Which Essential Oils Company is Best? Are Multi-Level Marketing Oils Worth It? – Part 5

The big names in Essential Oils are Young Living and doTERRA--but they'll set you back quite a few bucks. Are they worth it? Come find out what I think about that...it gets pretty dicey in the comment area--you've been warned :)!

If you’ve been thinking about, or already are using, essential oils, at one time or another you’ve likely wondered if you should be part of Young Living, doTERRA, or some other multi-level marketing (MLM) company to get “the best essential oils” at a discount.

Today let’s talk about these MLM companies up close to see the pros and cons of joining–and whether or not what they have to say is really true.

The Best Essential Oil Series continues.

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The 3 “Heavy Hitters” in the MLM essential oils business are:

Young Living
doTERRA, with
Be Young having somewhat of a presence as well.

Now–I’m all about saving money.  So of course when I can either buy something at retail, or get the same things for 25-35% off (typical MLM rep discount), then you can bet I’m going to check into it.

Well, I’ve been an MLM rep for a number of different companies, including YL and doTERRA (DT), so here are my thoughts about MLMs–mainly regarding the oils companies, but some of my thoughts extend to other MLMs as well.  I did some research into BeYoung but chose not to become a rep of their company.

Multi-Level Marketing Dilemma – Young Living and doTERRA

Positives of the oil MLMs

1.  Education / Resources

I really like the support available with both YL and doTERRA.  I didn’t avail myself of all of it, but of what I did, I found doTERRA’s support network to be stronger.  Both companies had websites with treatment and/or testimonial resources available (actually, the most valuable resources were not but together by the companies, but by outside sources–likely reps high up in the business).  Smaller companies don’t have such opportunities, typically.  That being said, there are some negatives even to these resources and their recommendations (see internal usage below).

2.  Money Making Opportunity

Of course, you can save money by becoming a rep, but you can also make money when you share the products, and opportunity, with others.  I think, when done right,  MLMs are fine.  Reps are basically paid salespeople who get rewarded for sharing products with others.

Negatives of Oil MLMs

1.  Misleading marketing practices

(CPTG, Certified Therapeutic Grade, E.O.B.B.D.)

All 3 of the Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) essential oils leaders claim that they have a corner on “therapeutic grade,” but their names for it are different.

– Young Living calls their oils “Young Living Therapeutic Grade”
– BeYoung : “E.O.B.B.D.”  This certification appears to have roots in Europe, but some claims about it on the internet are not accurate and/or aren’t that meaningful.  After reading the details of E.O.B.B.D., I believe that any good oils company should be doing all of this.  And the “smart guys” in the industry can fool these GC/MS tests. Yes, that’s true. They know what the tests are looking for and they know how to get around it. Just like the athletes can fool the doping tests.

The gist of it is this:  YL, DT, and BY all say that only their oils are good enough for you to use because of the testing that they have done.

But the reality is this:  It looks like they’re all about the same–except that YL tests their own oils.

The YL and doTERRA names are basically terms made up so that they can have a label to put on their oils (except with Be Young, which actually is using an already determined standard).

2.  Pressure to buy more than you need

Like I said, I love saving money.  So every month, when I had the opportunity to get a freebie or earn 10-30% credit toward future orders, I felt the urge to buy.  And typically I did.  Get rep pricing without signing up!)

3. Possible Dangerous Recommendations

I am not up on the practices of Be Young, but I know YL and doTERRA both have a heavy emphasis on internal use of essential oils.  I wasn’t too concerned about this at first, but as I’ve learned more I have gotten more worried about this.

Both recommend internal use of oils liberally, with doTERRA even having a Slim and Sassy blend that they recommend taking internally numerous time per day, for a long period of time, in order to aid weight loss.  There are protocols on the internet recommending internal use of grapefruit oils by YL reps in order to lose weight.

