Can You Use Massage Oils in a Diffuser? Read This Before You Try

Your diffuser has been offering you a lot of benefits as it releases essential oils into your home. Maybe you’ve run out of pure essential oils or just have this fabulous massage oil that smells amazing and wonder: can massage oils be used in a diffuser?

It’s not advisable to use massage oils in a diffuser. Massage oils include carrier oils, which are much heavier than essential oils and can gum up the system of mechanical diffusers permanently. Massage oils won’t break other types of diffusers, such as reed diffusers, but there are still efficacy and health concerns to take into account.

The benefits you receive from breathing in massage oil during a massage are very different from how you breathe in essential oils from a diffuser. In this article, we will break down how this works. You’ll come away with a much better understanding of essential oils, carrier oils, massage oils, and what’s happening with your diffuser.

What’s the Difference Between Massage Oil and Essential Oil

There are different kinds of massage oils.

Sometimes, massage oil is just one single oil. These are known as carrier oils since other types of oils can be blended into them. Examples of carrier oils used as massage oils include sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and grapeseed oil.

Often, people will buy massage oils that contain one or two carrier oils combined with multiple essential oils. I have an article on massage oil ingredients if you want to dig deeper into this topic.

This may make you think that since your massage oil has essential oil in it, it can be used in your diffuser.

However, this is not the case. The carrier oil in your massage oil is a much heavier substance.

Why Massage Oil Always Has Carrier Oils In It

Essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin.

Essential oils are strong substances. To be safely administered topically, they need to be diluted and this is done using carrier oils. A common dilution rate for massage oils is about 2%. This means that in massage oil, 2% of the liquid can be made of essential oils, but 98% needs to be made with a carrier oil.

This offers you the benefits of breathing in essential oils during a massage and applying them topically while keeping them safely diluted.

Don’t Confuse Dilution With Diffusion

Dilution is when essential oils are safely mixed with carrier oils to create a massage oil. Diffusion is when essential oils are slowly dispersed in the air.

Both methods are breaking down the essential oils so you are only taking in so much of them at one given time for safety reasons. However, they’re both very different things.

So massage oil can have essential oils in it that are diluted, but massage oil can’t be used in a diffuser.

Reed Diffusers Are Different

Can massage oils be used in a diffuser that plugs into the wall? No.

Can massage oils be used in a reed diffuser? Possibly. Though this may not be the best thing for your health.

Massage oil can never be used in a plug-in diffuser because it will gum up the works permanently and break your machine. However, massage oils can technically be used in a reed diffuser without ‘breaking’ it.

While there is an increasing body of research regarding the possible health effects and benefits of inhaling essential oils, research on diffusing and inhaling carrier oils is lacking.

If you were to try this at your own risk, remember there might be some concerns depending on the ingredients in your massage oil. Be sure that your massage oil is all-natural and doesn’t have any additives. You don’t want to be breathing in preservatives or toxic chemicals. Remember, massage oil is not created with this use in mind.

From the point of view of enjoying the fragrances, using massage oil in a reed diffuser will make the essential oils diffuse more slowly in the air. The carrier oils won’t really add a lot to the experience of breathing in the essential oils, only dilute the experience.

Why People Use Essential Oils in a Diffuser

A diffuser is a good way to inhale essential oils and get the health benefit they offer in a safe way.

Studies have shown that diffusing essential oils can have health benefits like relief for insomnia and increased concentration.

Essential oils

Experts suggest that of the different ways you can use essential oils, inhaling them is probably the safest. It’s also the fastest way to get essential oils into your body and your bloodstream.

When you use essential oils in massage oil, there are a lot of rules about how you use them. Mainly, that you always properly dilute essential oils with a carrier oil at a proper ratio, and that you do a patch test before putting massage oil over your body.

Similarly, there are rules for safely diffusing essential oils.

How to Safely Diffuse Essential Oils

Are you considering leaving your essential oil diffuser on all day? Probably not a good idea. When you fall in love with your diffuser, it’s of course tempting to think that you should have it on all the time. This is a very common mistake.

Instead, use your diffuser for 30 minute periods of time. Take a break for at least an hour before using it again.

Don’t use your diffuser in too small of a space, either. A well-ventilated room is better for your lungs and mind.

If you have pets, make sure they are safely able to leave the room. Sometimes animals may have poor reactions to essential oils. They should always have the option to leave should they feel strange.

Do you have asthma? Then an essential oil diffuser may not be for you. Studies have shown that the organic compounds in the air when a diffuser is used may irritate people with asthma.

Also, always make sure your essential oils are pure. You don’t want any additives in your essential oils, especially when you’ll be breathing them in. This is bad for your health and bad for your machine.

The Takeaway

So, can massage oils be used in a diffuser? Ultimately, no, that’s not a great idea.

Your massage oil with essential oils in it is a great experience in itself, but not meant to be used with your diffuser.

To keep your diffuser in good working condition, you want to use only pure essential oils in your diffuser. This way, you’ll be breathing in healthy ingredients and getting the most benefits from this time. And on top of that, you’ll be using your diffuser in the way it was meant to be used, and keep other solutions from gumming up the machine.

Always remember the importance of quality ingredients for getting the most of your essential oils. Enjoy!