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How to use essential oils

There are many exciting ways to use essential oils, not only around the home and on the skin but also while you're out and about, which is perfect when you need that extra boost of well-being during the day.

The simplest method is by inhalation from the bottle or adding them to electric diffusers and oil burners. But some of the best ways to enjoy the benefits of these beautiful essences is by applying them to the skin, adding them to shower gels, moisturisers, body oils and creams, but also using them to odorise your closets, wardrobes or clothes drawers.


For application to the body, you are allowing their beneficial properties to penetrate the skin and enter the blood flow, so to do this safely, you need to dilute them into a 'carrier' or base oil.

what is a carrier oil?

'Carrier oil' is a term used for any base ingredient that you can use to dilute essential oils. These could be creams, butters, oils or gels, and their job is to transport the oils safely into the skin so that you still get the benefits of the oil without causing any sensitivities.

Essential oils are highly concentrated essences. If applied to the skin without diluting first, the risk of getting a skin reaction or sensitivity will be extremely high. By using a carrier oil, you eliminate that risk. It's also a good idea to perform a patch test before use, especially if you have hyper-sensitive skin.

The most popular Carrier oils used in Aromatherapy are Jojoba, Sweet Almond and Grapeseed. You could also use unscented body creams, shower gels, bubble baths or even your everyday olive oil if you don't mind the smell of olives. 


how to dilute essential oils

Mix essential oils and carrier thoroughly using the simple guide below.

Essential oil (drops) approx 1% - 2%
Carrier (ml)
2 - 5 drops
5ml (1 teaspoon)
4 - 10 drops
10ml (2 teaspoons)
6 - 15 drops
15ml (3 teaspoons)
8 - 20 drops
20ml (4 teaspoons)
10 - 25 drops
25ml (5 teaspoons)
12 - 30 drops
30ml (2 tablespoons)

A 2% dilution is the common dilution for Adults with no skin sensitivities.

For face application, delicate skin, or children over 2 years of age, a 1% dilution should be used.

For anyone with sensitive skin, it is advisable to carry out a patch test on the underside of your arm before use.

how to do a patch test

Everyone's skin is different, so a patch test is your way to determine if a product is safe for you personally, especially when you know you have sensitivities to certain products.

To carry out your own patch test:


  • Dilute a small amount of your chosen essential oil following the dilutions in the above table (use the 2% dilution)

  • Apply a small amount of the diluted blend to the inner forearm.

  • Leave it undisturbed for 24 - 48 hours.


If you don't experience any irritation, redness or itching within that time, you probably don't have any sensitivities to that particular oil. If you do experience any of these side effects, wash the area with soap and water and discontinue use.


If you're still unsure about using Essential oils on your skin or have any known medical skin conditions, you should always ask the advice of your GP before using.

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