I’ve used oils internally and felt that they were helpful (though the Slim and Sassy did nothing for me :-(), but I am changing my thinking on this. Oils are super potent.   It takes about 16 pounds of peppermint leaves to make 1 ounce of peppermint oil.  Wow.  (Source)

You really need to recognize that, when you use oils, you are using something super strong.  The owner of one oil company told me that, when using oils internally, especially “hot oils” like:

– oregano
– cinnamon
– clove
– citrus oils

you need to make sure to supplement with probiotics also because the hot oils destroy not only bad bacteria, but also the good. Makes sense to me.

I recommend you consult with a professional before ingesting any essential oils.  Consult a Medical Doctor, Naturopath, or clinically trained Aromatherapist who knows you and is aware of your medical history, as well as any medications you are on.  With this information, the professional can tailor a regimen that works for your body.

A number of folks in the oils industry have suggested that the reason YL and doTERRA recommend so much internal usage of oils is to drive up usage and drive up sales.  I don’t know their motivation, but that would make perfect sense.

4.  Savings Not What They Seem

When I signed up with YL and then later, with doTERRA, I was really excited to get about

30% off retail prices
freebies each month (with a qualifying order) and
credit toward future purchases, provided you keep ordering monthly.  YL gives you 1 month off each year, but doTERRA has no such grace period.

Well, when it came time to cash in my points, I got a little surprise from doTERRA (guess I should have read the fine print).  There are fees for using your points.  $3 per $100 used.

YL takes $1-$4 off of each check–for “maintenance” to “figure out your commission” (quote from a CSR)–just to send you your earnings .  doTERRA charges $1.95 for each check cut.

I don’t mean to be too sarcastic here, but that would sure be nice to earn $1.95 for cutting a check.   I don’t see why there should be a fee to “figure out your commission.”  Doesn’t software do that?

Then, each year, doTERRA charges an annual fee ($25) to be a rep, but they send you a bottle of peppermint oil.  Again, I don’t mean to be too harsh, but remember my concerns about their peppermint oil?  I’m just not sure how much it’s worth.

Finally, everyone knows that a good bit of the pricing of MLM products go toward rewarding “top reps” with trips to Hawaii, etc.  One company told me that the percentage of their pricing that goes toward commissions and rewards is 40%.

5.  Privacy Issues

Some people don’t want to give out their SS# to become a rep.  The companies need these to file taxes with the IRS.  I understand concerns about keeping your SS# private.  One alternative is to get a Tax ID # from your state. (Update: One reader shared there is a way to get a discount from doTERRA without your SS#)

6.  Over-the-Top Devotion

I’ve been pretty disappointed with the response of some readers to Part 4 of this Best Essential Oils series.  There’ve been numerous attacks on my character, both here, on Facebook sites, and elsewhere. (Check out Part 4 to see comments and my responses.)

I’d really hoped to finish this series earlier this week, but responding to these attacks has taken a lot of time.

I’ve been accused of:

seeking to tear down doTERRA
profit-seeking (some said the motive behind this series will be clear when I share the “winner.”)
analysis totally lacking in science, being based only on “smell tests”

I assure you–none of this is true and this brings up my final concern about these MLMs.

I am NOT anti-MLM.  In fact, I’m a rep for Lilla Rose (see my Lilla Rose Review) and one other company that I am evaluating right now.  {UPDATE:  I am still with this company and LOVE them. Totally not pushy and “over the top” quality products. You can read about their probiotic here.}

But having devotion to a company that results in attacks of this sort taints the reputation of all MLMs and their reps.  It’s frankly uncalled for.

I started checking out various oils companies because I didn’t want to recommend any company without fairly checking out the competitors.  I felt it would be a disservice to my family and to my readers.

I chose the oils company that I will recommend next week because I believe it’s a solid oils company with unwavering commitment to quality and purity.  As with everything on my blog, if I can make money appropriately from my recommendations, I will do it.  This is standard blogging practice.

There are things on my blog that I recommend that I don’t make any money from–but I recommend them because I believe in them (See my Heavy Metal Toxicity post).

I can’t promise I’ll always be right, but I can promise you that I will do my best, within reason (I do have a family with health conditions, and we homeschool and eat all whole foods) to get the best information to you and correct myself whenever I’m wrong.

