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Blending oils can be very fun. You can use oils for a variety of reasons. Commonly, people blend oils for skincare treatments and routines. Blending essential oils is a major component to aromatherapy. Have you ever thought about blending oils? Have you wondered how to do this? There is so much a person has to know to be able to blend oils. It is not as hard as it may sound. In fact, it can be rather simple. With the right instructions and practice you should be able to learn how to blend essential oils in no time. Below we dive deep into the interesting world of blending essential oils and carrier oils.
Before starting there are some basic concepts you need to understand about oil blending. A carrier oil is a base oil. It dilutes the essential oil. We dilute oils when blending for safety reasons, when the plan is to apply the oil to the skin. Before applying oil to your skin make sure you blend the essential oil with the carrier oil. You can also blend essential oils with other essential oils. But don’t mix more than five essential oils together in one blend.
Carrier oils are used within blends alongside essential oils. They are generally used to dilute the oils as mentioned above, but can have their own beneficial properties, such as protecting and nourishing the skin, alleviating eczema irritation and they often contain a lot of vitamins such as A, B2, B1, B6 and E. There are several different oils that can be used as carrier oils, including coconut, sweet almond, olive, jojoba, avocado and argan oil among others, each with their own unique benefits.
Oil from bitter almond is toxic and is referred to as cyanide. It is almost chemically identical to the oil from sweet almond and oil from peach kernel, however, these have useful properties. Sweet Almond Oil promotes collagen production, makes your skin looks youthful, smooth, and hydrated. Sweet almond oil have ideal application in facial massages. Oil that contain Vitamin E and a high percentage of linoleic acid (unsaturated fat) leave the skin with a silky feeling and is long-lasting.
The macadamia nut can be found growing in Queensland and New South Wales in Australia. Its unrefined oil has a golden colour and has delightful feel to it, as well as an insignificant aroma, which is benefical in carrier oils. After the oil is refined, it is left with no smell and the colour turns to a pale yellow. It contains a high percentage of palmitoleic acid, which is an unsaturated fat which cannot be found in other plant oils. Since the acid decreases with age, macadamia oil helps in replenishing ageing skin. The benefits of this oil also include:
- Highly soothing properties
- Providing skin with anti-aging properties
- Nourishing dry skin
- Treating or protecting sunburn
Apricot Kernel Oil:
This usually comes from plants in the wild. The oil is normally organic with a golden red colour. It contains a high proportion of unsaturated fat and its main benefit is that it acts as a tissue regenerator. It is effective in dealing with scar tissue, eczema, sunburn, aging skin, burns and wounds. The oil must be used in its fresh state.
Safflower seeds were discovered in an Egyptian tomb that was 3000 years old, and its flowers and seeds were used for several centuries as a dye. It contains a high proportion of polyunsaturated fat acids. The oil has many benefits, including for bronchial asthma, sprains, circulation, painful swollen joints, and bruises. The oil colour is a pale yellow and it contains Vitamin E, sesamol, and has plenty of minerals and vitamins that provide benefits to eczema, dry skin, and psoriasis, while protecting the skin against harmful rays from the sun. This oil is also long lasting.
This is extracted from dried fruit that is considered not good enough for fresh produce market. Sometimes it is cloudy and rich in a green colour, which is a good indication that the oil is not refined. When refined, the colour turns to a pale yellow. The oil can form a maximum of 25 percent of the entire blend. It consists of Vitamins A, B and D, as well as lecithin and saturated and unsaturated fats. Its benefits include treating dry skin and wrinkles. It is long lasting since it has its in-built preservative.
Notes in essential oils:
Essential oils have notes. This is very important to understand and master before jumping into creating your first blend. You have top, middle and base notes. Base notes are the heaviest oils and evaporate slowly. They tend to last longer than top and middle notes. Top notes are very light oils with a quick evaporation rate. Middle notes are in between the base notes and the top notes. Middle notes tend to be a perfect mix of both top and base notes.
Oil blends combine all three notes. Thus, it is important for an aromatherapist to use a good balance of essential oils in the blend. The first smell from the perfume or oil combination is the top note oil. Base notes usuall are used to retain oils quickly evaporate so that their scent can last for longer. Their application is purely based on cell, domain of vegetable, and type of tissue affected. In this category are most woods and gums. They act on the mucus membranes. These are valuable in treating chronic conditions, and their essences were even used by early man. Their efficiency in treating eldery people is remarkable.
TOP NOTES are first impression scents, they are stimulating and uplifting oils, the one that you smell first when you breathe in a blend. Top note scents are often described as very light, refreshing, cheerful and bright. Your can find light fruit, green or citrus scents in this category.
MIDDLE NOTES are the most used oils. Middle notes do not evaporate as quickly as top notes. Herbs and spices belong to this category.
BASE NOTES describe the oils that stay with you the longest. Base notes add depth and richness to a blend and are mostly used for parfumes and fragrances. If you are testing the scent, take your time with the base notes as the smell will be different half hour later. Good example is woody scent.
