What is an Emulsifier and Why Do I Need It? - Everyday Essentials

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DIY ingredients

What is an Emulsifier and Why Do I Need It?

We know you love making amazing essential oil DIYs for yourself, your family, and your friends. And we know that you come to us for trustworthy information and safe recipes. But sometimes, you might come across an ingredient you aren’t familiar with and want to learn more about it. 

Oftentimes, those ingredients are either a preservative or an emulsifier, both of which are necessary to keep some of your homemade goodies safe! You can learn more about preservatives here, but today we’ll dive deeper in emulsifiers so you can feel confident with the products you use and the recipes you make.

What is an Emulsifier?

It’s no secret that oil and water don’t mix. That also applies to essential oils, which are aptly termed as hydrophobic liquids. Try as you might, but essential oils and water won’t combine. Small, concentrated oil droplets will still float to the top, completely separated from the water.

This is a cause for concern when you have a DIY recipe that calls for essential oils and water (or water-based products, like a hydrosol). Using essential oils in this way can cause serious health concerns since the essential oil is basically sitting on the water “neat.” The oil needs to be diluted, which the water cannot do. And even if you dilute your essential oils in a carrier oil, you’ll be right back where you started with the oils sitting right on top of the water. 

This is where an emulsifier comes in handy. It’s a key ingredient to seamlessly blend essential oils in your DIY projects.

An emulsifier is something that binds oil and water-based components together. The fluids remain evenly distributed together because the molecules in the emulsifier will stick between the oil molecules and the water molecules to keep them bound together. 

Do You Always Need an Emulsifier?

Not every DIY is going to need an emulsifier. For instance, if your recipe calls for just some essential oils to mix into a carrier oil, no emulsifier is necessary. The carrier will dilute the oil and there is no water-based product to cause separation. Same goes for blending essential oils into a lotion or butter.

However, there many recipes you might be itching to try that include water. Whether it’s for the skin, hair, linens, or air, DIY sprays often include a water-based product as a main ingredient. Therefore, they need an emulsifier. This is especially true for any DIY that is going directly to the skin or scalp. You never want to run the risk of having topical contact with an undiluted essential oil. Learn more about that here (dilution blog).

everclear 101: essential oils and everclear

Commonly Used Emulsifiers

There is a wide range of both natural and commercial emulsifiers on the market to choose from. This list is by no means an end-all-be-all, but here are some choices for you to consider for your next project:

  • Castile Soap
  • Emulsifying Wax NF
  • Sulfated Castor Oil (AKA Turkey Red Oil)
  • Alcohol 
    • If using alcohol, it doesn’t necessarily have to be 100% alcohol but should be the highest proof you can get. We typically recommend grain alcohol, such as Everclear, which is 95% alcohol if you get 190 proof. Alcohol’s evaporative qualities are unmatched, making it great for room and linen sprays, but it can be drying when used topically. To learn more, check out this blog post.
  • Polysorbate 20
    • An excellent choice for water-based recipes, like sprays, body mists, air fresheners, and bug sprays. It is non-comedogenic. The “20” indicates the type of fatty acid used as the base, which in this case is called monolaurate.
  • Polysorbate 80
    • Ideal when you need to emulsify heavier substances, such as carrier oils. It is also great for products like bath bombs that include Mica coloring, as it will help prevent staining in the tub and leave a less slippery surface. It is non-comedogenic. The “80” indicates that its fatty acid is monooleate.

Plant Therapy Carrier Oils

Are Carrier Oils Emulsifiers?

Carrier oils are fantastic for diluting essential oils but are not technically emulsifiers. To emulsify something means to have it blend smoothly with water molecules, which carrier oils cannot do. For instance, if you add essential oils to Grapeseed Oil and water, there will still be droplets unable to blend completely in the water since the molecules in Grapeseed Oil do not bond to water molecules.

A similar concept applies to our Aloe Vera Jelly. While our Aloe Vera Jelly already contains an emulsifier, it is not itself considered an emulsifier. As for any aloe vera gel, you will probably still need to add an emulsifier. We recommend checking the ingredients or contacting the gel’s manufacturer for more information. 

