New to the craze of aromatherapy and looking to avoid fake essential oil brands? Here is a complete guide to spotting the real deal and enjoying the sheer goodness of these products.
Essential oils have become increasingly popular in recent times largely because of more people becoming aware of aromatherapy and its benefits. Aromatherapy has gained so much hype, and many individuals look to buy different essential oils to create their own blends at home. With higher demand, supply has also jumped up drastically. Social media is responsible for the exponential rise in brands and companies producing essential oils. While some are pure and authentic, a large portion of these fake brands can put the user at a loss.
The fact is the authenticity of the essential oil affects the blended outcome, which makes choosing the right ones crucial. Plus, you are paying money for it; you deserve an authentic product! If you are thinking of buying or using essential oils, this article is for you.
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What are essential oils?
Despite its popularity and usage, not many people are aware of these magical droplets. Essential oils are highly concentrated versions of natural oils in plants. They are widely used in the flavor, fragrance, food, and cosmetic industry. The process of deriving oil from plants is done through distillation. Most of the time, all parts of plants, roots, stems, flowers, leaves, or bark, are used in the process.
Once the oil is taken out through distillation, it has the characteristic fragrance and qualities of the plant it was extracted from. In fact, it is thought to contain the true essence of the plant it came from, e.g., the aroma, healing properties, and other characteristics. This highly potent plant or herb oil is extremely useful for different purposes, making the authenticity of the brand you use more important than ever. Spotting an inferior essential oil and distinguishing a fake essential oil brand is important if you are embarking on your healing journey.
There are many different ailments for which essential oils are recommended like sinus, headaches, treating hangovers, and menstrual cramps. These oils have therapeutic benefits which make them a great self-care item.
How to tell if essential oils are pure
Essential oils are mostly used to replace toxic products used on the body or as scents in your home. But if you end up using a fake essential oils brand, you are pretty much defeating the purpose, which makes it more important than ever to know how to differentiate between a pure and impure brand.
Here are tried and tested methods that can help you determine the quality of essential oils before you make the purchase.
Check how the essential oils are stored
Essential oils are always supposed to be stored in dark amber or blue glass containers. This is a major sign when looking for a reliable essential oil brand. Such dark-colored containers protect the oils from ultraviolet rays that might degrade the essential oils in the long run. Furthermore, anything that is stored in plastic containers cannot be pure essential oil because these oils are so concentrated and strong that the moment they get in touch with plastic they start to break down.
Conduct a ring test on white paper
This is another way to spot a fake essential oils brand. Conducting a ring test on a white strip of paper to check if the essential oil leaves any residue is another great way to assure yourself. Many times, shopkeepers keep scent strips for buyers which can be used by them to determine the authenticity of the oil at the store. You don’t need to buy it to do the test if the shop offers you scent testing services. You can simply use it to your advantage and check if a visible ring of residue appears once the oil has dried on the paper. If yes, the essential oil is not pure and has been diluted with another oil. Naturally, essential oils are so volatile in nature that they leave no residue behind proving this to be a great way to test your oils.
Pure essential never feels greasy
Checking the greasiness of the essential oil between your fingers can also help you determine its authenticity. If the essential oil feels like oil against your finger, there is a possibility that carrier oil has been added to it. These oils generally give the essential oils their silky or oily texture to feel smooth on the skin. However, real essential oils absorb very quickly into the skin and never feel greasy against it.
Pure essential oils do not have artificial chemicals
Essential oils retain valuable properties from the plants they are extracted from. Most synthetic essential oils contain fragrances that do not have healing or medicinal qualities. This is the cue to detect an impure blend that has a mix of aroma chemicals and natural essential oils. Pure essential oils do not contain any artificial substances. As many fragrance oils are marketed as pure essential oils, it is important to note that pure essential oils must not contain any diluents or synthetics.
The prices can vary
The pricing of essential oils varies a lot depending on the type of plant essential oil. If you see all essential oils priced the same, they are likely synthetic preparations. When buying essential oils, it is important to keep in mind that authentic suppliers will have a wide range of prices for their different oils. It also helps to know which extracted oils are usually cheaper and which ones are on the pricey side. Nevertheless, beware of falling for the trap of cheaper essential oils.
