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.

Essential Oil Application: Topical

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Topical application is the process of placing an essential oil on the skin, hair, mouth, teeth, nails, or mucous membranes of the body. Since essential oils are so potent, and because some essential oils may irritate the skin or other areas of the body, they are often diluted with a pure vegetable oil (usually called a “carrier oil“) such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, olive oil, Jojoba Oil, etc. However, some essential oils can be applied directly to the skin without dilution (this is referred to as applying the oil “neat”). Several topical application methods are defined below.

Direct Application

Direct application refers to applying the oils directly on the area of concern. Sometimes it isn’t possible to apply the oils to the area of concern, so the next best areas to topically apply essential oils are on the feet, behind the ears, and on the wrists. These are the fastest absorbing areas of the body because they contain larger pores. When applying oils topically, it is important to remember that because essential oils are so potent, more is not necessarily better; 1–3 drops should be sufficient.

When applying oils to infants and small children, dilute heavily with a carrier oil. Use 1–3 drops of essential oil to 1 Tbsp. of carrier oil for infants and 1–3 drops of essential oil to 1 tsp. of carrier oil for children ages 2–5. An easy way to make sure your essential oil is properly diluted is to pre-mix the essential oil with a carrier oil in a roll-on bottle. The roll-on bottle also helps make application easier.

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Use caution when creating blends for topical use. Layering individual oils is preferred over mixing your own blends.

Note: “Layering” refers to applying one oil at a time (i.e., apply the first oil, rub into the skin, apply the second oil, rub into the skin, etc.). If dilution is necessary, a carrier oil can be applied to the skin before or after the essential oils.

Massage

Massage is the stimulation of muscle, skin, and connective tissues using various techniques to help promote healing, balance, and connection. Essential oils can enhance the invigorating, relaxing, stimulating, or soothing feelings of massage.

Unless you are a certified massage therapist and have a thorough understanding of anatomy, it is best to use only light to medium strokes for applying oils and to avoid the spine or other sensitive areas of the body.

Modern Essentials™ outlines a specific massage technique that can be done using essential oils and includes instructions and illustrations of various strokes.

Young woman having a massage

Simple Massage Oil

  • Servings: Yield=1 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a small glass bowl, and stir to combine. Pour mixture into the 1 oz. plastic bottle. (Use a funnel if needed to avoid spills.)
  2. To use, simply apply small amounts of your mixture to the desired area, and massage lightly into the skin.

Essential Oil Recommendations:

You can use one or more of the following oils to equal a total of 15–30 drops.

  • Calming/Relaxing: Oils that are good for a calming or relaxing massage oil include cedarwood, Roman chamomile, lavender, clary sage, jasmine, myrrh, or ylang ylang.
  • Invigorating/Energizing: Some oils that would create a more invigorating or energizing massage oil include cypress, white fir, juniper, lemon, nutmeg, orange, grapefruit, or peppermint.
  • Romantic: Some oils that can be used to create a more romantic massage oil include rose, jasmine, clary sage, or ylang ylang.

Reflexology/Reflex Therapy

“Reflex therapy is a simple method of applying oils to contact points (or nerve endings) in the feet or hands. A series of hand rotation movements at those control points create a vibrational healing energy that carries the oils along the neuroelectrical pathways. The oils either help remove any blockage along the pathways or travel the length of the pathway to benefit the particular organ” (Modern Essentials™, p. 48). Refer to our reflex hand and foot charts for more information.

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Auricular Therapy

Auricular therapy is a method of applying the oils to various points on the rim of the ears to effect changes on internal body parts. Similar to reflexology, small amounts of an essential oil are applied to the point before the point is stimulated with the fingers or with a glass Auricular Probe. Refer to our Auricular Body Points Chart for more details.

Compress

A compress helps with topical application of essential oils because the water helps drive the oils into the skin. There are 2 ways explained in Modern Essentials™ for doing a compress:

  1. Basin: Fill a wash basin with 2 quarts of hot or cold water, and add the desired essential oils. Stir the water vigorously; then lay a towel on top of the water. Since the oils will float to the top, the towel will absorb the oils with the water. After the towel is completely saturated, wring out the excess water (leaving much of the oils in the towel), and place the towel over the area needing the compress. For a hot compress, cover with a dry towel and a hot water bottle. For a cold compress, cover with a piece of plastic or plastic wrap. Finally, put another towel on top, and leave for as long as possible (1–2 hours is best).
  2. Massage: Apply a hot, wet towel and then a dry towel on top of an area that has already been massaged with essential oils. The moist heat will force the oils deeper into the tissues of the body.

Baths

The concept of using baths to help topically apply oils is similar to using a compress—oils and water don’t mix, so the warm water will help drive the oils into the skin. There are a few methods that you can use to help you apply oils while bathing.

  1. Bathwater: You can simply add oils directly to your bathwater, but keep in mind that the oils will rise to the top, so it is best to avoid oils that could cause irritation to sensitive areas of the body. To add oils to your bath, place 3–6 drops of oil in the bathwater while the tub is filling. Soak for 15 minutes.AT-Bubble-Bath
  2. Bath and Shower Gel: Using a bath and shower gel as a base helps to evenly disperse the essential oils throughout the water and can increase the benefits obtained from using essential oils in the bath. To do this, just add 3–6 drops of oil to 1/2 oz. of a Bath and Shower Gel Base, and add to the water while the tub is filling.
  3. Bath Salts: Similar in concept to using a bath and shower gel, bath salts or Epsom salts help disperse the oils more evenly throughout the water. Combine 3–10 drops essential oil with 1/4–1/2 cup of bath salts or Epsom Salts, and dissolve the salt mixture in warm bathwater before bathing.
  4. Washcloth: When showering, add 3–6 drops of oil to a Bath and Shower Gel Base before applying to a washcloth and using to wash the body.
  5. Body sprays: A body spray can be used before or after taking a bath or shower. When used before, the water from the bath or shower can help drive the oils into the skin. When used after a warm bath or shower, the pores are open and will absorb the oils quickly. To make a body spray, fill a small spray bottle with distilled water, and add 10–15 drops of your favorite oil blend or single oils. Shake well, and spray onto the entire body.

15ml Spray Bottles

Want to learn more about topical application of essential oils? See Modern Essentials™ for more information on topical use of specific oils and more.

Source: Modern Essentials™, 7th Edition, pp. 48–59.

Essential Oil Application: Internal

Essential Oil Application: Aromatic