Essential oils should not be put directly onto the skin or ingested as they may irritate the skin or stomach. They may be used in a diluted solution on the skin using a carrier oil (Rosehip, Jojoba, Argan, Fractionated Coconut Oil or Castor oil).
Dilutions depend on the person you are using the essential oil for and the type of essential oil (lavender is less potent than rose, for example).
In general, you can follow the guidelines below. When trying new essential oils on the skin, test the dilution in a patch test by placing a dime-sized amount near the elbow and checking for irritation, burning, or rashes after 24-48 hours.
1% dilution: 5-6 drops of essential oil in each ounce of carrier oil. This dilution is used for children, elders, chronically ill people, and pregnant women.
2% dilution: 10-12 drops of essential oil in each ounce of carrier oil. This dilution is typical for everyday, adult use.
3% dilution: 15-18 drops of essential oil in each ounce of carrier oil. This dilution is used for specific illnesses or for acute injury and should only be used for short periods of time.
Wondering how to dilute essential oils with water? Water is a carrier, so you can replace the amount of carrier oil with the same amount of water.
Please err on the side of caution when using essential oils and contact a medical professional or licensed aromatherapist if you are unsure about the correct dilution. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should check with their healthcare provider before using essential oils.