You want to use essential oils but you’re not sure where to buy them. With so many choices, and everyone claiming to sell “100% pure and natural” products, it’s a consumer minefield. This is especially so as the industry is not regulated, so you really have no guarantees about what your buying, aside from what the companies tell you.
Let me flag up my potential conflict of interests from the outset. I did much of this research a year ago when I was weighing up choices, and ultimately dove in and got a doTERRA membership and started using and sharing their oils. I’m a wellness advocate for them, which means I sell them and work with customers who, like me, decide doTERRA is the one for them.
My hope is to keep this pretty unbiased and present the facts. DoTERRA is one of several great options, and while I’d love it if you joined me over in camp DoTERRA, I understand it’s not for everyone.
My hope it that if DoTERRA isn’t for you, this blog will set you on your way to buying from another great company, and enjoying real essential oils from them. And if you decide to go for doTERRA, then of course, I’m here to help further.
There’s no one-size-fits-all here. Some people just like BMWs, and some just like Audis, that’s just how it goes.
Right, let’s get to it.
It seems like everyone and their cat is selling essential oils these days. You can probably buy a 10-pack at the 99p store. There are plenty of cheap oils around, but these are little more than perfume. The focus of this review and price comparison is on companies selling at the higher end in terms of quality.
If you’re looking to make perfume, or your own beauty products, and you’re not fussed about the healing properties of the plant being present, then you can save money and not bother with these more expensive therapeutic grade oils.
If however, you really are looking for plant power at it’s best and most potent, if you want the many therapeutic benefits you may have heard about, or read about over on PubMed, then read on to see if one of these companies resonates, and also to get an idea of what to look out for when reviewing a potential company.
The cheaper oils you’ll find around can be classed as ‘cosmetic grade’. Basically, they’re natural perfume. If you’re looking for something to make your bath or massage oils smell nice, and nothing more, then these may be a fine choice. But I’m assuming here you’re looking for full-spectrum essential oils.
A List of Some Good Companies
As part of my oil education I’m studying with Tiffany Pollard, her Healing Oil Collective is brilliant journey to working with plant consciousness via their essential oils.
As part of the first section of the course she provided a list of Quality Essential Oil Companies which of course, I’m linking here for you so you can get a sense of the options available.
What to look out for
Don’t just rely on the label to tell you what’s inside. The terms ‘pure’, ‘100% pure’, ‘therapeutic’, ‘100% natural’, even ‘organic’, don’t tell you all that much. There is a lot of deception that takes place with labelling, sometimes intentionally and sometimes not. The main thing here is to dig around a bit beneath the label to get more information on which to base your buying decision on. Unless quality doesn’t matter to you at all, you really don’t want to buy the first, or heaven forbid cheapest, essential oils you come across.
With that in mind, always buy from a company that has a dedicated website and provides detailed information on their oils, the sourcing and the measures they have in place to assure quality. You can tell a lot from a company’s website.
If you have questions, send them an email. A good response (indeed, a response at all!) is another good sign.
Watch out for companies that sell all their essential oils for a similar price; frankincense, sandalwood, jasmine, rose, neroli….these should be MUCH more expensive than lemon or orange for instance.
Organic can be good, but it isn’t everything. Some smaller companies may harvest wild plants to craft lovely essential oils, but be unable to pay for the organic certification.
Other companies, like doterra, that source from over 40 countries where the definition of organic varies wildly, and who decide that they want to go for 100% pure nature, rather than 95% (which is the standard to pass as organic) may also choose to forgo the organic certification and go down a different route. With DoTERRA they created their own standard – CPTG – certified pure therapeutic grade.
Watch our for companies that primarily sell to the food/drinks industry and/or perfume/spa industry. Their prices will be cheaper but their goal in producing essential oils is not for therapeutic benefits. The oils may undergo different treatments to remove any impurities, but also be tampered with to make the smells/taste consistent. This all has an impact on the therapeutic effects of the end result.
Price!! Expensive isn’t always a sign of high quality, but you can rest assured that if you pay next to nothing, the product you get will be close to that too.
I gathered a selection of well-known and well-regarded essential oil companies and did a price comparison on a selection of popular oils. The six oils I chose are the six single oils found in DoTERRA’s home essentials kit. This is the kit I recommend people start with as it’s super versatile, and these oils cover a lot of ground. So I thought these would be as good as any to compare.
You can checkout the spreadsheet here.
Where prices were only in USD or GBP I had to do some calculations. Where companies only sold 5ml, 10ml, or 30ml, I had to do some calculations to compare at the 15ml size that most offer. So these aren’t 100% accurate, but good enough to get a sense of general pricing.
What you’ll notice is that, other than lemon, which is one of the cheapest oils to produce, generally, you won’t get 15ml of a quality oil for under a tenner.
Here are a few companies included in the price comparison with some notes.
Not a company I’ve used, but one that Tiffany Pollard recommends in her course. Their prices are on the cheaper side, but some oils are clearly listed as not for therapeutic uses, more for perfume/soap making etc.. This is reflected in the price and honestly stated in the description.
Lots of good information on their website about their commitment to organic farming, sustainable farming and fair trade. All good stuff that contributes to a good oil.
These guys have good information on their quality testing. They have a “S.A.A.F.E. PROMISE: Our S.A.A.F.E. Promise is our guarantee to you that our essential oils are what we say they are: 100% pure and natural. We conduct GC/MS tests on each of our essential oils twice; once before we buy them from a supplier and again before we send them to you. The RMO S.A.A.F.E. Promise ensures you receive an authentic product you can trust.”
