There are so many options when it comes to buying essential oils. How are you supposed to know which brand to buy? This page is meant to give you information so you can make that choice for yourself.
Let’s start by discussing the different types of companies from which you can buy essential oils.
Essential Oil Companies
If you have done any research into essential oils, I’m sure you have come across at least a few MLM companies. Young Living™ and DoTERRA® are the two most popular, but there are others. An MLM company typically requires you to purchase a starter kit in order to join their network. These starter kits can be great for those just getting started with essential oils. Most include a diffuser, as well as popular oils from their line. I actually love that MLM companies offer business opportunities to those that are excited and passionate about their products. There can be a few down-sides to MLM companies, however. First, you need to purchase a starter kit in order to be eligible for discounted pricing. Most companies have the option to purchase your membership for a small fee, without needing to purchase a starter kit, but honestly, if you want to join an MLM company, get the starter kit. It is typically a 50% discount over buying all the products individually. The second downside is that the pricing is typically the highest in the industry. Keep in mind the company pays their distributors, which factors into the price of the oil. However, these MLM companies also offer some great incentives, such as reward programs, where you can earn points for future purchases; up to 25% “cashback”. This can be wonderful if you are purchasing a lot of oils/products each month. For example, if you are spending $100/month on products, you could (potentially) earn $25 towards future purchases.
As essential oils become more popular, it seems a new company pops up every day. Direct-to-Consumer companies are selling their products (typically online) directly to you. You place an order and they ship it to your door. The positive of this is that you can order as much (or as little) as you want, without having to purchase a starter kit. You can also place orders as often as you wish, or never again, with no strings attached. Because these companies are not paying distributors, the cost tends to be a little lower. However, please read about pricing below. If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is.
It seems you can now buy essential oils at whole food stores, grocery stores, drug stores… even Walmart. You may be tempted to buy these oils because, after all, you can get them with your weekly grocery purchase, and the prices seem affordable… BUT, I would caution you about these oils: If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Let’s talk about that a little further…
What to Watch For When Buying Essential Oils
There is a wide range of pricing when it comes to essential oils. Let’s take a look at Frankincense, for example; specifically Boswellia Carterii (look at that scientific name because there are different species). I can go to an MLM company, and this oil costs about $70-75/15 ml, for members. Go to a Direct-to-Consumer company, and it costs about $25-60/15 ml (at least the ones I looked at). Go to Walmart, and you can get 4 OUNCES (that is 8x more than these other brands) for $14. Something is not right about that. Truth: frankincense isn’t that cheap. If you find it for $3.50/oz, when it should cost $50/oz, you’re being scammed. Don’t believe me? Check out this video from a man that tests essential oils for a living. He takes one of the bottles of “cheap” frankincense and tests it… Spoiler alert: it’s not real, despite the label reading “100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oil”. He has tested a number of brands being sold; all fake oils claiming to be 100% pure (you can see a video testing many of these brands here): Radha, Piping Rock, Majestic Pure, Art Naturals, Nature’s Truth, etc.
“100% Pure” & Therapeutic Grade” Means Nothing Really
Any company can put the words “Pure” or “Therapeutic Grade” on their bottle of essential oil, but nobody’s testing the oil for quality or purity; nor grading it on a therapeutic scale. You can read more about that here. Basically, every bottle of essential oil states this, even the $14 bottle of Frankincense at Walmart.
GC/MS Test Results
As a consumer, the best tool you have is a GC/MS test. However, this testing process is spend-y. So unless you have a couple hundred dollars to test your oils, how are you going to know if you are really getting pure, therapeutic grade, oils? There are companies out there that actually provide their GC/MS test results for their oils, but again, you need to be careful and know what to look for as companies can alter oils to get a “passing grade” or use outdated reports that are not relevant to the lot number on the bottles being sold. (See this post on Facebook for more on what to look for.)
I truly hope you have found this information to be helpful as you look for an essential oil company to call your own. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.