Lotion would be another example of a product with an emulsifier included, but it is not considered an emulsifier itself. So, if you have a recipe that includes both a lotion and water-based product, we encourage you to use an emulsifier as well.

What Should Not Be Used as an Emulsifier?

Water, witch hazel, and honey are three of the most common ingredients found in a lot of DIYs. Contrary to popular belief, these are not acceptable as an emulsifier and should not be used to dilute essential oils. As basic science tells us, water and oil do not mix. Witch Hazel is primarily a water-based product that also will not hold essential oils. You can find witch hazel that contains alcohol, but it does not contain enough of it to dilute or emulsify the essential oils. Honey will work well to hold essential oils in itself, but when you add water to the mix and the honey dissolves, it is no longer capable of holding these essential oils which results in them being left undiluted. Listed below are some other common DIY ingredients that should not be used as an emulsifier or to dilute essential oils. 

  • Bentonite Clay
  • Baking Soda
  • Vegetable Glycerin
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Vitamin E Oil

Deciding which emulsifier is right for you is going to take some personal research. There are many emulsifiers available on the market and their ingredients will vary. You’ll have to decide if an ingredient is the right choice for you and your family. Additionally, there is not an indisputable ratio for how much of an emulsifier to use. But we hope this post is enough to get you started on your formulating journey.


Have you experimented with emulsifiers? If so, which ones have you used and how did they work for you? If you haven’t, which are you most likely to try? Let us know in the comments!


159 thoughts on “What is an Emulsifier and Why Do I Need It?”

  • hello,
    i would love to make linen and room sprays what is the best emulsifier and preservative to use? and how to make the scent throw stronger and last longer?

    1. Hello! So the scent will be there even if you cant smell it because our olfactory systems will get overwhelmed with the scent after so long and shut down our noses. So if you have a strong scent it will still be there even if you cant smell it after 20-30 min. For linen and room sprays the best emulsifier is Alcohol 190 proof is best but 151 is acceptable. For a preservative Optiphen Plus is the best for a room spray. We hope this helps!

  • I have a question. I’m concerned about Polysorbates and the Emulsifying Wax NF. These aren’t naturally derived or considered safe. Especially the Polysorbate 20 used in the Emulsifying Wax NF. Why would these be suggested?

    1. olysorbate-20 and the Emulsifying Wax are EWG-verified, and considered safe for personal care applications. Those ingredients are used and suggested because they are reliable surfactant/emulsifying agents.

    1. It depends on the recipe that you are using. If it calls for a carrier oil at 30 ML it would be 2 TableSpoons of the castile soap.

  • hi there if im making a hair spray from essential oil like rosemary lavender, what is the ratio of mixing with emulsifier polysorbate 20 and then mix with water

  • I’d really like to make a “hair growth” tonic or spray. Can you please advise on a safe emulsifier to use with essential oil & water for my hair & scalp? Should I use a carrier oil in the mixture as well? Thank you.

    1. Hi Jacqueline, when mixing essential oils with water or witch hazel, Polysorbate 20 is always a good option. Everclear or alcohol may be too drying to spray directly on your scalp. If you add a carrier oil to the mix, it will need a different emulsifier as carrier oils are heavier than essential oils. If you use just a carrier oil or our Aloe Vera Jelly, you won’t need to worry about any additional emulsifiers or preservatives.

    1. Hi Anglea, it depends on the recipe you’re looking at. In general, anything that could come in contact with your skin should use an emulsifier. But since shower steamers or shower melts only touch the bottom of your feet as it washes down the drain, the risk is minimal so an emulsifier isn’t as necessary as with other products like lotions or bath bombs.

  • I did an experiment with Dr Bronners Castile soap and the essential oils did not mix into the soap, so I assumed Castile soap wasn’t an emulsifier. Any idea as to why it didn’t blend for me?

    1. Castile Soap is an emulsifier, so it’s hard to say what went wrong. It could have been when you added the EOs to the mix or how much you used. But without knowing all the details, we can’t say for sure.