As these products are natural and come from distilling parts of plants, they are generally never cheap. Oils like Rosemary and Eucalyptus usually have a lesser price range than Rose, Verbena, Melissa, Chamomile are some of the rare and expensive varieties.
Get the product tested
Many countries provide testing facilities at government labs if you have a complaint against a product you have purchased. If your essential oil smells or feels impure, or there is a slight doubt in its authenticity, you as a customer have all the right to get the product tested and know its quality and purity of it. After all, if you have paid for it and want to consume its list of benefits, you deserve to know.
Once you have mastered how to differentiate the purity of essential oils, sourcing the best product should not be difficult for you. Take your time and choose the one that fits your body chemistry and passes your quality check. Only then can it be used for the range of benefits essential oils are famous for. Here are some common ailments and the essential oils recommended for them.
Worst essential oil brands that you must be aware of
Essential oils have come very popular over the years and are credited for their ability to increase focus, facilitate sounder sleep, and improve health. These are the promises claimed by all of the makers of essential oils but the craze has taken over the authenticity of the products.
Many of the essential oils being sold online are synthetic which means they contain no natural ingredients but processed chemicals that work against the body. Some may not contain these harmful contaminants but are diluted with a carrier oil which makes the product less effective.
Everyone wants to buy essential oils and reap their benefits. But the question remains, are you buying the best oil?
Of course, if it’s not pure, it will not help you in any way, or perhaps with the added chemicals, it will cause more harm than good. So how do you determine the right oil for yourself and choose the pure ones?
Simple! Just know about the brands that you have to avoid. Here is a compilation of the worst essential oil brands that you must be aware of. Please note, the list is made according to consumers’ feedback and does not include our personal preferences.
1. It Works!
If you are new to the world of essential oils, it’s best to avoid this brand. It is really expensive with a small product range which makes it difficult to use these oils for therapeutic reasons. There are other premium brands that can be bought in the same price range so unless you have money to waste, invest in oils from It Works!. Or you can just skip them.
2. Majestic Pure
Majestic Pure is one the cheapest options that you will find but contrary to the brand’s claims, the oils are not organic. According to the reviews of customers, these oils are not pure. While they are affordable, it has been stated by many customers that they do not provide the quality it promises. So why choose something that is causing damage to your health and has a murky reputation? Your money and health are equally important so invest in something that is reasonably priced but also provides quality.
3. Now Essential Oils
This brand is also notorious, or some might say famous for cheap prices that are too hard to resist. But those who understand the world of essential oils, know that finding premium essential oils at such cheap rates is impossible. There is a high chance that they are adulterated; this seems like the only explanation. So when you are shopping for your essential oils, keep this in mind.
4. Nature’s Oil Essential Oils
While this brand has a good selection, it does not offer enough information on the ingredients, quality, and source. Due to that, it is not known whether they can be good for therapeutic uses or not. So there is a high chance that the product is just for a nice aroma.
5. Ola Prima Essential Oils
This brand of essential oils is full of red flags and anyone who knows a little about essential oils could spot them. The oil is packaged in plastic bottles, has terrible labeling and the prices are too good to be true. While low prices are attractive, in the case of essential oils it’s a huge red flag as these oils are generally priced high.
The brand has a beautiful website and a tagline that would attract many, “High-Quality, Low Markups.” If only that was true. Kis has moderately priced essential oils and there is a serious lack of information about the products on their website. Claims of high quality require explanations and if those are not provided, the brand is not worth investing in.
7. Radha Beauty
Radha Beauty is very popular but it is on our list of essential oil brands to avoid for the right reasons. Despite being a huge seller online, the fact that it is so expensive makes it not a suitable buy. Radha Beauty might focus on quality but its essential oils are priced too high which is why we believe that it’s best to be avoided.
8. Piping Rock Essential Oils
This brand has a good selection and prices are quite cheap which means you are sacrificing quality and that is something you don’t want when purchasing essential oils. Maybe if you need the oils to create an aromatic experience, the brand might be suitable but since there is no quality information provided and labeling is vague, using it for therapeutic benefits of ingesting is definitely not possible.
In a recent Consumer Advocate report the brand tested positive for adulteration. This means that the expensive essential oils being sold under the brand name are not pure and do not deserve your hard-earned money.
