Essential oils are safe, powerful tools that can be used to support our bodies, including children. They offer natural, plant-based benefits that when used properly are an excellent side-effect-free way to care for our entire family.
Young Living essential oils are highly concentrated and quite potent, which is great because a little can go a long way, leading to a very cost-effective method of healing. With children, the best, most simple way to safely use essential oils is to dilute them. When we hear “dilute,” we generally think of watering down…like adding water to apple juice to make it less strong. Diluting essential oils is actually a little different though. For starters, we don’t dilute essential oils with water, since oil and water don’t mix. In fact, diluting essential oils can actually make them more beneficial by slowing down the absorption into the skin and elongating their effects. This is especially important for young skin, as it is more sensitive and their bodies are more responsive.
To dilute essential oil before applying it to the skin, we use a carrier oil. Carrier oils are simply oils with larger molecules that literally carry essential oils into the body.
Three reasons to use a carrier oil with essential oils when applying them to the skin are…
- To help carry them into the body before the essential oils evaporate off of the skin. This gives the essential oil more time to release into your body.
- To help spread your essential oils out over a larger area of skin. This makes them last longer and is more cost-effective.
- To help avoid skin irritation from essential oils that are “hot” and highly concentrated.
We always want to dilute essential oils when using them on children. I recommend over-diluting rather than under-diluting. Remember, we may think that diluting makes the essential oil less effective, but that is not true. It simply helps the body make the most use of it.
What types of carrier oils are we talking about here? Here are my top 5 favorites…
- Coconut oil (unfractionated – even though fractionated is easier, it often uses a chemical to keep it in a liquid form)
- Jojoba oil
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Young Living’s V-6 carrier oil blend
Whatever you do, please do not use canola, soybean, vegetable, or peanut oil. These are genetically modified and rancid, and you just don’t want them in or on your body. Trust me.
When in doubt, dilute, dilute, dilute! (The one exception to this is if you are using lavender on your skin after a burn…the carrier oil will trap in the heat, so lavender neat…or undiluted is likely to be more effective.)
Here are my recommended dilution guidelines for children:
0-2 years old: 1 drop of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil
2-6 years old: 1-3 drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil
For essential oils that you’re commonly using on your children, it’s a great idea to pre-dilute and have them ready in a glass roller bottle or jar. This simplifies the use and makes life easier. One thing to remember is that our KidScents essential oil line for children is already pre-diluted, so you don’t have to worry about adding carrier oil to them. Win win!
A few OEL favorite kid-diluted blends are below….
- 1 drop Clove, 1 drop Copaiba + 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Store in a glass jar and apply to gums while new teeth are making their entrance into the world.
- 1 drop Lavender, 1 drop Cedarwood + 2 teaspoons avocado oil. Mix in a glass dropper bottle and apply to bottoms of feet before bed for your littles 2-6 years old.
- 1 drop Thieves, 1 drop Lemon + 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil. Mix in roller bottle and apply to feet before leaving the house in the mornings for daily immune support.
Remember, when in doubt, dilute! Now let’s get to rolling.