one plant on the bottle. The chart at a glance tells you with a letter code whether the oil is safe to apply on your skin Topically (T) and when topically if it can be applied Neat (N), it should be diluted for Sensitive Skin (S), should ALWAYS be Diluted (D) on your skin as well as whether it can be used Aromatically (A) such as in a diffuser, or Internally (I) (aka ingested or swallowed.
The chart is easy to use and it is a very handy thing to have around. (I’ve included a printable version for you at the bottom of the page).
Keep in mind if you are using another brand you’ll need to access their charts. It is also important to note that there can be a wide variety between species, where the plant is harvested and what else might be in the bottle.
Essential Oil Safety Chart – doTERRA
Essential Oil Safety Chart – for Single Oils (meaning only one plant).
Essential Oil Safety Chart – for Blends (meaning only more than one plant).
Printable PDF: Essential Oil Safety Chart – doTERRA
My Dilution Chart: