Regardless of whether you do your shopping online or in-person, chances are that you’ve come across a wide variety of essential oil companies and their various claims that they have the best oils or are the “only brand that has ______ essential oils.” With all this information coming at you, it can be difficult to get the facts and know how to find the best quality oils without breaking the bank. We’re here to help with a few things to look for when selecting the right essential oil brand for you.
Essential Oil vs. Fragrance Oil
This is one of the most important factors to look for when choosing not only essential oils but personal care and household products as well. When looking at anything from candles to face creams to laundry detergent, make sure that the ingredients listed include essential oils and not fragrance oil. Fragrance oils are synthetically created and do not contain any of the natural properties or benefits of the plant whose aroma they carry. Essential oils are distilled directly from the plant whose name they carry. They contain not only the aroma of the plant, but their natural properties as well.
When it comes to cost, it’s a good idea to think of the children’s story Goldilocks and the Three Bears. In this case, there are oils that are too cheap, too expensive, and just right. Since pure essential oils are made by distilling plant material, A LOT of flowers, buds, bark, or stems go into the process. That means if an oil is a lot lower cost than the same oil by other brands, it’s most likely low quality or diluted with carrier oils. On the other hand, if an oil is far more expensive than most of its competitors that often comes down to marketing and other factors. Expensive does not always equal better. One thing to note about cost of different oils is that it’s affected by the distillation process and prevalence of the plant. For example, Lemon is more affordable than Sandalwood due to both of these factors.
The term “Therapeutic Grade” is often used on essential oil labels as a marketing tool. The USDA does not currently regulate this term, so anyone can apply it to their product. If you’re curious about when oils are labeled “organic,” check out our post that digs deeper into that topic.