If you’ve ever tried buying essential oils, you’ve likely been just like I used to be…slightly confused (and frankly) overwhelmed by all the choices out there. With each company touting different promises and claims, it’s important to clear up the confusion so you can pick the best essential oils for yourself and your family.
Spoiler alert: they may not be the brands you think. 😉
Erika Bragdon is a Certified Essential Oil Coach from the Essential Oil Institute.
One of the most common questions people ask when getting started with essential oils or beginning to use them more extensively is “What do I look for when buying essential oils?” It can be confusing to find the answer that’s right for you because everyone has an opinion on essential oils.
Ideally, you’ll look for essential oils that are pure, high quality with beneficial properties and affordable. Yes, it is possible to find essential oils that fit that description and I’ll show you how to today.
First, let me be clear: finding the best essential oils shouldn’t be about choosing a specific brand; instead it should be about educating yourself so you can choose what’s right for you and your family.
I want you to be able to confidently choose essential oils for your family without worrying about the noise from everyone promoting their essential oil brand. I’ll share what my favorites are but at the end of the day, the choice is yours!
What to Look for When Buying Essential Oils
If you’re like me, you want essential oils that work without paying a premium price. But there is a balance because extremely cheap essential oils often contain filler ingredients that can do more harm than good.
How do you find that balance? That’s exactly what we will explore in this post. There are several key things you’ll need to look for when searching for the best essential oils to buy.
By the way, once you pick an essential oil, it’s important that you know how to use it safely. Here’s what you need to know about essential oils and safety.
1. Consider the price.
Most of the best essential oils have some similarities in their pricing.
For example, Helichrysum is one of the most expensive oils and can cost upwards of $100 for a small bottle. Knowing this, if you were to see a bottle of Helichrysum sold online for a mere $10, this should raise your suspicions that it’s almost certainly not therapeutic-grade quality or truly 100% pure.
Higher quality oils do cost more. But this doesn’t mean you have to pay the most expensive price every time.
I did an experiment at one time that illustrated this point: I took two bottles of lavender oil (both Lavandula Angustifolia) from two different established, high-quality essential oil companies and looked up the GC/MS testing for both.
I was intrigued to discover that the highest priced essential oil bottle (from a top MLM – Multi-Level-Marketing – essential oil company) actually had a slightly lower percentage of a therapeutic compound compared to the less expensive non-MLM essential oil company.
2. Consider the brand’s reputation.
Just like anything when it comes to opinions, you should always take this with a grain of salt. However, if you continually hear good things about a particular essential oil company, it may be worth checking the company out using the tips in this post.
3. How does it smell?
This one is super basic, but if you’re given the opportunity, smell the essential oil first. This may not always be possible, especially since most of us order oils online now, but if your friend has essential oils, check hers out!
Does it smell good to you? If it smells fake or oddly different from other brands offering that same oil, it may be a red flag that it’s not a good one or you may simply just prefer a different brand and you should save your money.
Are MLM essential oils bad?
MLM (multi-level marketing) has been a hot topic as of late. You may be wondering if it’s even worth purchasing any oils from the two major MLM essential oil brands.
I am not against MLM brands. In fact, I do use one MLM company’s oils, though not as much as other brands due to higher cost.
Overall, I’ve found a couple of non-MLM brands that work just as well for my family at a lower cost. Again, this is just my opinion and my experience. If you want to purchase from a friend selling, that’s perfectly fine—just know it will be a higher price point.
Go Beyond the Brand
There are several more things I look at when vetting my essential oils. I used to just choose at random, but after I became a Certified Essential Oil Coach, I realized quickly that a lot of brands were using marketing gimmicks that even I was falling prey to!
I soon became very, very passionate about translating all this essential oil lingo into something my friends could understand. This is because I firmly believe everyone should know how to choose the right oils for her own family!
In fact, I even wrote an entire e-book about how to do this. Beyond the Brand distills (pun intended!) everything I’ve learned through years of trial and error with choosing essential oil brands. If you’re serious about learning how to choose the BEST essential oils for your family, I highly encourage you to check out this ebook!
Remember: you don’t have to stick with ONE essential oil brand. It’s okay to mix and match and try new oils too! Have an open mind and have fun!
My Favorite Essential Oil Companies:
Curious which companies I personally shop at? Remember, I’m all about trying things out so this list isn’t exhaustive – just my favorites currently!
I am affiliated with these companies and will earn a small percentage should you visit one of the links below and make a purchase at no extra cost to you.