  • Is there any emulsifier that helps with mixing essential oils with witch hazel?? I tried so far Polysorbate 20, 99% alcohol, and castor oil, but nothing worked… Any idea?

    1. Unfortunately beyond the information given in the article we cannot speaking to the efficacy of emulsifiers and other ingredients. We recommend doing some further research and making a choice that suits your project.

  • Hi there, I was making my own hand sanitizer using everclear, glycerine, and EO. At first I observe that they were all mix well into one homogenous solution. But, after a week, I see that there are something like grains formed inside the solution. What is it and how do I prevent it from happening – keeping the solution homogenous?

    1. It’s difficult to say without having all the details and if it was properly formulated and mixed. An immersion blender is your best bet to make sure things are properly combined.

  • Hello. I am using coconut and aloe vera combination for a skin product. Would melted beeswax be an appropriate emulsifier? I am looking for an organic plant based emulsifier. Also, do I need a preservative? I am not adding any water. Thank you. I am a newbie at this.

    1. Hi Wanda, it depends entirely on what coconut product you are using. Fractionated coconut oil will act as emulsifier for your essential oils. If you are mixing our Aloe Vera Jelly with a carrier oil, you wouldn’t need a preservative. But other aloe products could be a different story.

  • Hi, I make my own plant aloe vero n olive oil hair spray for my hair that I’m planning to use Polysorbate 80 as my emulsifier. What’s the ratio for the Polysorbate 80, please?

    1. Hi Theresa, we recommend you follow the instructions on your bottle of Polysorbate 80. Most recommendations are to use between 1-5% of your total mixture.

  • I’m trying to make a hair growth oil using MSM. However MSM doesn’t dissolve in carrier oils. I would have to mix the MSM with water to dissolve it. Since oil and water don’t mix. Which emulsifier should I use and how much do I use in 2 oz bottle of oil?
    Thank you

  • Why exactly isn’t vegetable glycerin considered a emulsifier? It claims to be when you google it. Also if I don’t have Poly 20 (because I was going to use vegetable glycerin) can I substitute Poly 80 instead?

    1. Because vegetable glycerin is water soluble and will dissolve in water. Once it does, it no longer holds the essential oils.

  • Thank you for that info and for the links. As to the alcohol being drying, would it have much of a drying effect to add just a small amount (1-2 ml, perhaps) to the bath water? The amount of alcohol added to the water would depend on how many drops of EOs I could solubilize in a ml of the Everclear.

  • Is it advisable to emulsify essential oils in Everclear for use in the bath? If so, would it be safe/effective to add drops of essential oil to Everclear, and then use that mixture to add directly to the bath water? Any suggestions for an effective dilution ratio, and also for the amount of final essential oil/Everclear combo to then add to the bath water? Thank you for any suggestions you have!

    1. Hi Bobbi, while Everclear does emulsify your essential oils, it’s not very kind to the skin as it can be very drying, so we wouldn’t recommend using it in the bath. If you want to use essential oils in the bath, you can add them to unscented shampoo or bubble bath, make bath salts or try these bath melts.

  • I’m surprised to see that Epsom salt and salts in general are not included in the list of what can’t be used as an emulsifier.

    1. While Epsom salts might absorb an essential oil, they won’t disperse it in water, which is what makes something an emulsifier. So if you want to use Epsom salts in the bath, mix your essential oils with an unscented body wash first and then add Epsom salts.

  • Wow! That just went against all the recipes I was recently taught for emulsifying!! So, if I dilute either the rubbing alcohol or castile soap with water, I need to add one of the emulsifiers you mentioned, correct?

    1. Castile soap is an emulsifier! So you’re good to use it without adding an additional emulsifier. Rubbing alcohol, on the other hand, would need an additional emulsifier and may overpower the scent of your oils. You might consider using Everclear instead.

  • I’m still confused, Aloe Vera gel usually should not be considered an emulsifier but I still can find PT’s DIY suggestions with Aloe Vera gel only + blend? And can butter dilute EO please? Or is it better to mix EO with carrier oil first before adding into butter? Appreciate your advice!

    1. Aloe vera gel, straight from the plant, is water-based and won’t emulsify essential oils. However, our Aloe Jelly contains all the necessary emulsifiers and preservatives needed to safely use as a carrier for your essential oils. As for butter, are you referring to Mango or Cocoa Butter or to the dairy product butter?

        1. You don’t need to add essential oils to a carrier oil before adding to shea or cocoa butter. But you will need to melt the shea or cocoa to make sure your essential oils properly mix.

  • Would I need an emulsifier for a cream mix of Shea butter, aloe Vera gel, jojoba oil, glycerin and witch hazel?

  • Thank you for this post. My daughter’s and I were wanting to make room sprays, but I hesitated to make a lager batch. Now we have the right information to be safe, thanks again!

  • I find that Everclear gives me terrible shortness of breath. Not sure why, and I use the right amount to mix my products. Would 2 ounces of regular vodka work as a preservative in a 4 ounce blend? Thanks!

  • It says rubbing alcohol should not be used as an emulsifier, is that because it’s not safe for your skin? Can it be used for things like linen sprays?

    1. If you use straight rubbing alcohol, it can be used as an emulsifier, but it would not be enough to act as a preservative for recipes with water. Also, the smell can overpower your essential oils, which is why we recommend using Everclear. You can read more about using alcohol in aromatic blending here.

  • wow, i just learned a ton of stuff! Ok, so I’ve been using no alcohol witch hazel with distilled water and my essential oils for a linen spray. Looks like i’ll be headed to the liquor store?? For everclear- is that where I’d get it?

  • So much good stuff and I was about to buy witch hazel but had read on many sites I thought were reputable, that it is an emulsfier. You never know, there is so much info, and everyone is an expert. I just really on PT, however I would like to see more ingredients for recipes, but maybe these items aren’t hitting me over my head because I don’t know what they are…..

    1. Im Im very glad read this information, now im DIY perfume spray with fragance oil, carrier oil and baking soda, i cant mixing that until now without alcohol, if i used polysobrate 20 or 80 that is can be usefull for mixing that?

  • So I know that aloe vera gel is not an emulsifier but if I have a recipe that includes essential oils, rosehip oil, and aloe vera gel, would I need to add an emulsifier. If so or not can you please explain. Thank you so much for your help!

    1. If you do this, you would base dilution off of the carrier oil since aloe vera gel is not a suitable carrier. Additionally, once you add extra ingredients to aloe vera, you may want to add an additional preservative as the formulation may be upset once mixed.

      Aloe Vera Jellies usually have an emulsifier and preservative in them but adding additional ingredients such as oil or water may definitely change the formulation.

  • This is a great blog post! very important for many DIY products. I’m just starting to use and hope to continue to formulate my DIY products properly and safely. I would love to see a chart similar to the dilution chart for emulsifiers! (ex if you have a 100ml water linen spray with 25 drops EO you would add 10ml emulsifier)

  • Thanks I’ve been wanting to get an emulsifier, but I didn’t know the difference. I like bath bombs so this really helps.

  • I am so appreciative of PT and their focus on educating EO users. Plus, the blogs are easy to understand. I especially like that this article provides a list of what works, as well as a list that does not emulsify. Thank you!

  • Just a quick question, I use alcohol in my products for personal use and for gifts. In the drugstore they have witch hazel with 14% alcohol? Do I still need an emulsifier? Just curious….

    1. Hi There! This is a great question. Unfortunately, though this contains alcohol, the percentage is not high enough to properly emulsify. A minimum of 151 proof (75% ethanol) is needed. However, 190 proof (95%) would be best. You would need to use an emulsifier if you choose to use Witch Hazel, even with the 14% alcohol.

      Here is a blog post on the Tisserand Insititute that instructs on how to use alcohol effectively for aromatic blending. I think you will find this helpful: https://tisserandinstitute.org/effective-use-alcohol-aromatic-blending/

      I hope this helps!

      1. Hi! Quick question. What would be a good emulsifier to use with witch hazel and a carrier oil? Would polysorbate 20 be a strong enough emulsifier?

        1. Polysorbate 20 is sufficient for essential oils but for carrier oils, I would recommend Polysorbate 80.

          1. Where do we get Polysorbate 80? I also heard that over 91% Isopropyl Alcohol could be used for room sprays but to use with-in a time frame. Thank you!

          2. You’ll be able to find Polysorbate 80 on Amazon! And you can use straight 91% Isopropyl Alcohol. Just keep in mind it’s not strong enough to act as a preservative for recipes that include water.

      2. hi, may i know then what is witch hazel for? coz i saw quite a lot of diy with witch hazel and alcohol.. is witch hazel for preservatives?

        1. Witch Hazel is an astringent. Some use it for things such as emulsifying or preserving, but this is not safe as it does not work.

  • Thank you so very much for the wonderful information. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever considered Everclear to be an emulsifier. So cool to find this out!

  • I really appreciate Plant Therapy’s approach to education! To be able to use the products I purchase safely is very meaningful.

  • I am so happy to know that Castille soap is an emulsifier, now I know that my E.O can evenly emulsify in my DIy body wash. Thank you Plant Therapy!

      1. If there is water in your hand soap recipe, then it will require a preservative. Otherwise, it would need to be stored in the refrigerator and used within a week.

  • Thanks for this wonderful article! I’ve been trying some recipes that require emulsifiers or dispersants. This helped clarify some of the questions I had. Love the way that Plant Therapy has so many beneficial articles and recipes to help inspire their customers!

  • Great info on Emulsifiers! I have been told that Witch Hazel and Glycerin were emulsifiers, buy this cleared that up for me.

  • Great info on emulsifiers. I had no idea these existed! Is there a blog on when to use witch hazel? I see that in a lot of DYS.

    1. Jessi, we have no blog on when exactly to use witch hazel, but really you can add it to any water-based DIY you are making. Many people enjoy using witch hazel; we just encourage everyone to remember to include an emulsifier when it’s used 🙂

  • Yes! Thank you so much for this information! I always wondered what the 20 and 80 stood for, and it’s so reassuring to finally know.

  • I’ve recently started to make DIYs that needs emulsifier n preservative. This blog is indeed great reference. Thanks!

  • Excellent info! This confirms my choice to add eo’s to my castile soap before adding castile soap to my laundry.

    Are there alternatives to the polysorbates?

    1. Belinda, we list all of our recommended emulsifiers, but if you’re looking for something not included on the list you may want to reach out to our team of aromatherapists at [email protected] 🙂

  • I don’t think I have any emulsifiers except for of course castle soap. I have been looking at polysorbate 20 and 80 but wasn’t sure which one to purchase. I’ll have to re-think what I’m going to make and what I might need. Thank you I’ll try to remember to look back at this when I’m ready to purchase.

  • Love this breakdown of different emulsifiers! It’s hard to find information online that can be trusted.

  • Adding EO’s to castile soap has worked well for me and I also recently used Everclear in a deodorant spray. I haven’t gotten into any others as I question how safe they are.

  • Thank you so much. Emulsifiers have always confused me, and there is so much misleading information out there. I would also suggest an alternative to Everclear for those of us who cannot or do not purchase alcohol for various reasons 🙂 I love the idea of a linen spray, but not the idea of drinking alcohol.

    1. If you would not like to emulsify with alcohol for a linen spray, Polysorbate 20 would be an excellent alternative 🙂

  • Thank you for the information! Not understating emulsifiers and preservatives are what make me cautious of creating items beyond roller bottles and inhalers!

  • Super super helpful. Thanks Plant Therapy! I have this blog post bookmarked to return to as a resource for my DIY projects. It is offering information like this for us that really sets y’all apart from other companies. I am learning so many new things here all of the time!

  • Thanks for this post. I’ve been curious about emulsifiers and this helps narrow down what I need to research.

  • Thank you so much for this blog. I intend to make some sprays, and footbaths and a reed diffuser. I now dear to use a good imulsifer.

  • Thank you for the great information! I thought aloe Vera gel was fine to mix eos into without anything else. Which ingredient is the emulsifier in the PT AV jelly?

