Essential Oil Dilution Chart: Sensitive Skin, Aromatic, Topical and More!

When to dilute the Essential Oils

Essential Oils have many different usages. Knowing what essential oils should be diluted on sensitive skin (S), what essential oils should always be diluted (D) and what essential are safe to use directly on the skin – Neat (N) – is very important.

Application Methods of Essential Oils

The Safest Ways to Apply Essential OilsAlong with that information, it is also important to know what Oils can be used where. We have put together a list of Application Methods.

All the oils can be used Aromatically (A) this would mean things like smelling them from the bottle, placing them in a diffuser or applying them to a natural diffuser, like jewelry, reed diffuser or other items. Many oils are safe to use Topically (T) on the skin. Then several essential oils can be used internally (I) if the oils are a Therapeutic grade of essential oils.

  N – Neat – Can be used topically without dilution A – Can be used aromatically  
  S – Sensitive – Dilute for young or sensitive skin T – Can be used topically  
  D – Dilute – Always dilute before using Topically I – Can be used internally  

We have put together an extensive chart below for your reference. This Video will help describe some of these details. It will also show you how you can easily use this quick reference chart.

Essential Dilution and Application Chart

Click on the headings of interests 2 times to bring up your area of interest. 

Black PepperSATI
Blue TansyNAT
Cinnamon BarkDATI
Clary SageNATI
Douglas FirNAT
Fennel (Sweet)SATI
Jasmine TouchNATusually used diluted
Juniper BerryNATI
MaagnoliaNATusually used diluted
NeroliNATusually used diluted
Pink PepperNATI
Roman ChamomileNATI
RoseNATusually used diluted
Siberian FirNATI
Tea TreeNAT
Wild OrangeNATI
Yarrow / PomagraniteNTI
Yland YlangNAI

Download a pdf of this information: Essential Oil Dilution Chart

Many of the Tree Oils are not recommended for internal use some of these are:

  • ArborvitaeTree Oils
  • Cypress
  • Douglas Fir
  • Spikenard
  • Cedarwood

These oils are actually safe to use “Neat” directly on the skin.

Your Pine oils have unique properties

Cypress, Douglas Fir & Cedarwood – have the unique ability to release or open up inflammatory pathways allowing the cells to move more freely. They are especially helpful when applied to inflamed Lymphatic areas. 

  • In particular the joint and gland areas of the body. 
  • They are also great for purifying the air and cleansing your skin. 

Oils of the Bible

Sacred FrankincenseSeveral of the Essential Oils are used in the Scriptures because of their combination of amazing smell and powerful healing properties. The oils are one of those amazing sacred elements from our earth that give the body to heal it’s self. 

For example, Frankincense was revered as a ” Sacred Oil” 

Part of the reason that Frankincense is held in such high regard is that if you are not sure what essential oils to use – choose Frankincense as it is called “The King of Oils“. 

Spikenard is also a Biblical oil

Spikenard has many medicinal benefits and was referred to as costing a year’s wages during biblical times. 

Diffusing Essential Oils – a simple way to get the benefits.

Diffusing Essential Oils with an Essential Oil Diffuser is probably the simplest way to get the benefits of the oils.  

Just as some oils are hot and some oils are safe to be neat, some oils take fewer drops in the diffuser than others. The big thing is to pick an essential oil that smells good to you to start with. If you listen to your body you will know what you need. 

Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser

Hot Oils

  • Hot OilsCassia
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Oregano
  • Thyme

(D) these oils should always be diluted before putting on the skin. Put the essential oils in Fractionated coconut oil to a consistency that is comfortable. For children, you want to dilute these essential oils as much as 10 drops carrier oil to one drop of Essential Oil. 

Many Herbs and Essential Oils grow high in the mountains 

Sacred Frankincense

Frankincense grows high in the mountains and in very arid regions.

Lavender Grown in the Alps of FranceLavender essential oils grown high in the Alps of France have unique properties not found in other areas. 

Dilute Your Mint oils 

We dilute oils like Peppermint, Spearmint, Eucalyptus and Wintergreen oils on sensitive skin not because they can hurt the skin but as much as because they have such a cooling effect it can be overwhelming sometimes. 

If you get Mint oils in the eyes (especially) but also the nose and ears it is not very pleasant. To decrease the uncomfortable feeling it is best to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil. 

Will Essential Oils Burn the skin? 

For the most part, hot oils or minty essential oils will not hurt you but will be uncomfortable for a time. The only Essential Oil that I have personally know to actually burn the skin is Oregano. It burns quite effectively some people have been known to put it on warts or moles to burn them away. If you do this be sure and put coconut oil or some kind of heavy lotion around the area you are trying to burn. 

Always Err on the side of caution especially with children. 

What about the Citrus Oils? 

Lemon, orange, and grapefruit can be used “Neat” – directly on the skin. Lime and Bergamot are stronger and should be diluted on sensitive skin. 

