• Verdant Oils

Essential Oils and Dilution

Updated: Oct 24

Whether you’re new to essential oils or a seasoned user, you’ll run into this word all the time… dilution. But what does it mean, why do you have to do it and, well, how do you dilute?

Let’s start with what dilution actually means…

What is dilution?

Simply put, dilution means mixing a small amount of essential oil with a “diluter” like water or, more commonly, a carrier oil like Sweet Almond, Fractionated Coconut or Jojoba.

Why should you dilute?


  • Your essential oils will last longer...

Diluting means you’re using less essential oil per application, especially when it comes to blending. Which can actually be a good thing since they are strong, concentrated substances of a plant!

  • It’s gentle on your body...

Diluting with a carrier oil for topical applications slows down the oil’s absorption into your skin, which is a good thing since this keeps the essential oil (especially "hot" oils!) from causing a reaction with your skin.

  • Dilution protects against sensitization...

Sensitization is a good example of “too much of a good thing can be a bad thing”. Too much of an essential oil for a long period of time can end in your body developing an allergy to that EO. Diluting helps prevent sensitization by making it easier for your body to use all the benefits of the EO without getting overloaded and overtaxed.

  • It’s great for a massage...

Using a carrier oil with your EOs for a massage lets you work the benefits of both the carrier oil and EO deep into your muscles and joints. Besides, who likes a dry massage? Ouch...

  • You can store diluted EO or blends in plastic...

Straight or “neat” essential oils don’t play well with plastic. Essential oils will eventually eat away at plastic over time - hence the glass bottles they are sold in. But if they are diluted to 5% or more, the plastic is safe!

How do you dilute?

It involves a bit of math… the good news is we did it for you in a handy chart and basic conversion rate! Dilution rates are percentages like the 5% we suggested for storage in plastic. The rate refers to the % of EO that is in the whole mixture.

So diluting an oil for storage at 5% in say a 30mL plastic container means you put in 45 drops of EO. The smaller the %, the less EO is in the mixture.

In general, 20-25 drops of EO = about 1mL. Want to know what rate to dilute your essential oil to? We list a safe rate % for each of our oils - find your oil here!

Have another question about dilution or diluting a specific oil? Comment and we’ll answer your question ASAP!

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