3 criteria for the dosage of essential oils in your preparations
Three criteria are to be considered for dilution: the essential oil (its chemical composition), the expected result and the total dose (frequency/duration/cumulated surface)
- The essential oil: one doesn’t use in the same way a dermo-caustic or irritating (skin sensitive) essential oil and a “gentle” essential oil, well tolerated by the skin.
- The type of usage: for one’s wellbeing, as a perfume, for a cosmetic purpose or as a remedy
- On what skin surface and how often will the preparation be applied. One refers to the total dose that will be finally absorbed through the skin: on a pimple, two or three times is different from massaging both legs daily.
Order of magnitude for the dosage of essential oils
1/ The first question that needs answering is: on what is my essential oil going to act : the epidermis, a muscle, nerves?
- For a cosmetic usage, on the skin’s surface (ex: dilated pores, blackheads, wrinkles): 1%
- For a dermo-cosmetic action, on the skin, more deeply (ex: blood vessels as in the care of rosacea): 3%
- For a wellbeing action, on the nervous system, up to 5%
- For a circulatory action, muscles, tendons (it is more about physical relief): 10%
- For a lipolytic action, on fats: 20-30%
- For a strong local action (therapeutic care – beyond relief): 30%
The cumulative 20 drops dose
2/ The second question to ask oneself is: given the chosen dosage, the quantity I wish to apply daily (skin surface + frequency), will I exceed the adult limit of 20 drops of essential oil/day? If you use several creams, shampoos or other essential oils, it does cumulate.
For a short term application on a small area (a pimple for example), you can apply it pure or at 50% within the framework of being sensible. This can be done with tea tree oil on warts or with niaouli on fever blister.
For an application on a large area, a concentrated mixture: so, ravintsara is diluted to 50% in chest massage to get rid of bronchitis. In this case, care must be taken to remain within the 20 drops a day for an adult.
Beyond 20 drops, it is believed the body cannot eliminate within 12 hours. Over several days the body will not succeed in eliminating little by little and the risk of “overworking” organs such as the liver and the kidneys (all the more with hepato-toxic or nephro-toxic essential oils)
Please note, that this threshold of 20 drops goes down to 10 drops at puberty, at 5 drops of essential oil below the age of 6-8 and below the age of 2-3 the advise of a therapist is very recommended to avoid committing mistakes.
All essential oils are not as good as each other.
3/ The third criteria to consider regarding the specificity of an essential oil, for a cosmetic use, and therefore prolonged use, is to leave out all dermo-caustic oils, to be cautious with doses of citrus oils (zests) before sun exposure. Some things need to be known. The dangers are listed in the adverse effects.
However, even if all three criteria are taken into consideration before determining dosage, one needs to remain attentive to the body’s reactions, the possible changes (redness, itchiness,…). Remember that if each essential oil has its specificities, so do humans.
The dosage for certain people will also need to be modulated in regard to the essential oils selected: people suffering from asthma, liver failure, hormone-dependent pathologies, allergic terrain, pregnant women, babies, etc.