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How to obtain the correct dosage of essential oils?



The question of the dosage of essential oils is a very important topic no matter what usage you make of them:

-to make up a massage oil, a perfumed oil

-or even a cosmetic oil

-for an aromatic bath

-or to achieve a synergy in your diffuser

What are the recommended dosages? By respecting the different modes of usage, taking precautions in their use and knowing the dosage to apply in order to avoid all risks of using them wrongly, you will be able to use them in all serenity.

Knowing the equivalence between volume and number of drops of EO

Certain factors, such as temperature, type of dropper or viscosity of the product have an influence on the volume of drops used. 1ml can therefore correspond to 20 or 30 drops of essential oil.

Very fluid EOs corresponds to about 35 drops for 1ml.

Fewer fluid EOs correspond to about 20 drops for 1ml.


To simplify the dosage of EOs, we must generalise.

The estimate is that 1ml equals about 25 drops

which means

1 drop of EO = 0,04 ml of EO


What is the correct dosage and dilution of essential oils?

COSMETICS 0.1 to 2%



 This percentage is chosen in accordance with its usage

Usage: face cream, deodorant, neutral shower gel, neutral shampoo, insect repellent lotion, such as mosquito or lice repellent.

Dosage: 0.1 to 2% maximum of EO not photo-sensitive:



  • 1% of EO, daily usage for hydrating or nourishing a normal, non-problematic skin and retaining its healthy look.
  • 2 % of EO to treat small skin problems such as ageing blemishes, isolated pimples (not acne).
  • up to 5 % of EO for severe skin problems such as acne (adolescent), acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc.



face cream 0.1 to 1%; body milk 1 to 1.5%, insect repellent 2 to 2.5%, shampoo and conditioner maximum 2%.

A reminder of good practice:

  • Always try the product in the crook of your elbow.
  • Do not use EOs around the eyes nor in the eyes.
  • Some EOs are irritating (composed of aldehydes, terpenic phenols or terpenes)
  • Others are photo-sensitive(do not go sunbaking at least 4h of usage).
  • Or allergenic
Practice: making up a remedy of 20ml dosed at 1% EO (determine the number of drops of EO)

1: Measuring the volume of essential oil needed

1 %  of 20 ml = 1 /100 x 20 = 0,2 ml of essential oil

2: Measuring the number of drops of essential oil

1ml = 25 drops

0,2 ml x 25 = 5 drops

3: Measuring the volume of vegetable oil

20 ml – 0,2 ml = 19,8 ml

Another little tip:  add 1 drop of EO in a dollop of cream and mix this in the palm of your hand. Then apply the mixture to the skin.


examples of EOs

  • Roman camomile for soothing dry and sensitive skins
  • Fragonia to purify oily skins
  • Italian Helichrysum for anti-ageing and healing
  • Rose for anti-ageing and regeneration of the skin


PERFUME 15 to 40%

perfumeTo incorporate in either alcohol or a neutral oil

EOs examples

  • Lemon as a top note for citrus scents
  • Patchouli as a background note for exotic scents
  • Fine Lavender as a heart note for aromatic scents




Remember, water and oil don’t mix!

Bath with essential oils: 5 to 10milk drops of essential oils in total and to be mixed prior to taking a bath in a neutral shower gel or a dispersant (Solubol). From the age of 15 onwards.

Do not mix with (not limited to):  Alcohol, Aloe Vera, glycerin (water soluble), Epson salts or milk, that does not work

Footbath with essential oils: 3 to 5 drops in 10 litres of hot or warm water. From the age of 15 onwards.



DIFFUSION 3 to 20 drops


aromatherapy diffuser


For essential oil diffusers that work through a mixture of water and oil, it is necessary to add a smaller quantity of EO than in a nebulizer (diffusor with glass): 3 to 8 drops of EO, no matter if you use them singly or in synergy.

Dosage depending on:

– the strength of the scent

– the size of the room


All you need is to pour 12 to 20 drops of EO at the bottom of the glass and start the machine.

A reminder of good practice:

– Certain EOs to not suit to be used in diffusion (non-exhaustive list): Dill, tropical Basil, German Chamomile, Carrot, Cistus ladanifer, Cumin, sweet Fennel, Khella, helichrysum, camphor Rosemary, Tarragon, wintergreen.

– some EOs are not recommended for:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Children under the age of 3
  • People suffering from asthma
  • Sensitive people
  • Elderly people
  • Babies (do not diffuse EOs in a baby’s room).

