Enhanced Aromatherapy Formulation

Phases of Formulation: Emulsions

Phase 1 – Water Phase

  • Sometimes requires heat
  • Will require preservatives in the finished products

Common Ingredients

  • Water
  • Hydrosol/hydrolat
  • Glycerin
  • Liquid alcohols
  • Gelling agents
  • Some solubilizing agents

Phase 2 – Oil Phase

  • Sometimes needs heat
  • Separate station from phase 1 Common Ingredients
  • Carrier oils
  • Infused oils
  • Butters
  • Lanolin
  • Some alcohols
  • Some solubilizing agent
  • Usually emulsifying agents

Phase 3 – Cool Down Phase (Additives)

  • Usually does not need heat
  • Usually requires high-speed stirring
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s guidance
  • Possibly broken into additional phases based on the additional ingredients

Common Ingredients

  • Colorants
  • Emulsifiers
  • Essential oils
  • Fragrance
  • Preservatives
  • Texturizers

Things to Consider When Making Emulsions

  • Always follow manufacturer’s directions regarding ingredient uses - phases, temperature, pH, and mixing speed and duration.
  • Improper mixing may lead to an unstable emulsion, microbial growth, skin irritation and/or reactions
  • Preservatives are NECESSARY for any products containing water-based ingredients.

A Note About Preservatives

Water in any form of a product harbors bacterial and fungi. If you have any water-soluble ingredients or a water phase, you MUST use a water-soluble preservative. Myths: Vitamin E is all the preservative I need. NO. Vitamin E is not an effect preservative in cosmetics (4). It is an oil-soluble vitamin exhibiting antioxidant actions however does not inhibit microbial growth in cosmetics. The refrigerator is all I need to keep my products microbe free. NO. Cold temperatures can inhibit microbial growth to a point. Cosmetics that don’t have preservatives might be sustainable for a few days in fridge, but it will not have a stable shelf life. My product doesn’t have water, so I don’t need a preservative. Semi-true. If this product never comes in contact with water it would not need a water-soluble preservative, however it is recommended. Adding an antioxidant will give it a longer shelf life. Vegetable oils can go rancid without growing bacteria.

Anhydrous Formulation

Does not contain water-based ingredients but may have solubilizing and emulsifying ingredients Similar to phase 2 and 3 of an emulsion formula May have a heat phase and cold phase Adding antioxidants can enhance shelf life Preservatives are recommended for anything that may encounter water

Heat Phase

  • Work from highest melting point to lowest
  • Most butters melt 80-100°F
  • Use a thermometer often Common Ingredients
  • Butters
  • Lanolin
  • Solid alcohols
  • Waxes

Cold Phase

  • Easiest form of anhydrous products
  • Typically start with a base oil: Carrier oil(s), Infused oil(s)
  • Add liquid oil-soluble ingredients Common Ingredients
  • Carrier Oil
  • Colorants
  • Essential Oil
  • Infused Oil
  • Liquid Alcohols
  • Texturizer
  • Vitamins

Cool Down/End Phase

  • Hot and cold phases are combined
  • Sensitive items are added
  • Usually poured into containers Common Ingredients
  • Antioxidants
  • Colorants
  • Essential oils
  • Texturizer
  • Vitamins

Things to Consider with Anhydrous Formulation

Consider hidden sources of water. Have pouring stations already set up. If the product is going to be solid, check the consistency of the cooling phase before adding end phase ingredients by chilling a sample for 5 minutes in the freezer. Additional beeswax can be added with gentle heat if needed without heating sensitive ingredients. Rapidly cooling anhydrous products in the fridge yields a creamier texture.