So–are the MLM oils worth it?  I don’t think they are terrible products, necessarily, but I do think that you can get a better “bang for your essential oils buck.”  Stick with this bargain and quality-hunting mama– I hope to share early next week.

More Posts in the Best Essential Oils Series:

Which Essential Oils Company is Best? – Part 1
Best Essential Oils – What a Good Oils Company Should Have – Part 2
– Which Essential Oils Company is Best – Troubles with the Oils Industry – Part 3
Young Living vs. doTERRA – Part 4
– Distillation, Bias, Vomit and More Concerns – Part 6
Announcing “the Best” Essential Oils Company – Part 7

**Finally, you can get my Report on Essential Oils, 10 Things You NEED to Know BEFORE You Buy for FREE by visiting here and signing up for my newsletter.**

Take Your Oils With You

{Please note that there are affiliate links following. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support means a great deal and helps keep this free resource up and running – thanks.}

Whichever oils company you decide on, one of the best decisions I made was to take oils with me wherever (almost) I go. This carrying case is the perfect size to take while on the go or traveling so you always have your oils with you should the need arise.

Essential Oils Case

So–what do you think?

The information here is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a medical professional before changing your diet, exercise program, or before trying any natural remedies.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Hi. I know you’ve recommended me to look at the suggested books at the end of the posts on EO but what do you have to say about the book NAN recommends?
    I think it’s called healthy healing with copals?

    • It’s “OK”. I have it and they are working on another. It is less professional than the others but has some interesting information that the others don’t have. I think all of the books that I have (and hope to get) are good and helpful but no one book meets all of my purposes. I am hoping to get a load of books from the library and purchasing (I have about 5 books in my house now) and write about them soon. Sorry I can’t go into more details yet….

  2. Christena says:

    First, I have to say that anyone attacking you is childish. Opinions are like buttholes. Everyone has them but if you are taking the time to do ALL of this research (and trust me, I am with you on being skeptical here, I don’t take anything anyone posts on the web to be exact, total or completely true but also not always to their fault- i.e. they are lying. It could be they simply made a mistake or someone else gave them false info) only for people to put you down is ignorant in my eyes. Anyway, I’ve been a sort of rep for YL for a couple years now. I don’t make much money so I am lucky if I can buy oils once a year and then I get a pretty good check from that. LOL. Honestly, I still don’t understand how the whole thing works but I swear by YL for myself, my birds (I diffuse only for my birds) AND recently, my boyfriend. I do not keep a closed mind on other possibilities, hence why I found your site. I am glad that I did. Thank you for taking the time to gather the information and give your readers something to think about.

    PS: I agree about the lawsuit thing. I love the oils but posting that thing on the site was very unprofessional.

  3. Brittany Ballard says:

    Thanks for all your research! I know this article is kind of old now, but I have been very interested in getting away from young living and doterra to support smaller companies that source from co-ops and indpendent/fair trade farmers who grow the plants in the proper indigenous locations. I stumbled across a company called Veriditas Botanicals…anyways after doing a lot of research, this company truly embodies the principles and founding mission that it seems like would be your thing….it looks like you have already been using a coupe companies that you like (and I may want to check Native American Nutitionals and the other one out) but I figured I would tell you about Veriditas Botanicals in case you hadn’t heard of them and might like them better or get a better price than you are getting. (FIY I am not affiliated with this company in any way, Im just an integrative medicine student – and they are not an MLM….they are available at select retailers and co-ops across the U.S. and get 55% of there plants from there own co-op in France, the rest come from various locations listed on their website specific to each oil) Anywho thought you light like to hear about a new one! Cheers :)

  4. Hello! I appreciate your commitment and attention to detail. I know you left Eden’s Garden off the list to compare but I would love to know your thoughts on their products and any experiences you have had with them.

  5. Lorriann Smith says:

    I read what you are saying and think that you are not be biased everyone has a right to make their own choice and speak their mind. AMEO was just launched in Sept and we had Dr Peneol fly in from France to back our clinical grade oils and that is what impressed me. As you know a great deal about oils you have probably heard of him. He has written 10 plus books on the use of Essential Oils and has been using them in his homeopathic clinic in France for over 40 years. You should try our oils and see what you think. I don’t think our pricing is over the top.
    Thanks for your blog and website
    Lorriann Smith

    • Hi there. I did talk w/ folks about AMEO and I am not going to recommend them. Sorry about that. I really do appreciate your comments and interest in my blog, however. Thank you!!!

