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Topical use or diffused? How to Choose the Right Delivery Method For Your Essential Oils

Posted on May 06 2016

What’s your favorite way of using essential oils?

Do you love adding them to a soothing, stimulating massage? Or maybe in a fragrant aromatherapy session just before sleeping?

The effects of essential oils in your body and your mind vary depending on the delivery method you choose.

The difference is really simple, topical application works directly on top of your skin, being anointed while massaging a desired area, while essential oil diffusing works by dispersing the oil in a micro-fine vapor into the air so it is inhaled. Most diffusers will not heat the oils, thus ensuring full benefits, as extreme heat can damage important constituents in the oil.

It’s important to keep in mind that the “best” delivery method varies from person to person. For example, some essential oils are really potent and can be irritating for sensitive skins, yet produce a soothing effect on more resistant skin types.

However, the main aspect you want to consider is whether you want the benefits to be reflected in the performance of certain activity, working for you 'in the background' (diffused) or if you want your senses to be focused strictly on the oils and their more physical effects like soothing pain or helping a wound heal faster (massage).

I’ve created a short guide to share how to best choose the right delivery method for your essential oils, depending on the benefit you are trying to obtain.


before applying topically, dilute essential oils with a carrier oil

For a Relaxing Massage Session (Topical Application)

The Bounce Essential Oil Massage Blend is a stimulating mixture of Rosemary, Ylang Ylang and Petitgrain Essential Oils. It has a warm, balancing aroma that’s great for long messages. This is because even though it has notable uplifting and energizing effects, it is not overstimulating.

After a massage session with Bounce Blend, you will experience an energetic but grounded state of mind and body, specially if you focus on your body’s sensations and tune out the mind chatter throughout the massage.

The Soothe Essential Oil Massage Blend is exactly what the doctor ordered for sore, tight muscles!

A blend of pure Essential Oils of Roman Chamomile, Cajeput, Ginger, Juniper, Lavender Provence, Marjoram, and Rosemary, these oils have been used in traditional herbalism to ease muscle pain and promote the elimination of toxins.

You’ll feel an immediate relief when applying it directly to sore muscles. Combine with a vigorous massage and you’ll be back at 100% in no time!

add sleep essential oil blend to your bath to help you prepare for bed

For a Long, Warm Bath (Add to Bath)

There’s nothing quite like a long, warm bath to enjoy some well deserved me-time after a tough, stressful day.

Aided with essential oils, it can do wonders for relaxation, soothing sore muscles and helping you sleep better. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day!

Our Sleep Massage Blend combines Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Marjoram, Sweet Orange, Tangerine and Ylang Ylang with Peloha’s Massage Base. Some of nature’s more relaxing and soothing aromas!

That’s why it is probably my favorite blend in our entire store. By adding a cap full to a warm bath before bedtime, you’ll feel that drowsy, sleepy feeling that you know will bring a full night of restful sleep and sweet dreams.

The Relax Massage Blend combines the calming, balancing effect of lavender with the powerful anti-anxiety properties of petitgrain and the meditative qualities of frankincense.

It is then blended in our Massage Base Oil (Almond, Grapeseed and Jojoba) so it’s ready to use.

Simply add a capful to a warm bath to enjoy its pleasant aroma and relaxing properties!

diffusing citrus scents or a stimulating blend can boost work performance

For Improving Performance at Work (Diffused)

Diffusing the right essential oil blend in the air while at work can have a big impact in your productivity and focus. As I explained earlier, if you are looking to have essential oils working ‘in the background’ to improve your performance, diffusing them is the way to go!

The Achieve Essential Oil Blend is an awesome blend of pure Bergamot, Palmarosa and Petitgrain Essential Oils. It is designed to energize both body and mind and to give your spirit the courage it takes to make things happen.

It really does magic when I diffuse it into the air just before getting to work, it instantly puts me in the positive state of mind I needed to set and crush my goals!

The Alert Essential Oil Blend is a wonderful blend that contains a highly stimulating mixture of Peppermint, Spearmint, Lemon, Geranium, Basil and Rosemary Essential Oils, which creates notable physical and mental effects to get you up and running fast!

These Essential Oils are well known for being helpful with enhancing alertness, concentration and memory. And you’ll love the Alert Blend’s sharp, energizing smell!

Of course, there's no way to substitute a good night's sleep, but diffusing the Alert Essential Oil Blend and enjoying its aroma immediately wakes you up! I have found that Alert is also really helpful to get through mentally fatiguing or repetitive processes.

