I was talking essential oils with a friend recently and she mentioned how much she loved one of the blends from a certain Big Name direct sales company. "I know you hate MLM oils, but..."
Wait a tick!
I certainly don't hate essential oils from the MLM brands. I have used a couple, even, with no complaints!
The reason I don't actively promote MLM oils or buy them myself is simply because they are overpriced.
They. Are. Overpriced.
I mean, they have to be. That's the nature of MLM companies. When you have tiers and tiers and tiers of salespeople to pay, you need to build that into your pricing. I'm not knocking it... that's just the way it is.
And it adds up... a lot.
"But.. the testing! The rigorous testing!"
You can find cheaper brands that are also well-tested and that are just as high quality.
"But... the certifications!"
They don't mean a thing. Read that link. You'll find that "therapeutic grade" means "shady marketing" more than anything.
All that being said, I don't think it's a bad thing to buy essential oils from these companies. If you want to support a friend who is starting a direct sales business, by all means, that's great! If you simply like the oils better than others you have tried, onward!
But don't be fooled into thinking you're paying for higher quality. ALSO don't be fooled that your friend, who has had sales training, necessarily knows what they're talking about. I mean, they might... but only if they've done their due diligence beyond what the MLM companies teach their salespeople.
What you're paying "extra" for is marketing. Period. Not quality, not "aromatherapy education." Marketing. Sales training.
Well, now what?
So now that we've established why I personally don't buy essential oils from MLM companies, you're probably wondering which companies I do buy oils from and why. I encourage you to do more research beyond reading my blog (as always) but my hope is that this will be a helpful resource as you start or continue that process.
- Aura Cacia
- NOW foods
- Plant Therapy
- Starwest Botanicals
Each of these brands offers both organic and non-organic options. I don't always buy organic essential oils. *GASP* The thing is, most herbs are naturally pest-resistant and don't really need pesticides or herbicides to grow well. So an oil might not even have any pesticide or herbicide residue present, but still not be labelled organic because it's really expensive for companies to do that. I suggest looking into the growing practices of the plant in question. If you don't have time to do that or if it sounds really boring, buying organic oils is safe bet... It will just cost you more. 🙂
Are there others? Most definitely. The Hippy Homemaker is a smart lady and she has a list of her favorite brands along with some really helpful, unbiased info about the essential oil industry and labeling. I also learned a lot from Whole New Mom's "Great Essential Oil Showdown" series. Check those out for even more info - there's nothing else I could say here that isn't linked. 🙂
As always, my dears, if you have any questions, concerns, hopes, dreams, desires - leave a comment and let me know! I absolutely adore you, you know.
I have never heard that about organic vs nonorganic oils but that makes a lot of sense. I appreciate your posts a lot, it's hard to find good EO posts anymore as they are all hawking the MLM branded blends. 🙁
Hey Teresa, thanks so much for your comment! That's why I don't post recipes with blends. I want to share recipes where people can use what they have.
There are a few other really good sources of EO info still online. I started to list them in my comment here, but then realized I should just do a post on it. 🙂 Stay tuned.
Thanks for writing this because I have heard conflicted things from some of my friends who sell these and another person I know who is a certified aromatherapist. Like one of the main things would be drinking or eating the oils. Would love to see a post from you on that.
Shared to Pinterest!!
Thanks for sharing Ella! My blogger ears have never heard sweeter words. <3
I do not advocate ingesting oils at all. I think there are probably some situations where it might be helpful, in which case I would want to get a lot of advice from an aromatherapist or alternative healthcare professional and do a lot of research. Many oils, especially when ingested, are just as powerful as pharmaceutical drugs you can by and it's not something that should be taken lightly.
In the Hippy Homemaker's article that I linked in this post, she wrote that one drop of essential oil is equivalent to drinking like 75 cups of herbal tea. I think it varies depending on the oil, but the point is: it's a lot. Powerful stuff. Good idea for a post, I will do that. 🙂
I try to tell people this...I feel badly when families with limited income get sucked into the marketing spiels of the MLM companies. But the power of the crowd is greater, it seems. Like you, I get oils from a few different companies.
Thanks for your comment Marya! Don't get me wrong.. I don't dislike MLM companies in general. I think it's a really great business model in a lot of ways, since it makes it easy for people to start a business with little investment. I just DON'T like false advertising - period. 🙂
I am big into aura cacia. Organic is good enough for me. I cam certify myself "awesomest ever short person" but that doesn't truly mean anything except to say I meet my own standards 🙂
LOL Amanda... you better get that patented.
thank you for the great post it is informative and helpful when making choices on essential oils
I'm glad it was helpful, John! Thanks for commenting.