Personal Safety Apron Gloves Goggles Ventilation Lab set up Clean space Clean tools Ingredients arranged Pouring station set up


Heating element – stove or portable burner Double boiler – stainless-steel bowl and sauce pot work well Mixing bowls – stainless-steel glass or ceramic Candy Thermometers Measuring utensils – spoons, cups, mini beakers, pipettes, graduated cylinders, etc Stirring utensils – spoons, whisks, forks, rods, etc Transfer devices – funnels, spoons Products container – glass jars, tins, bottles, etc Tub of hot soapy water in the sink


1. Antioxidant Facial Oil


  • 1oz bottle with dropper or reducer
  • 15 mL Camellia (Camellia japonica) oil
  • 10 mL Apricot Kernel (Prunus armeniaca) Oil
  • 5 mL Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) oil
  • 1 dp Carrot seed essential oil (Daucus carota)
  • 3 dp Rosemary essential oil (Rosmarinus Officinalis)
  • 3 dp Sandalwood essential oil (Santalum album or Santalum spicatum)
  • 2 dp Vetiver essential oil (Vetiveria zizanoides)

Antioxidant Facial Oil Steps

  1. Use the beaker to measure out the camellia oil, apricot and jojoba oils and add them to the amber bottle.
  2. Drop the essential oils into the bottle.
  3. Close tightly and shake vigorously for at least one minute.
  4. Label and store tightly seals away from light and heat.

General Use Drop 2-3 drops onto the palm and gentle rub hand together 2-3 times. Press onto the clean skin avoiding the eyes and smooth across the face with upward movements. Follow with appropriate moisturizer and SPF products. About this formula Camellia oil is light weight and absorbs quickly into the skin and is rich in linoleic, linolenic, and oleic fatty acids. Apricot provides vitamins A and C while jojoba oil is similar to the sebum we produce an a source of monounsaturated fatty acids. All four essentials oils offer protective antioxidant, toning, and reparative qualities to this blend.

2. Soothing Bath & Body Oil


  • 2oz bottle with dropper or pump top
  • 1 oz Calendula infused Apricot Kernel oil
  • ½ oz Almond (Prunus amygdalus var dulcis) oil
  • ½ oz Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) oil
  • 8 dp Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 12 dp Marjoram essential oil (Origanum majorana)
  • 4 dp Patchouli essential oil (Pogostemom cablin) Optional: 5mL Polysorbate 20

Soothing Bath & Body Oil Steps

  1. Use the beaker to measure out the Infused Almond oil, Sunflower Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil and pour them into the bottle.
  2. Drop the essential oils into the bottle.
  3. Close tightly and shake vigorously for at least one minute.
  4. Label and store tightly seals away from light and heat. Steps for Optional Dispersing Bath Oil
  5. Use the beaker to measure out the Infused oil, Apricot Kernel Oil and Sunflower Oil and pour them into the bottle.
  6. In a beaker, drop in the essential oil and the polysorbate. Mix well.
  7. Add the essential oil and polysorbate to the bottle of carrier oils.
  8. Close tightly and shake vigorously for at least one minute.
  9. Label and store tightly seals away from light and heat.

Bath Use Fill the tub. When it is almost full, add 1 tbsp of the oil. Mix the water before getting into the tub. Soak for 10-20 minutes.

Body Use Body Use: dispense a small amount, appx 1 mL at a time, of the body oil into the hands and rub onto damp skin. Let it dry before dressing.

About this formula Apricot Kernel oil is lightweight and contains vitamins A and C. Almond is a lightweight emollient oil containing oleic acid, omega 6 and vitamin E. Sunflower oil provides vitamins E and K, and is rich in omega 6 and linoleic acid. The calendula is anti-inflammatory and soothing to the skin and promotes healthy cell regeneration. Lavender, marjoram, and patchouli essential oils help sooth the skin while promoting feeling of relaxation and peace.

