Measurement percentages can seem quite complicated, especially considering dropper top sizes vary, rendering absolute accuracy impossible. However, in the interest of safety, essential oil quantities do need to be carefully monitored. Therefore, as a ‘rule of thumb guide’, assume the averages set out in the measurement guide below.
Risk of sensitivity or irritation reactions increase where large amounts of essential oil are applied to very small areas of skin – applying 6 drops of essential oil in a carrier medium to the whole body through massage will have negligible irritant effect, yet the same quantity of essential oil applied to a small area of skin can be irritant, particularly in sensitive areas such as the face, under arms etc. If you do experience any skin or respiratory tract irritation (itching, redness, rashes, swelling, breathing difficulty) stop applying the essential oil or the blend of essential oils immediately.
Remember, use essential oils within their stipulated use-by date (found on the bottle or packaging). For further safety details please refer to Safe Use and Application and Essential Oils: Keeping the lid on.
Use no more than 1 or 2 drops of essential oils in a carrier medium on localised areas of skin. Keep this in mind when making first aid ointments or face creams or lotions. When making face creams etc. for regular use, reduce the amount of essential oils included, change the essential oil selection from time to time, and have ‘no essential oil’ breaks in between use.
Reduced amount for children and babies over 3 months old, and those with sensitivities.
Use maximum dilution (1 drop of essential oil in 20ml vegetable oil or non-perfumed cream or lotion) for babies between 3 months and 24 months old, do not use herbaceous, spicy or citrus oils, and always ensure the genuine purity of your essential oil before applying – 100% pure unadulterated essential oil purchased from a reputable supplier who provides relevant safety information. Also, for those who are frail or very elderly and those with sensitivities, allergies, eczema, asthma, and for facial blends.
Normal amount for general and adult use
Acute / exceptional amount for acute, short-term occasional use. Avoid or reduce the use of known irritant essential oils.