Homemade Essential Oil Dilution Sticks

While some essential oils can be used “neat” (without dilution), many do require dilution, especially when used on children, pregnant women, or people with sensitive skin. The most common way to dilute essential oils is to mix them with fractionated coconut oil. Sometimes this can get a little messy—especially when you’re on-the-go or applying oils to a wiggly child. We found a dilution solution by creating a thickened blend of carrier oils stored in a twist-up container: a dilution stick. This stick contains a formula of carrier oils that are good for sensitive skin and will remain solid at room temperature.

Our dilution stick recipe does not contain essential oils, so it can be used with any essential oil you need at the time. To use the stick, simply twist it up and rub it onto your skin before (or after) applying your essential oils.

If you have a favorite essential oil that you use frequently, you can also add it to the melted liquid before pouring the mixture into your containers. Or you can add the essential oil after pouring the carrier oil mixture into each container. Just be sure to stir the essential oil in with a toothpick or bamboo skewer before the mixture cools. A good dilution ratio is 1–2 drops per .15 oz. (4.25 g) of carrier oil mixture, or the following:

If you love this idea but don’t want to make it, you can always buy the Essential Oil Carrier Oil Stick that is ready to go. A smaller On-The-Go Essential Oil Extender is also available.

The following recipe fills at least 2 dilution sticks—1 large and 1 small. (Or make 1 round one and 2 small ones, or many little ones—any combination of containers totaling 3 oz.) Keep a big one at home and a small one in your purse or travel bag. That way, you’ll always have one when you need it!

Essential Oil Dilution Sticks

  • Servings: Yield=3 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Place the mango butter and beeswax in a double boiler on the stove over medium-low heat. You can create a double boiler by placing a glass measuring cup (containing the ingredients) in a pan filled with an inch or so of water.
  2. Once the mango butter and beeswax are melted, reduce the heat to low, and add the coconut oil. When the coconut oil is melted, add the sweet almond oil, and remove boiler from heat. Continue stirring until all the oils have melted together.
  3. Make sure your containers are clean and twisted all the way down. Pour the oil into your containers, and allow them to cool. You can place them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
  4. To use, rub the stick over the skin before applying essential oils.

NOTES:

Other twist-up containers also work, including our Round Twist Tube (2.2 oz/63.4 g) and our Lip Balm Dispensing Tubes (.15 oz/4.25 g). When choosing containers for this recipe, just use as many containers as needed to hold a total of 3 oz.

*Shea butter contains latex (a natural rubber). If you are allergic or sensitive to latex, do a skin patch test before making this recipe with shea butter.

Sore Muscles Salve

Give your sore muscles some relief with this salve. The essential oils in this recipe may not only help soothe muscle pains, but they also create a warming/cooling effect that makes this salve extra special!
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Keep Your Kids Entertained with This Fun Craft!

Make your own beeswax yarn strips for a fun sensory activity for your children. These strips are fun to bend into shapes to create a picture or sculpture. They also make a great quiet activity to take with you on the go.

Yarn-Art

Flexible Beeswax Yarn Art

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 cups (144 g) beeswax pellets
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) jojoba oil
  • Crock pot
  • Colored yarn

Instructions:

  1. Melt the beeswax in a small crock pot or double boiler.
  2. Once the wax is melted, add the jojoba oil.
  3. Cut your yarn to the desired length (9 inches [23 cm] is a good starting point).
  4. Add the yarn to the melted beeswax-jojoba mixture.
  5. Once the yarn is completely covered in wax, remove the yarn from the crock pot using a toothpick or bamboo skewer, and lay out in individual strips to dry. (We laid our strips on a plastic grocery bag.)
  6. Once the wax dries, have fun creating pictures and sculptures with your waxed yarn strips!

Extra Idea:

If desired, you can add essential oil to the wax mixture for an additional sensory experience. Start with 2–4 drops, and then add more depending on your preference for scent.

All About Carrier Oils—FAQs and Information Charts

Because we have had many questions and figure others do too, we decided to dig deep and find the answers about the differences in carrier oils and how to choose one for your needs.

What are carrier oils, and how are they used?

A carrier oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fatty portion of a plant, usually from the seeds, kernels, or the nuts. Carrier oils are used to dilute and “carry” an essential oil into the skin during topical application.

In this article we are going to include oils, butters, glycerin, salts, and soap bases because they can serve similar purposes, even though some aren’t technically carrier oils. We’ve also included information graphics on other ingredients we offer that are commonly found in DIY products such as zinc oxide and citric acid.

What is the difference between essential oils and carrier oils?

“Essential oils are the volatile liquids that are distilled from plants (including their respective parts such as seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruit, etc.)” (Modern Essentials, p. 6). Because essential oils are volatile, they will evaporate when exposed to air.

“A carrier oil refers to a vegetable oil, wax, fat, or other oil that an essential oil is mixed with. The carrier oil ‘carries’ the essential oil and dilutes it so its effects can be spread over a larger area” (Modern Essentials, inside front cover). As mentioned above, carrier oils are pressed from the fatty portions of a plant. Carrier oils do not evaporate or impart their aroma as strongly as essential oils.

Can carrier oils go bad?

Yes. Because carrier oils are pressed from the fatty portions of a plant, they often contain essential fatty acids that, although very beneficial to our body, also contribute to a short shelf life. Because carrier oils vary in their ratio and the specific essential fatty acids they contain, their shelf life also varies. The level of natural fatty acids, tocopherols (vitamin E compounds found in many carrier oils), method of extraction, and other characteristics of an oil can all affect how quickly it becomes rancid.

