What are essential oils?
Humans have used essential oils in spiritual, therapeutic, and cosmetic capacities for thousands of years. They are highly concentrated, fragrant, plant-derived liquids. It can take pounds of leaves, petals, roots, bark, or other raw plant materials to create one ounce of essential oil. They are not “oily” like nut or vegetable oils. They’re actually light and can be absorbed easily by the skin like the liquid you squeeze from a citrus peel. Learn more about essential oils here.
Essential oils are often diluted prior to use and can be added to lotion, nut or vegetable carrier oils, and other bases because they are highly concentrated. There are a couple essential oils that can be used undiluted, or "neat," but it is generally important to dilute essential oils to reduce the risk of skin irritation. Remember, it can take pounds of raw materials to create just one ounce. A little goes a long way. Guidelines vary, but essential oils should typically comprise 1-5% of the total blend.
You can also influence your blend's final properties by choosing different carrier oils. For example, a more viscous, thicker carrier oil will linger on your skin longer when compared to a quickly-absorbed, thinner carrier oil. You can benefit from a diverse range of properties by blending a mixture of carriers and bases like we do in our nourishing body butter.
We created a dilution quick start guide to help you make your own creations. Each of these 4 basic recipes can pull double duty as two different beauty products, including lotions, body spray, and hair oil. Jump-start your creations with these 4 recipes. You can also try one of the DIY recipes we regularly post on our blog.