Each bottle also has a batch number on the bottom of the bottle. This batch number is the unique identifier that allows you to access the oil’s GC/MS test results. This shows a strong commitment to testing for quality and providing transparency to consumers. A sure sign of a good essential oil company. DoTERRA do this also, by-the-by 😉
This one actually seems to be the closest to doTERRA in my opinion, they even have a loyalty programme. I haven’t reviewed this in great depth but it seems like a nice bonus for those who really want to embrace the oily-lifestyle.
If you’re based in the US you also get free shipping-hurrah! One of the things that prevents me from buying from many of these great US-based companies is the international shipping costs, and often the custom charges that get whacked on on-top of that!
Straight from Tiffany Pollard “Nice reputation, offers local plant distillations, GC/MS reports, sample sizes available, exceptional education about each EO on the site including energetics and recipes, bulk options available, easy to use website with reviews on site. Offers Aromatherapy certification programs that are well recognized. Wholesale available.”
LOOOOOVE Nadine Artemis (the owner of this company), and while I’ve never bought her products, because the shipping and custom charges are just crazy-pantaloons for someone here on ye-English-isle – I would pretty much guarantee that her essential oils are the bomb. You can listen to her talk about her work on various podcasts like this one or this one. You can just tell she means business, she’s serious about doing things RIGHT.
Wildcrafted, ethically farmed, and also many organics, GC-MS reports available.
UK-based, so a great choice if you are in the UK and the above US companies and the dreaded shipping and custom charges don’t appeal. I feel you!
Someone I know recommended them. There were a couple of oils I needed recently for Tiffany’s Healing Oil Collective course which doTERRA didn’t offer, so I tried these out. The oils seemed nice. They offer a good amount of information on their website, although to be honest it was the personal recommendation (which counts a lot in my view!) which led me to try them. Shipping was £5.95 for a couple of oils, which is one reason I’ve opted to bed in with doterra and buy mostly from them as I get free shipping and other bonuses through their loyalty reward programme. But if you’re in the UK, and just want one or two oils occasionally, this might be a nice option. Another bonus is that they offer various sizes from 2ml to 30ml, which can be helpful if you just want a little of a very expensive oil, or you want to save a bit on an oil you use extensively.
Including this one as I know a lot of people enjoy their oils and products. They offer aromatherapy courses which is a nice addition to their offerings. I believe they also have distributors like doTERRA (i.e their fans help share their products) so if you know anyone working with Neal’s Yard they would be a great person to grill about the ins-and-outs of their oils. Their oils and indicated as not suitable for internal use, so that may be a deciding factor for you, or not!
This one is very similar to DoTERRA. They sell through distributors like me, and they’re also committed to quality through their ‘seed to seal’ promise. This means they take control of the whole process of producing an oil by owning the farms themselves and overseeing the process closely from ‘seed to seal’. DoTERRA don’t own their own farms but use the business as an opportunity to partner with communities who live in the areas where the plants grow indigenous and help bring jobs and prosperity to those areas. They use testing instead for quality control.
Young Living also have a nifty rewards programme although it doesn’t seem to be quite as generous as doTERRA’s.
Why did I opt for doTERRA in the end?
A friend introduced me, and as you read above, personal recommendation means a lot to me. I had dabbled with essential oils before, but my eyes were open to that fact that the quality I’d been buying was terrible. My previous brand of oils might as well have had cat piss in the bottle, for all the good they did.
This friend, now my up-line since I’ve partnered with doTERRA, took the time to send me some samples and explain the benefits of doTERRA over a lot of other oil providers.
Some things that swayed me towards doTERRA:
- They’re committed to purity – 100% pure – nothing less. As per some of the above companies, their oils undergo extensive testing. The barcode on the bottom of each bottle can be typed into this site and you can access the test results.
- They use their essential oil business as an opportunity to pour money and build economies in places that need it most. They source from over 40 countries, many of which are developing countries. Through long-term partnerships and fair dealings with these communities they are helping to lift many places out of poverty and allowing them to thrive. This is their co-impact sourcing initiative. You can read all about their sourcing here.
- Their prices are fairly comparable to other high quality oil providers, as you can see from the chart, but they also do an awesome loyalty rewards programme that gives you free shipping and brings the cost down significantly. I’ve been a member for over a year now, so I get an extra 30% off the wholesale prices.
- Although they’re a US-company, they are also international which means shipping costs are much lower and the oils arrive swiftly on my doorstep here in the U of K.
But still, why DoTERRA? Other companies, such as the above, have a lot going for them too. Other companies are also committed to high standards and treating people and the planet well.
You know, I pondered the questions of why I was drawn to doTERRA A LOT in the beginning.
You can weigh up the information, compare the prices, research high and low, draw up your pros/cons list, and your price comparison – and I recommend you do! – but in the end, we often buy based on a feeling. Our emotions are powerful forces, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We buy from the people we like the most. The people we want to buy from.
What attracted me to doTERRA and has made me an avid fan and advocate is the people, their whole culture, community and lifestyle philosophy.
I wanted to join the great people I knew who were already on the inside. It just felt like ‘my tribe’.
If you just want to buy a bottle or two of essential oils, then really, any of the above companies would be fine sources. If you’re looking for a whole lifestyle shift and weaving these beauties into your daily routine and wellness lifestyle + having an awesome community around you to support you in that, then doTERRA is a super choice. I get the impression that Young Living and Rocky Mountain have this sort of vibe too, so if you know people loving those companies and selling their products, and you want to hang and enjoy the oil journey with them, then buy from them!
Maybe you’ll feel the same attraction to doTERRA as me, or maybe one of the other companies here, or perhaps another company/tribe/community entirely will steal your heart. Either way, I hope this was helpful and that you find the people and products that make you smile from the inside out 🙂
Big oily hug
P.S. If you know anyone interested in essential oils who might find this useful, please share!
P.P.S If I’ve made any errors in the above or you want to nominate some other good sources for essential oils, comment below 👇