There are many emulsifiers on the market for many purposes, like cleaning up toxic spills or ones that are used in other commercial products, but since we are talking about essential oils here (and since I want to eliminate toxins as much as possible), I'm only recommending non toxic emulsifiers.
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Here are some ideas of non-toxic emulsifiers to consider using as your emulsifier, depending on what you are making.
I should point out that the following are suggestions based on how aromatherapy has been done for years, but there is new information coming as to which of these are truly acceptable emulsifiers. When I get that information I will be sure to update this post. For now, the information that I have is that castile and alcohol are better options than the others on this list.
aloe vera gel
diatomaceous earth *link)
alcohol (like vodka) (Vodka doesn't appear to work very well, but has been said to be a good emulsifier of essential oils. Higher proof alcohol works much better.)
Polysorbate 20 is considered to be a good emulsifier for water based products that will be applied to the skin.
There are other commercial emulsifiers that could also be acceptable alternatives. Their toxicity varies so that is up to you to decide.
How to Emulsify Essential Oils
Add the emulsifier to the essential oils before adding them to the other water-based ingredients.
Shake or stir the combination.
Technically you should wait several hours to see if there is any separation. If there isn't, then you can add the emulsification to the water-based ingredients.
Typically a ratio of 1:1 is appropriate for emulsification of essential oils, however some oils will need more of an emulsifier and others will need less.
When Do You Need an Essential Oil Emulsifier?
Typically you would use an essential oil emulsifier when making an aromatherapy spray, but there are other applications when you would also need an emulsifier, such as for a lotion, cream, or some other water-based products such as house cleaners, or this DIY Hair Growth Blend (the water-based method), or this DIY Hair Spray.
You Do NOT Need an Essential Oil Emulsifier When……
Blending an essential oil with a carrier oil
Combining an essential oil with a non-water based lotion (exception noted above)
Blending an essential oil with any other fat, as in when making this Homemade Body Cream
When dealing with essential oils, you are working with powerful products so safety is important.
Essential Oil Emulsification is a must for making DIY Essential Oil products without endangering your health, or the health of others.
If you're wondering what essential oils I use for my family, read my series on the best essential oils, or you can skip to the end where I announced my choice. There are a lot of comments but they are full of good information as well.
Have you ever used an Emulsifier with Essential Oils?
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