I get asked a lot what my opinion is about various essential oil companies. We have only 3rd party tested a few companies, and based on those tests there are some brands I do and do not recommend (see my other post “Lea's Opinion on Brands” for more into). There are so many brands out there, and new ones cropping up every month it seems. Many of them are capitalizing on the popularity of essential oils, and most of them are businessmen/women who have no educational background in aromatherapy. These companies are to be avoided in favor of companies who are either trained aromatherapists themselves, or have trained aromatherapists on staff.
This post will show you ways to see through the marketing and zero in on the safety information (or lack thereof) so you can tell if the company has safe information about essential oils, and not just interested in making a profit. If they care enough to offer safe information, they probably also care about what goes in the bottle as well. Bonus points to companies who 3rd party test their essential oils – but more on that later.
Why does it matter?
Some may be asking why it matters if the information provided is safe, as they don't have to follow the unsafe usage recommendations. While this is true, and you can certainly use any brand of essential oil safely, a company which proves unsafe usage recommendations points to something greater – lack of education about aromatherapy that can spill out in to areas that can affect the product itself.
For example, without proper training a company may not realize essential oils have a shelf life and need to be stored properly. I have come across more than one company who believes essential oils do not expire, and I choose not to do business with them, as I don't want to end up with oxidized oils. Other companies may not store their essential oils in a cool place before shipping your product to you, which can also shorten shelf life.
GC/MS Reports & 3rd Party Testing
It is a good sign when a company sends out samples of their supplier's essential oil batches for testing to verify purity before selling to customers. A 3rd party chemist is a wise choice, rather than in-house testing, to prevent bias.
Keep in mind that just because a company tests an essential oil, does not mean the essential oils have passed. Ideally, a company will provide these GC/MS reports on their website so you can see the reports for yourself. You can compare the reports to the essential oil profiles in Essential Oil Safety so you know what to look for.
A Word on Price
You really can't make a decision on price alone. There are a few affordable essential oil brands out there that are also high quality. Likewise, you can pay a lot for essential oils and not get a better product. If a company is using consultants to sell their products, they need to add commissions to the cost of the product, which can inflate the price 40% or more. Our first round of 3rd party testing showed a $15 bottle of Myrrh was better than the $69 and $85 bottles.
A comment from a reader that “therapeutic grade” should be addressed prompted the editing of this post to include this note: if a company is claiming to have special “therapeutic grade” essential oils that are superior to all other brands, consider this a huge red flag. All essential oils are, by definition, therapeutic. There are no “grades” of oil.
If you want to know how to tell if an essential oil company is worth purchasing from, there are some ways you can find out just by checking their website. Grab your Sherlock Holmes hat, then click here or the image below to download the checklist and do some detecting!