      • ed hemsted says:

        Can I ask you why you would not recommend Ameo Clinical grade oils? From what I’ve been reading they are the best out there now. Yes they are an MLM, but if you refuse to look at a better product just because of that, well.. :(
        I have not had a chance to compare prices, but if it is better I expect to pay more anyway..
        I am really curious why you would choose a lesser quality oil.?
        Thank you

        • Hi Ed. I really need to be careful about what I write about other companies. This industry is extremely litigious. I am not shying away from them b/c they are an MLM. I am a rep for other MLMs and am fine with that. I don’t believe that I am choosing a lesser quality oil. I hope that helps explain things. Thanks!

  6. Laurie Hale says:

    Hi Adrienne, I came on here tonight looking for answers and boy, did you ever deliver! I read through all of your segments on finding the best oil company. I never read blogs like this, I want you to know. Something about yours caught me. I’ve had it with MLM oils companies and wasting my time and family’s money building businesses that are going nowhere. I do not wish to rant or bash on the companies so I will just say that I am very grateful to you for the time and effort you have spent with your research. I came to essential oils several years ago and was able to leave pharmaceuticals behind that I was taking for bipolar disorder. I also have a son with Asperger’s whom I homeschool, and I have adrenal fatigue!! Sound familiar? Thank you for introducing NAN to us. To me! I am looking forward to using them to replace these other oils. I have a very larger network of holistic practitioners with our business, and wonder what the best way would be to get these oils into folks’ hands? You have said you are the first and only so far affiliate. I wonder if Paul would be open to others? No MLM set up of course.

    • Laurie Hale says:

      HI Adrienne,
      I went ahead an contacted NAN today to find out further about affiliation. Thank you so much for being here and doing what you do! I know it was no mistake I found you on here. Love and Light to you and your “boys!”.

    • Wow – thank you so much for your kind words!!! There are a few other affiliates but I heard they are not taking any more right now. I am sorry about that but perhaps that will change down the road. Thanks again!

  7. Have you checked out the new Ameo essential oil company? What do you think of this company? Thanks, Dale

  8. cheryl morrison says:

    Thanks for this very nice, unbiased, report. it answered a lot of questions for me. i am an essential oil user. i hate companies that use tear down practices to sell their product. many companies have good products and some times the companies are so close in what they offer it is nice to have a third party review. thanks so much

  9. Amy Maier says:

    Thank you so much for all your hard work & information! I am a massage therapist and have been using YL for 14 years, and DT for about a year and a half. To my disappointment, DT oils are not as good or as nice as YL. That said, I have been very disappointed with YL, as they have been out of the oil Valor for what seems like an eternity! Valor is an oil I use on all clients and have ordered at least 4 10ml bottles each month for 13 years. With no warning that supplies would be running low, they were OUT of STOCK! About 5 months later you could order 1 bottle, but it had to be a separate order, and you couldn’t use rewards points or have any other oils on the order. What a crock!!!
    So I have been trying to make my own with their recipe, not an easy task! I have finally decided to stop ordering from both of them & find another way! Last night I went on the internet and found your awesome blog! I have decided to go with NAN because of all of your information! Thank you again so much for all your hard work!!!
    Peace to you,
    Amy Maier

  10. Thank you so much for your research! It aids in my research as well. I have been using DoTerra and was kinda naive about it all thinking that it was safe since the class I had been to said to use them daily and ingest them. Luckily I don’t do either of those things but have been close to becoming a rep and have felt very hesitant about it all. I don’t feel qualified to teach about oils or their safety and frankly I don’t want to be held liable for anything happening to anyone under my teachings. I know it would be their choice on how to use them but I want to steer clear from any harm that could come from misuse of oils.

