How to Blend Essential Oils – How Many Drops Should I Use?

A simple and creative way to bring essential oils into your everyday life is to add them to daily house hold products.  Something like a shower gel, or face cream would be ideal or even fabric conditioner. Choose something fragrance free or with a natural or mild perfume, otherwise the essential oils you choose may not be noticeable above the fragrance already present or if essential oils are already in the ingredients, adding more could increase the ratio to more than is safe.

Once you have your chosen base, add some of your favourite essential oils to the product and mix them in (see below for inspiration or click here to choose from the range of essential oils). It’s important to know how much essential oil to use because they can irritate the skin if not diluted appropriately.

I have put together 2 charts to help you with this (and a more comprehensive one at the end of the article for when you feel more confident), the first is for general use (which gives a 2% blend strength), and the second for any products being used on sensitive skin, or more delicate skin such as very young or aged skin (which gives a 1% blend strength).

2% General blend strength
Amount of base product No. of drops of essential oil to add
10ml 4
30ml 12
50ml 20
100ml 40
1% Delicate blend strength
Amount of base product No. of drops of essential oil to add
10ml 2
30ml 6
50ml 10
100ml 20

How to mix essential oils into your chosen products:

Sometimes it’s easy enough to remove the cap, add the appropriate number of drops to the bottle and give it a shake to disperse the oils evenly.  I often use a chopstick to stir in essential oils to a pot of cream.  If you have something very thick in a container that you can’t stir through, you may need to pour the product into a mixing jug first to blend the essential oils thoroughly, and then pour back into the original container -a funnel is particularly useful here.  You may also notice that the product becomes a little thinner when the essential oils have been added -this is normal.

Every day body care products and household products you can add essential oils to:

These are some every day products you can easily enhance with a few drops of essential oil, and some suggestions that would work well with their intended use -make sure the original product is fragrance free (organic, natural and children’s products are often more gently scented):

  • Shampoo ~ Rosemary and orange (for dark or thin hair), or chamomile and lemon (for fair hair)
  • Conditioner ~ Rosemary and orange (for dark or thin hair), or chamomile and lemon (for fair hair), benzoin and orange (for all hair types)
  • Shower Gel ~ Lemon and lavender (detoxifying & cleansing), eucalyptus and peppermint (clearing and invigorating).
  • Bubble Bath ~ Lavender and mandarin (cleansing & calming), roman chamomile and neroli (soothing and very calming).
  • Hand soap ~Lavender (cleansing) or rose (nurturing).
  • Face cream ~ Rose and frankincense (for dry, mature skin) or chamomile and neroli (soothing and gentle for sensitive skin).
  • Body cream ~ Benzoin and mandarin (protective and nourishing), geranium and rose (balancing and nurturing).
  • Washing Up Liquid ~ Lavender (cleansing) or basil and lime (fresh and zingy).
  • General Surface Cleaner ~ Lemon or citronella (detoxifying).
  • Bathroom Cleaner ~ Lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus and/or thyme (detoxifying and powerfully anti-microbial).
  • Laundry Liquid ~Lavender (cleansing) and lemon (detoxifying).
  • Fabric Conditioner ~ Lavender (cleansing) or geranium and orange (balancing).

Caution: Because many of these products are usually already fragranced, I would recommend you choose a fragrance free version, or something with a very gentle scent that you can enhance with additional essential oils.   A brand called Urtekram do a perfume free range that would be suitable.  Children and baby products are often fragrance free, and can be gentler with less aggressive ingredients, although this is not always the case.  Organic and sensitive skin ranges may also be fragrance free.

Tip: If I have any essential oils that are past their best then instead of throwing them away I use them in cleaning products around the house.

Essential Oil Blend Strength Chart – how many drops of essential oil to use when blending.

Use this chart to help you decide how many drops of essential oil to add to a base.

  • Up to a 1% blend strength – for use on the face, delicate and sensitive skin.
  • Up to 2.5% blend strength – or general use on the body
  • Up to 5% blend strength – for perfume making or when you are treating a specific area eg. a balm for chest infection or arthritic knee.

Screenshot 2017-07-28 13.08.18

19 thoughts on “How to Blend Essential Oils – How Many Drops Should I Use?

  1. Hi Laura, thank you for the latest tips – much appreciated. I have been using the cream you created in your workshop and gave to me with neroli in it – it is amazing, and I was wondering if you will be making more? And whether a little rose could be added also… With love, Janet x

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  2. HI Janet, I will be running a another cream making workshop in May this year, so if I havn’t made any before then, I will save a little pot of what we make for you. Would you like rose and neroli together?

