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What is essential oil dispersant and how do you use it?

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A few weeks ago, we shared a recipe for a revitalizing hair spray treatment… and one ingredient in particular caught your attention: essential oil dispersant. What is it? What does it do? Can you replace it with something else? We answer all these questions and more in our article—which includes our famous recipe for a rosemary-scented revitalizing hair treatment, plus three more!

What is essential oil dispersant?

This ingredient suspends essential oils and vegetable oils in an aqueous solution and prevents them from separating. It consists of a water-soluble head and an oil-soluble tail, so that it binds to both oil and water. A dispersant is therefore necessary when you want to add essential oils to a water-based recipe

Dispersants can be made from a variety of ingredients. We’re proud to be able to tell you that our COCOÉCO dispersant is 100% natural and certified organic. It’s tolerated very well by both your skin and body

How do you use dispersant in homemade products? 

As a general rule, we recommend using four parts dispersant to one part essential oil. Then, add your aqueous phase (i.e., water, hydrosol) to make up your total volume. Mix until fully dissolved. 

Here’s a brief overview of how you can use dispersant with four quick and easy recipes.

DIY purifying room spray  


Using a funnel, pour the dispersant and scents into a 500 ml spray bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water. Shake it up and it’s good to go! Shake before each use. Your homemade room spray will keep for about three months. Store away from direct light.

How to make a revitalizing, no-rise hair treatment


Using a funnel, pour all ingredients into a 60 ml spray bottle. Apply this leave-in treatment by spraying it onto your roots two or three times per week. Shake before each use. Your homemade revitalizing hair spray will keep for three months. Store away from direct light. 

How to make a relaxing mineral soak


Mix all the liquid ingredients together in a bowl, then add the Epsom salt. Mix the scented oil and salt together thoroughly. Pour as much as you like into your bath and enjoy! Your mineral soak will keep for three months, stored away from direct light. 

DIY face toner


Weigh all the ingredients and mix them together in a bowl. Use a funnel to transfer the mixture into 60 ml cosmo bottle. Pour a bit of toner onto a cotton pad and apply to your face in the evening after cleansing, by gently pressing the cotton pad against your face. Avoid the area surrounding your eyes. Shake before each use. Your homemade toner will keep for three months, stored away from direct light.

What can I use if I don’t have essential oil dispersant at home? 

You can absolutely replace dispersant with another ingredient. Common options include 70% alcohol, vegetable glycerin, emulsifiers, and mild surfactants. However, we strongly recommend that you carry out stability tests with small quantities of your recipe before repeating it on a larger scale. You can test a recipe’s stability by making a sample size of your product. Store it according to the recipe’s recommendations and keep an eye on it over its stated shelf life and watch for any changes to its properties (changes in odour, colour, or phases separating). If your product remains the same, that means it’s stable, and you can scale up your recipe. 

We hope this article has cleared up any mysteries about this ingredient and that it answers your questions. Dispersant ensures effective use of essential oils. If you have any remaining questions, please don’t hesitate to post them in the comments section below. It would be our pleasure to help you!

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