    1. Megan, our AV jelly does contain alcohol as one of the ingredients, but you may want to reach out to our Customer Service Team at [email protected] to learn more about the other ingredients (such as Triethanolamine and Tetrasodium) to learn how those may also interact with EOs 🙂

      1. What an informative post! I’ve been using P.T.’s Aloe Vera Jelly on my face after spraying Rose Hydrosols on it. Since the AV Jelly already has alcohol in it, wouldn’t it be drying for my face?

        1. Not at all! Our AV Jelly is very moisturizing; the bit of alcohol content in it for formulation purposes does not give it a drying effect on the skin at all 🙂

  • Great information! I’m starting to do my own DIYs. It can be a little overwhelming trying to learn all at the same time and ensure to do it right. But thank you so much for this, it’s very helpful.

    1. Debbie, don’t worry–the Vodka evaporates very quickly and you likely won’t be able to smell it at all 🙂

  • This is a very helpful, informative blog. Now I know why my homemade poo-pourri recipe didn’t work out so great… Vegetable glycerine is NOT an emulsifier. Thank you so much for always keeping educated and sharing your knowledge with us!

  • Good info. I find it very interesting that Castile soap can be used as an emulsifier. Thanks for the article. 🙂

  • Thank you for this great post! It is very helpful when learning how to use my oils to make products!

    1. Kathleen, you’ll have to use your own personal discretion here, but the alcohol is used many times because it evaporates quickly and leaves little to no aroma (while also emulsifying!). Of course, if using alcohol concerns you in any way, you may feel more comfortable using one of the other options, such as a polysorbate 🙂

  • Very helpful blog post, thank you! I have some recipes I want to make that use emulsifiers but I was hung-up on what to use and what would work best.

  • Great information ! Rubbing alcohol is listed as not an emulsifier but would the higher concentrations like 91% isopropyl alcohol work especially for stuff like DIY cleaners?

    1. Rebecca, we typically do not recommend isopropyl, but it is a matter of opinion really. Some isopropyl’s are not strong enough and they always bring with them a very strong aroma. You’re more than welcome to try a DIY cleaner using it, and let us know how it turns out! However, we recommend what is listed here on the blog 🙂

  • Still a little confused on one point. If you add an emulsifier to your DIY, that will evenly disperse the essential oils within the water based products (so they don’t separate), but it doesn’t necessarily make the finished DIY safe for topical use, correct? The EO’s would still be considered neat unless you also mixed the EO’s with a carrier before using the emulsifier?? Or am I getting that wrong?

    Which way is skin safe?
    A. Essential oil + emulsifier + water based product = finished DIY
    B. (Essential oils mixed in a carrier) + emulsifier + water based product = finished DIY

    1. Kacie, actually both A and B are skin safe, though B is a better choice if you’re able to go that route. As long as you follow the directions to add the correct amount of emulsifier, your EOs will be properly diluted. Please remember though that without a preservative, for both A and B, your finished product should be used within a week. I hope this helps! If you’d like more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of aromatherapists at [email protected].

    2. For clarification between Polysorbate 20 or 80. Would 20 be for A. above and 80 be for B? Just trying to understand when to use the 80. Is it when you add a carrier oil and water? Can you give an example of a DIY that uses carrier oil and water?

  • Thank you for putting all of this in one place. I have always just followed recipes and added the suggested emulsifiers not really knowing why one was suggested over the other. This is very helpful!

  • I love PT’s education. I remember learning about the importance of emulisfiers on SEOR shortly after joining. This post is very helpful! I have stayed away from DIY projects that required an emulisfier, but I think I might be ready to start using them.

  • what about when I diffuse oils? Do I need an emulsifier since I’m putting essential oil into water?

    1. Sara, we do not recommend using an emulsifier when diffusing with oil and water. In this case, you want the oil and water to be separate 🙂

  • Thank you!! I was just looking at PTs DIY bug spray yesterday and trying to figure out the emulsifier listed. This blog post is exactly what I needed to read!

  • Thank you for this very informative blog. As a new to d i y person with E O recipes, I’m a bit confused. Are poly 80 and the alcohol (ex. everclear) preservatives? Thanks!

