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Blending Strength 
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:41 am
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Location: Eureka, CA
Post Blending Strength
Any information on blending strength percentages of the different oils for use on the skin?
For example if I blend my oil with carrier for a 1% - 4% or (7% just because I like if strong), are there any guidelines for oil strengths that you can apply to the skin?
I guess it depends on your skin, I do use some oils on my skin @ 100%, but I do take warning on oils that are not recommended to apply with out dilution.
Just looking for some guidelines.

ali


Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:38 am
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Post Re: Blending Strength
Hi Ali,

The CO2 'fruit and vegetable" source oils can be used at a little higher concentration -- sometimes I'll use as much as 1, maybe even 2 full milliliters of Sea Blackthorn, 1ml of Rose hip oil CO2 to"total" extract, or Carrot Root. These somewhat resemble cold-pressed seed oils, but with with a much higher concentration of flavenoids and other nutrients besides fats.

I use less so of pretty much everything else except oils that can be used neat, if they are used that way often (really only helichrysum, lavender, and plai, but I have yet t experiment with this one). So don't let "CO2" fool you -- it's certainly easy to use too much Frankincense (irritating); German Chamomile & Calendula - may (according to some professionals), have a pro-inflammatory effect when used at greater than 2%,

And particularly for topical facial skincare, if I use to high an amount of the Heli or Lav., it cam irritate my eyes. So really it's just those :Fruit CO2's, oh AND Sandalwood -- that seems to be fairly benign as well -- being a base note (releasing slowy aromatically around the eyes)

GENERALLY, skin care formulas created without the idea of treating some medical condition are in the neighborhood of 3% - 5% total essential concentration, particularly those for continuous daily use.


Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:56 pm
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Post Re: Blending Strength
My latest, all-around, face serum has an 11-12% concentration of oils to one ounce of carrier. The oils consist of:

sea buckthorn
carrot root
helichrysum
rosemary verb
lavender

According to what Eric has said, most of these oils are safe to use at higher concentrations because they fall under "oils that can be used neat" or as one of the qualifying "fruit & veg" oils. I've been using this blend for about 2 weeks now, and so far it doesn't feel like it's too strong. But I do have some concern about it being potentially pro-inflammatory, due to the high concentration of EO's (and my predisposition for acne).

Any thoughts?


Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:30 pm
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Post Re: Blending Strength
Hi *ether*,

Re: 11% - 12% All Around Face Serum

To be safe, perhaps you should consider diluting your blend somewhat with some hazelnut carrier oil, which has an astringent quality (but won't dry out your skin) and should be suitable for skin prone to acne.

Regards,

Sue


Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:11 pm
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Post Re: Blending Strength
Hi Ether & Sue -- I DO think it's a very nice anti-aging / regenerative blend. The rosemary and lavender might be anticeptic enough to ward off acne, but Sue made a good suggestion -- and I think you could use Grapeseed as well.

Regarding the concentration, that is a pretty high number, I don't think even with those oils I go over 6 or 7%, but if there's reasonably more sea buckthorn and carrot root than the others in their ratio of concentrations, I could see it may be ok. Now, I still wouldn't used Heli, Lavender, and particularly the Rosemary (not one that should be used "neat") at 2% each (just an example, as if you're blend had equal parts).

I don't think you'll see a pro-inflammatory condition (I've heard that specifically about German Chamomile, and would consider Marigold/Calendula in the same category, as the distiller suggests only up to 0.3%). I have not heard potential negative reactions about lavender or helichrysum, and because they're often used "neat", some highly educated therapist would have said something over the last 20 years :)

I think if the concentrations were too high, you would notice it feeling unpleasant. I've made a similar blend, including Frankincense CO2 at a slightly high concentration, which made my eyes water and my skin feel a little warm. It's interesting too that in all the literature, there's little discussion of the effect of high concentrations for skin care - again, I've only heard this mentioned about German Chamomile, and the distiller's recommendation of just a few more. We're not talking about cinnamon or oregano, but oils that are generally used in beauty/anti-aging/general skin health formulas. Those oils we know can burn the skin. Yet, is a blend with 8% Ylang Ylang going to produce any negative results? No one seems to actually know, but goes along with mainstream thought regarding optimal concentration.

We do have one distiller who notes concentration values in some of their products. We have noted these, yet perhaps will make a page or table with these values all in one place (honestly, I think we've mentioned them all!) But a table for skin care blending concentrations on the site sounds like a really good ideal

My final words: I would still recommend those that are first blending for facial skin care to stay at or below the 5% limit, and ask if they have questions about certain oils which may be ok to use more of (as the distiller of the CO2 Sea Buckthorn, Carrot Root, German Chamomile, Arnica, Rosehip Total and Calendula gives limits only for the Chamomile (0.1% to 0.3%), Arnica (keeping this low is actually mentioned in other places) and Calendula (0.1% to 0.3%) and NO limit mentioned for the other oils - generally ones with high lipid concentration, in addition to volatile aromatic components).

