Essential Oil Emulsifiers

Essential Oil Emulsifiers

Essential oils are fat soluble, not water soluble. Emulsifying them in a fat-soluble carrier is needed when you are combining into liquid ingredients. This will help minimize the opportunity for skin irritation and sensitization.

When you add essential oils to bath water, notice that the oil drop sits on top of the water. it never emulsifies. Why is this so important? Well, depending on the essential oil you dropped in the water, when you go to sit down in that water, it can cause some major irritation to some sensitive areas (…down there). Think peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon and clove for instance. Wowza! That can cause not only a burning sensation, but also burn those sensitive membranes and skin.

So, don’t do that!


What are some good emulsifiers for essential oils to use in aromatic sprays?
Here is a list of some good emulsifiers (not a complete list) –

  • Carrier oil: almond, coconut, rosehip, sunflower, etc.
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Witch hazel
  • Vinegar
  • Alcohol
  • Baking soda
  • Epsom salt
  • Sea salt
  • Sugar
  • Clay
  • Glycerin
  • Honey
  • Castile soap
  • Milk: cow, almond, coconut, etc.

If you are mixing essential oils in a water base, I find it best to emulsify the essential oils in vegetable glycerin, alcohol, witch hazel and/or vinegar first (minimum of 15 minutes), then apply to the water solution.

For additional antibacterial support, I like to add in 3-5ml of aquasol silver to the final water-based solution.


Emulsifying essential oils in water

To emulsify the EO’s into water, you have a few options –

  • Vegetable glycerin – on average, you would need to include 10% of this to the bottle, add in your EOs, swirl around for about 5-10 minutes if possible, then add in the water. If you don’t want to keep swirling, let sit for 15-30 minutes, then swirl a few times before adding in water.
  • Cetyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) or Witch hazel – same approach as the vegetable glycerin
  • Coconut emulsifier



Additional Resources

Dilution Chart for Essential Oil Blends

Nut-free and Nut-Based carrier oils

Essential Oil & Aromatherapy Safety Guidelines



JennScents Holistic Aromatherapy Comprehensive Guide

JennScents Aromaversity Aromatherapy Program Training


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