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AAA: What Are Maximum Dilution Rates of Essential Oils?

by Bella Martinez September 04, 2019

AAA: What Are Maximum Dilution Rates of Essential Oils?

We’ve talked a lot about dilution in the past, and why it’s necessary, but you may be wondering, “What is a max dilution rate?” When we discuss max dilution rates, we’re referring to the percentage next to “Adult Max Dilution” which is found on the single oils’ product pages, under “Safety & Shelf Life.” For example, you’ll find an adult max dilution of .15% for Allspice. We recommend checking to see if any oils you own have a max dilution, then returning here to find out what this means for you and your oils.

To recap, to dilute is to lower the concentration of essential oils by adding it to a diluent (most often, a skin-loving vegetable oil). If used undiluted, essential oils can cause skin sensitization or allergy. In most circles, a normal dilution rate is considered to be anything between 1-5% and a high dilution is 5-10%. However, certain essential oils require specific precautions that go beyond these generalized recommended dilutions. These oils are given a “max dilution rate” as they can contain potent skin allergens or constituents that are detrimental in concentrations above the max dilution. An example of a potentskin allergen is cinnamaldehyde, leadingCinnamon Bark to have a maximum recommended dilution of .07%. Other oils, such asGrapefruit,Key Lime andLemon, can cause a phototoxic reaction if used above their recommended max dilution rates and worn topically in the sun. However, these types of oils can safely and effectively be used when they’re diluted at or below the given maximum dilution rate.

Through studies, research and risk assessments of essential oil’s potential to cause adverse reactions, organizations like the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and researchers such as Robert Tisserand, set guidelines for the maximum recommended dilution rates of essential oils. Not all essential oils have been researched with regard to maximum dilution and safe topical use, but this area of aromatherapy study is expanding. 

How, then, do you calculate the amount of essential oil to add to a carrier that meets said oil’s maximum dilution rate?Dilution calculators, such as these, are helpful! Otherwise, breakout your calculator and prepare for a little math refresher. Note, that using a scale is the most accurate way to measure essential oils.

Find The Percentage Of A Number

  1. Assuming there are 600 drops in 30 ml, convert your carrier oil amount to drops. Here are some quick conversions:
  • 1 ml = 20 drops
  • 10 ml = 200 drops
  • 30 ml = 600 drops
  1. Multiply the max dilution percentage by the number of drops in your carrier oil. 
  2. Divide the number above by 100. This final number is the amount of drops you need to add to your carrier oil. 
  3. The equation looks like this (P is your max dilution percentage and X is the number of drops in your carrier oil):

       –––  X


Example: How many drops of Cinnamon Bark should you add to 4 oz of carrier oil, if it has a .07% max dilution rate?

  1. 4 oz (120 ml) of carrier oil equals to 2,400 drops. 


             –––  2400


  1. .07 multiplied by 2,400 equals 168.
  2. 168 divided by 100 equals 1.68 drops.
  3. Round 1.68 down to 1 drop.
  4. Add 1 drop of Cinnamon Bark to 4 oz of carrier oil for an approximate dilution of .07%.

It’s also important to note that the max dilution rates of essential oils are often based on an essential oil’s constituents.  Cinnamon Leaf, for example, has a max dilution rate of .6% based on a eugenol content of 87%. However, at the time of writing this article, ourCinnamon Leaf contains 73.19% eugenol. The max dilution rate could therefore be slightly higher than .6%, but to simplify things and err on the side of over-caution, we choose to stick to the .6% dilution rate. We advise you also stick to the recommendations given by the essential oil company you purchase from. If the company you purchase from doesn’t offer dilution recommendations, check with an aromatherapist. 

Wish you could find all of Edens Garden’s single oils’ maximum dilution rates in one place? Well now you can, with our max dilution rate chart! Download it here.


Tisserand, Robert, and Rodney Young.Essential Oil Safety.2nd ed., Churchill Livingstone, 2014.

Grab The Essentials Here:

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Edens Garden

October 10, 2019 at 9:36 am

Hi Tiffany! You’re correct 😳 We’ve adjusted the text to reflect this. Thank you for pointing this out!

Tiffany K Murray

October 10, 2019 at 9:31 am


Thank you for this info. Just wanted to point out that if 30ml = 600 drops, then 10ml = 200 drops, (not 100 drops)

Love your oils.

Edens Garden

September 25, 2019 at 11:25 am

Hi Diana! Essential oils in an alcohol-based solution evaporate quickly and don’t cling onto the skin, as opposed to essential oils in a carrier oil base. For this reason, a 20% concentration is allowed in essential oil, alcohol based perfumes. It is largely unknown if commonly sensitizing essential oils have less of an irritating effect in an alcohol base vs a carrier oil base, so we recommend proceeding with caution.


September 25, 2019 at 10:50 am

I absolutely love your Allure perfume, and the cinnamon bark is one of the essences I most love in it. I make perfume myself, and I wonder how I can use this ingredient safely but still have it be a detectable note in a fragrance. Is the recommended dilution the same for perfume as it is for aromatherapy? How is it possible that perfume can contain such high amounts of essential oils that would be way outside the accepted range in aromatherapy? I can’t find an answer to that question anywhere, not even in the many books on aromatherapy and natural perfume making I have.

Edens Garden

September 9, 2019 at 12:15 pm

Hi Adwoa! That is a wonderful idea which I will pass along to our development team. In the meantime, this dilution calculator is a great option: https://marvymoms.com/dilution-calculator-that-will-change-how-you-use-essential-oils-forever/

Edens Garden

September 9, 2019 at 12:15 pm

Hi SM! According to Young Living’s website, Valor is prediluted in Caprylic/capric triglyceride– a form of Coconut oil. With that said, we recommend diluting all essential oils prior topical use.

Adwoa Nimako

September 9, 2019 at 12:12 pm

Hello dear,
Thanks so much for the information. I am truly grateful.
Can you please make it simpler for us by saying the exact quantity of an essential oil to a carrier oil; like: 0.7% of cinnamon bark essential oil is to 4oz carrier oil?
Some of us are not good in that caicalculations.
Best regards.


September 9, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Hi, I am able to use Young living Valor without dilution, will i be able to do the same with Align?

thank you

Edens Garden

September 5, 2019 at 8:55 am

Hi Bee! We appreciate your feedback, but we believe you can use Cinnamon Bark topically. Albeit at a very low dilution of .07%, which again is 1 drop per 4 oz of carrier oil. We side with aromatherapist, Robert Tisserand, in this regard.

Edens Garden

September 5, 2019 at 8:55 am

Hi S.! We can’t speak for other companies, though we sincerely hope others are using safe dilutions. If you’re using our Rose absolute (2.5% max) and Jasmine absolute (.7% max), a safe dilution would be 5 drops of Rose and 1 drop of Jasmine in a 10 ml roll-on with carrier oil.


September 5, 2019 at 8:23 am

Cinnamon bark? I can’t believe you are using this as an example! As far as I am aware, and I have been a practitioner for 25 years, this should never be used in massage therapy, no matter what the dilution ratio. Cinnamon leaf, ok, but with caution.

And yes, I do keep up to date, before you ask.


September 5, 2019 at 8:23 am

Interesting. Interesting. I just started getting into essential oils. I did my rose and jasmine at 10 drops per 10ml roll-on bottle and have not had any skin issues. Is this a causious estimate? Can you do dilution at higher? And is this what other well-known companies do their dilutions at for prediluted blends? Meaning is this what most other companies use for doing their blends? I know that you might not be able to say but I’m still curious. When I got jasmine from you guys prediluted it was a lot weaker than the one I got from doterra. I started making my own blends to avoid the expense.