You’ll love the energizing effect of this blend, and the clarity of mind you’ll get from it!

massage joint soothing blends into the skin for topical benefits of essential oils

For Nursing Joint Pains (Topical Application)

One of our best selling blends, the Move Essential Oil Massage Blend is made from Marjoram, Rosemary, Juniper, Roman Chamomile, Black Pepper, Ginger, Spanish Rosemary and Vetiver essential oils

It has been carefully designed to bring quick relief to the pain and discomfort of sore or arthritic joints, and to help in fighting arthritis and rheumatism!

Simply massage into painful joints without further dilution and enjoy the quick relief and comfort it will bring.

For Stopping Headaches on Their Tracks (Diffuse)

Headaches are the worst.

And for many of us, there’s little you can do to stop them.  Stress, fatigue, not enough sleep, too much to do and too little time to do it – these can all contribute to painful headaches that make it even harder to get anything done.

Rather than turn to chemicals to stop them though, you can try diffusing our potent headache and tension fighting blends:

  • Comfort Blend – for fighting sinus headaches. Or, a great blend for fighting stronger headaches that aren’t budging against your regular headache Relief blend.
  • Dissolve Blend – for the angry, nervous tension that builds and builds. This blend combines clary sage, lavender, and petitgrain in a soothing blend that eases away the frustrations of a tough day.
  • Joy Blend – this blend doesn’t include the top headache fighting blends, but I find it to be such a happy, magical blend that it relaxes and washes away feelings of stress and worry.

And above all, fight headaches naturally by taking care of your body! Drink plenty of water, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and make sure you’re not sitting and inactive for too long.

PRO TIP: You can also massage your temples with these blends to make their effect even more potent, as long as you make sure to mix them with a carrier oil.  

diffusing the powerful oils in the comfort blend can be a huge help for sinus headaches

For Immediate Sinus Relief (Diffuse)

The Comfort Essential Oil Blend  is designed to ease the pain and discomfort of irritated sinuses so that you can be productive on those days when you just can’t hit ‘pause’ to wait out a cold!

A blend of pure Essential Oils of Eucalyptus, Lavender and Peppermint, diffusing these oils will help you relieve pain, open the sinuses, and aid the body in overcoming both bacterial and viral infections.

Comfort is mildly stimulating and may keep poor sleepers awake if used before going to bed. That’s why suggest diffusing this blend during the day and lavender oil by itself at night.

For Yoga and/or Meditation

Aromatherapy and yoga/meditation go hand in hand. Both of them help promote mindfulness, and work to make your body healthier overall.  

While yoga helps with the physical aspects of a healthy body, it works on the mind too, helping to quiet our endless thoughts and help us find a peaceful center, as meditation does.

You can get the benefit of essential oils before, during, and after your yoga practice in two main ways: diffusing them, or using them topically.  

To diffuse, you can try Bergamot to uplift your spirit and move energy throughout your body.  According to Gabriel Majay, “Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit”, Bergamot helps disperse stagnant Qi-energy, moving out emotions such as anger, frustration, or anxiety.

Ylang Ylang is another flowery scent that helps promote inner peace and to ground your emotions.  It lifts the spirits and relaxes your body, enabling you to increase your flexibility during your practice.  It’s a great way to counteract anxiety and frustration, and is an ideal aromatherapy scent for fighting depression.

Bergamot or Ylang Ylang are great oils to apply topically with a carrier oil for your yoga practice

For topical use, you can dilute these blends in your preferred carrier oil, and you can apply these oils before your practice to ensure your muscles are limber and ready for a great yoga session!

Or, you can try one of my favorite mindfulness practices:

Frankincense Essential Oil has been used for centuries and has a long tradition in spiritual ceremonies, the resin burnt on altars and in temples.

Frankincense oil soothes, warms, and aids meditation by helping to create a spiritual atmosphere. By slowing down breathing and controlling tension, Frankincense essential oil helps to focus the mind and relax the body.

While Frankincense works great when diffused, I LOVE mixing it with an odorless carrier oil and applying topically on my skin, as it's also renowned for its use in skin care, excellent for toning and caring for mature/aging skin. It's said the Egyptians used it in rejuvenation face-masks!

When I’m applying it on my body, usually after a shower, I like to tune out all mental chatter and focus exclusively on how the oil feels on my body and on its scent. You’ll find yourself being able to focus at a surprisingly intense level, and you’ll end your mindfulness practice feeling incredibly relaxed and at peace.

These are just some of the ways you can use essential oils topically and diffused to improve the quality of your life and reconnect with the healing powers of nature. Check out our blog posts and browse our categories to find more information you might be interested in!

I hope you found the information on this one practical and useful. Remember to share your favorite topical and diffusion blends in the comments below!

May your life be always filled with PeLoHa (Peace, Love, Happiness.)


Aroma Ambassador


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