You want the best, right? Who doesn’t? But when looking for the best essential oil brands, blog posts, sites, and big companies can be very subjective. Add that to the fact that the essential oils industry is unregulated, and you’ve got yourself a bunch of confusing information and you don’t know who to believe.
In this article, I’m going to tell you which essential oils companies to avoid and why. So enough with googling essential oil companies to avoid 2017 and essential oils companies to avoid 2018- and don’t even think about googling essential oil companies to avoid 2019 because this article is going to cover it all. Let’s get started.
Why Brand Matters
The essential oil brand you choose is the foundation that frames up your essential oil experience. Choosing wisely is crucial. If you buy from one of the best essential oil brands you’re setting yourself up for smooth sailing. Choose one of the essential oil companies to avoid and it’s all rocky waters.
Because the essential oils market is unregulated there is no agency to enforce quality standards for essential oils. Basically, this means that companies regulate themselves. They hold themselves accountable for proper sourcing and quality testing. This is a hard job – it requires a lot of time, money, and resources…which is why most of them don’t do it or don’t know how to.
The disheartening ruth is that the majority of essential oils on the market today are adulterated in some way. When an essential oil is adulterated it means it’s not wholly derived from the botanical (plant) source- and instead is loaded with cheap synthetics. This is common!
This is why it’s important to know what company you’re buying from. So before you dive into lengthy, overwhelming, and contradictory research, I’m going to show you how to spot the essential oil companies to avoid and then give you a list of a couple that I wouldn’t give to my worst enemy.
What the Essential Oil Companies to Avoid Have in Common
1- They lack transparency about their process
Just because an essential oil company’s site raves, “we ensure quality,” “we have advanced testing,” “our oils are pure”— does’t mean this is true! They need some serious research adn proof to back this up.
When you see these buzzwords, don’t be so quick to believe them. They need to show specific information on their website about their process, what it entails, and the exact steps they go through to make sure their consumers have a quality product.
Immediate red flag: companies that ask you to email them for more information about their process. There should be specific pages readily available on their site for anyone to dive into.
2- They don’t share their testing reports
An essential oil company to avoid is one that doesn’t share their testing reports. The best essential oil companies are going to have testing in place that shows each batch of essential oil is pure and free of contaminants. If you want high quality essential oils, avoid companies that don’t actually show you the results. Transparency is key, and if they don’t have it then they’re one of the essential oil companies to avoid.
3- Essential Oils are Not Sourced Indigenously
If the essential oil company does not source their oils from native regions, where the plant naturally grows and thrives, then it is an essential oil company to avoid. Why? Weather conditions, soil type, geography, and even the fertilizer used all affect essential oil composition (1). The quality of the essential oil depends on this.
We like to think about it this way: Would you rather have a pizza from Italy or Pizza Hut? Or a pineapple- Hawaii or Detroit? The answer here is a no brainer. This is why I prefer my essential oils to be sourced from where they naturally grow.
One other thing….
When choosing your essential oil company, it’s important to know that maybe the company you avoid is not going to be the same as everyone else. This is going to boil down to a couple of crucial questions, so get real on these first.
#1 How are you going to use your essential oils?
Do you want to use essential oils therapeutically – to get a specific emotional or physiological result – or do you want to use oils aromatically – to create an environment with a great aroma but the therapeutic results don’t matter as much. If you are just looking to make some DIY cleaning recipes then a high-quality (a little more pricey) company may not matter as much.
#2 Is organic Certification important to you?
Do you want your essential oils to be USDA certified organic? While organic certification does have value in the essential oils industry, it lacks it in quality testing. So keep in mind that oils are almost impossible to find organically so this could limit your selection.
What’s your budget? When it boils down to price are you interested in oils with the lowest price tag or do you want authentic oils? Oils that are priced average usually means it’s a good mix of quality essential oils or average essential oils. If oils have a cheap, almost unbelievable, price tag on them then that usually means that they are junky and low quality. These oils are better for DIY cleaning recipes and keeping your house smelling good.
The best essential oil brands will have a huge selection. Essential oil companies to avoid (if you’re looking to make essential oils a lifestyle) will have a small selection- and usually only carry the most popular oisl.
If you want to use essential oils to treat a chronic condition or foster a therapeutic benefit than you need to avoid essential oil companies that provide no testing transparency, have a small selection, and are underpriced.
Essential Oil Companies to Avoid
Barefut Essential Oils
Middle of the road pricing and middle of the road quality transparency – but definitely higher than average selection, especially when
it comes to blends. There’s nothing really special here since there are other brands in the same price range that offer more quality information and testing.
It Works! Essential Oils
The It Works! oils are just really, really expensive – and their selection is so small it’s nearly impossible to use them therapeutically (beyond general aromatherapy for some mood boosting). If you are already a member of It Works! maybe it would make sense to use and order their oils. Otherwise, you can find premium essential oils with much clearer quality ratings for less money.
Kis Essential Oils
The Kis Oils’ tagline is “High Quality, Low Markups” but it seems to me like it’s more low quality (at least with what they’ve shown us – or not shown us – on their website) and moderate prices. That’s not really the combo I’m out looking for in reputable essential oil companies.
Nature’s Oil Essential Oils
Though their selection is really great, Nature’s Oil does not offer enough information on quality for my liking. However, if you’re in need of seriously large quantities of essential oils, you really can’t beat those 25 lb./400 lb. options. This may be great for those making large aromatherapy mixes like if you’re making a batch of essential oil infused candles (maybe not so much for those wanting therapeutic treatments).
Nature’s Truth Essential Oils
Nature’s Truth Aromatherapy may be just that… aromatherapy. There’s not quite enough quality information presented to hold a firm belief that they’re good for more therapeutic uses. To be fair, they never claim to be a company providing ingestible essential oils.
NOW Essential Oils
NOW essential oils is one of the cheapest brands on the market. The prices are honestly, too good to be true. Frankincense, a premium essential oil should not be priced at $12. Recent reports from Consumers Advocate also showed that NOW essential oils tested positive for adulteration. This was not a surprise.
Majestic Pure Essential Oils
Nothing about Majestic Pure essential oils stands up to the standards I hold for oils I use. There are red flags everywhere. I’d like to suggest that there are lots of great inexpensive top essential oil brands, so there’s really no need to risk your health and safety on a brand that has a murky reputation.
Miracle Essential Oils
The selection is not great. The info on quality is not great and the price is too high for the kind of quality you’re getting. They also tested positive for adulteration in the recent Consumer Advocate report.
Piping Rock Essential Oils
Yes, the prices are cheap and the selection is nice – but you may be sacrificing quality and apparently decent customer service. If you do choose to use Piping Rock essential oils to create a “smell good” environment or to clean with, just keep it there. Nothing about their quality information seems safe enough to ingest or to use for therapeutic benefit.
If Plant Guru essential oils bumped up their quality information, it may be a decent brand to choose from. Until then, there are definitely more moderately-priced oils with clearer specifications.
Radha Beauty Essential Oils
Nothing about the Radha Beauty essential oils qualifies as high quality, even though the Radha Beauty essential oil reviews on Amazon (their big seller) are fairly good. I think there are enough cheap essential oil brands with better quality practices that hit the budget mark and the safety mark much better. I wouldn’t recommend this brand.