by NIKI KLEIN, Certified Clinical Aromatherapist

Under 6 months: avoid

It is never recommended that topical applications be used in this age group, due to thinner skin and immature immune systems.

6 months – 24 months: avoid unless urgent

Please only use for the younger ones in an urgent situation, such as a bee sting or bug bite. Otherwise, avoid using essential oils topically for children under age 2, and use herbs or hydrosols instead.

2 – 6 years: 0.25% dilution

Hydrosols and herbs are still a good choice for this age group and should be considered before essential oils. Children in this age group have skin that’s getting a bit thicker, and their immune systems are maturing, so it is okay to use essential oils if properly diluted.

Over 6 years of age: 1% dilution

Recommended for children over age 6, pregnant women, elderly adults, those who have sensitive skin, compromised immune systems, or other serious health issues. This is also the dilution you want when you are applying to the face or massaging over a large area of the body.

Average healthy adult: 2% dilution

Ideal for most adults and in most situations. This is also a good dilution for daily skin care.

Temporary health issues: 3% – 10% dilution

Best used short term for a temporary health issue, such as a muscle injury or respiratory congestion. For an acute issue, such as a muscle cramp, or severe pain, up to 25% for a very short time may be appropriate. It is best to check with a professional.

USING OILS “NEAT” (undiluted)

Sometimes an essential oil may be used without dilution for an acute, short-term issue. A bug bite, burn, or sting, might be a good reason to use an essential oil in this way. Choose wisely, and do not make a habit of this. Not only can some essential oils irritate the skin, you also increase your risk for sensitization.

Remember the lower essential oil dilution you use, the lower the risk of adverse reaction.

Be very stingy and overly cautious with high dilutions.

With appreciation to UEOS

Comments/feedback/questions and/or experiences are most welcome. Email NIKI directly.