You've Been Using Your Essential Oil Diffuser Wrong This Whole Time

Essential oils are all the rage right now with more and more people wanting to experience their many benefits. However, when it comes to essential oil diffusers, many people aren't using them correctly or safely. One of the most common mistakes is leaving your diffuser on all day. According to naturopathic doctor Serena Goldstein (via SHAPE), you actually should never leave it on for more 30 minutes — any longer and it may cause headaches. 

Using an essential oil diffuser correctly actually begins with the diffuser itself. According to clinical biobehavioral-health researcher, certified aromatherapist, and natural beauty expert Leigh Winters, the best diffusers to invest in are ultrasonic diffusers. However, as Winter told SHAPE, "The downside is that most are made from plastic, which is not as eco-friendly and some experts believe that plastic might negatively interact with and affect the quality of your essential oils." Instead, you should opt for a BPA-free plastic ultrasonic diffuser or a nebulizing diffuser.

To get the full benefits of a diffuser, essential oils must be pure

You also need to realize that you can't just use any old oils. Winters suggests using an essential oil that is 100 percent pure, while Ariana Lutzi, a nutrition consultant for BUBS Naturals, believes you should only ever use oils that have the plant's botanical name on the packaging. 

It's also important to embrace a "less is more" attitude, always following the instructions provided in terms of how many drops to use. If combining or blending oils, never do any more drops than initially instructed. And don't forget to check allergies or reconsider using altogether if you suffer from asthma. "Asthma patients can have negative reactions to compounds in the air," Stephanie Long, M.D., explained to SHAPE.

Lastly, you need to remember to keep your diffuser clean when using it. Dr. Omid Mehdizadeh, otolaryngologist and laryngologist at Providence Saint John's Health Center in California, recommends wiping it down after every use then cleaning according to the manufacturer's guidelines. The last thing you want is for your diffuser to be dispersing germs and mold into the air.