– some EOs should not be used alone in diffusion (non-exhaustive list of the maximum % to use)

Bay Saint Thomas (10%), Atlas cedarwood (60%), Cinnamon bark (10%), Cinnamon leaf (5%), Clove (5%), Eucalyptus globulus (30%), Lavender spike (50%), lavendin super et grosso (50%), Mint (10%), Nutmeg (5%), Oregano (5%), Patchouli (30%)Peppermint (10%), Pink pepper (30%), Savory (5%), Thyme thymol (5%), Ylang-ylang (30%).

– Do not diffuse EOs in a bedroom while you sleep, but 30 minutes at the latest before going to bed.

– Diffuse EOs for a duration of no more than 20 minutes at once.

– Make sure on a daily basis that your room are well aerated.

– Do not use a diffuser in areas that are not ventilated.

– Do not breathe in EO by bending over the diffuser.



wet inhalationFor a humid inhalation, pour 5 drops of EO in boiling water in a stable dish placed on top of a table. Wait one or two minutes before doing the inhalation and also before going outside in the cold air.


NB Inhalation in conjunction with the cutaneous route:

1 or 2 drops of EO placed on the inside of the wrists and breathe in deeply 2 or 3 times in succession several times a day if necessary (very useful when feeling stressed or nervous).


COOKING 1 to 2 drops

Flavour as you like your dishes in an original manner.


-sweet or salty dishes, dissolve the EO in the oily substance used in the recipe.

-teas or herb teas: dilute in a dispersant (type solubol)




What for? Oil against stretch marks or cellulite for example.

How? Dilute the EOs in oily support (VOs, butter,…) before applying to the skin (ex. Sweet almond or Avocado).

This dosage is adapted for a “normal” usage of essential oils.

Practice: creating a product of 100ml dosed at 5% EO (determine the number of drops of EO)

1 : Working out the volume of essential oil needed

5 % of 100 ml = 5 /100 x 100 = 5 ml of essential oil

2 : Working out the number of drops of essential oil

1ml = 25 drops

5 ml x 25 = 125 drops

3 : Working out the volume of vegetable oil

100 ml – 5 ml = 95 ml


Practice: creating a sports balm of 50ml dosed at 10% EO (determine the number of drops of EO)

1 : Working out the volume of essential oil needed

10 % of 50 ml = 10 /100 x 50 = 5 ml of essential oil

2 : Working out the number of drops of essential oil

5 ml x 25 = 125 drops

3 : Working out the volume of vegetable oil

50 ml – 5 ml = 45 ml


What for? Head colds, sore throat, muscle soreness for example



VOs that are helpful

  • Hazelnut: circulation
  • Sweet almond: anti-inflammatory and healing
  • Apricot kernel: regenerating
  • Calophyllum: circulation and anti-inflammatory
  • Hypericum: pain relief, anti-inflammatory and soothing
  • Nigella: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, soothing


Penetration power

  • Avocado penetrates as deep as the cornea layer
  • Argan, musk Rose, Evening primrose, Jojoba penetrate as deep as the epidermis
  • Calophyllum, Macadamia penetrate up to the dermis
  • Hazelnut, Sesame, Apricot Kernel penetrate up to the hypodermis, the muscles, the synovium
  • Sunflower, Grape pips, penetrate up to the general circulation
  • Essential oils can also be diluted in aloe vera gel, a non-oily support, that allows the rapid penetration of essential oils through the skin. It is hydrating, nutritive, skin healing, soothing, stretching, protective and purifying.




The dilution of EOs depending on the aim of the use:

  • 1 %  for a dermo-cosmetic action
  • 3 % for a repairing action
  • 5 % for a specific action on the nervous system (management of stress, well-being).
  • 7 % for an action on blood or lymphatic circulation
  • 10 % for an action on muscles, tendons, joints
  • 15 % for an action linked to competition sport
  • 30 % for a localised very powerful action(cellulolytic, anti-parasite…)
  • 50 % if the therapist hesitates in the use of the pure essential oil
  • 100 % for a general action with essential oils above suspicion



Precautions for diluting EOs that are irritant and dermo-caustic in their use are as follows:

  • 10 %: dilution for essential oils that are irritant
  • 20 %: dilution for essential oils that are dermo-caustic


3 -24 months 0.25-0.5%
2-6 years 1-2%
6-15 years 1.5-3%
> 15 years 2.5-15%
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