Updated: May 19, 2020
DISCLAIMER: I am an average person on a quest for more knowledge. I am no expert but as I learn I share with you. This article may contain some affiliate links. This means if you click on it and buy I receive a small commission. This helps me stay home more so I can pour out my knowledge here. I appreciate all your support.
I remember being younger and going to the health food stores and seeing essential oils on the shelf. They looked cool and they smelled nice. At that time I couldn't afford even the cheapest bottle so I let them sit there on the store shelf and await another eager essential oil user to come along and swipe it up for their collection. It wasn't until my mid-thirties that my best friend introduced me to the vast world of essential oils. Ther were way more than I had ever seen on the store shelf.
She was into Young Living brand oils and selling them, so I decided I too wanted a collection. Thus began my embarkment on my enormous essential oils collection. At first, I was just thrilled with watching my collection grow, but I used them very sparingly since they were so expensive. It's been around six years now since I began this journey. Believe me you, I have collected sooooo many essential oils and now I am trying to figure out how to use them all.
There are a few things I have learned along the way and we can start with companies and oil quality. So, go figure, I was sold on Young Living. It was the only brand I bought for a few years until I decided I no longer desired to support an MLM company. This especially set in after my friend died and I was no longer supporting her by purchasing the oils from her line of the network. I learned more and continue to learn more about essential oils. So, here I am. happily passing on what I have learned to you.
Whether you are aware or not, essential oils do come in different qualities. You will find that the top two MLM companies, which happen to have an inside rivalry, tote claims about their oils being the best and the purest. So, what makes them the best and purest?
When an essential oil is distilled it can go through the process 1-4 times. Each distillation will pull out more oils from the organic matter but it will be less each time and more diluted. Supposedly, the best quality oils are packed from only the 1st and second distillation batches. The lower quality ones also have a 3rd or 4th distillation process added, or even diluted with other oils or synthetic fragrances.
Then there is testing that can be done at different levels. There is the testing of the herbs or other matter being distilled for its oils at the growing level, to testing the oils after they have been distilled. Some companies, such as mention already, provide testing throughout the process and make sure their quality is top-notch. I do have to admit that they have very nice and high-quality products, but this doesn't discount the fact that there are several other brands out there, way cheaper, that also have a nice high quality or good quality ready to use.
The quality really matters depending upon how you intend to utilize the essential oil. If you are wanting it for topical use or in DIY topical products, then the higher quality would better. This is because you are absorbing it through your skin. I don't think, though, that using a lower quality and cheaper oil is going to have any adverse effect on you. So it comes down to what your budget can afford. If you are diffusing it into the air, I feel like any essential oil would be just fine as it is delivering a pleasant scent and turning on aromatic receptors in your brain.
OMG! It seems like there are so many brands out there on the market. How do you decide which one to get? I think it can depend on a few factors, such as the convenience of purchasing, oil quality, costs, and your personal opinion.
So, to make things easy, I did a little research. Surely I can't list EVERY brand on the market but I found a lot and here are my opinions based on my personal research. I am also including some price comparison in this to give the perspective of oils that are marked up and other ones that seem a little too cheap. I will include the size as well because all companies offer a different variety of sized bottles.
1) YOUNG LIVING
First and foremost this is an MLM company that focuses on getting people to join and buy oils on the monthly. They are admittedly a top-notch, high quality pure "therapeutic" essential oil. They are proud of the fact that they test their products every step of the way, from seed to seal. I trust their products fully, but the price is ridiculously high to compensate for the MLM structure. A bottle of peppermint oil at 15ml retails for $28.95 or $22 if you sign on as a distributor. You will see this is quite high in comparison to oils you can purchase directly from the company.
The same as Young living, this is another MLM company. Apparently, the owners had a disagreement with the owners of Young Living and split off into their own company and hence Doterra was born. I really dislike the name of this brand because it makes me think they want me to have sex with someone I do not know named Terra. Aside from that, I would say its equally a high-quality "therapeutic" oil, but also expensive due to the MLM structure. A bottle of 15ml peppermint oil from them will cost you retail $29.33 or $22 if you sign up as a distributor.