10. Barefut Essential Oils
Finally, the last brand on our list of worst essential oil brands is Barefut which offers nothing more than moderate prices, quality, and an average range of selection. Other brands in the market can offer better price range, quality, and testing information so it’s better to avoid the products like these.
Best essential oil brands
The previous section might have caused you to feel hopeless. There were some big, popular brands up there which you have probably been wasting your money on and not reaping desired benefits. The good news, however, is that there are other options of essential oil brands available which sell high-quality oils at reasonable prices. While it’s hard to say which oil is the purest, these are some of our picks for the best essential oil brands.
Plant Therapy Essential Oils
Many people have turned to Plant Therapy for essential oils and that too for all the good reasons. Founded in 2011 by Chris Jones, the idea was to create a high-quality, affordable brand of essential oils. Later, when a world-famous aromatherapist and essential oil educator became part of the company, the brand significantly elevated its quality and safety.
They also proved a kid-safe line of essential oils and have a large team of aromatherapists. Over the years, the company has grown and become one of the most reliable essential oil companies.
The company is quite transparent about its sources of essential oils, ingredients, and all that goes into the making. Extensive testing and research are part of the product which makes the brand authentic and suitable for consumption. Plant Therapy states that all the essential oils produced under its name are 100% pure and contain no additives or carriers. Furthermore, the company is proud of hosting third-party GC/MS testing and provides a full panel of the chemical constituents on each product page. Lastly, the prices are extremely affordable too.
Florihana Essential Oils
Not many people are aware of this brand despite it being in the market since 1993. The brand has its own distillery which is located in Provence, France. The company also owns a huge 25-acre organic farm sourcing some of the plants from their own fields. As a brand, it makes sure to use plants that are grown and harvested in areas where they grow in harmony with the ecosystems. Because of this, a lot of plant sources are directly from indigenous regions of the world where those species are native to the ecosystem.
The brand makes sure to use organic products that meet the standards outlined by the international community. Florihana distillery also uses the latest technology and no other process better than that exists in the world of aromatherapy. Also, the final products are completely pure and not mixed with any contaminants or fillers. These oils are referred to as “therapeutic grade” and provide GC/MS testing reports.
The oils are known to be highly effective and affordable. Considering the efforts and precision that go into the making of Florihana essential oils, one would think they would cost a lot but luckily that is not the case.
Simply Earth is another company that we believe is amongst the best essential oil brands. Sourcing plants from Organically Certified farms all over the world, the company welcomes varieties and species that thrive in their native grounds. This maintains the quality that the company is so passionate about.
The brand uses the latest extraction methods, either cold-pressing or steam-distillation to extract pure oils. It also does not add any bases or additives to its oils making sure that all batches are totally clean. Furthermore, the company does third-party GC/MS batch testing which helps to ensure that all extracts are pure and have the right composition. These reports are displayed for the customer also which helps them make the right decision. With the right bottling and labeling techniques, these oils are pretty much safe to use.
Also, their prices are great too, and moreover, they have a monthly subscription service also. You will probably come again after a single use so a subscription is the smartest thing you can do here!
Which brands of essential oils are safe for internal use?
Essential oils have emerged as a popular home remedy for various health concerns and for an overall feeling of relaxation. However, the fact remains that it is an unregulated market and finding an essential oil that is safe to eat is next to impossible. While these oils generally have a long history of medicinal use, consuming them directly has been found to be toxic at times. As these oils, in their pure forms, are highly potent and concentrated, some oils are known to cause poisoning if used improperly. These oils can be dangerous when consumed or ingested which is why most of the brands categorically mention on their websites that they do not support the ingestion of essential oils without the supervision of a medical doctor or aromatherapy expert.
So if you are wondering which brands of essential oils are safe for internal use, you must know that most experts advise avoiding the ingestion of essential oils especially when you are consuming medications in order to avoid possible drug interactions and contraindications. For newbies venturing into aromatherapy, it is best to stick to external treatments; however, if they do wish to consume essential oils orally, it must be done under direct supervision.
As essential oils are highly concentrated, their levels of toxicity can also vary. Even if you end up deciding to consume these oils, it is important to choose brands that are transparent about their ingredients and production. Also, make sure that you are not allergic to any of the essential oils.
