Where to Buy Essential Oils:
This question is commonly asked by people just getting into oils, as well as those who happen to be more seasoned. With all the amazing health benefits of oils as well as their common use in aromatherapy, this is a great question to ask because quality matters.
Are You New to Buying Essential Oils?
Over the past decade and onwards, the popularity of essential oils has been intensifying exponentially. After marketing experts realized just how much money could be made, essential oil companies started popping up all over the place. While more competition in the essential oil industry is actually probably a good thing, it can make your decisions more difficult to make when it comes to purchasing the “right” brand of oils.
As in any industry, especially the health and beauty industry, more competition also means more manipulative marketing strategies, an inundation of endless purchasing options, confusion among potential buyers (You!), and varying product quality. Not only do we see those differences, but we also tend to see a wide and varying range of prices from one brand to another. You’ve made the right decision in researching how you can use essential oils to improve your health so don’t let all the confusion surrounding the market as a whole cause you to become a victim of “analysis paralysis”.
So, The journey to a healthier you doesn’t need to be overly complicated!
Are You a More Seasoned Buyer?
Do you remember those blissful days when you first got into oils? Do you remember that very first diffuser you ever purchased? How about the excitement and anticipation you experienced the moment you smelled the aromatic scents of your oils for the first time?
Ah..those days were nice weren’t they? Well, I’m sure you’re still enjoying your oils quite nicely. As you well know, the more you learn about oils and their amazing uses in regards to your health, the more exciting they are to use. That being said, you’ve probably heard all kinds of “buzz” about MLM oil companies (we’ll get there later), conflicting results about certifications, and differing opinions about the “good” brands. Whatever the case, you know just how important the benefits of essential oils are for your health because you’ve experienced those benefits first hand. So, how have you been accessing which oils you should buy over the years?
4 Common Misconceptions Among Essential Oil Users
There are a lot of misconceptions among those who regularly use and purchase essential oils. While some of them may happen to be true from time to time, remember what you learned in science class: Correlation doesn’t equal causation.
#1 – “Higher priced oils are better quality.”
As with almost anything else, just because the price of any particular essential oil may be higher than others does not mean that the quality is superior in any way. Higher priced oils may or may not be better than their competitors. So, price alone cannot be relied on as a way to verify quality. In some cases, more expensive oils may actually be of inferior quality without their customers ever knowing that they’re getting less than they’re paying for. As you shop for various scents and kinds of oils for your own personal use, do not assume that higher priced oils equal higher quality.
Along these same lines, it goes without mentioning that if you see particular brands consistently priced far below other brands, expect quality to be lacking. The idea here is that you need to do your due diligence when you consider purchasing oils from any company. Do some research and find out about how they define their quality-related claims.
#2 – “As Long as my oil is “Therapeutic Grade” or “Food Grade” it’s of superior quality.”
So, before you jump to buy that “therapeutic grade” essential oil, there are other things you should consider as well which we’ll address later. The Phrase “therapeutic grade” is absolutely not any sort of “silver bullet” when it comes to the quality of your essential oil buying choices because it can basically mean whatever the seller wants it to mean. So, it’s really about how each company, in particular, defines their use of the phrase, and whether or not you’ll trust their adherence to those claims. You may also see other grading systems like “A”, “B”, or “C”, “C” being the worst. Those designations also don’t have any concrete significance and aren’t regulated for quality either.
Furthermore, when it comes to essential oils, the quality of any given oil is also not merely based upon certain lab testing methods (MS/GC specifically) that some companies perform. Moreover, quality is also determined by cultivation processes, harvesting, distillation, extraction, packaging, and other factors. That being said, companies that do provide you with the MS/GC reports are taking an extra step to back-up their quality claims, and that’s a plus.All of this being true, that doesn’t mean that every single company using the phrase “therapeutic grade” is intentionally trying to deceive you. I would, however, like to see more transparency in this area in general.
The term “Food Grade“ basically means that the oil is “generally recognized as safe” for their intended food additive use (in small quantities).
