How to find the best essential oils… a question easier asked than answered. If you are like me you’ve probably spent countless hours researching and studying up on essential oils and various companies, only to go into purchasing with more trepidation than confidence, or given up in frustrated defeat after you can’t make sense of your findings on top of all the opinions out there. It feels something like locating and gathering a set of darts that have been haphazardly strewn all over the house, and once I have them and am ready to enjoy throwing them at a dart board I realize… I don’t know where that is either.
If you have a desire to find the best essential oils in a practical, straightforward, scientific way that will allow you to dodge all the clever marketing tactics being thrown your way, then this 4 Part Blog Series is for you.
Have you missed some of this series? Read them here…
The Do’s the Don’ts and Proceed With Cautions For Buying Essential Oils
Firstly, a brief word on the scarcity of aromatherapy quality essential oils, of the world supply only 2% are aromatherapy quality. And of that 2%, not all are worthy of your time and money. Here is a basic breakdown of essential oils in the world market.
- 50% Food and Flavors
- 25% Fragrance
- 20% Pharmaceutical
- 3% Other
- 2% Aromatherapy
So if only 2% of the world supply of essential oils are good enough for aromatherapy use, and less than that are something I would even want to use on my family or myself… it begs the question… “How do I know if I have FOUND the best essential oils to buy?”
In this article we will uncover guidelines for how to buy the best essential oils by identifying the Do’s, Don’ts, and the Proceed with Cautions.
Do select a company that is known for their awesome reputation. And now I will share the secret to the easiest way to determine a company’s reputation–and it has nothing to do with what they say about themselves. In a 2003 Harvard Business Review article it states the only proven way to predict a company’s growth is for their customers to answer “yes” to one question, “Would you refer us to a friend?” People who would be willing to refer their friends to their favorite company will also leave positive reviews on the company’s product pages.
Also find them on social media sites like Facebook, and Instagram and see what their overall customer engagement is like. Do their customer seem satisfied and happy… or frustrated and upset? Listen to those who have worked with a company before, they are usually only too happy to share how they feel whether it be positive or negative and you can use that info to select a company with an awesome reputation.
When you’ve identified a company you feel is worth parting with hard-earned cash DO start small by selecting only few oils. Nothing more discouraging than doing a ton of research only to find you don’t even like the products you selected, or they aren’t compatible with your system. Where possible, I advise buying oils you are already familiar with so you can compare your experience from other companies oils you’ve purchased from. Also before making a purchase I always advise checking a company’s return policy, that way if you aren’t happy with your purchases you know what your options are.
Don’t buy from companies or individuals that promote their oils as the “only pure product on the market”. That is like saying one essential oil company has gained a monopoly on all the good quality oils on the entire planet. An essential oil company may very well only carry the best essential oils, but the idea they would be able to prevent EVERY other company from getting access to quality oils is just ludicrous. Be leery of any company or person making such claims, their commitment to their brand is clear, while their understanding of scientific information is not. There are MANY essential oil companies that sell good quality oils, the trick is knowing how to identify them, and that is coming up in the next article of this series, so stay tuned. 😉
DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT buy from companies that sell “natural identical” aroma chemicals and other fragrance supplies AND aromatherapy products. Lotion and body care, candle scents, and potpourri home-fragrance companies are all on the “scent band wagon” and along with their respective wares have offerings being sold as aromatherapy quality. In order for a product to be legally advertised and sold as aromatherapy quality, it just has to smell nice, that is it. If these companies are selling aromatherapy products it doesn’t mean they are the devil, everyone enjoys nicely scented products, just don’t expect to get a therapeutic benefit from them.