I love my DT oils but they are not the end all be all of my world. If an oil works for you, I say go for it, no need to pick a brand!
Exactly! Great outlook. 🙂
I totally agree with you. My favorite brand is Plant Therapy. Best customer service around. They make up 90% of my oil collection.
I've heard many great things about them. Thanks for sharing!
look at edens garden they have great oils. great post.
Carole @ garden up green
I've always gotten Aura Cacia from Frontier or Whole Foods. Someone has tried to tell me I was sacrificing quality, but you know what... I never noticed!
I really like them too.
i just wanted to add that I think yl and dt are MLMs because they want to educate their buyers on how to use oils. That was the purpose in setting them up that way. A tv commercial for essential oils wouldn't be able to explain all of their uses in 30 seconds. I love dōTERRA and have found their purity to be above some other brands but I think anytime someone is using oils is awesome! No matter from where (as long as it's safe and has been tested). I also love empowering others to take control of their health and wellness with essential oils. dōTERRA and its structure allows me to share my passion. Just my two cents ☺️
Thank you so much for sharing your perspective, Michelle! That makes a lot of sense. You might very well be right about the reasoning behind setting things up that way, but it still means higher prices for customers. That's all I'm saying. Both companies offer great products, that's for sure.
I love what you said: "I love dōTERRA and have found their purity to be above some other brands but I think anytime someone is using oils is awesome! No matter from where (as long as it’s safe and has been tested)."
I feel the exact same way. 🙂 My reasoning for writing this post was definitely not to bash those brands, just to encourage those who might not want to pay premium prices to give essential oils a try anyway.
Thanks again for your comment!
I almost got sucked into mlm myself and then did some research. I have a pretty good stash of oils if I say so myself. When I'm needing one now, I buy Aura Cacia because a store right down the street carries it.
However, I love all the oils I've purchased from Edens Garden so far. And a new company I found online called "barefüt" is quickly becoming my new fave. And they're very affordable.
Hmm! I've never heard of them, will try.
I use EOs from http://www.bulkapothecary.com
They have awesome prices and customer service. Extremely fast shipping also.
I have never tried their oils, Shawna, but have heard only good things. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I have ordered bulk apothecary and LOVE them. They also have the USDA organic on the ones I like the most. They have different options and list which are organic and which are not. They also say Thereaputic grade but not pushing it. They just say the value is that high. The Customer service was great and the shipping was great. I have not noticed a lack of quality for the price savings. It is enormous. I would prefer always to have quality be the first and formost and then pick out from the quality names which one is the best price of the best qualities offered. I think they match the Quality and sometimes seem much more potent, but the prices make it so people of all incomes could afford the gift of these essential oils for their families. The YL and DOT are really upper end on prices and do not pay for the USDA organic labels, but the BULK APOTHECARY DOES HAVE CHOICES WITH USDA ORGANIC AND I THINK IT IS WORTH IT TO HAVE IT LABELED YET STILL CHARGE WAY LESS.
Since I do not have time to figure this all out, I do feel more confident to have oils with the USDA seal on them for Organic, to assure no synthetics are in there.. Why? Sales people do sometimes make statements that may not be correct and USDA is responsible for what they validate. It feels more secure. I understand it cost to have that done but when someone in a MLM is charging way more money for the oil, with no USDA organic seal, when they then are charging much higher prices, I would tend to trust the guy that paid to have the USDA Organic test and approval. Thhe BULK APOTHECARY odes not charge me more, for the fact they have choices with the USDA organic essential pure grade oils. I actually am trying to learn so please let me know if I have something more to learn with this " Organic issue.. I am teachable and want the best and then from that list, which I believe there must be more than one company with great oils, the best price will win hands down if it is on that list. PERIOD.