This is my new favorite brand. The price is very affordable and it is high-quality oil, thrid party tested. You can even get lab reports from their website for verification of quality. Did I mention affordable? It is significantly cheaper than MLM based companies since the middle man is cut out. They have a rewards program you are enrolled in once you make your first purchase. You order from their website and have it shipped. 10 ml for $7.95 or 30ml for $13.95, so, basically you get twice as much product for half the price. Just wow!!!!
Here is another high-quality essential oil. They have several steps of testing the purity of their oils and they are happy to tell you all about it on their website. The prices are middle of the road, being lower than the MLM companies, but a little higher than my other love Plant Therapy. The packaging is clean and easy to read, but I wouldn't say it stands out. You can order these easily via their website and they even have a rewards program so you can earn more oils. I call that more bang for your buck! I think rewards programs are fun. A bottle of 15ml of peppermint oil sells for $16.95.
This is another large brand company that likes to use the marketing term "therapeutic oil" to stand for pure and high quality. They don't offer testing results on the website but it says you can request results if you like. I feel like this means jumping through a few more hoops for us as the consumer. I will rate them as high quality with a branding I love. They also have a member rewards program. Prices are right for the pocketbook and you can order what you need from their website. Peppermint oil cost is 10ml at $8.95 or 30ml at $16.95.
I have to say that upon discovering this brand I am impressed. Their number one marketing strategy is saying how they are direct to buyers and not an MLM company. Basically, they are positioning themselves as the competitor against the MLM brands. They guarantee their quality and you can even request a lab testing report for each bottle you purchase. I say that's a bit impressive and definitely a stand behind the quality. So this is a high-quality oil for a great price. Unlike some of the other options, they do not offer any type of rewards program. A bottle of peppermint oil will run you &7.00 for 10ml or $17.00 for 30ml.
I haven't heard much of these and the branding is really plain, but they look to be high-quality oils based on the fact that they list lab results on their website. I would consider these high-quality, on the pricier side, and maybe a bit boring with design, but maybe you like things nice and simple and I want all the pizzazz. A bottle of peppermint oil is $20 for 15ml. This is not the cheapest nor is any rewards program offered, but you can refer friends for a percentage off your purchase. That's not a huge incentive for me.
Now, I just love this company in general. They have amazing quality in all products they offer. They wild harvest what they can and grow organically for everything else. Their essential oils are right up there as well and high-quality at an affordable price. While they boast the finest quality, they don't have lab tests readily available. Since this is the case I will call them good oils to use for most things. They offer lots of education on their site and through emails as well and I find that to be highly valuable when working with oils and herbs. A bottle of peppermint oil is $9.00 for 15ml.
Let's just say the look of these containers makes you want to pick them up and add them to your collection, well at least it does that for me. This is some of the sleekest packaging I have seen. While it is unclear about their testing, however, it appears they do take pride in trying to deliver high quality and pure essential oils. Without “in your face” testing procedures I can only say they are a good oil. There is a purchasing club that makes the items cheaper or you can purchase at a slightly higher price and not do their subscription program. A bottle of peppermint oil will cost $15.00 for 15ml. If you follow the provided links (in title or picture) you can get $15.00 toward your first purchase today. Not bad, eh?
I'm not sure about third party testing, though this company does claim they do test throughout the process. They are certified organic and they list where plant matter for the essential oil was obtained and how it was processed. This is a good working knowledge to have before purchasing and makes you feel better about the purchase overall. They seem to specialize in bulk orders as well and it looks like a good source if your planning to create something on a larger scale or do some business yourself. I don't see a rewards program but they have sales and coupons galore. A bottle of peppermint will cost you $17.75 for 30ml.
11) FABULOUS FRANNIE
This is a relatively new company. The packaging is nice and the product is inexpensive. They boast of having high-quality oils on their website but it is not easy to obtain a certificate of analysis. I assume that if you asked they might find it for you, but I honestly have no clue about that. The quality looks to be good. There is no rewards program, but I suppose the affordability of the product makes up for that. A bottle of peppermint oil will only run you $5.50 for 10ml or $12.50 for 30ml.