  11. Rebecca F says:

    Hi, I appreciate the info you are providing! I am looking for oils that I can trust, and you have done a ton of the investigative work for me! And I can follow up myself with any further question I have, or just take your word for it. No one should be saying anything negative about what you are writing! I just want you to know I appreciat the work you have done. Thank you!

  12. I would like you to clarify your comment that essential oils taken internally kill good and bad bacteria including, clove, oregano, cinnamon and citrus and you should be supplementing with a probiotic if using internally. I have not found ant credible information that this is true and would be interested to see where you obtained your information to make that claim.

    • I have read it in many places on the internet – well, I have read both sides. Folks saying that since it’s antibacterial is can kill good bacteria and others saying it’s “smart” and won’t do that. My current practitioner told me to be careful about taking too much oil of oregano b/c it could disturb the microbiome. hope that helps :).

    • crosswind says:

      These oils are known to help kill bad bacteria, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it killed bad bacteria too. It would be wise to supplement with probiotics. I too have read & heard for several years that they kill good/bad bacteria. These are potent plant oils. I was recommended to take Oregano oil regularly for chronic strep/pandas which settles in the brain/sinus and many with Lyme disease take it too. Just like Grapefruit seed oil is potent & can kill good bacteria with the bad. Clover oil is a strong anti-fungal too.

  13. Really comprehensive review of the three MLMs companies. Personally I had some sleeping disorders and recently been using Living Young essential oils so was checking out if these are really effective .

  14. syrita Barbera says:

    Wow, way to promote your mlm. It’s amazing how something good comes along without all the side affects and people want to criticize. Btw, with Doterra you can get direct deposit and it’s 50 cents a check.
    You didn’t mention that Doterra is tested by 3 different outside labs. (0: Just some info your readers might be interested in.

    • Hi there. I am not sure what you are talking about. I am not a part of any essential oils MLM – so could you please clarify? I don’t think you should have to pay to get a direct deposit. Can you explain why they are charging that?

      I never said anything about doTERRA not having oils that didn’t meet testing requirements, but there are others who have said that. I merely took issue with their apparent distillation of one of their oils and sourcing questions about the same. I really really wanted things to work out w/ them but couldn’t get the answers that I needed and I can’t represent a company if I can’t get answers to important questions. What do you think about those issues that I brought up? Thanks in advance.

      • Cindi Griffin says:

        I’d say you didn’t try hard enough and ask the right questions. Maybe you’ve been too busy trying to get a 500 ft view of these companies and jumping to the next to keep readers interested. What do you make
        from doing this? Who pays you?

        • Hi Cindi. I’m sorry you feel that way. I have loads of emails — some between myself and doTERRA but moreso between myself and another rep as we were trying to get to the bottom of things. And we couldn’t. It was very frustrating. She was my upline and told me that that I could make $8K per month with doTERRA b/c of my traffic. I walked away from that and it was hard but I had to. I went w/ a company that had no affiliate program at the time, but they do now. I am an affiliate for NAN / RMO and I have been very clear about that. I hope that clarifies things.

    • Brydie Bray says:

      Rocky Mountain Oils/Native American Nutritionals are not an MLM company, so not quite sure how you came to the conclusion that she was just trying to make more money for her MLM lol.. You might want to read the whole article before getting your knickers in a twist. And that is the MAIN thing that bothers me about the MLM companies in the EO business.. The amount of blind faith, and kool-aid drinking that goes on, boggles the mind.

      • Hi there = sorry for taking so long to approve your comment. I have been swamped and am trying to play catch up. Thanks so much for sharing and hope to see you around again!

  15. How can I contact you?

  16. Hi there, thank you so much for all your work! The only thing I’d like to question is the general idea that MLM prices are higher do they can pay their higher ups exorbitant sounds if money. Even if 40% goes to paying reps, think about all the things they don’t have to pay for… just by not having employees they don’t have ss taxes, health insurance, sick days, vacation days etc. They also avoid a huge advertising budget because that is being done by their reps. Then there’s maintenance of infrastructure, they don’t have that expense because reps use their homes or other local businesses. I suppose that’s the top of the ice berg, but I really think an argument could be made that the higher price goes into the crazy amount it must cost to work with farms around the world so they can provide a native product and the testing fees to hire companies to make sure their product meets their standard. I’m not trying to argue I just think maybe this thought needs to be stated too. Thank you, your information is valuable!

