If you’ve ever tried to mix oil and water before, you will notice that they do not go well together. Most times, the oil sits on top of the water, and you can tell the difference.
So since oil is not soluble in water, how then can you mix your essential oils with water?
Making essential oil solution is possible, and you don’t need to dilute in an excess carrier oil before adding water. Apart from water and a carrier oil, you can also make use of a solubilizer to titrate your essential oil.
There are reasons why you may want to emulsify your essential oil. The major reason why you need to emulsify your essential oil is to make your favorite home remedy. If you truly want your essential oil solution to work, then you need the ingredients to mix properly.
Experts advise that you don’t make of use essential oils for topical application on the skin without first diluting it. An undiluted essential oil can cause skin irritation and phototoxicity; this why you need to ensure that all essential oils are properly mixed before adding it directly to your skin.
Before using essential oil in a water-based medium, it needs to be emulsified.
What is an Emulsifier?
An emulsifier is a substance that mixes oil and water or better yet tries to mix oil and water. You already know that oil and water don’t blend. If you continue to shake and stir oil and water together in a bowl, they will not result in a perfect mix. You will still be able to separate the oil from the water once you stop stirring.
Adding an emulsifier to the mix helps to separate the oil particles into the water. Although they mostly won’t blend, you can easily lift both materials by introducing an emulsifier.
Why Should You Emulsify Essential Oils?
We are all familiar with some of the many benefits of essential oils, but not so many of us are aware that essential oils also have their downsides.
Applying them directly to your skin or ingesting it can have severe consequences on your skin and health. Some of the common dangers associated with essential oil use include
This is the most common symptom associated with applying essential oil directly to the skin. Essential oils are indeed obtained as a byproduct of flowering plants, but they contain chemical compounds that can result in skin complications especially when applied in excess.
When your essential oils are not properly emulsified, it makes it difficult to dispense. With the oil and water separated in the essential oil dispenser, it can be a hard task to determine which of the two liquid is been dispensed. You can be applying water to your skin instead of essential oil, you never can tell.
Best Emulsifier to Use
You may be asking what is the best emulsifier to use when mixing essential oil and water. The thing is that you want to choose one that does not contain any toxic substances.
There are many emulsifiers in the market to choose from, so you want to be on the lookout for the ones that are free from chemicals. Check the ingredients to see that it does not contain any toxins that could ruin your essential oil or worse, affect you negatively.
You should select your emulsifier based on what you are making. You are free to choose from any of the emulsifiers below, but I find alcohol and Castille to be a better option compared to the rest.
When preparing essential oil for use as a skincare product, you may want to consider adding polysorbate 20 first before introducing the water-based ingredient.
Mixing Essential Oil and Water
You should avoid mixing essential oil and water directly. Instead, you should settle the oil in an emulsifier such as Castille soap. Leave the mix for a few hours to see if they blend. If you are still able to separate the oil from the Castille, then you should try adding in some alcohol. Avoid using weak alcohol, or diluted alcohol when including it in essential oil.
You also want to avoid using too much water, this can affect the effectiveness of the essential oil. It is that the essential oil and water-based ingredient are in the right proportion. Normally, you want to add a few drops of essential oil to 100ml of water. The more the water, the more drops of essential oil you need to use. As for the emulsifier, you can balance it with the same amount of water.
When to Use an Emulsifier
It is not a must you use an emulsifier with your essential oil, but you need to as long as you are going to apply it directly to your skin. If you need to make an aromatherapy spray, cream, and lotion, you surely need an emulsifier to help blend the essential oil.
You do not need an emulsifier when making an essential oil and carrier oil blend. You can also skip it when blending essential oil with a nonwater based liquid such as fat.
Common Household Products That Don’t Mix with Essential Oil
It is often common to want to include ingredients in your essential oil mix to improve the aroma or flavor of the recipe. You should go for a more natural scent and avoid using artificial fragrance. If you want your essential oil to have a lemon scent, you should use fresh lemons instead of artificial scents.
Some of the common ingredients that do not mix well with essential oil include
- baking soda
- witch hazel
Mixing any of these ingredients with essential oil without an emulsifier will result in a poor mix. In most cases, they mix temporarily; and once the solution settles, the ingredients go their separate way.
The amount of emulsifier you will need to add to an essential oil depends on the type of oil. Some oils will need a little amount of emulsifier while others will need more. You can begin with a ratio of 1:1 and then increase your ratio until you are satisfied with the outcome.