You can view a list of “Food Grade”/”generally safe” additives here: FDA – Food for Human Consumption – Part 182: Substances Generally Recognized as Safe.
Therefore, Food Grade oils are actually less pure than essential oils that do not have this designation because they’ve been redistilled and even blended or diluted. For example, “100% Pure Food Grade” may simply mean that 5% of the blend is actually redistilled essential oil whilst the other 95% is regular everyday vegetable oil. It gets a lot more complicated than that, but this is a simple way to comprehend it.Some companies and sales consultants may casually recommend that oils be consumed for all manner of uses. Not only are those claims not regulated, but it’s downright irresponsible for anyone untrained to encourage someone to ingest essential oils, especially when that person has just been introduced to them. I’m not saying that there’s no reason to ever ingest essential oils or that there aren’t any healthy benefits to doing so. However, what I am saying is that there can be serious health risks for ingesting oils incorrectly or irresponsibly. If you plan to ingest oils in their pure form, it’s best that you seek advice or administering guidelines from a certified aromatherapist first.
#3 – “100% all natural essential oils are the best.”
I have an assignment for you. Whenever you’re watching TV, going grocery shopping, or gathering new coupons for yourself, be on the lookout for this deceptive “all natural” phrase. Oftentimes when it comes to purchasing groceries, people tend to equate “all natural” with organic, healthy, or high quality.
In the food industry, all natural doesn’t really mean anything special, it’s just another marketing ploy. Have you ever read an orange juice, butter, or egg label that says “all natural”? Of course, orange juice, butter, and eggs should be all natural! Or at least they better be! So, claiming that something already natural is actually natural isn’t really saying much at all.
In the same way, in the essential oil industry, “100% all natural” may not be that significant of a claim at all. For example, if you purchase an oil blend that’s not nearly as potent because it’s been diluted with weaker carrier oils, it can still claim to be “100% natural” even though is falls reprehensively short of a pure essential oil. As companies in this industry figure out how to gain an edge over their competitors, it’s sad to see how questionable marketing tactics are oftentimes utilized to gain extra profit. It’s also sad that these companies expect the customer to not know any better, and therefore, proceed with their deceptive strategies.
You can read two warning letters from the FDA sent to two very well known essential oil companies here:
#4 – “As long as it’s all natural, I can use it safely for whatever use I desire.”
Anyone ingesting essential oils would say the above phrase is blatantly wrong. However, while they’d say they disagree with the idea that “anything natural is always safe”, they practically use their oils with the very same presupposition every time they ingest their oils! Now again, I am not saying that anyone who ingests their oils is doing so irresponsibly. But what I am saying is that caution should be followed when doing so, especially for pregnant women or anyone with medical conditions.
Also, any kind of long-term treatment with essential oils should be done in the partnership of a health care professional or certified aromatherapist. So, just because something is natural doesn’t mean that it isn’t toxic or will not eventually lead to toxicity over time.
You can read about more about injury reports and analysis by clicking on the links below:
After reading the above reports, you will see how acute reactions with improper essential oil use aren’t actually rare at all. Those who desire to learn more about essential oils do so because they want to improve their health. Therefore, for the sake of your health, do not use oils haphazardly because serious complications can and do occur.
Keep a Clear and Open Mind
When it comes to buying essential oils, it’s crucial to simply remain objective. People who tend to be more objective aren’t opposed to any one thing immediately. Rather, they’ll consider the options carefully and in their own time, knowing that there’s no reason to have to make a decision immediately without gathering more facts first. So, that’s exactly what you need to do when weighing one essential oil brand with another. Gather facts from each company you’re considering and see how they all stack up against each other. In your journey to find the best oils, also know that more research is a step in the right direction. But like we mentioned earlier, don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis!
The chances are that as you grow out your essential oil collection, you will from time to time need to purchase specific oils from different companies. That means you will increase the likelihood of running across companies that don’t meet your own personal standards and preferences. Actually, as you expand your collection, I can almost guarantee you’ll face some disappointment at times, perhaps even from a company that you’ve been impressed with! The reason for this is because there really are so many variables that come into play in regards to quality. If you do, it’s not the end of the world.
