Because essential oils are extremely concentrated and also because of their tendency to evaporate rapidly, they need to be diluted with carrier or base oils. Generally it is not advised that essential oils should be applied undiluted to the skin, although there are one or two specific exceptions. It is very important to use a high quality base oil, as oils such as baby or mineral oil have very poor penetrating qualities which will hamper the passage of the essential oil through the skin. Indeed, it would be better to use a good quality vegetable or nut oil for babies in preference to proprietary baby oils as the vegetable oils is more easily absorbed and contains more nutrients.
Although the choice of base oil is largely a matter or personal preference, it is useful to note that many vegetable oils possess therapeutic properties of their own. Any of sweet almond, soya bean, sunflower, jojoba, olive, grape seed, hazelnut, avocado, corn or sufflower will provide a suitable base for essential oils, although these should preferably be of the cold-pressed variety that has higher nutrient levels.
Pure essential oils should retain their potency for one to two years, but once diluted in a base oil will only last for three months or so before spoiling. They should also be
stored at a fairly constant room temperature in corked dark glass bottles or flip-top containers as they will deteriorate quickly when subjected to extremes of light and temperature. Adding some vitamin E or wheatgerm oil to the mixture can help prolong its usefulness. For massage oils, it is best to make up a very small quantity of essential oil in base oil for each application because of its poor Aromatherapy keeping qualities.
|Base oil||Essential Oil|
|100 ml||20-60 drops|
|25 ml||7-25 drops|
|2 teaspoon(5ml)||3-5 drops|
Below is a very rough guide to the dilution of essential oils. However, you will find many variations and differing opinions on this depending on the preference of individual therapists, and their recipes will differ accordingly.