If you’re new to blending oils you may not be aware of all the types of oils available. Please see the examples of notes listed below in the chart. The list is not fully complete, stated essential oils are only examples. Please note that the classification of oils might sometimes vary, as you can see that certain oils can belong to more than one category.
|TOP NOTES||MIDDLE NOTES||BASE NOTES|
||Black Pepper middle/base
|Lemon Tea Tree
|Sweet Orange||Thyme||Ylang-Ylang middle/base
Before you jump into mixing blends make sure you know what scents pair well with each other. Not all scents go together nicely. Lavender and orange pair nicely with each other. Ylang ylang and geranium make a perfect combo. Use wild orange, clove and cinnamon to create a holiday themed scent. These combinations of essential oils are very pleasing to smell. You can use these combinations in your home to have a natural scent. If you are interested in essential oil recepies to be able to create own wonderful blends, please check bellow our recommended books.
If you’re new to blending oils you may not be aware of all the types of oils and their benefits. Click here to learn more about benefits.
Different ways to use essential oils:
- Aromatherapy bath
- Aromatherapy massage/skin application
- Scent a room with a diffuser, humidifier or burner
- Hot and cold compress
- Facial steamer
- Scented pillows
Let’s begin the process of blending oils:
Before you start, ask yourself following question. What will you be using the oil blend for? When and where will it be used? What effect do you want the oil blend to have? The reason you need to ask yourself these questions is because the answers will allow you to figure out what type of oils, supplies and equipment you need to create your own oil blend. Below are the recommended utensils:
- Small bottles made from dark glass
- Cup for measuring
- Eye droppers
- Small funnels
Determine the scent you want. Determining the scent will tell you which type of fragrance you should consider. Lavender and rose oils will give a floral scent. Pine and cedar will give an earthy scent. Peppermint and spearmint will give a minty scent. After selecting your oils, select your notes. Keep in mind that not all notes last the same amount of time. If you are wanting a long lasting scent consider a base note that can last up to a few days.
Blending your oils. You can use a cotton swab to dip inside the bottle. Do not use the same swab for each bottle of oil. Once you get all the swabs you want, fan them in the air. This way you will get a good idea of what the scents will smell like once blended. If you are pleased with the scents then it is time to blend. If you do not have swabs you can pick up some fragrance testing strips.
Mixing the oils. Remember this ratio when mixing oils. Use 20 – 30% of your top note, 40 – 80% of your middle note and 10 – 25% of your base note. Here is a second rule you can also follow. For every drop of the base note, you will need three or more drops of the top and two drops of the middle notes. Mix the essential oils together first. If required, add any carrier oils to the mixture.
Two essential oil drops need to be used in 5ml (1tsp) of the carrier oil, and a maximum of eight drops in a single treatment.
If you plan to use the oil for the skin you will have to take additional steps after mixing the oils. This step is mixing an essential oil with a carrier oil and is only necessary if you plan to be putting the oil on your skin. Safe guideline for topical application is 0.5% for infants, 1% for eldery people, children age 2 – 10 or facial applications, 2% essential oil dilution for adults, 3-5% for short term applications on small area. The ingredients below would be included in simple blend for adult:
- Carrier oil 15ml
- Three top note drops of oil
- Two middle note drops of oil
- One base note drop of oil
Topical application dilution guidelines
|0.5%||0.5 drop||1 drop||2 drops||3 drops|
|1%||1 drop||2 drops||4 drops||6 drops|
|2%||2 drops||4 drops||8 drops||12 drops|
|3%||3 drops||6 drops||12 drops||18 drops|
|4%||4 drops||8 drops||16 drops||24 drops|
|5%||5 drops||10 drops||20 drops||30 drops|
Depending on what you use your oil blend for will determine how many drops you need. If you use essential oil for the very first time, make sure you completed patch test. Place a drop of diluted essential oil to a small area of skin such as behind your ear or inside elbow. If you will discover skin irritation, diziness, headache or nausea, you should avoid using it.
Use of dispersing agent. This step is only necessary if you plan to add the oil to your bath time routine. Essential oil blends are great to use in your bath water. They offer many benefits to the skin besides their awesome scent. The purpose of a dispersing agent is to allow the oil to disperse throughout the water easily. A dispersing agent can be jojoba oil, milk or honey.
Several essential oils are never applied in aromatherapy because they can result in toxicity and severe irritation or pose other acute health risks. Some of essential oils cannot be used on individuals who have certain health conditions. Several essential oils have specific contraindications for use in individuals who are expectant, epileptic, asthmatic, considering pregnancy, or have other medical issues, such as cancer. Individuals under constant medical supervision should seek consultant or GP approval before using essential oils. Always follow contraindications. If you are seriously interested in blending essential oils, the safety and contraindications is essential knowledge. Please see recommended books below.
Blending essential oils is a very fun and relaxing activity. It can be therapeutic for you. Use this guide as a way to learn how to blend essential oils and know what to do when it comes down to blending. Don’t forget you’ll need a carrier oil to mix with your essential oil if you plan on applying it topically to the skin. Remember to use your top, base and middle notes when blending. If you would like to go deeper in aromatherapy and blending have a look at recommended books. The books mentioned above will give your essential knowledge.
If you have any feedback about blending essential oils or any questions about the notes, please leave your comments below!