January 28, 2019
If you haven’t heard the term “neat” before in the aromatherapy or essential oil world, you may have heard it in another context. Like in bartender terminology, for example, the term “whiskey neat” means that the bartender pours the drink straight from the bottle into a glass with no ice, water, or flavoring.
But what does it mean when an essential oil is neat?
When it comes to essential oils, “neat” simply means that the essential oil or blend is not prediluted with a carrier or base oil. It is either referring to the single essential oil or a blend of undiluted single essential oils.
Using essential oils topically without dilution is definitely a controversial subject. When performed incorrectly or unsupervised, this type of use can potentially cause skin irritation and even sensitization. Some examples of this irritation are redness, burning, itching, and breaking out in a rash.
We always recommend that you consult with an aromatherapist before using any undiluted essential oils directly on the skin. We mean it! But using undiluted oils isn’t altogether frowned upon, as long as it is being done safely. Usually, people use a neat application on small, localized areas. In fact, your aromatherapist may recommend the acute, short-term topical use of an undiluted essential oil for the following things:
Something you may also hear about is applying neat oils to your hands and feet. Because you have thicker skin on the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet, your essential oil absorption rate is very low. As a result, many people consider using neat oils to be safer and more effective on these areas of the body. Again, consult with your aromatherapist about this beforehand to make sure this style of use is for you.
Of course, there are other ways to use neat oils as well! The most common are diffusion and deep inhalation from the bottle.
It has been a practice of ours for a while to dilute some of our blends that contain what we call “luxury oils”. This means that some blends contain quite expensive essential oils. Some examples of luxury oils would be Rose, Sandalwood, Sacred Frankincense, etc. I mean, come on– if you buy essential oils regularly, can you really afford a $200.00 bottle of Rose without saving up for a few months? I know I can’t, but I LOVE ROSE! That’s why it’s so nice to be able to get a blend with that ingredient.
At Rocky Mountain Oils, we offer a little less than half of our custom blends in a base of FCO because they have these luxury oils in them. The main goal is to keep the price affordable for all of our customers. However, most of these blends are not diluted enough for them to be used topically, directly from the bottle.
In early 2017, we launched our “neat” line. Due to customer demand, we started offering neat or undiluted 5ml versions of our most popular 15ml blends that are in a base of FCO (Fractionated Coconut Oil). Even though they are a little pricier, having a neat version of our blends will make it easier to dilute them correctly, as well as to diffuse and experience the full strength of the blend. It also gives customers with coconut allergies a chance to the use our top blends. These blends are Aligning, Attention Assist, Balance, Dreamtime, Feminine Aid, Flu Time, Love, Peace & Quiet, Perspective, Nerve Support, and Tummy Rub.
Other than these neat versions, we do have more blends that don’t contain a carrier oil and are also neat. Here is a list below:
Let’s say it together… Diffuse, Dilute, Enjoy! Diffuse, Dilute, Enjoy!
Our neat blends are perfect for diffusion and deep inhalation. Diffusion is such a great way to receive the benefits that essential oils have to offer. It is so easy, too! We would suggest following the instructions for your specific diffuser, but here are some general guidelines for diffusing:
Fill the diffuser with water to the recommended line. Put 5-10 drops (more or less as needed) into the diffuser, and then turn it on. Always practice safe diffusion, though!
Practicing safe diffusing:
– Diffuse in an open, well-ventilated area.
– Keep children out of the direct line of mist.
– Diffuse in 30-60 minute intervals with ample break periods for safe and effective use.
When you use any essential oils topically, and on a regular or daily basis, you should always dilute! You do this by simply adding your neat essential oil or blend to a carrier oil, and rubbing them into the skin. This method serves two main purposes: to protect the skin from the potency of the oils and to spread the essential oil over a larger surface area. This enhances the absorption of the oils into the bloodstream. Dilution rates depend on your personal sensitivity, the type of oil you are using, and the age of the person using the essential oil. We do provide a great dilution chart on the website that we always suggest to follow, but there is a general guideline that most adults can stick to. This is simply combining 3-5 drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and applying it to the skin.
(Patch Test: Before applying any oil topically, we recommend conducting a patch test. To do so, simply apply one drop of your choice of essential oil to a small area of skin. If any irritation arises, this may indicate a possible sensitivity to the essential oil being used. In this case, you will want to add carrier oil on top of that area to calm down any irritation.)
So.. what did we learn today? You shouldn’t be scared of neat essential oils or blends. There is a time and a place to use them topically, under the supervision of an aromatherapist. Always dilute when you’re using them on your own or on a regular basis, and when in doubt, just diffuse! 🙂
The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Neither Rocky Mountain Oils nor its products are intended for the purpose of diagnosing, treating, curing, or preventing any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.