As You Use and Buy Oils, You Will Begin to See Differences in Quality
Have you ever tried taking music or language lessons before? I remember the first time I played the piano and how exciting it was. I actually thought I played a few really great sounding pieces and was surprised by how “good” I was. However, after I progressed through lesson upon lesson, what I once thought was “good” was far inferior to new proficiencies I achieved over time. Now, there’s no reason why the entire journey can’t be enjoyable, it should be! So, as you begin your journey with oils, just know that years from now you may look back and think to yourself “I can’t believe I purchased oils from that company!” or “Why didn’t I notice the terrible and inferior smell of this oil?”.
The most important part of your journey at this stage is that you enjoy it! You should always enjoy any journey that begins with a desire to take a proactive step in the right direction in regards to your health and wellness.
A Beginners Checklist: Choosing Quality Essential Oil
As we’ve already addressed in many more ways than one, claims made by essential oil companies are not verified for quality in any way that’s standardized across the entire industry as a whole. Therefore, we can only differentiate between companies by “being on the lookout” for specific factors in the cycle of any company’s product as well as quality guidelines and practices.
Essential Oil Buyer’s Cheat Sheet:
You should consider purchasing from any essential oil supplier that meets a majority of the standards below:
- Dedicated to supplying oils to aromatherapy practitioners and those in the public who are more educated in the field
- Owned or operated by trained essential oil specialists and aromatherapy practitioners
- Maintain close relationships with their own distillers whenever possible
- Provide GC/MS spec reports for each oil they sell, specific for each batch
- Willingly provide MSDS sheets (material safety data sheets) when requested
- Companies that are known to be ethical and reputable
- Companies with a long track record and reputation among authorities in the field (aromatherapists, medical practitioners, educators, etc.)
- Wildcrafted, unsprayed, and certified organic products.
The Research Begins
Well, by this point you should have a far more comprehensive understanding of how to select higher quality essential oils. You also know that nothing should keep you from using essential oils in the near future along this exciting learning journey. Marketing tactics aside, you are now more fully enabled to scrutinize the various claims made by essential oil companies. Therefore, I’ll leave you with a list of a number of companies you should investigate further. As time goes on, I may make changes to this list, individually review companies on the list, or add more details for each company appearing on the list.
My main purpose in listing these companies for you is to give you a few places to begin your search for quality essential oils. My purpose in this post is not, however, to recommend any one company over the rest because I really want you to make that determination for yourself. If I see certain companies that are really doing a great job with quality, it’s very likely I will recommend them in other future posts or pages.
But it’s not my intention here to “sneak in” any kind of special endorsement in regards to any one company in particular. Remember, I want you to remain objective, learn how to research, and make great decisions for yourself. It really isn’t my place to make these decisions for you because I know how valuable the learning process will prove to be for you. That means I also want you to test what I write as well!
Essential Oil Companies to Consider
- Mountain Rose Essential Oils
- Rocky Mountain Oils
- Snow Lotus
- Healing Naturals Oils
- Starwest Botanicals
- Aromatics International
- Aura Cacia
- Now Foods
- Stillpoint Aromatics
- Aromatics International
- Plant Therapy
The above list is in no specific order.
Bringing it All Together
You now have what you need to make the best buying decisions when it comes to purchasing high-quality essential oils. Take what you’ve learned here and put it to good use! If you’ve made it through to the end of this post, you’ve demonstrated that you really do care about what products you use in your home.
You have a great checklist of factors to consider when you purchase your oils, you’re better prepared to wade through deceptive marketing tactics, and you have a beginners list of great companies to consider researching for your purchases.
Quality is important to you and it is to us here at Enticingly Simple as well. Thanks for reading!
Questions or comments? Do you have any stories to share about your own experiences? We love to hear from our readers! Feel free to enter your comments below.
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