How can you tell if a carrier oil is rancid?

Carrier oils, in general, should have a soft aroma. If you find your carrier oil has a strong, bitter aroma, it has likely gone rancid. The best way to tell is to compare the odor with the odor of the same carrier oil that is fresh.

How do I store my carrier oils?

Most carrier oils (avocado oil excluded) can be stored in the refrigerator to prolong shelf life. Some oils stored in the refrigerator may solidify or become cloudy and need to be returned to room temperature prior to use. Avocado oil should never be stored in the refrigerator because it contains many important, fragile constituents that can be affected by lower temperatures.

Some carrier oils that are less fragile and have a longer shelf can be stored at a cool room temperature.

How do I use the solid butters?

Our butters are solid at room temperature, so you will need to break off chunks and heat them up to get the measurements you need. The best way to melt the butters is to use a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can create one by placing the butter in a glass dish over a pan with an inch of boiling water. It is important to use low heat for most carrier oils and butter so you don’t alter their constituents. Do not microwave carrier oils or butters.

Shea butter, however, can become gritty if not melted and cooled properly. Heat shea butter to at least 175º F for at least 20 minutes. If possible, let it cool in the refrigerator. After it is cooled, store your shea butter at room temperature.

How can I use carrier oils?

Carrier oils can be used in many ways. One of the most common ways is to mix an essential oil and a carrier oil (such as fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, etc.) in a roll-on bottle. This can be an easy way to apply a diluted essential oil topically. Vegetable glycerin, Castile soap, or Epsom salts can act as an emulsifier to help disperse essential oils through other ingredients such as water. Epsom salts are commonly used as bath salts and can be a great way to disperse essential oils throughout a bath. Many of the carrier oils and butters can be used to make lotions, creams, lip balms, massage blends, soap products, body care products, candles, diffusers, air fresheners, sprays, and various other products.

General Safety Information

Use caution when trying any new ingredient, including carrier oils, on the skin or in the hair. Those with nut allergies should consult their medical practitioner before coming into contact with nut oils, butters, or other nut products. Also, latex (a natural rubber) is a natural constituent of shea butter. If you have an allergy or sensitivity to latex, avoid shea butter or perform a skin-patch test prior to use. For very in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

What carrier oils does AromaTools™ offer?

AromaTools® offers the following carrier oils:

Information Charts

For more information about each carrier oil and how it can be used, click on an image below to enlarge.

Homemade Chest and Throat Salve

Be prepared for the cold winter months with this Homemade Chest and Throat Salve! This salve incorporates pure essential oils that have been studied for their abilities to help support clear breathing and help strengthen the immune system. Just rub this salve on the chest and on the bottoms of the feet, cover the feet with socks, and breathe a little easier this winter!

AT_ChestSalve

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Beautiful, Scented Fall Leaves

Don’t you love the colors of fall leaves? This is probably one of the best things about the seasons changing! So why not use them for decoration? Dipping the leaves in beeswax actually preserves their color so they can last through the season. We decided to try taking this idea to the next level by adding essential oils! Now you can experience the colors AND scents of fall at the same time!

AT_Leaf_Garland

When picking leaves for this project, keep in mind that the leaves need to be dead and somewhat dry. Don’t pick them off the tree because they still contain a fair amount of moisture that will cause the leaf to turn brown rather than be preserved in its beautiful color. If you have leaves that are fairly moist (let’s face it—the leaves on the trees are prettier!), then you can dry them by placing them between pages of a book for a couple days before dipping them in beeswax.

Also, if you are doing this project with kids, keep in mind that melted beeswax can be hot and this project can get a little messy; so keep your work area covered in newspaper or wax paper for easier cleanup. One idea for working with children is for an adult to dip the leaves and hand them to the child to shake off the excess beeswax and lay on the wax paper to dry. Children can also help string up the leaves and create garlands.

AT_Leaves_work-station

For easiest cleanup, allow the beeswax to dry completely; then scrape/peel as much as you can off your dishes and either save for another project (leftover scented beeswax would make a great candle!) or throw in the trash can. Use really hot water to melt the remaining beeswax and wash dishes with soap.

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Scented Fall Leaves

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • Beeswax
  • Essential oils (Some great fall scents include cinnamon, clove, cassia, orange, ginger, cardamom, cedarwood, patchouli, and frankincense)
  • Fall leaves
  • Wax paper
  • String

Instructions:

  1. Melt the beeswax in a double boiler, saucepan, slow cooker, paraffin wax bath, or microwave-safe dish. You will want enough beeswax to be at least 1 inch deep. (We used a 2 cup glass measuring cup with 1/3 cup of beeswax placed in a small pot with water to create a double boiler. This amount worked well for the 20–30 small leaves we waxed.)
  2. Once the beeswax is melted, add essential oils to create your desired scent. (We used 2 drops of clove, 2 drops of orange, and 2 drops of cassia for the 1/3 cup of beeswax, and it smelled great!)
  3. Hold the leaves by the stems, and dip them into the beeswax. Make sure to cover the whole leaf.
  4. Gently shake off the excess beeswax, and let the leaf dry for 15–30 seconds before placing on a sheet of wax paper to finish drying.
  5. Note: If the beeswax starts to cool (you’ll notice it gives the leaf a thicker coating when this happens), reheat the beeswax for a minute before continuing. Leaving the beeswax on a low heat source is easiest, but use caution if children are helping.
  6. Once finished with all of your leaves, string them up by tying a little knot around each leaf along a piece of string, or use them in any of your favorite fall decoration ideas.

Extra Idea: