Topical Use of Essential Oils

Topical Eos

  • When is topical use of essential oils recommended?

Topical, or on the skin, essential oil application is most beneficial for: cosmetic issues, skin healing and to address pain issues.

  • General Recommended Dilution Ranges

Prior to applying essential oils to your skin, you should always dilute them in either a gel, lotion, cream or fatty oil to the appropriate dilution. Diluting the essential oils allows for safe and efficient application.

The following chart shows the recommended dilution ranges for various types of aromatherapy products. Keep in mind, certain essential oils have lower maximum dilution ratios due to various safety concerns.

Intended UseDilution Range
Facial cosmetics02. – 1.5%
Body massage1.5 – 3%
Bath & body products1 – 4%
Specific problems4 – 10%
Pain, wounds5 – 20%
Essential oil dilution range for various products
  • Sensitization

What does being sensitized to essential oils mean? Sensitization describes the process of the priming of the immune system, which leads to a subsequent allergic reaction.

  • Phototoxicity

Phototoxicity adverse skin reactions are caused when skin that has had a phototoxic substance applied to it and is exposed to UV light (sunlight, tanning bed).

Phototoxic Essential OilsBotanical Name
Angelica RootAngelica archangelica
Bergamot (cold pressed)Citrus bergamia
Bitter Orange (cold pressed)Citrus x aurantium
CuminCuminum cyminum
Grapefruit (cold pressed)Citrus paradisi
Lemon (cold pressed)Citrus limon
Lime (cold pressed)Citrus aurantifolia
Mandarin Leaf
OpopanaxCommiphora erythraea
RueRuta graveolens
TagetesTagetes minuta
This list may not contain all phototoxic essential oils
  • Neat application
  • Carrier oils
  • Essential oils in the bath