Thank you for writing something that actually makes sense! haha I see SO much bashing of MLM companies, and then I see MLM companies bashing everything else. It's ridiculous! YL is pricey, but they've helped me, and I don't mind helping a friend get a little income. I like the "use what works best for you" mantra. It's much better than the "all MLM's are from satan!" or the "MY OIL IS THE ONLY OIL" mantras!!! LOL
I am so glad this post resonates with you, Tiffany. 🙂
Thanks for this article. Unfortunately, I was stupid and fell for the mlm Simply Aroma. We are check to check and now that overtime has ended, back to barely making it. I joined in for 2 reasons. I had never heard of eo and with it being natural, thought this would be great for my family. And I could start a sales business for twenty bucks! I relied on the others who've been in the business to teach me about the oils. Rather I learned more on how to get people in your downline. That is the only focus entitled the quan. It's all business and no real oil learning. I researched and learned on my own. It is a cult because if you weren't friend or family in the first place you are an outsider and be prepared to be left on the sidelines. After spending a few hundred dollars for this stupid idea, I have pulled the plug. No more business. Besides, I can't afford the oil lifestyle anyways.
I'm so sorry for your experience, Shannon.
Hey! Love your post! Also Jade Bloom is a non MLM distributiing company as well.
Totally agree with you, I found Mountain Rose Herbs and Now Foods are good enough for regular use. By the way, what do you think of Young Living brand, I saw some of my friends use them, lovely packaging but don't know about the quality =).
I used to purchase my essential oils on Amazon and at the health food store, but realized that I could not be confident in the product quality unless I purchase directly from the manufacturer. I don't mind that the prices are a little higher because I know the quality is solid, and since I buy oils monthly I get all of the little discounts that the company I buy from offers, works out to paying about $6 for Lemon Essential oil, and 55-60% off retail for just about everything else.
I have all sorts of brands at home, since depending on what you are using the oils for (aromatherapy, cleaning, topical use, etc). you may use different brands for different purposes. But don't knock the MLM brands simply on their distribution method, the oils you get are high quality and can be quite affordable if purchased using all of the discounts these companies offer.
I get what you're saying! I use many brands that way too. If you read carefully, you'll see that I didn't knock the quality of MLM oils, only the price. Though recent findings actually do bring into question the quality of one of the bigger brand's cinnamon oil.
This post really bothers me. You are knocking down mlm and it is bias. Simply, by the quote you put in from your friend shows you don't have a high opinion on mlms. I have done a ton of research and yes there is more companies out there with quality oils that are not mlms. BUT you have to be so careful! there isn't a ton of regulations out there, and often times an oil can contain synthetics that you don't even realize and sometimes it doesn't even contain the oil that it is labeled to contain. Like you said oils are extremely concentrated so just imagine if it had a synthetic in it? not good. Oils that my contain synthetics may work and people see results but in the long run they can cause allergies, chemical sensitivities, migraines, etc. In the US only 5% true oil has to be in the oil for it to be labeled 100% pure... Seems crazy right? but its true.. I would really recommend you research alot more on essential oils and distillations and these companies.
How would you say I'm biased? I gain literally nothing from either recommending or not recommending a certain company. I've been studying this issue for nearly a decade, so I'm confident in the conclusions I've come to. Avoiding synthetics is an issue, but it's an entirely separate one that has nothing to do with whether you are purchasing from a particular business model.
In any event, I appreciate your thoughts and perspective. I invite you to ask yourself why it bothers you so much when I said nothing here that is untrue.
Thank you for all of your posts Kylie! I have used NOW oils for years but just for diffusing. Recently I purchased a starter kit from YL. While I do think their oils are quality, I'm not sure that it's the route I want to go with the monthly commitment and the high prices, and the general feeling of you can't use anything but these oils or you're sacrificing your family's well being. I've done a lot of research lately and I feel I would rather buy from a company wothout all of the pressure. What are your thoughts on NOW, or another company that I can buy as I want? Thanks!
Thanks for writing this very informative article dear. I am searching for the most suitable EO brands for my family (taking into account our budget, EO quality, etc) and this article really helps a lot. Also reminds me to be wary of MLM EOs - you're absolutely right - their price are awfully steep! 😀
My brother is battling stage 4 lung cancer. He has opted to longer do chemo. I am juicing him as well as have him on certain natural herbs. I just started the essential oils...I am not familiar or really studied oils, but I thought, at this point, let's try anything. In 3 days we noticed a difference. He has been on an oxygen tank for the past 2 weeks, and 3 days after applying the oils, he has been off the oxygen tank. He is still having a hard time breathing, but at least he is not using the tank. I am applying Frankincense oil as well as peppermint. Is there anything else I can use or add??
Kelli Hughart Armes
YES! so much agree! Thanks for writing this and good luck on your herbal training. 😀 I am sure you are loving it!