The essential oils you buy might not be what you think. In order to keep demand for low prices, essential oils often are in some way adulterated to lower costs. Unscrupulous companies even sell altogether fakes as the real thing.
Red flags to watch for when choosing essential oils
The prices are much lower than the going rate. The old adage applies—you get what you pay for. If the product is significantly cheaper than comparable offerings on other sites, they are likely adulterated, poor quality, or artificial.
Essential oils are not clearly marked or separated from fragrance oils. I’ve visited several health stores that mixed fragrance oils and essential oils. Finding the extra fine print on each bottle was the only way to distinguish them. A mix-up waiting to happen.
The botanical name of the source plant is not given. Unfortunately, less knowledgeable sellers sometimes mark perfume oils as essential oils. If they don’t tell you what plant species your oil comes from, how can you know?
Red flags for essential oil supplier companies
The supplier is not a well known and reputable company. Sellers on eBay come to mind first, but any company without a reputation should be examined carefully.
The seller uses hype and questionable marketing terms. Many of the phrases commonly used to describe essential oils sound great, but don’t necessarily have any concrete meaning. Phrases like “100% pure” and “therapeutic grade” are up to the interpretation of the vendor. At least in the US, there is no standardization or system of grading for essential oils except for food grade. Food grade status only applies to EOs used as flavor.
The supplier makes grandiose claims. Some companies claim their products are vastly superior to everything else on the market. Certain MLM companies are notorious for going over the top, which is one of the reasons I avoid them altogether. These MLMs may say they have exclusive sources, special testing that no one else uses, and they’ll go out of their way to attempt to prove their oils are the only quality oils in existence.
Truth is, plenty of reputable suppliers have top quality product. Both large and small suppliers purchase from distillers, so quite often you’ll receive the same product bottled as totally different brands.
In conclusion, always buy from a seller with a solid reputation for selling pure and high quality essential oils. Ask for recommendations at one of the many groups on Facebook, Yahoo groups, and online forums.