12) AURA CASIA
This is one of two brands you will likely find on the shelf at your grocery store. They offer a range of essential oils and absolute oils which are a bit different. While they meet their own standards of quality, it is not the highest quality of oils and you must check the label to see if it states 100% pure or not. These are still great to diffuse and topically and diluted with a carrier oil. These oils are easy to obtain and priced fairly. A bottle of peppermint oil will cost $8.99 for 15ml.
This would be the second, and probably most abundant brand you will find at your local health food store. I would call it the most basic of brands and some of the lowest quality of oil on the market. It is a good quality to diffuse and use for basic purposes but it is not your highest quality of oils and often they are cut with another oil for dilution. It is really important to read the labels on these bottles to be sure you are buying what you are actually looking for. They are cheap and if your good with it you can walk into a store and out with your product. A bottle of peppermint oil sells at $7.99 for 30ml.
This brand also delivers high-quality oil. They don't seem to have a direct purchasing option from their website. If you click to purchase a product it will take you to an alternate website that carries their brand. While this can be easy to order with a few clicks of the mouse, it is a bit less fun and slightly irritating to be re-directed to other sites than to purchase directly from the company. Just my opinion. A bottle of peppermint oil will cost you $9.99 for 15ml.
15) GYA LABS
Personally I really like the look of their lovely sleek design. These are not the highest quality but they are a good oil that is 100% pure essential oil. Due to no mention of testing and sourcing via their website, it cannot be verified of quality. I have used this brand and like it. I think these are a good and cheap oil that will work with most things you may wish to do with them. All their oils are only available in 10ml. The peppermint will cost $8.49 for 10ml.
16) ART NATURALS
Art Natural claims to be 100% pure essential oil and of therapeutic quality. They, however, fail to give any information in regards to their testing and quality based on those tests. There isn't even an FAQ section. The best thing about these is that the bottles are very attractive and the price is outstandingly affordable for pretty much anyone. A bottle of peppermint oil is only $5.99 for 15ml. This is suspiciously cheap, especially since most oils have the exact same price point. It's a great place to start if your budget is low.
This company has high quality and purity tested oils, you can even view reports on their website. They have a guaranteed stand behind it. This also has stand-out packaging with some really amazing pricing for having such purity of oils. They have a few blends that look great too. A bottle of peppermint oil will cost $11.99 for 10ml or o$19.99 for 30ml.
18) PLANT GURU
This company is great. They have their testing info available to read on the website so you can be assured of the purity of your oils. They also distinguish between organic and non-organic oils. The design is sleek and I am partial to liking the name. They have a variety of sizes available in each essential oil, which I find to be helpful if I need a large amount for a project. It is a good price for good high-quality oil. A bottle of peppermint oil is $6.99 for 10ml or $9.99. What more could we ask for?
The look of the packaging is really nice and attractive and the company is happy to stand behind their product by refunding if you are not happy. They don't give any info about the quality of oils other than to claim they are 100% natural. This will make them a good quality of oil to work with. They also have a lot of information on self-care and wellness in general on their site and it could be a great source to learn from. The pricing is decent but perhaps too high for some pocketbooks. A bottle of peppermint oil is $16 for 10ml.
20) SHAMAN OILS
First and foremost I love the name of this company. I just like the word shaman and everything it evokes. Not only do they have a cool name but the product is top-notch and high-quality. The company strives to sustainable and ethical in its practices and is definitely worth buying from and supporting. This is a good high-quality oil with a price tag that won't gouge you. A bottle of peppermint oil is $10.99 for 10ml.
21) JADE BLOOM
This company has got things down. To prove their oil is high-quality they have a batch number on every bottle. You can look up that batch number on their website and get information regarding the testing and the purity. I think that's brilliant and really easy for us as the consumer. They even carry oils I haven't seen sold by other companies too. This just adds more variety to our essential oil life. The prices are great as well. A bottle of peppermint is $6.95 for 10ml.
As you can see there are several brands of oils you can find. I surely didn't and couldn't cover them all, but I did the best comprehensive list I could come up with. I would implore you to do your own research when you are looking at purchasing your oil. If it looks good, you like the company and its practices, the price is right, and it works for you, then you should go with that. If your not picky then get whatever you want or you can always learn to become picky if you choose.