How to Mix Essential Oils: A Simple Guide

How to Mix Essential Oils: A Simple Guide

mixing aromatherapy oil

Whether you’re brand new to essential oils or have enjoyed ready-made products in the past, starting to experiment with your essential oil mixes is super exciting. There are so many scent combinations to choose from it can be a little overwhelming to get started. Not to mention, essential oils are used for more than just the scent, they also can provide benefits in their own rights too and be used for specific purposes as well.

How do you create essential oil blends? Are there essential oils that you shouldn’t mix? We’ve put together a simple guide to help you begin your journey. 

Why do Essential Oils need Mixing? 

Essential oils are incredibly versatile and have a wide range of uses. All Aromantic essential oils are intended for use in skincare and beauty products, but bear in mind many will need carrier oils added to make them safe to apply to the skin. 

Essential oils are highly concentrated products that need diluting to make them safe. Topical application of undiluted essential oils can lead to skin irritation and sensitivity, so you should always mix essential oils with a carrier oil to make them safer. In addition to safety reasons, it is common to blend essential oils for their beneficial properties to tailor your blend for oily skin or sensitive skin etc.

A maximum of 1% essential oil dilution is generally considered safe for direct application, but this will vary depending on your chosen oil and product as well as the safety information detailing where they are safe to use on the body and the type of product. All of our essential oils come with a comprehensive guide on how to use that particular oil, the beneficial properties and suggestions for recipes and blends. This will help you ensure you are making blends that not only smell great but are safe too. 

The combining of essential oils with other ingredients is most commonly referred to as blending, though we’ll use both blending and mixing to describe it throughout this guide. 

Best Carrier Oils to Blend with Essential Oils

When considering how to mix essential oils, it’s important to know what products experts would advise using. When we think of diluting a product, we generally think of adding water to the substance to “water it down”. To ensure that your blends are truly suitable to apply onto the skin, carrier oils are the safest way to dilute them.

When talking about carrier oils we’re referring to an oil which is used in larger quantities than your essential oil and acts as a base for your oil. Examples of carrier oils include:

The best carrier oils have little to no odour, so won’t alter the smell of the essential oils you’re working with. For topical use, you may want to consider the absorption properties. 

As carrier oils will make up the basis of many of your homemade oil products, it’s worth considering which carrier oil is most appropriate for your end product. Some are more suited to different products like face creams or in massage blends. Certain carrier oils will also target different skin types like dry, mature or greasy skin

How to Mix Essential Oils — Practical Guidance

We have a vast range of cosmetic recipe suggestions to help you get started with homemade blends. In these recipes, you’ll find the instructions use percentages instead of literal measurements. This makes the recipes easy to scale up or down, depending on how much product you want to end up with.

Use precise weighing scales for accuracy when measuring your ingredients, and when you’re just starting, try simple amounts to make your formulas easier. For example, if you're making 100g of a product, 1% = 1g.

Accuracy is important when working with essential oils as we recommend you don’t exceed 1% essential oil. For example, in our nail and cuticle oil, the ingredients are:

44% Hemp Seed Oil

17% Pumpkin Seed Oil

16% Sesame Oil

11% Thistle Oil

8% Jojoba Oil

3% Vitamin E

0.5% Myrrh Essential Oil

0.5% Lemon Essential Oil

100% Total

This blend allows for 1% essential oils, a large enough quantity to add scent but still restricted to a safe amount for topical application.

How to Mix Essential Oils — Scent Combinations

Blends are typically made up of three components; a top note, a middle note, and a base note. The “notes” are categories based on the strength and longevity of a scent. 

Top notes or opening notes are the first scents you smell; they’re often light and sharp. Examples of top notes include bergamot essential oil and lime essential oil, and most citrus oils. Top notes typically have an instant zing.

Middle or “heart'' notes have more warmth than a top note and linger more than the instant punch of citrus. Ginger essential oil and cinnamon leaf are good examples of middle notes with a light spice and sweetness. Middle notes are the middle ground between top and base notes and often fall into more than one category. 

Bottom or base notes are the richest scents in a blend and have a longer-lasting intensity. They have a grounding effect and are often more savoury than other notes. Examples include cedarwood and sandalwood essential oil.

Using a combination of notes will help you to achieve a harmonious blend. For seasonal suggestions check out our room spray blends including suggested scent combinations for Halloween diffusers

When you’re first experimenting with how to blend essential oils, you must note everything you’re adding. If you make a gorgeous blend, you’ll want to remember how to recreate it! Equally, if one of your blends doesn’t turn out as well as you’d hoped, you want to record what you did so you don’t repeat the same thing.

What Essential Oils Should Not be Mixed Together?

It’s fun to experiment with essential oils that blend well and essential oils that complement one another. Because you only need a few drops, there’s very little waste if you don’t like a combination or your experiment doesn’t work out. 

When considering what essential oils should not be mixed, ask yourself how you want to benefit from the blend. For example, if you’re going to make a product that has calming and soothing effects, you want to combine ingredients that will work together to achieve that. You wouldn’t want to mix peppermintor tea tree oil in a blend intended to aid sleep because these essential oils are associated more with alertness and energising. 

The question of what essential oils should not be mixed comes from personal preference. If there are fragrances you like, try combining them and see what the results are. Tweaking the strengths can help balance the scents, but what one person loves another may find unpleasant, so keep mixing and sniffing until you land on something you like! 

The resulting scent is just one of the things to consider with what essential oils should not be mixed. You may find some combinations are slower absorbing or leave a residue on the skin, so if you prefer a dryer finish, prioritise essential oils like grape seed oil which doesn’t leave a greasy feeling when applied. 

Our Ultimate Guide to Essential Oils has some great suggestions for the best essential oils to get you started. For an easy introduction to essential oils, try our aromatherapy kits today. 

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