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Why Essential Oil Quality Matters

When it comes to purchasing essential oils, it is difficult to know which seller to trust and how pure their essential oils are. It’s important to do your due diligence when it comes to finding a reliable essential oil seller.

Keep scrolling to learn more.

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The Essential Life

Why Essential Oil Quality Matters

by britten thompson

Creating a high quality and 100% pure essential oil starts long before the distillation process.

Essential oil quality starts with the nutrients present in the soil the plant is cultivated in. The chemicals used on and around the plant as it grows also contribute to the quality of the final product - the essential oil. The distillation process is just the final step in a long journey before the essential oil makes its way to you.

Being a natural product, there are always variations in the chemical composition of essential oils, however, for an essential oil to be effective, it must be pure and this means no harmful chemicals have made their way into the oil.

Choosing an Essential Oil Supplier

It might seem like all essential oils are created equally so it shouldn’t matter who you purchase your oils from. In truth, there won’t be a lot of variation between 100% pure essential oils, regardless of who the supplier is. 

The problem is that many essential oil suppliers are less than honest about the quality of their oils, or where they sourced the plant matter their essential oils were distilled from. 

At best, dishonest suppliers are diluting their pure essential oils with jojoba oil, or other carrier oils. At worst, they are using synthetic materials, or plant matter that hasn’t been sustainable sourced.

When it comes to choosing and essential oil supplier, use common sense. You do not need to opt for the ultra-high price tag on DoTERRA or Young Living essential oils, but if you find lavender essential oil on eBay for $1, it’s probably not going to be what you’re expecting. If you do decide to order $1 essential oil from eBay, it’s a good idea to be careful using it - especially if you are applying it topically (it could cause a rash), or if you are using it in your aromatherapy diffuser (it could be diluted with a carrier oil that will gunk-up your diffuser and cause it to stop working).

Essential Oil Purity

It’s time for some real talk about essential oil purity.

First, let’s talk about “therapeutic grade” essential oils. If you’ve been in the essential oil community for any amount of time, you might think therapeutic grade is the gold standard for essential oil purity. For the most part, labelling essential oils as therapeutic grade is meant to indicate that these oils are 100% pure, however, the term “therapeutic grade” is a registered trademark owned by DoTERRA.

So, if you think DoTERRA is the only essential oil supplier who is able to sell you therapeutic grade essential oils, you’re correct, but that’s not because their oils are better than everyone else’s, it’s because it’s a marketing term they coined.

So now that we’ve dispelled the mystique surrounding therapeutic grade essential oils, how can we be sure the oils we are purchasing are 100% pure?

The answer here is far more complicated than it should and the reality is, there is no guarantee.

The natural wellness industry isn’t regulated, so anyone can make the claim that their essential oils are therapeutic grade, superior grade or whatever else they want to say. No one is going to test the product to substantiate these claims.

The most reliable way to ensure you are purchasing 100% pure essential oils is to talk to the retailer, get a feel for what they know about the products and try to build rapport with them. A very knowledgeable seller is a good indication of a quality product. It’s also okay to ask a seller for a sample of their essential oils. This way, you could try the oil at home to determine its quality. It’s also a good idea to do your research about a company first. Check out product reviews online, look at the sellers social media page - these can all be indicators of quality and purity.

Why Don’t You Want to Buy Synthetic Essential Oils?

The above information about purity and quality of essential oils begs the question, why does it matter?

For me, the first thing that comes to mind is honesty. I want to deal with an honest seller and support businesses who sell quality products which have been responsibly and ethically sourced.

Second to that, there are a number of synthetic compounds which mimic the aroma of essential oils. While these compounds smell quite similar, they do not have the same benefits to our health and assuming they’re the same thing would be like assuming a hard candy is as effective at relieving a cough as a cough drop is. Just because the two are similar does not mean they are both loaded with healing, therapeutic medicine.

When it comes to the inhalation method, using synthetic oils can have negative consequences for your health. Synthetic chemicals have been shown to have a number of negative side effects and can build up in your body over time. Additionally, using synthetic oils in your aromatherapy diffuser will shorten the life of your diffuser.

One of the incredible things about essential oils is how tiny essential oil particles are. Their size makes it possible for them to readily absorb into our skin. It also means that, when using an aromatherapy diffuser, the essential oil particles are small enough to be diffused into the air along with the water molecules.

When a synthetic oil is used in an aromatherapy diffuser, the oil particles are too large and too heavy to be diffused into the air. Instead, the oil settles at the bottom of the diffuser and, over time, settles into the mechanism at the bottom of the diffuser which is responsible for creating the ultrasonic vibrations which agitate the water molecules and cause the visible vapour you see when your aromatherapy diffuser is running.

Take Responsibility When Purchasing Essential Oils

When it comes to purchasing essential oil, the onus is on the customer to ensure due diligence has been done in relation to essential oil quality and purity.

It’s also important to ask questions of the seller related to the sourcing of the raw plant material that goes into their essential oils. It’s important to ensure the seller is being responsible and using sustainably sourced plant material in all of their essential oils.

For more information about essential oils, visit The Essential Life Blog and, if you have any questions you’d like us to answer, contact us here.

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If you would like to start your own aromatherapy collection, We recommend purchasing essential oils from our affiliates on Amazon. Click here to shop now.


The Essential Life is dedicated to helping you get the most out of every last drop of your essential oils. To this end, we share as much information as we can about essential oils, including how to use them, how to blend them and so much more.

If you haven’t found what you’re looking for here on our website, please contact us and let us know how we can help you get more out of your essential oils.