The citrus oils is where I want to bring home that a drop really is a dose

Lemon is a cathartic and works quite well to get things going when taken internally in a glass of water. 

Wild Orange is the mildest of the Citrus Oils and has the least harmful effect when used on the skin. 

Should You Worry About Photo Sensitivity?

The rest of the Citrus Oils Lemon, Lime, Bergamot & Grapefruit can cause what is called “Photo Sensitivity” and they will cause your skin to burn easily if you are out in the sun. The burns can be quite significant so you need to be aware of this and if you have a favorite lotion with these oils in it you may want to consider switching to something different during the summer. The increased sun sensitivity can even happen as long as 8 hours after the citrus oil has been applied. 

A great Printable Guide for Safely Diluting Essential Oils

We found that the Tisserand Institute has a nice Printable PDF Guide in full color that you might like to capture: Dilution Guidelines for Essential Oils

They also had some great applicable advise on a few oils: 

A few key specific oils that have special dilution needs
To avoid the risk of skin allergy:
  • Clove Bud essential oil should be used at no more than 0.5%
  • Holy Basil Essential oil can be used at up to 1%
To avoid the risk of phototoxicity:
  • Lemon oil should be used at no more than 2%
  • Grapefruit oil can be used at up to 4%

Why dilute Essential Oils? 

Coconut Oil Makes a great carrierAny time you have the opportunity it is a better use of your essential oils if they are used with a carrier oil because essential oils evaporate so quickly on the surface of the skin. Dilution with a carrier oil like Fractionated Coconut oil actually helps you get better use of your essential oils because it holds the oils to the skin. It also stretches the use of your essential oils.

Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil

How to Dilute Essential Oils –  A Comprehensive Guide

In doing research for this subject we found some good information on the Plant Therapy website. Some people really worry about the dilutions rates and need some concrete numbers to go by so if that is you then the there article would be very helpful to you.

How much you dilute is largely dependent on the type of oils it is

For example “Hot” oil and should always be diluted and with more carrier than oils that are ok to use “Neat”

So if you plan to make your own roller balls of oils or use the essential oils on your skin regularly and want to make them up ahead of time this info may be helpful to you. 

So in the examples belowshows: Dilution of Carrier oil to (=) Essential oils

  • Remembering that 1 teaspoon of carrier oil = 5ml
  • a 5 ml bottle of essential Oil is roughly 100 drops
  • a 15 ml bottle of essential oil 250 to 300 drops
  • 1 drop of essential oil = a dose  🙂 
A 1% dilution of carrier oil looks like this: 
  • 10 mL/ 2 tsp = 3 drops
  • 15 mL/ 3 tsp/ 1 tbsp = 4 drops
  • 30 mL/ 6 tsp/ 2 tbsp/ 1 oz = 9 drops
A 2% dilution rate would look like this: 
  • 10 mL/ 2 tsp = 6 drops
  • 15 mL/ 3 tsp/ 1 tbsp = 9 drops
  • 30 mL/ 6 tsp/ 2 tbsp/ 1 oz = 18 drops
A 3% dilution rate looks like this: 
  • 10 mL/ 2 tsp = 9 drops
  • 15 mL/ 3 tsp/ 1 tbsp = 13 drops
  • 30 mL/ 6 tsp/ 2 tbsp/ 1 oz = 27 drops
A 5% dilution rate looks like this: 
  • 10 mL/ 2 tsp = 15 drops
  • 15 mL/ 3 tsp/ 1 tbsp = 22 drops
  • 30 mL/ 6 tsp/ 2 tbsp/ 1 oz = 45 drops
and a 10% dilution rate looks like this: 
  • 10 mL/ 2 tsp = 30 drops
  • 15 mL/ 3 tsp/ 1 tbsp = 45 drops
  • 30 mL/ 6 tsp/ 2 tbsp/ 1 oz = 90 drops

Some General Guideline for Essential Oil Dilution

We found a really nice Carrier Oils Dilution shcart on the Rocky Mountain Oils website and some helpful guidelines. 

  • 0.5% – 1 drop essential oil to 2 tsp of carrier oil – Infants (6-24 months)
  • 1% – 3 drops essential oils to 2 tsp of carrier oil – Elderly, Facial application
  • 2% – 6 drops essential oils to 2 tsp of carrier oil – Maximum daily recommended dilution
  • 5% – 15 drops essential oils to 2 tsp of carrier oil – Short term use

Essential Oil Dilution Chart & Guidlines with Children

We also found this quite extensive Article on mommypotamus that has even more information about diluting essential oils with a main focus being how to best use them on your children. I thought this image on her page was a pretty cool tool:  

Essential Oil Dilution Chart

There are so many unique uses of the essential oils. If you are interested in learning more don’t hesitate to Contact Us.



Plant Therapy

Tisserand Institute

Rocky Mountain Oils


Coconut Oils comes from Coconut Trees