Review a company’s price list, if you see that all the oils are nearly identical in price grab your purse and RUN FOR THE HILLS. Essential oils are not created equal, and there is a corresponding expense with oils that are more difficult to produce. For example, Lemon essential oil is one of the least expensive to produce, you can get the “best” lemon essential oil in a 15 ml size for around $12, contrast that with Frankincense essential oil and depending on the variety you are looking at $35-$90 for 15 ml. So if a company is selling all their oils for roughly the same price they are selling shoddy imitations of the real thing, they probably smell lovely, but they aren’t pure essential oil.
Proceed With Caution…
Any reference to a spiritual master or any other top name in the aromatherapy industry is no guarantee of quality. People will sell their name to be placed on labels as if to say they have personally verified the quality of the product inside. These people may have an excellent reputation in the industry, but that doesn’t mean they have anything to do with the quality control process at a company.
Many multi-level marketing (MLM) companies sell good quality products but do so at significantly higher costs than direct to consumer companies. They require membership in order to purchase oils, which gives you a significant discount on products (20-25% off, thereby making them closer to the cost of direct to consumer companies that don’t require any obligatory buying) and participation in MLM’s may have other obligatory requirements. Most MLM’s have thorough testing of their essential oils, but they don’t share or publish the results.
I know it’s tempting to look for the cheapest option when it comes to essential oils, or the most convenient as many grocery stores, pharmacies, and health food stores now carry them. This “need to know” item almost made it on my “Don’ts” list because there is this belief that if something is labeled “natural” it is also safe. That is not true my friends, and just because a company is jumping on the essential oils band wagon doesn’t mean they’ve done so with care and caution they should.
Here’s the truth, good quality essential oils are a pricey investment. I’m telling you from experience that even looking at this strictly from a cost effective perspective, buying quality is less expensive in the long run than the cheapest oils you can buy. Let’s say the oils are free of contaminants and synthetics (which unfortunately they probably aren’t), their therapeutic properties will be low, which means you have to use more oil to achieve the desired effect you could get from a lesser amount of quality essential oil.
8 Things You Need To Know Before Buying Essential Oils
- Do select a source with a good reputation by reading customer reviews on product pages, the company’s facebook page, etc. Are the people who have purchased their products satisfied with them, or not? Happy customers re-purchase and leave reviews, un-happy customers don’t re-purchase and leave negative reviews.
- Do buy small quantities of essential oils from companies you are interested in and try them out (look into their return policy before making a purchase to see what you are getting into). First hand experience with oils is often the best teacher.
- Don’t buy from companies or individuals who promote their essential oils as “the only pure oils” on the market, any company or individual who supports this idea attempts to educate with marketing hype, not factual information.
- Don’t buy “aromatherapy” products from companies that also sell synthetic fragrance items like soaps, candles, lotions, creams, etc. and expect to get therapeutic aromatherapy products.
- Don’t buy from companies whose essential oils are all approximately the same cost. Remember essential oils are not all created equal and a 15ml bottle can run anywhere from $8-$500 depending on the variety of essential oil when it is a pure product that is properly produced.
Proceed With Caution:
- Proceed with caution with any company that promotes a spiritual master or industry guru as they are leveraging that individual’s reputation to imply they personally oversee the day-to-day quality control process of an entire company. It’s unlikely marketing hype a person of that reputation would have the time or desire to oversee such things.
- Proceed with caution with MLM’s, they carry good quality products but at significantly higher cost than direct-to-consumer companies. They have thorough testing but they don’t share the results with consumers in a transparent scientific way that allows consumers to verify the purity and integrity of the product.
- Purchasing the cheapest essential oils from your local grocery store, health food store, or pharmacy may be convenient, but they are cheap because they either aren’t real essential oils, are of poor quality; and may contain contaminants, synthetics, or adulterants. Even if they are real essential oils buying cheap essential oils may cost you more in the long run as you will use a greater quantity to achieve a similar effect of a good quality oil.
Next up in the series of How To Find The Best Essential Oils Company is Part 4 – How To Find The Best Essential Oils Company.
Did you find this helpful? Share it with a friend!Let me know if you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them. 🙂