And for all readers, don't feel more is better; more can be better and more can burn. Because the long-term daily use on the skin of really MOST essential oils is not known, it's a good idea to even make small (10ml) test batches of your own recipes, and see how your skin feels from using it. Does it look better? Good. Does it make your skin warm or your eyes tear? Probably not something you want to keep using. The carriers have therapeutic effects too -- certainly Tamanu, Coconut, Borage, Hemp, Evening Primrose and Pomegranate are actually very therapeutic (anti-inflammatory, regenerative, nutritive in important ways). Trust them as well.

Let us know how it goes, Ether! You may have found an important new concept when working with the newer "supercritical CO2" extract oils!

Cheers and Thanks,
Eric


Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:24 pm
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Post Re: Blending Strength
Hi Sue,

I should have been more thorough. To the EO's I originally listed, I added approx. a 1/3 of each for a total of one ounce:
Hazelnut
Argan
Tamanu

The actual number of drops I used for EO's are:
35 drops Sea Buckthorn
35 drops Carrot Root
17 drops Helichrysum
17 drops Rosemary Verbenone
10 drops Lavender

That's a total of 114 drops; 11-12% concentration.

I really enjoyed discovering how the Hazelnut seems to help everything else get absorbed better - which is why the next time around I think I'll reduce the Tamanu to a 1/4, and perhaps switch the Argan to Grapeseed (as Eric suggested).

Eric,
I went a little nuts, didn't I :lol: . I would actually prefer that "less is more", when it comes to concentrations... But it WOULD be interesting if indeed higher concentrations COULD be more effective... I didn't really have any guidelines as to what the maximum percentage of EO's (considering the CO2 oils, etc.) in a 1oz blend should be, so I just went for it figuring the risks weren't that great. Lucky for me, so far so good... But next time, I'll keep it to below 5%.

I've been archiving many of the recipe blends from the Ananda blog and Forum, and came up with my formula by piecing different ones together. Frankincense is one I've been meaning to add...

I once added some drops of Helichrysum and Lavender atop my moisturizer and experienced that watery eye sensation as well. Not so with this formula, however.


Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:48 pm
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Post Re: Blending Strength
Oh, "making 10ml test batches" of our recipes is a brilliant idea! ;) Thanks.


Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:54 pm
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Post Re: Blending Strength
Ether, you're inspiring me to work with hazelnut more. I'll have to check out how my skin likes it.

By MY calculations :geek: you're between 8.68% and 9.21%. This is using the 33-35 drops per mL value which we've consistently recorded across droppers and oils...maybe it's the altitude?

Yes, and we've some 1 dram vials here that are really a great blend tester size for formulas without carriers. We should bring in enough to put on the site, as they're really useful for aromatic alchemy!

(Actually, it's been a side project to re-bottle oils that are either pastes or really thick at room temperature, and we're sampling bottles to find ones we like. It sounds easy -- I don't know why we're not offering our vanila with a screw cap soon. But it's happening ;) )


Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:06 pm
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Post Re: Blending Strength
I have a feeling there's something I'm not getting right in determining the concentration of blends. Considering I have 114 drops of essential oil to 1oz of carrier oil in this blend -- Eric, will you break down the math?

Thanks,
ether


Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:06 am
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Post Re: Blending Strength
Hi Ether,

(I expect you're not necessarily looking for this diatribe I'm about to embark on, but read through and I'll answer your question in the bullet points at the end).
;)

We'll do the calculation of the essential oil concentration in your blend using milliliters. One doesn't need to care about milliliters so much, but I think it make it easier to do the math. It's also the "drops per milliliter" figure that really need to be addressed in aromatherapy practice, IMHO, hence the long response.

Because drops per milliliter is an easy and common way to figure the concentrations of EO's in carriers, which is pretty important, one day I decided to actually measure this -- rather than assume the figure that's for WATER (20 drops per millimeter) is correct for essential oils. The numbers are very different.

I JUST did this test again a few minutes ago, using a scientific disposable transfer pipette, and here's what I observed: 1) for water, there were 20 drops per milliliter, 2) for a thin oil (tea tree) there were 30 drops per milliliter, 3) for a thicker oil (Sea Buckthorn Berry CO2 Total) there were 40 drops per ml.

