How many drops should I use?
Have you downloaded my Essential Oil Blending app yet? It’s an interactive blending tool that helps you create your own aromatherapy blends. Since its launch in August this year, it’s been downloaded by users in over 95 countries!
I’m currently working on a more advanced version of the app, which will include lots of new and exciting features — including a wider selection of essential oils, details about their properties, colour/sound settings and much more.
I’m often asked “how many drops should I use?” — so here are some tips and advice:
(scroll down for a handy infographic!)
Essential oils should ALWAYS be diluted before using on the skin. For general use, essential oils should be diluted in a 2% blend of carrier oil or lotion. This dilution should be halved to 1% for children, pregnant ladies and those with sensitive skin.
A 2% blend means using 4-5 drops of essential oils (in total) per 10ml of carrier oil. For example:
2 drops mandarin, 1 drop lavender and 1 drop chamomile combined with 10ml grapeseed oil
Ignore any advice you see online about using neat essential oils directly on the skin – this can cause severe skin irritation, burns, blisters and sensitization. Sometimes a stronger blend can be used for occasional or limited use (up to 5%). But for regular and everyday use, it’s best to stick to a standard 2% strength.
Why doesn’t it say how many drops?
My app is designed to provide blending suggestions, rather than specific recipes (i.e. 2 drops of this, 3 drops of that)
The blending wheel spins to show suitable blending suggestions, so you can tailor the blend towards the oils you have in your own collection. If you don’t have the one at the top of the wheel, you can use the ones either side as suitable alternatives. The best blending partners will always appear towards the top, depending on the oils you have already selected in your blending beaker.
- The number of overall drops to use will depend on the quantity you’re making. The 2% ratio above can be scaled up or down, depending on the amount of carrier oil. For example, if you are blending 20ml of massage oil, you would use 8-10 drops of essential oils. If you are blending 100ml of massage oil, you would use 40-50 drops of essential oils.
- The blend strength depends on the age and skin type of the client — for example, a weaker dilution should be used on children, the elderly and those with sensitive skin. In addition, sometimes a stronger blend (3-5%) can be used on a small area and for a limited time only. As you can see, it’s not easy to specify a “blanket” number of drops that should be used.
- Your objectives of the blend will influence the proportions of essential oils to use. Aromatherapy oils have unique properties, which can be combined to create a synergy blend. Understanding their therapeutic properties will allow you to tailor your blends accordingly.
- Sometimes you might prefer to add more of a particular oil to alter the overall scent of the blend, based on your own personal preferences. For example, you might want to create a ‘citrusy’ blend.
- Although sometimes you can use equal parts of each essential oil, some oils are much stronger than others and should only make up a small proportion of the blend.
- Some oils are potential skin irritants and should only be used sparingly — for example, it’s best to only use 1 drop of lemongrass in a 10ml roller blend.
I need more help!
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