3. Invigorating Body Scrub


  • 8oz container
  • ½ cup coarse sugar or Epsom salt
  • ½ cup fine sugar
  • 2 ½ oz Almond (Prunus amygdalus var dulcis) oil
  • 2 ½ oz Avocado (Persea gratissima) oil
  • 15 dp Rosemary essential oil (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • 30 dp Grapefruit essential oil (Citrus paradisi)
  • 20 dp Geranium essential oil (Pelargonium graveolens)
  • Optional: 6 dp Vitamin E

Invigorating Body Scrub Steps

  1. Measure out the fine and coarse sugar into a bowl.
  2. Mix the carrier oils together in another container.
  3. Add the essential oils to carrier oils.
  4. If desired, add the vitamin E to the oils and mix well.
  5. Add the oil blend to the salt a little at a time. Mix with a fork, whisk, or by hand. Evenly distribute the oil throughout the salt.
  6. The consistence should be like wet sand, it will stick together when squeezed but with fall apart when manipulated.
  7. Once thoroughly mixed and you have reached your desired consistency, spoon into a container and seal it.
  8. Label and store tightly seals away from light and heat.

General Use Use a spoon or spatula to portion out 1-2 tbsp of salt scrub to apply to the body while in the shower. Rub across the skin with light pressure allowing the salt to do the exfoliation. Rinse well. Can be used two or three times a week. Avoid using on irritated or compromised skin. Not for the face. Avoid reaching in with wet fingers.

About this formula Sugar offers mechanical exfoliation of dead skin that is gentler than salt. Almond is a light moisturizing oil and a source of oleic acid, omega 6 and vitamin E. Avocado oil is high in oleic acid, linoleic acid, lecithin, and vitamin D. They are emollient and protective to the skin while the rosemary, grapefruit, and geranium stimulate the mind and body.

4. Healing Ointment


  • 4oz container
  • 1 ½ oz St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
  • 1 ½ oz infused Almond (Prunus amygdalus var dulcis) oil
  • 1 ½ oz Calendula (Calendula officinalis) infused Apricot Kernel (Prunus armeniaca) oil
  • ½ oz Shea butter or lanolin
  • ½ - 1 oz Beeswax or candelilla wax
  • 20 dp Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 30 dp Cedarwood Virginia essential oil (Juniperus virginiana)
  • 10 dp Tea tree essential oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)

Healing Ointment Steps

  1. Warm the shea butter/ lanolin in a double boiler to 85°F
  2. Mix the essential oils in a small container so they are blended.
  3. Once melted, add ½ oz of beeswax/candelilla wax.
  4. Reduce the heat and add the infused oils and stir well.
  5. Check the consistency by dipping the tip of a spoon into the mix and then placing the spoon into the freezer for 5 minutes. If the consistence is too thin, add more beeswax and check again.
  6. Once the ointment reaches your desired consistency, remove from heat and continue stirring.
  7. Add the essential oil blend to the carrier oil blend and stir vigorously.
  8. Pour into the container and put in the fridge to cool.
  9. Label and store tightly seals away from light and heat.

General Use Apply a small amount of the ointment to scratches, bites, and small wounds. Cover with sterile gauze. Use 2-3 times a day.

About this formula Apricot provides vitamins A and C while the infused calendula improves skin healing. Almond is a light moisturizing oil and a source of oleic acid, omega 6 and vitamin E; St Johns Wort has antimicrobial effects. The lavender, cedarwood, and tea tree essential oils help soothe the skin, reduce inflammation, and has antimicrobial effects to promote healing.


20-30 drops (dp or gtts) = 1 milliliter (ml or mL) 5 mL = 1 teaspoon (tsp or t) [ 4.93mL] 15 mL = 3 tsp = 1 tablespoon (tbsp or T) [ 14.79mL] 30 mL = 6 tsp = 2 tbsp = 1 ounce (oz) [ 29.57mL] 60 mL = 12 tsp = 4 tbsp = 2 oz = ¼ cup (c) [ 59.15mL] 120mL = 24 tsp = 8 tbsp = 4 oz = ½ c [118.29mL] 240mL = 48 tsp = 16 tbsp = 8 oz = 1 c [236.59mL]

Michael Ford, MS, LMT, LE, RA


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