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Essential Oil Calculator Product Categories Explained (+ Updates)

It’s been about a month and a half since the launch of the essential oil calculator,which means it’s time for an update!

Essential Oil Calculator Updates (December 2016)

Changes & Updates

  • Fixed a typo causing Anise (Star)‘s methyl chavicol amount to always be over IFRA limits

New Additions

Want to see the library of essential oil blends continue to grow? Submit your own blends right over here!

Product Type Categories

I’ve received a lot of questions about what category to use for certain kinds of products when calculating an essential oil blend’s usage rate:

Product Types in the Essential Oil Calculator

Below, you’ll find a list of all the current product type categories in use on the essential oil calculator and information about each!

If you encounter a product formulation that is not listed and does not seem to have a place, please ask – I’d be happy to add it to the list!

Alcohol Based Perfume (Category 4)

  • Usage Rates: 5% to 25%
  • Use for products like: any perfume product that is diluted with an alcohol base, other perfume categories can be used if the usage rates are not sufficient for your formulation as all perfume falls under Category 4

Children’s Products (Category 3)

  • Usage Rates: 0.2% to 1%
  • Use for products like: any product intended for use by children or infants, such as baby creams, baby lotions, baby oils, etc. as well as any products intentionally applied to the eye area of any person, such as eye shadow, mascara, eyeliner, eye makeup, eye masks, eye pillows, etc.

Cold Process Soap (Category 9)

  • Usage Rates: 1% to 5%
  • Use for products like: cold process soaps

Deodorant (Category 2)

  • Usage Rates: 0.25% to 1.25%
  • Use for products like: deodorant or antiperspirant sprays, roll-ons, sticks, etc.

Facial Products (Category 5)

  • Usage Rates: 0.2% to 1%
  • Use for products like: facial creams, facial make-up such as foundation, and facial masks, as well as hand cream, hand sanitizers, dry shampoo, baby powder, and wipes/tissues for the hands, face, or neck

Hair Styling & Nail Products (Category 8)

  • Usage Rates: 0.2% to 1%
  • Use for products like: non-spray hair styling products such as creams, mousses, gels, and leave-in conditioners, as well as hair dyes, nail polish, nail oils, nail creams, make-up removers, and powders/talcs that are used on adults 

Hot Process Soap (Category 9)

  • Usage Rates: 1% to 3%
  • Use for products like: hot process and cream soaps

Household & Cleaning Products (Category 10)

  • Usage Rates: 0.5% to 2.5%
  • Use for products like: laundry detergents, fabric softeners, fabric cleaners, soft surface cleaners, carpet cleaners, dishwashing detergents, hard surface cleaners, dry cleaning, and toilet seat wipes as well as shampoos for pets

Insect Repellents (Category 7)

  • Usage Rates: 1% to 9%
  • Use for products like: topically applied insect repellents

Leave-On Body Products (Category 4)

  • Usage Rates: 0.5% to 1.5%
  • Use for products like: body creams, butters, lotions, sprays, oils, foot care products, hair spray, body paint, etc. (basically, any product that does not fit in another category and is applied in a leave-on manner)

Lip Products (Category 1)

  • Usage Rates: 0.25% to 1.25%
  • Use for products like: any product applied to the lip area, such as lip balm, lipsticks, lip wax, etc.

Melt and Pour Soap & Liquid Soap (Category 9)

  • Usage Rates: 0.5% to 2.5%
  • Use for products like: melt and pour soap, liquid soaps and cleansers

Mouthwash & Toothpaste (Category 6)

  • Usage Rates: 0.1% to 0.5%
  • Use for products like: any product used inside a person’s mouth, including toothpaste, mouthwash, and breath spray

Non-Skin Contact Products (Category 11)

  • Usage Rates: 5% to 11%
  • Use for products like: any product intended for usage in a non-skin contact fashion, such as air fresheners, candles, deodorizers, reed diffusers, shoe polishes, toilet blocks, textile sprays, fabric starch, room sprays, etc.

Oil Based Perfume (Category 4)

  • Usage Rates: 15% to 30%
  • Use for products like: any perfume product that is diluted with an oil base, other perfume categories can be used if the usage rates are not sufficient for your formulation as all perfume falls under Category 4

Shaving Products (Category 3)

  • Usage Rates: 0.25% to 2%
  • Use for products like: any product topically applied to shaved skin as well as balms and creams intended for use on a man’s face, including aftershave

Solid Perfume (Category 4)

  • Usage Rates: 25% to 40%
  • Use for products like: any perfume product that is prepared in a solid base, other perfume categories can be used if the usage rates are not sufficient for your formulation as all perfume falls under Category 4

Wash-Off Products (Category 9)

  • Usage Rates: 0.5% to 2%
  • Use for products like: any product that is intended to be washed off that is not a soap, such as bath gels, bath foams, bath mousses, bath oils, bath bombs, bubble bars, bath salts, body washes, shampoos, conditioners, face cleansers, shaving creams, shaving soaps, shaving gels, etc.

If you have further questions about the essential oil calculator, please check the FAQ where a lot of common questions are already answered! If you do not see your question answered, get in touch!

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4 Responses

  1. Hi Kenna,

    What a fabulous and innovative reference!

    I’m looking for guidelines for usage rates in cold process soap for children. 1% is where Categories 3 and 9 overlap so would that be the sweet spot?

    Thank you.

    1. I personally do not recommend soaps for children under the age of two years old, but above that, yes, a low scent profile is recommended. I would use the Children’s Products category to double check your safety rates after using the Cold Process Soap category. Some constituents are more limited for dermal usage for children, and that will tip you off to any.

      1. Thanks Kenna. The children in question are 3 and 6. I’ll stick to the ones that I’ve read are appropriate for kids in that age range and then go with 1/2 my normal usage rate for just a hint of scent!

  2. Hi! I hope this is the right place to ask this, if not, I apologize. I am looking for usage ratio for Orange Wax in Cold process soap. I read that it can be used but don’t know how MUCH to use. I have looked all over the internet and have been unsuccessful so far. Also, its not on any soap calculator so that’s an issue as well!

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