Essential Oils Blog

5 best ways to diffuse essential oils

Feb 7, 2019 4:02:52 PM / by Josh Wilford

Essential oils can be an extremely valuable part of every person’s homeopathic remedies for stinky house syndrome, bad-day-itus, and the common cold. They aren’t just for the people who can DIY anything and run their own organic farm. Essential oils can be for everyone, but the question is: what is the best way to apply them?

The four ways to apply oils are:

  • Aromatically (in the air)
  • Topically (on the skin)
  • Internally (ingesting)
  • Externally (around the house)

Ingesting certain oils can be dangerous for humans and animals alike, which is why applying the oils in the right way is crucial. There is a plethora of ways to diffuse essential oils, but some are far superior to others in both efficiency of spreading the oil and ability to produce positive results with people. The following list is the five best ways to diffuse oils aromatically or topically.

5. Traditional or old fashion

essential oil candleThese methods are as old as time itself, such as burning an essential oil candle, buying potpourri with essential oils in them or DIYing something similar, are all very common. These types of diffusers are very easy to buy and can be simple to make as well (article idea).

The advantages of diffusing essential oils through these traditional methods are that the cost is very low and they all tend to last a long time. They are also usually very non-descript and not as strong as some other diffuser types. If you want some refreshing peppermint or some calming eucalyptus in the background, traditional solutions might be the ideal for you.

On the flip side of the same coin, if you do want a stronger scent, traditional solutions might be too weak for you. Although traditional methods tend to last a while, they put lower amounts of oils into the air.

4. Direct application

direct application essential oilsDirect application of essential oils involves any kind of application to the skin, such as wipes or direct application of the oil itself. Its crucial to be careful because certain oils such as lemon oil are tougher on the skin than other types of oil like lavender. Always research the oil you are using and keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different, so it might be a good idea to test the oil on a small patch of skin before applying it over your whole body.

Direct application of essential oils is great for massages or pain points that just won’t go away. Depending on the sensitivity of the skin on the application area, more or less dilution may be necessary. Massaging essential oils, such as soothing peppermint, into the skin can be beneficial to your health and extremely relaxing as well!

The biggest con to directly applying oil is that you don’t know how your skin will react to the oil. An allergic reaction could occur which may result in hives, rashes or redness of the skin. These reactions are less common when using other methods of application.

3. Non-active diffusers

non-active essential oil diffuserNon-active diffusers are objects that can diffuse oils into the air but weren’t necessarily created to do so. This can include such things as lava stones, pieces of clay or something as basic as a cotton ball soaked in your favorite oil. These diffusers generally diffuse the oils into the air much slower than the typical active diffuser.

Non-active diffusers are great at providing a refreshing scent in the living room or leaving the bathroom constantly smelling pleasant. Because of how the oils diffuse slower into the air, non-active diffusers are best at providing a background smell or in other words a less overpowering smell. Non-active diffusers are also the best for anyone looking to save money, because they use very little oil and many household items can be used as diffusers.

One potential disadvantage of using non-active diffusers is the fact that it takes much longer for the oil scent to permeate a room than it takes active diffusers. This could be a problem if you’re looking to immediately freshen up a room. Another problem is the inconsistencies that can be found in the diffusion rates of the different objects used as non-active diffusers. The only way to find out how long it would take a non-active diffuser to spread through a whole room is through trial and error because every non-active diffuser is a little different.

2. Active diffusers

essential oil active diffuserActive diffusers encompass many things, but the two main types of active diffusers are nebulous and ultrasonic diffusers. Both diffuser types run on electricity and are the best at quickly diffusing oil into a room. Ultrasonic diffusers use water to dilute the oil and spread it into the air, while Nebulous diffusers only use pure undiluted oil.

Nebulous diffusers are the best at diffusing essential oils into the air quickly. They use undiluted oil to give any room a metaphorical shot in the arm of essential oils. Nebulous diffusers are great at quickly turning a room from stinky to sweet smelling in minutes. However, since they only use non-diluted oil they consume essential oils much faster than any other diffuser type and thus will be more expensive.

Ultrasonic diffusers are the most common diffuser type and can diffuse oil into the air relatively quickly while still not using an exorbitant amount of oil because they use oil diluted in water. Ultrasonic diffusers are a happy medium between nebulous diffusers and other types of diffusers in both their oil usage and their ability to make a room smell like pure bliss.

1. New active diffusers

essential oil shower diffuserThere are many other types of active diffusers, but the top spot in this list belongs to this group of unique active diffuser types. These include the new Oasis Shower Diffuser that can turn a shower into a spa, the USB computer diffuser which diffuses little blasts of freshness while working, or the car diffusers that work better and more naturally than any standard car freshener.

The new types of active diffusers mentioned above all have hit the market in recent years and are unique in the diffuser market because they can go where other diffusers can’t because of the unique size or design which gives them the number one spot on this list.


The first step of diffusing essential oils is to choose the right oil by properly testing the oils on anybody (pets or people) who might be in the room for an allergic reaction to the oil type being used. The next step would be to choose a diffuser type that suits your lifestyle. Whether using a lava rock diffuser or a fancy nebulous diffuser, always think of how strong or faint you want the smell to be before buying a diffuser. Now that you’ve seen the list, get your favorite essential oils and use your newfound knowledge of diffusers to make a smart purchase for you and your family.

Topics: diffuser

Josh Wilford

Written by Josh Wilford

Josh Wilford, of Tampa Florida, is a senior PR student at BYU Provo who enjoys sports, film and spending time with his friends and family. He hopes to start a career in digital marketing after he graduates in April.