Rollerballs, Dilution and Essential Oil Safety


Rollerballs are fast becoming part of the DIY aromatherapy care kit, which is a good thing if you understand dilution rates.

I recently had a question about a well known allergy recipe, that is floating around on various social media sites. The blend uses Lavender (20 drops), Peppermint (20 drops) and Lemon (20 drops). All great oils, but there are three safety issues here. The first is dilution, the second is phototoxicity, and the third is the safety of Peppermint.


A rollerball can accommodate about 0.33 fluid ounces, or 10ml. 60 drops of essential oils is about 2.5ml, leaving 7.5ml for the carrier. A safe dilution rate for everyday use is 10-12 drops total of an essential oil or blend. In this recipe, 60 drops is 10x over what is appropriate for everyday use. The maximum number of drops that should be used in a rollerball is 5-6.


Lemon is a wonderful oil, it is analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic. Lemon is also phototoxic unless used at a safe dilution rate, which is 12 drops per ounce of 30ml of carrier. At 20 drops in 7.5ml of carrier, this is 3x over the safe dilution rate.


Peppermint is an excellent oil for respiratory congestion, but it is high in menthol, which can cause mucous membrane and skin irritation. Safe use of Peppermint is 5-6 drops, with a maximum of 10-12 drops per ounce of carrier. 20 drops in 7.5ml is 10x over the safe usage rate. It should also be noted that Peppermint can counteract homeopathic remedies, and should not be used in the case of cardiac fibrillation, and for Glucose-6-Phosphate-Dehydrogenase deficiency. Peppermint should not be used with children under 5 as it can be neurotoxic if applied near the face.

Recipe Reboot

1 drop of Peppermint, 1 drop of Lemon and 4 drops of Lavender. Put into rollerball tube first, then fill with a carrier oil of your choice.

NOTE: I do not take responsibility for the misspelling of allergy.

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