The English Aromatherapist

Dec
22

Is this brand ok?

Is this brand ok

Choosing where to buy your essential oils can be a minefield. We know the market is tainted with synthetic and adulterated oils.

 

Cheap fragrance oils are being sold as “aromatherapy”. Brands are slapping the meaningless term “therapeutic grade” onto everything. Customers are being conned. They are left feeling confused over who to trust. Some become suspicious of the entire industry. It’s not surprising that my most-viewed YouTube video is “10 Ways to Spot Fake Essential Oils”.

 

In the meantime, the big two MLM brands use this fear to their advantage by claiming their oils are the ONLY ones that are 100% pure. Cleverly, they use scaremongering tactics about adulteration to justify their outrageous prices.

 

A Happy Medium

 

Luckily, there is some middle ground. You CAN purchase good quality essential oils without paying MLM prices. There are lots of reputable aromatherapy companies out there.

 

I am asked – virtually on a daily basis – to recommend essential oil companies. So far, I’ve published brand reviews for Plant Therapy, Florihana and Base Formula. I’ve also collaborated with Edens Garden and Neal’s Yard Remedies. These are all fabulous brands that I am more than happy to recommend.

 

I’m hoping to publish more brand reviews in 2018 – particularly UK brands, as it’s not always convenient for us to order from the US.

 

Not all essential oils are equal

Is this brand ok?

 

All the time, I receive emails from people asking “Is this brand ok?”

 

It’s often an obscure brand I’ve never heard of before. If I’ve never used the products, I can’t really comment on their quality. All I can tell you is whether I’ve heard anything “good” or “bad” about them.

 

I can take a look at their website and do a little snooping around online. But the only accurate way to measure the purity of an essential oil is to have it GC/MS tested by a third-party. Obviously, this isn’t something that’s available to the average home user – but there ARE some useful warning signs to watch out for. I have already covered some of these in 10 Ways to Spot Fake Essential Oils.

 

As I’m asked this question so often, I thought it might be useful to share the advice I give to people who ask “Is this brand ok?”

 

1. Do they promote unsafe advice?

 

Any recommendation to ingest or use neat on the skin (without dilution) is an instant red flag. Check their Lemon essential oil – are they encouraging you to add a drop to your glass of water? Is there any advice about dropping essential oils under your tongue, or into cupped hands? Are there any mentions of taking oils internally to improve immunity or general wellbeing? If so – AVOID! This is not the sign of a professional or ethical aromatherapy brand.

 

2. Don’t buy from Amazon or eBay

 

There are many things you can buy from Amazon and eBay, but essential oils shouldn’t be one of them! Seriously, there’s a lot of junk on there.

 

Don’t assume that an essential oil brand is good quality just because it’s a high-seller on Amazon. What’s the first thing people do on Amazon? Sort by Lowest Price. This means the cheapest products will always sell the most.

 

Thousands of 5-star reviews are NOT an indicator of quality. Lots of ratings are “paid for” positive reviews, and loads of people leave positive comments before even trying the product (Ever spotted those comments like “Haven’t opened it yet, but it looks great! 5 stars!” or “Delivered on time, well packaged – 5 stars!”)

 

Many people won’t even realise they’re using essential oils that are fake or poor quality. You might wonder “Does it matter, if you can’t tell the difference?” Yes, it does. Synthetic essential oils will not have the same therapeutic value as pure essential oils. Not to mention the risk of skin irritation or unknown side-effects.

 

3. Suspicious prices

 

Compare the prices with 3 or 4 other reputable brands. Are they suspiciously cheap? Are all the oils priced the same? These are both warning signs. Check the prices of Rose, Jasmine and Neroli – these should all be significantly more expensive than oils like Lemon and Orange.

 

What is the best essential oil brand?

 

More Info:

 

  • In the UK, the Aromatherapy Trade Council provides a useful list of members who adhere to their professional code of ethics, so this can be a good place to start.

 

 

So far, the following brands have been found to be fake or adulterated:

 

Art Naturals

Rising Sun

Nature’s Truth and Piping Rock

Crafter’s Choice

Meijer

Viva Naturals

Calily

Walmart

Radha Beauty

Majestic Pure

Healing Solutions

Jade Bloom

 

Please note this list is not exhaustive. I know there are PLENTY more, but these are the ones with evidence I can link to. I’ll add to this list as and when new reports are published.

 

In conclusion

 

Overall, my advice would be: if in doubt, don’t buy it.

 

Stick with a reputable brand that you know you can trust. There are plenty of good, reasonably-priced aromatherapy companies out there. Why take a risk on a cheap unknown brand?

 

If you’re putting essential oils on your skin, or hoping for a therapeutic effect, you need to be using 100% pure essential oils. Let’s support reputable aromatherapy brands who are committed to sourcing quality oils. And next time you spot some “pure lavender oil” at a bargain store…keep on walking!

 

What to Read Next: 10 Ways to Spot Fake Essential Oils

 

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7 Responses to Is this brand ok?

  1. Excellent article! I love Plant Therapy Organic EO’s! Trying Edens Garden now, too.

  2. I’m new to essentials, as I’ve just started using them within the last two years. I find it interesting that you’re seemingly so opposed to the two MLM companies, though. I buy from one of the companies because they’re very open about how they source and process their oils. I also find it interesting that you are opposed to the internal use of oils and their health benefits. If they are pure oils, and come from foods that are ingestible, then they should be fine to use in small amounts. One of the MLM companies that you mention even has some of their oils FDA approved for consumption.

    Additionally, many oils come from plants and food that are considered GRAS. It might be worth looking into French aromatherapy. I use oils internally, even for immune support, as the oils I used came from foods that are known to support the immune system… Although topically is great too. I get that there still need to be more understanding and better guidelines for which oils are approved for such use, but it shouldn’t be thrown out altogether.

    • Hi Stephanie, thanks for your comment. I have nothing against their oils, but they do promote some unsafe and unethical usage. Many people have experienced serious skin irritation, sensitization and internal issues after following poor “advice” from their sales reps. Internal use is something that should only be done under carefully controlled circumstances. It’s a myth that French aromatherapy is all about liberally ingesting essential oils on a regular basis. Internal use is something that is carefully prescribed, and only after taking into account the personal circumstances of the individual. It is certainly not about casual ingestion. Telling people they can just add drops of EOs to their drinks here and there is completely irresponsible. Some MLM reps are telling people they can safely ingest up to 12 drops of essential oil every day.

      It is completely different to ingesting the natural oils from food and plants. One drop of essential oil is extremely concentrated, and not comparable to eating the herb. GRAS status applies to minuscule amounts that are used in the food industry – we’re talking parts per MILLION, not whole drops. There is more information about this here, which you might find useful: http://englisharomatherapist.com/if-essential-oils-are-gras-are-they-safe-to-ingest/

      I am not here to tell people what to do, but it’s important for people to know the facts, not just marketing material from the MLM companies. There are a lot of myths about essential oils, and so much misleading advice. I just want to balance out the argument with some facts from a professional perspective. Anyway, best wishes to you and I hope you continue to enjoy your journey with essential oils. Kind regards, Nuala – The English Aromatherapist

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