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  3. Hello. I read your blog and buy some oils from NHR. I don’t use creams on my skin because my face is very acne prone. I found with trials and mistakes that hemp seed oil or rose hip oil is good for my skin and after cleansing i use few drops of oils on my damp face. Now i want to add some essential oils in hemp seed oil (tea tree oil, chamomile, geranium and may be vetiver because I like the smell). Everywhere in internet i read that tea tree oil shoud be 5% concentration. Do you think that is true?

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    1. Thank you for your question. I do not agree that tea tree oil should always be used at 5% blend strength. 5% is generally used when treating a specific symptoms on just the effected area. But I would not use this when the skin on that location is delicate, sensitive or broken or for the face as it is more delicate. In your case I would recommend a 5% blend of tea tree that you apply only directly to spots if and when you have them. For day to day use you can make 1% blend strength oil to apply all over your face after cleansing. Chamomile is great as it’s soothing, and geranium too as it’s balancing and of course tea tree is very powerfully anti-microbial, but sometimes a little medicinal and strong so you can replace this with lavender which is similar in action but more supportive for day to day use. I would not recommend vetiver, but if you want a more woodsy base note to the blend you can try myrrh which is very healing to the skin, of benzoin which has a vanilla like scent and is protective in action. Would love to know how you get on… With love, Laura

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  4. Wow. You are fast. Thank you.
    If I mix 3 essential oils (tea tree chamomile and geranium) in one carrier oil (hemp seed oil) they shoud be 1% TTO + 1% chamomile +1% geranium + 97% hemp seed oil. OR 0,33% TTO + 0,33 chamomile + 0,33% geranium + 99% hemp seed oil?

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    1. The blend strength should be 1% in total. And the essential oils do not need to be in equal parts. 1 ml is usually about 50 drops incase that helps with your calculations.
      By the way, I’m not too familiar with hemp oil, but rosehip is very good for scarring so you may still want to include this in the blend.

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      1. Thank you. I will try at first with 10ml carrier oil + 1 drop TTO + 2 drops chamomile + 1 drop geranium (4 drops oil total) only for night treatment after cleansing my face and use 5 drops of this mixture on my damp face and let see what is the effect. If I feel that is too much for me I will add more carrier oil to dilute the mixture.
        Thank you again.

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      2. Hi Laura, I’m a bit confused, I found myself here as I was looking for info on how much essential oil to use in my homemade Cosmetics. You say above that 1ml is about 50 drops but I noticed that in your recipes for balm you say that 1ml is 20 drops. Could you clarify that for me please. I want to try out some of your recipes but don’t have a way to really measure accurately the small quantities of oil and must rely on drops for a measurement.
        Shanti shanti, Gaye

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      3. Hi Gaye, thanks for pointing that out and apologies for the confusion. The number of drops is only really a guide, as it depends on the size of the drop. Things like size of the dropper insert in the bottle the viscosity of the oil will change the actual amount. I would suggest you use a pipette that has a fill of 1ml and it has quite specific increments if you need to be very accurate.
        When I drop rose oil from a pipette it is 40 drops in 1ml, it seems to be more with mandarin.
        I got the 20drops per ml from Neal’s Yard Remedies so I think they err on the side of caution.
        Let me know if you need any more help. With love, Laura

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  5. Hi Ditto Laura, 5% Essential oils on skin with problems is too high. I have found long term use of any essential oil, esp tea tree ceases to work as effectively after about 3-4 week continuous use. I use tea tree in face wash or toner for clients with acne (stay with naturalist products, without artificial chemicals) at 1%, jojoba base oil (wax really and close to skins sebum), calendula or Rosehip base oils work best at 1% E oils. I agree with Laura, Chamomile R, Geranium and Myrrh are great. Also Carrot oil. Gentle base cream (Laura’s Workshop) that is easily absorbed and doesn’t sit on the skin is best to moisturise. Green tea infusion and cider vinegar (75% + 25%) toner helps to balance the PH, rinse and apply your oil blend or cream blend.Patch test new blends in crook of elbow or back of ear. Hemp seed is 75%-80% poly fats so great for prob skins i.e. psoriasis, eczema, acne etc. but goes rancid quickly. Some people love the smell but some people don’t like it. If you are going to use it, add Vitamin E to your products or make small quantities, so can be used up quickly.

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  6. Hello Laura, thank you so much for this post. It is helping me making my own blend, something I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. One year ago, I’ve got rid of all commercial skin care products I owned and replaced them by essential oils. Today, I’d like to prepare a mix with avocado oil, jojoba oil, apricot oil and the few essential oils I selected. Yesterday I purchased a new oil called Verbena Grasse. I live in Rome, Italy and trust the place where I buy the oils. Though, when reading the ingredients on the box, i read: Verbena Officinalis leaf rectified oil, citral, citronellol, geraniol, limonene.
    I was expecting to read Verbena Officinalis leaf alone and not the other composants. Does that mean that the oil isn’t pure?? I really need your help on that. Thanks a lot .