Health risks of essential oils
Although essential oils are derived from nature and have been used for ages, they don’t come without risks. Improper use, internal consumption, and excessive use can cause serious adverse reactions and even poisoning. The products must be stored properly as they have a great chance of contamination. Furthermore, essential oils must be kept away from children and pets as their delicate bodies cannot tolerate potent oils as good as the bodies of an adult. Also, pregnant women should consult a doctor before the use of essential oils. Here are a few health risks of essential oils that have been documented numerous times.
Some of the essential oils are so potent and strong that they cannot be used directly over the skin. These essential oils, for instance, orange’s pure form, can lead to skin rashes and inflammation which might need medical assistance.
Ingesting these strong oils can be harsh on the internal organs and can lead to minor or even major health-related issues.
These oils can also absorb into the skin and affect the endocrine system leading to a hormonal imbalance. This is why it is very important to play safe when using essential oils.
If the essential oils are taken orally toxicity can develop within a short time. The severity of the symptoms depends on the amounts, dosage, and type of plant essential oil consumed. While it is important to follow manufacturers’ instructions when you are making your own oils, researching safe dosages and mixes is absolutely vital.
While toxicity is possible in some cases, children are sometimes more susceptible. Symptoms of toxicity include:
- shortness of breath, persistent cough
- eye irritation
- skin rash or irritation
- coma (after large ingestion)
Benefits of essential oils
Traditional and folk medicine have used the power of essential oils for centuries and modern medicine today supports some of the ancient claims about these products. Here are a few benefits of essential oils that have led to the popularization of n these gems of nature.
Reduce stress with essential oils
Aromatherapy is widely used to manage stress and anxiety, the curse of modern existence. A few drops of these potent oils can have anxiety-reducing effects. While more research is needed, the practice is enjoyed by millions of people who swear by the benefits of essential oils. Using these oils during massage can also help relieve stress.
Use to relieve headaches and migraines
Many small studies have found that using a few drops of peppermint oil and ethanol mixture on foreheads and massaging on the temples can reduce headaches. Numerous other combinations of oils are used to help relieve headaches and migraines too. However, larger studies and research are still required.
Use to relax and aid sleep
Essential oils like Lavender oil are known for their relaxing fragrance and are thought to improve sleep quality. Scientists have also proven this theory by leading a study on patients with dementia whose sleep quality was greatly improved after sprinkling the essential oil on towels near their pillows.
Use it to treat fungal infections
Tea tree oil has shown promising results as a remedy for athletes’ feet and fungal infections like candida. While more research and studies are needed, the antimicrobial qualities of tea tree essential oil have been used for centuries in traditional medicine.
Use it to prevent disease
Essential oils have antioxidant qualities which are useful in preventing damage to cells caused by free radicals. This phenomenon has become a leading cause of many diseases such as cancer and researchers have started wondering how adding essential oils to food may increase the consumption of antioxidants. While this is yet to be tested, using essential oils externally can also help you absorb their potent qualities and use them to prevent diseases.
Can be used outside of aromatherapy
These oils can be used to scent homes and freshen linen or laundry too. They have a potent, natural scent that is also used in homemade cosmetics and cleaning agents. The best thing about these strong oils is that they are a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to chemical compounds used as mosquito repellents and cleaning solutions.
There are almost a hundred types of essential oils, each having its own distinct smell and benefits. Here is a compilation of ten popular oils with the health benefits associated with their use:
- Peppermint oil is known to boost energy and help in digestion
- Lemon oil can aid digestion, mood, headaches, and more
- Lavender oil is known to relieve stress
- Sandalwood oil can calm nerves and improve focus
- Ylang-Ylang oil is known to treat headaches, nausea, and skin conditions
- Tea Tree oil can fight infections and boost immunity
- Bergamot oil can also reduce stress and improve skin conditions like eczema
- Rose oil is known to improve mood and help manage anxiety
- Chamomile oil can enhance mood and aid relaxation
- Jasmine oil is known to help with depression, childbirth, and libido
Essential oils have gained immense popularity over the years and while these are considered safe to inhale or apply to the skin for therapeutic or medicinal benefits, their effectiveness completely depends on the purity of the essential oil being used. With so many fake essential oils brands in the market judging the quality and potency of the essential oil being purchased and knowing how to make the right choice is very important. There are thousands of bottles on the shelf at the market, but only the right ones will benefit or live up to the age-old benefits and claims of essential oils. So choose wisely.