Rocky Mountain Oils
This essential oil company sells 100% pure, natural, and authentic essential oils, guaranteed through third-party testing. You won’t find any adulterants, contaminants, diluents, or synthetics with Rocky Mountain Oils.
Their Immune blend is one of our favorites!
Buy Rocky Mountain Oils here directly through their website with free shipping on any size order.
Tip: Rocky Mountain Oil sells many of the same oils you’ll find with MLM companies at reduced prices with the same high quality (Note: RMO sold the lavender oil that tested higher-quality than the MLM company!)
Eden’s Garden offers unadulterated, free of synthetics, 100% pure essential oils directly from nature. They choose sustainable practices and source their products from organic growers/distillers whenever possible and also do third-party testing to ensure high standards and quality. You can ask for a certificate of analysis if you’d like.
Read more about Eden’s Garden standards of quality here: Eden’s Garden About Us
Buy Eden’s Garden directly through their website here with free shipping on any order.
Ancient Apothecary by Dr. Axe
This brand offers many organic essential oils and while they do not offer testing yet, I have heard they are working toward it. I have confidently used these oils over and over for myself and my family with wonderful results.
Why I Like this brand: I began using Dr Axe’s essential oils more recently and I’ve been impressed with the quality and reasonable prices. The Frankincense Trinity blend is my favorite!
You can purchase from Dr. Axe online (I’m not affiliated with their site) or from Amazon.
There you have it! I hope this beginner’s guide to choosing and buying the best essential oils for you and your family has helped you!
*Pin the post on Pinterest so you can find it easily later.
Mary L Scaletta says
You mentioned that you do use one of the MLM brands, can you please say which brand you like?
How about Young Living?
Hi Mierra, I avoid the MLM brands personally, but check out the tips I shared. My goal is to empower you to decide for yourself! 🙂
Eileen Benson says
It was interesting when you explained that using Latin names when buying oils will make sure we get the exact smell we want, since there can be subtle differences based on location and species. I was talking with a friend about essential oils last week, and I really like the idea of buying some frankincense and myrrh that I can diffuse in my home to improve the atmosphere. Thanks for giving me some good tips that I can use to help me shop for essential oils more confidently.
Hello – do you know anything about the brand Revive? I have been looking for a less expensive brand and Th hey seem to fit your rules – but curious if you’ve used them
I’ve heard of Revive, but I have not researched them. If you think they pass, then go for it! My goal is to empower you to find the essential oils that work for you.
I did send them a question about their testing and all positive comments back. They do sell in 10ml where DoTerra is normally 15ml so I’d have to really price compare per ml. But I’m thinking I’ll give them a try – esp on the oils I use a lot of!
Their comment: You can see the results of these GC/MS tests on our website here: https://revive-eo.com/revive-gcms-reports/
Sounds like it’s well worth it!
Hi Betsy. I am no expert when it comes to essential oils. However, I have been using them for many many years and I too was looking for good quality oils that wouldn’t bankrupt me. I tested many many brands, both $$$$ and $. When I had completed my little experiment, I found that Revive Essential Oils were just as high in quality at a much more reasonable price. I have been using them for my family for several years now and am very happy. In fact they were out of stock on Geranium oil at one point so I purchased doTerra to carry me over. I ended up not using it near as much as I usually had because I just didn’t enjoy the all round quality, scent etc. I missed my Revive. I thought maybe just giving you another opinion might help seal your decision. Hope it helps. Take care & Stay Safe TLD
Franklin White says
It’s good to know that there are recognized quality standards for essential oils. I want to buy essential oils but I am afraid I’ll get bad ones. It’s good to know that the industry has their own standards for the oils.
This is such a great resource that you are providing. I was wanting to purchase some essential oils but I was so confused until I read this article. Thank you!
ElLois Betts says
I have been trying to ascertain what frankincense is called for in the cuticle softening recipe of essential oils.
When I click on the link, it always leads me back to the geranium oil.
This is the link to that recipe https://livingwellmom.com/nourishing-diy-cuticle-oil-essential-oils/
I know there are different kinds of frankincense.
Hi ElLoise – here is the Frankincense I use and recommend – http://bit.ly/2IB4xqt – it is very soothing and nourishing, particularly for dry skin. This is why I recommend it for the cuticle oil recipe.
What do you think about the Now brand of essential oils?
I have tried them in the past, but I wasn’t impressed with their quality. They didn’t pass my ‘quality’ test as I share in this post.