    Sandrine

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    1. Hi Sandrine,
      Thanks for getting in touch.
      The following items: citral, citronellol, geraniol, limonene are all natural components that make up essential oils. Essential oils are actually made up of 1000’s of different chemical constituents, but the reason those particular ones are listed is due to the new european rules on labelling allergens and these come under that category, they are not added to the blend.
      ‘Rectified’ comes from the Late Latin rectificare which means “make right,” and it seems that is often referred to as Verbena Officinalis leaf rectified oil.
      So, I am pretty sure from your description that this is pure 100% Verbena officials leaf oil.
      Glad you are enjoying making your own blends.
      With love, Laura

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  7. Hi Laura, my daughter suffers with bad sinusitus, her nose blocks up @ night & she can’t sleep. Someone said that they use frankincense in their night cream for sinusitus. I have blended the 1% blend that you have recommended. Is there anything else she could try? Would it be ok to use the Frankincense for steaming? I think the eucalyptus & tea tree might be too strong as she is quite sensitive. I have myrtle oil as well as frankincense as they are gentle on respiratory. I have been putting them in a bath for her with a tablespoon of olive oil. 2 drops of frankincense, 2 myrtle, 2 geranium & 2 lavender oil.

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    1. Hi Kim,
      I agree that the eucalyptus & tea tree would be over powering.
      I like the sound of the bath blend but I would actually try the following blend:

      Chamomile (probably roman as it’s more gentle and the scent more sweet and apply, but german/blue chamomile is also suitable) -this oil is very anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy as well as soothing and calming.
      Lavender because it is very clearing and helps to relax, which can be very helpful if the struggle to breath causes stress.
      Frankincense (or Myrrh) to calm the breathing.

      Myrtle is lovely, but more suitable for chesty coughs than un blocking sinuses, however, it is still useful for the feel of clearing and it is gentle and very antimicrobial.
      Are you using Geranium because of the sweet smell? -it’s fine to use oil if the person enjoys the scent as this can support them too, but couldn’t see immediate connection to sinusitis.
      In any case, I would say that chamomile is the key one to try out.

      If possible encourage her to breath very gently through her nose (whether in the bath, or using steam, or just massaging the blend on chest before bed. Here is a link to some simple short meditations that can support:
      http://www.unimedliving.com/meditation/free/free-gentle-breath-meditations-an-introduction.html

      The essential oils will all support with the symptoms, but the key is to address the cause, eating any dairy products is a likely be the culprit, so it’s well worth cutting it out, but it must be 100% removed from the diet and can take a few months to clear the system. I can recommend some support with going dairy free if you feel to try as well as lots of website with simple recipes and yummy alternatives to the classic dairy foods:
      http://www.unimedliving.com/food/dairy-free

      With love, Laura

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    1. Thanks for getting in touch Kingsley, 30 drops in 100ml makes for a 1.5% blend strength, and this is perfect for an all over body massage oil. Do you have an idea of what essential oils you will use?

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      1. Yes, my Friend or almost. I’ve settled on the almond oil base-carrier and will buy same today as our 24-hr race starts at midday and I’ll probably start massaging about 8.p.m. Not quite settled on the essential, though, so your ideas welcome. Thank you so much for a speedy reply. Kingsley 07905505373

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  8. Hi Kingsley,
    There are lots of essential oils that can support but I would recommend German Chamomile as this is very anti-inflammatory, Lavender is a great all rounder and will help any aches, pain and tightness, and Black Pepper is very warming. They would work great in combination or individually to help muscles recover after the impact of running.

    You might find this article on running and the effects on the body interesting… https://medicineandsergebenhayon.com/2012/08/10/exercise-for-health-and-connection-from-an-exercise-physiologist/
    Laura

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  9. Hi Laura, Thanks

    I bought camomile, lavender and peppermint and added 10 drops each in an almond base of 100 mls. My massages went very well. The race was a successful one with about 40’ish ultra-marathon runners and the course record was broken by both men and women in their separate categories. The winner did 154 miles in 24 hours.

    I have noted and read your piece or someone else’s piece on running. I would say that it is reasonable and meaningful advice. Bear in mind, though, that all life is about Consciousness and as such ‘mindset’ is important. Some people are great vegetarians and yet others would speak of struggle and suffering if and when they try. Readiness and eagerness are so important for the Soul!!

    There is a physical athlete and a spiritual athlete and they run with different ;mindsets’, run for different reasons. Most seasoned runners have inner goals and the thread of self-transcendence … progress, is a very common one.

    Thank you for your kind support.

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