Did you know that not all essential oils are created equal?

Adulteration of oils is rife throughout the industry given it is not regulated.  It is estimated that 80% of essential oils on the market that are sold as ‘pure’ are in fact adulterated.

It’s a sad fact but this is why it makes it vitally important that you do your own research and choose a reputable brand that you know and trust.

We had no idea what to look for when we first wanted to get oils.  All we wanted was peppermint essential oil to make peppermint chocolate.  We knew that peppermint essence was laden with additives so we wanted to the pure stuff, but at the time we had no idea really what to look out for.

Thank goodness we stumbled upon doTERRA!  It just so happened that we found the best essential oils that money can buy and a company that has set the standard for purity across the industry.

What is adulteration of essential oils?

Adulteration is the process whereby essential oils have had a foreign or inferior substance added to them rendering them no longer 100% pure.

Who tests the oils?

Essential oils are independently/third-party tested by the Aromatic Plant Research Center (APRC) which is a:

State-of-the-art laboratory that utilises a variety of methods to detect adulteration and confirm the purity of essential oils. Our executive advisory board is internationally renowned for quality control testing and expertise within the essential oil industry.

APRC aspires to reimagine the essential oil industry by conducting state-of-the-art quality testing, performing groundbreaking research, producing cutting edge publications, and creating unparalleled educational materials on essential oils. Our goal is to ensure that our clients have access to the most sophisticated and verified means of testing possible. This process includes compiling existing publications, interviewing experienced producers, conducting field research, gathering raw materials, improving distillation methods, advancing testing capabilities, discovering new chemotypes, developing new therapeutic uses, and so forth. This research will further develop our understanding of the purest essential oils in the world and will influence many publications soon to be available to the public as additional educational tools.

Many companies, but not all companies, use the APRC for third-party testing of their oils.

How can you tell if essential oils are adulterated?

According to the APRC:

There is no proven “hack” to tell if an oil is adulterated from home. Reading the ingredients actually will not let you know. Without specific lab testing, even a chemist won’t know if an oil is adulterated until they see the results. Lab tests analyze the individual components of oils to determine whether they are pure or not. There are three common ways oil is adulterated:

Aromachemical Adulteration A common way that oils are adulterated, or even created in a lab, is by adding the individual chemicals, either natural or synthetic fossil fuel based, to create the oil. Additions of chemicals like linalool or beta-pinene can create the recipe for a specific oil.

Addition of Carrier Oils Adding a carrier oil to a pure oil is another way to adulterate oils. This is usually done to “water” the oil down, thereby making a larger profit off a small yield. Common carrier oils used are cooking oils.

Similar Oils or their Isolates By adding a similar oil or its isolates, a producer can create something that smells like another oil. Lavandin, for example, smells very similar to lavender and often appears in “lavender” oil. Producers can also use fractions of oils to get the chemical constituents. In the lavandin example, a producer can extract a chemical like linalyl acetate and add it to an oil.

Knowing how producers adulterate oils is important because it shows there are many ways in which your oil may not be pure. Adulterated oils change the aroma and medicinal values. Either you can purchase oils from producers who provide the reports of their tested oils, or have them tested yourself.

Examples of common adulteration:

💧 Inclusion of carrier oils without it being detailed on the label
💧 Mislabeled species
💧 Inclusion of aroma chemicals
💧 Synthetic fragrances and chemicals added
💧 Some oils are 95% to 100% complete fabrications – made by trained perfumists to smell pure

Stats from the APRC revealed that tested oils from more than 5o companies, including from direct sellers, online retailers and retail stores show that 3 companies have consistently pure oils with doTERRA being 1 of the 3.  This means that 95% of oil companies (who have submitted oils for testing by the APRC) sell adulterated oils!

How do you navigate where to get oils from?

Yep, it sure is tricky.  As we said above, we had no real idea when we first bought essential oils.  Yes, of course, oils being additive-free, or adulteration free, was crucial, but other than that we were flying blind.

With the ability of hindsight, we’ve learnt that it’s a good idea to consider/research the following:

  1. Are the essential oils 100% pure and free from any chemical fillers or additives?
  2. Where are the essential oils sourced from?
  3. Are the essential oils independently/third party tested for purity and potency?
  4. Does the essential oil company provide full transparency from sourcing plant matter to getting the bottle into the consumer’s hand?
  5. Does the essential oil company source plant material sustainably?

Some other things you might like to consider are:

  1. Does the essential oil company have a social conscience and give back to those less fortunate?
  2. Does the essential oil company provide education on how to use their oils and products?
  3. Will you be supported on your essential oil journey so that you can get the most out of using them?

Why we love doTERRA

It’s no secret we love our essential oils.  We use them for EVERYTHING! They have become our medicine cabinet, cleaning products, emotional support, food flavourings and so much more!

Thank goodness we stumbled upon doTERRA!  It just so happened that we found the best essential oils that money can buy and a company that has set the standard for purity across the industry.

doTERRA’s essential oils not only test as being the best for purity and quality across the industry, but they’re fully transparent to us, the consumers, regarding where they source the plant material from all the way through the process until it ends up in our hands.

The quality of each and every single bottle of essential oils doTERRA produces can be checked via their website Source To You.  How is that done you may ask?  Each and every bottle has a batch number written on the bottom.  All you need to do is head to Source To You and type in that batch number and all the data comes up for the batch of oil that bottle came from.

For additional information about the purity of doTERRA’s essential oils, check it out >>> here.

In addition to supplying the highest quality essential oils, doTERRA is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of farmers, harvesters, and distillers who contribute to doTERRA’s oil production.

With over 100 essential oils in its product line, doTERRA sources its oils from over 40 countries—more than half of which could be considered developing countries. To ensure that small scale farmers and harvesters in disadvantaged areas are treated ethically, doTERRA has introduced an initiative called Co-Impact Sourcing.

Co-Impact Sourcing is an initiative that seeks to develop long-term, mutually beneficial supplier partnerships while creating sustainable jobs and providing reliable income in underdeveloped areas. doTERRA is committed to the ethical treatment of its suppliers by providing on-time payments at fair prices. Growers and harvesters are encouraged to form cooperative groups to share collective benefits and bargaining power while improving skills and capacity.

Additionally, the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation® helps support development projects in sourcing communities. Projects include schools, health clinics, improved infrastructure and clean water systems.

We encourage you to check out the amazing work they do trough their doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation®

This is the social conscience we know and love doTERRA for.  They are so much more than just an essential oil company.  They provide heart-centred work for the betterment of all of us.

We certainly wouldn’t recommend inferior products and this is why we only recommend doTERRA.  They’re the best that we have ever come across.

If you want to get your own oils or talk to us about how to get some into your life, then contact us so we can guide you through the process.  It’s easy and for us, essential oils are a vital part of our additive-free lifestyle.

Do your own due diligence

Regardless of who you choose to get your essential oils from, the best thing we can recommend is for you to do your own research into each essential oil company/retailer.  Knowledge really is power.

Consider all the information we have detailed above so that you can empower yourself to make informed choices.