    1. Tonia, Polysorbate 80 is only an emulsifier and it will not preserve. Everclear can fully emulsify EOs due to the high alcohol content and it can be used as a preservative at a certain percentage of the total carrier. I will link our blog on preservatives: https://blog.planttherapy.com/blog/2018/10/18/preservatives-and-essential-oil-diys-an-overview/ And here is a blog by EO Safety Expert Robert Tisserand about the effective use of alcohol for aromatic blending that may also help you: https://tisserandinstitute.org/effective-use-alcohol-aromatic-blending/?fbclid=IwAR1xwHoPuIfeUOJPQrkvTOqC63sSOl8KfGxglRxtqQmB7oIwufBp-dpneEY

  • I make a cleaning spray of distilled water, sal suds, washing soda,borax and kid safe germ destroyer. Would the sal suds be considered an emulsifier?

    1. Daria, in the case of a cleaning spray, sal suds will work as an emulsifier. We just don’t recommend it when emulsifying for topical use 🙂

  • Very helpful by clarifying the alcohol needed as an emulsifier. Thank you PT for helping us figure things out to have our oils be effective. Love PT blog posts.

  • Thank you so much for this info. I have been getting into DIY’s and this helps me so much in what I need to make sure my end results are safe.

  • I had been adding my EOs directly to my bath. Now I mix with sorbitol first. I also have purchased the polysorbates 20 and 80 but didn’t really know the difference or how to use them. Thanks for the info!

  • Thank you so much for this blog post. Very informative! I haven’t done any DIY’s yet because, I have felt too overwhelmed with all of the “extras” that need to be added into many products. This is a great reference to refer back to when I finally decide to take the plunge.

  • Thank you for this article! I love the information you have here and love how PT is so dedicated to education and proper usage of EOs! I would very much be interested in additional articles highlighting each recommended emulsifier..what it is, what it does, etc (I’ve never heard of a few of those). Also, I’m curious why “not” to use the list of emulsifiers you mention not to use…danger? lack of emulsifying? etc. I’m a recent newbie to all of this, so I’m curious about more in depth information…I’m sure others are as well :).

    1. Nancy, making sure essential oils are properly emulsified is a pretty critical part of ensuring you are using your oils safely 🙂 If making a water-based product with EOs you really need to make sure your emulsifier really *really* does its job so you don’t end up with undiluted oils on your skin. The list of products we don’t recommend to emulsify has demonstrated that they just don’t match up to our standards of what we consider to be safe and total emulsification. I hope this helps!

  • Thank you so much for this article!!! As an EO newby, I really didn’t understand emulsifiers at all but this has cleared up a lot of questions I had!! Thank you!!!!

  • And here I thought emulsifiers were just for fancy coffee drinks!
    After reading this & the blog post on itch relief, I’m curious about how to mix straight-up aloe juice, right from the leaves, with lavender or peppermint (or any EO). I guess the aloe would be water-based? We definitely don’t have any of the mentioned emulsifiers lying around the house, so I’m wondering what might be a good first-try buy.

  • This blog post has really helped me as I’m just starting to use more emulsifiers. I appreciate the information very much!

  • Thank you for this post! I have diffused EOs for many years now, but just recently became interested in DIYs. I’ve seen emulsifiers mentioned in some recipes, but I had no idea what to use and when it was necessary! I would lovemaking it if PT sold the polysorbates, that way I could support my favorite company AND know I was getting a high quality product! Thanks, PT!

  • Happy to learn about this! I have wanted to make my own bath bombs but was worried about emulsifiers! This will give me the confidence to DIY

  • This is great information that is easy to help understand the need and use of an emulsifier.

  • YASSS PT, at it again with an article at perfect timing!
    This is exactly the type of information I’ve been looking for regarding emulsifiers, that I haven’t been able to find yet.
    Very well written, and completely understandable for the EO newbie (like myself lol) too!
    Thank you!

  • Thank you so much for this post. I now have a better understanding of what is needed when making my DIYs. I am so grateful that PT takes the time to educate their customers!

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