How to Dose Essential Oils in a Formula
In connection with this previous post, today's subject details a bit about why precision is so important when making formulas for skincare products.
We're going to touch on something some DIY'ers hardly even give a thought – how to dose essential oils in a formula.
You: Seriously, Lise? We need lessons in counting drops?
Me: You mean you're measuring by the drop?
By the Drop? Please Stop.A lot of people measure out essential oils by the drop when making a product for personal use (or in very small portions for friends and family).
It's totally understandable, "It's a super small batch and it's just a few drops."
Nevertheless, it is inaccurate to measure essential oils by the drop.
Why This Even MattersYou might be shaking your head by now and wondering why this matters at all.
It really sounds a bit like overkill.
But picture this little scenario:
Let's say your family and friends have fallen in love with your product and demand is growing. Wonderful! You need to make bigger batches to accommodate everyone. Maybe you are also now considering selling your product through an online shop or at markets.
If your formula is not 100% precise, then you have no idea what percentage essential oil is in your product. If you upsize your formula by simply multiplying the drops of essential oil, you might exceed recommended dosage and your product may even cause harm to a customer.
As tempting as it might be to assume all essential oils weigh the same, this simply isn't so.
Because of a little something called density.
That Little Something Called Densityright here, but this picture kinds of explains it all.
See how the different oils in this graduated cylinder are 'layered' and not mixing? That's because each oil has a different density.
Even if you measure out the exact same volume of a few different oils and weigh each one, and even if you have been super-duper careful and poured up EXACTLY one teaspoon, the oils will not weigh the same unless they happen to have the same density.
This is why it is not accurate enough to measure essential oils (or any oils) by volume.
Ingredients – even single drops of essential oil – should always be measured by weight.
Putting it To the TestLorraine Dallmeier – Owner and Director of Formula Botanica – did her own comparison test. She measured the weight of 20 drops of several essential oils and recorded the results.
The difference in weight was a real eye-opener. Her test showed twenty drops weighed as low as 0.35 grams and as high as 1.05 grams.
Now, imagine upsizing your essential oil blend for a batch production by counting drops. That could be asking for a bit of trouble, couldn't it?
Today's tip: always measure by weight!
Read Lorraine's post and test results right here.
Which ScaleSince you ask: I use a jewelers scale for measuring minute amounts. Here's the one I have been using the last couple of years.
Do TellAre you a 'by the drop' person or are you measuring your EO's by weight?
Density Illustration courtesy of Wikimedia Commons