This difference has to do with the attraction of the molecules in each liquid to each other. Water molecules have a high cohesive force (and hence high surface tension, why waterbug doesn't sink). That simply means they stick together with more force than many other liquids, which results in more force being required to separate a drop from the water still in the pipette. That drop needs to get bigger and heavier before it'll let go from the dropper.


SO, to get down to business and answer your question about what's the concentration of 114 drops of essential oils within one ounce of blend!
  • There are 30 milliliters in one fluid ounce.

  • There are (about) 30 to 38 drops of essential oil per milliliter, depending on which essential oil.

  • Let's go with the average being 35d/ml of the oils in your blend. So you want to figure out first how many milliliters is 114 drops, then divide that by 30 (milliliters in one fluid ounce) to give you the percent concentration (ml's of essential oil relative to the total number of ml's).

  • That's 114/35 = 3.26 milliliters of essential oil. 3.26/30 = 0.108, or 10.8%

Tomorrow the staff will be measuring the number of drops per milliliter of each essential oil, and we'll put up a chart for anyone who would like to use it in their blending.

Cheers!
Eric


Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:50 pm
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Post Re: Blending Strength
Got it! took me a few readings... but i got it, thank you.

SO COOL that you guys are going to measure how many drops per milliliter of each essential oil!

Y'all ROCK!


Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:12 pm
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Post Re: Blending Strength
Hi *ether*,

Eric posted the link to "Table with Drops Per Milliliter Chart" for all the Ananda oils under the topic: "How to make blends according to % concentrations". I didn't want you to miss it. The link to the chart is below as well.

http://www.anandaapothecary.com/measuring-essential-oils.html


Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:44 pm
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Post Re: Blending Strength
Thanks for looking out, Sue!


Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:43 pm
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Post Re: Blending Strength
So my question for blending then is: if you have something that calls for say 5 drops coriander and 3 drops cardamom that you mix 1 drop of that blend in 1/2 teaspoon carrier oil when it is needed, can you double the EO to have more on hand? Do you still use 1 drop of blend in 1/2 t or do you use 2 drops and then also double the amount of carrier oil to 1 teaspoon when it is needed? I'm thinking about this too much and I'm confusing myself:?


Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:08 am
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Post Re: Blending Strength
Hi Merlin: As this is a "general skin care" blend, and not specifically for healing wounds, injuries or scars, the % concentration are around .5% Rose, and 1-2% Helichrysum. For general skin care, the max % recommended is generally 5%. With a very few CO2 oils, you can use a little more (Carrot Root, Sea Buckthorn, perhaps Rosehip) as they're not as volatile -- more long change lipophillic molecules that won't be irritating in high amounts. But that's really only a few.

So, a TOTAL of 5% max is the general rule of thumb for skin care - if your eyes are watering from application that wasn't "on" them, or your skin feel slightly sunburned, your concentration is too high :)

Hi Kelly: Yes, you can make a gallon of the EO blend if you like, though you'd still put one drop of it into 1/2tsp when needed. You could use two drops in 1tsp, it's the same concentration, though your choice whether you feel like 2 drops of the essential oil formula is best for at that moment. How's that? :)

~ Eric


Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:53 pm
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Post Re: Blending Strength
Well, of course in the store we have a different pipette for every oil. And with the 3ml pipettes, you can shake them pretty clean such that less than a drop would remain before using. Consider the physics of actually getting one type of oil into the bottle of another. Your next step is to draw up oil from another bottle, then dispense that into your blend. If you've drawn more than you need, of course that's going back into the stock bottle -- but it's really so little of another variety that might make it in there. Let's say it was 1 drop (when I've shaken most oil pipettes clean, even one drop is hard to come by).

1 drop in a 12ml bottle is something on the order of 1/480th. It's just not something that's going to have an effect. Now, if you're using some of the really thick oils - rosehip CO2, for example, you might want to dedicate a pipette to the bottle, or wash it with Vodka, shake, then dry.

We generally don't recommend measuring precise amounts with the orifice reducer. Really, most of the times, "close enough" really is, but some blends call for fairly small numbers -- if that oil and reducer are enabling you to do it, great - go for it. If not, just use a different device.

Overall, there's multiple methods and dispensing tools because no one works best for every condition. I think if you get 5 or 10 pipettes, and do the Vodka rinse, shake out and dry, you'll have some nearly perfectly clean tools to work with every time.

Cheers!
Eric


Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:40 pm
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Post Re: Blending Strength
Can you give me guidance when I am mixing the essential oils and carrier oils, if it is 1% (for example) how many drops do I use to carrier oil? :)


Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:34 pm
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