Brand Review: NOW Essential Oils
If you’re on the hunt for essential oils–maybe you’re just beginning or maybe you want to try out a new brand– you’re probably feeling completely overwhelmed. Your internet is flooded with big essential oil companies and blog posts. Everyone seems to have an opinion on where to buy essential oils. And since the essential oil market is unregulated the phrase, “best essential oil company” is very subjective.
Essential oils are available almost everywhere these days: the gas station, grocery store, and online. But why? Well, there’s been a resurgence of using natural strategies for common issues like trouble sleeping, low energy, anxiety, boosting the immune system, and the list goes on. There’s a reason why people say, “there’s an oil for that.”
Most likely you landed on this article because you’re on the hunt for essential oils—and you want to know which brand is the best brand to buy from. You’ve definitely heard of NOW Essential Oils– they’ve been around for a while, 1968 to be exact. And a lot of the time when we see a company has been around in their industry for a while, there is this automatic sense of trust. But not so fast. In this article, we’re going to take a more in-depth look.
I’m going to review and rate NOW essential oils on a grading scale of A+ to F based on price, selection, and quality. To learn more about our rating scale go here. By the end of this post, you’ll know if NOW essential oils is the right brand for you.
When looking for your perfect essential oil brand, you must have a clear goal in mind. Are you looking to use oils for therapeutic benefits, or do you want to mix up some all-natural, non-toxic cleaning products?
If you’re looking to make some simple DIY cleaning recipes, then getting a cheap not so pure brand is not the worst idea. But if you want therapeutic benefits, a pure brand that passed all the tests is what you need to get.
By the end of this, you’ll know whether NOW essential oils is the brand for you.
The Basics: Who is NOW Essential Oils
You’ve seen NOW essential oils before. They’re available online, in grocery stores, and drug stores. NOW started as a natural products company and they’ve been around since 1968. So, they’ve been into the healthy food and lifestyle business before it became a cash cow. Their claim to fame is carrying health products for low prices. So it’s not super surprising that their essential oils are probably the least expensive on the market. This though- as we will learn- is a red flag.
The elephant in the room with NOW essential oils is, “How do they get them for so dang cheap?!” I still have no idea how they get their oils for so cheap. They are well below market price for all of their offerings. So if price is everything you care about, then they are a front runner for cheap essential oils. Here’s a breakdown of their pricing on some of the most popular essential oils:
Lavender $5.99 for 15 mL
Frankincense $12.49 for 15 mL
Peppermint $3.99 for 15 mL
They have a medium sized selection to choose from. If you’re looking for the more popular products like where to buy lavender oil then they’ll have what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a more wide variety of essential oils, including blends for specific issues then this isn’t the best company to choose from.
They have all the basic tests listed on their site: GC-MS, FTIR, Refractive Index and Specific Gravity. They even have chemical data sheets listed with some of their essential oils in a downloadable PDF document. I’m not sure how useful that is since it’s not tied to a specific batch of oil that the end user is purchasing. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your batch of essential oil will have the same chemistry.
What I did notice is that they don’t have any information (from what I saw) on where the essential oils are sourced. They do however include blog posts about the importance of sourcing and testing- but fail to show their own. I’m a geek with this stuff so it’s something that I like to know- and you should do if you’re looking for pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.
And here’s where it gets bad. Consumers Advocate sent out 3 of NOW’s essential oils to get tested for adulteration. Of those 3 essential oils, peppermint and lavender both came back with synthetic markers of adulteration. This didn’t come as a shock to me considering their cheap prices, and lack of quality transparency.
NOW essential oils have been in Whole Foods and natural health food stores for a long time. They are also all over the internet so you should be able to source them easily. I highly recommend buying directly from NOW or a store like Whole Foods if you’re going to use their essential oils.
I wouldn’t trust random Amazon sellers or other sites where you don’t have good info on who you’re buying from. Essential oils are highly adulterated and one way you can avoid an essential oils scam is to buy from a reputable company (both online and off).
NOW Essential Oils Rating
Bottom Line: NOW Essential oils are cheap. Cheap doesn’t always mean low quality, but there’s not really a good explanation for $12 Frankincense. And since essential oils is a highly subjective (and adulterated) market, it is a cause for pause. So, just something to keep in mind as you’re considering this brand.
NOW Essential Oils falls on a D on our scale. This means that there is substantial room for improvement- in more than one area.
Who are NOW essential oils for? NOW oils are typically best used for their aroma. They are what I refer to as “smell good” essential oils. So if you’re looking to freshen up your house or laundry, then these might be for you. If you’re looking to reap therapeutic benefits, then this is not the essential oils company for you. You most likely will not get the results you’re looking for.
Have you used NOW essential oils before? What did you use them for and what was your experience? I would love to chat in the comments below.