    • Hi there. It’s pretty complicated. I got a bunch of information from Native American on this so I hope this helps. I am putting it in my own words:

      Even though many think that a company’s costs are higher than for an MLM, it’s not really the case. The costs are still much higher for an MLM because they still have just as many employees, and then the distributors are on top of the employees.

      You are correct in that distributors do not have to pay “social security fees”, which is FICA and includes social security among many other things. Those are 7.5% of gross wages paid by employers. However, Doterra and YL have thousands of employees that they DO have to pay this for. Then they have thousands of distributors that they don’t have to, but they DO have to pay commissions for. In addition to one person’s commissions, there are other people in the up-line to pay commissions to. Because of these two factors, the cost per revenue dollar is extremely high, which is what causes a need to raise prices to compensate for high costs.

      One of the most important business metrics that any company needs to look at is revenue per employee. Doterra’s Revenue per employee is much lower than NANs (as far as we can tell), meaning that they actually have a greater percentage of revenue spent towards employee costs than we have. This means that the FICA argument actually goes the other way, arguing that they have greater FICA fees than us by a significant margin. We are hiring more, so revenue per employee will change, but Doterra/ YL will never dwarf us in this regard, so keep in mind that these fees apply to them just as much as us, if not even a bit more.

      Obviously with that employee rate, that linearly increases your cost with healthcare, vacation, etc. So the cost of downlines is in addition to those other costs on top of these fees.

      Yeah this is technical business stuff, that I could go on about for hours,…Basically remember that Doterra has thousands of employees to support their distributors. In addition to that, they have to pay the commissions. All of those costs that you think that the MLMs can avoid, they really can’t. They still need employees to maintain their customers (which are their distributors). The difference between an MLM and a direct to consumer company (like us) is that our customers are the people using our oils. For an MLM, their customers are actually the distributors. Everything they do is to help their distributors and to get membership fees, etc. So the business model is very different.

      Also, to say that Doterra doesn’t have advertising expenses is another major understatement. Their advertising expenditure per revenue dollar is much higher than ours. They have far more advertising expenditures. They put money into stadiums in Utah to sponsor those and pay big money to get their name mentioned. These are all advertising expenses which cost much more than the stuff we would do which is far more direct. So they have plenty of advertising expenses. They rent out huge conference centers and pay for massive parties to motivate their distributors to get out there and sell more. So remember that MLM’s customers are the distributors and so you might not see the advertising because its targeted at distributors and getting more of them, because thats where MLM’s make their money.

      I hope that helps.

  17. It’s so good to see this! I’m personally getting tired of seeing YL and doTerra all over the internet. I definitely agree with your concerns and am glad you have the courage to put them out there!

    • I am personally tired of it too. Yesterday my dental hygienist told me that one of her patients was pushing one of the big oil companies on her too. I do think oils are great but I think their enthusiasm is over the top.

  18. I have been a Young Living rep for a few months now and I have found your information very interesting. I think that for people who only want to buy a few essential oils a year a company such as NAM might be the best choice. For me, I feel that Young Living is a better choice but there is no need for me to go over all the reasons why here.

    With Young Living how a person chooses to be involved and how the product is presented is their own choice. YL doesn’t force anyone to say anything about “therapeutic grade” so I just choose to say “high quality”. I wrote my own safety information to give to new members which I feel responsibly warns them of possible problems, including allergies. I don’t pressure people to buy things they don’t want to buy or to do business they don’t want to do. The people in my upline are not pushy either and the support in this group of people is wonderful. (My daughter has been a member for over a year so this isn’t based on just a few months experience..) I have never been interested in being involved in a MLM company before, but I feel comfortable with Young Living because I can run the business in the way I feel comfortable with and I like the products and I love the support.

    As far as the higher pay for the higher level people in the company, this is the case for most, if not all, large companies and no one seems to think it is strange that a high level person in Microsoft gets high pay but for some reason in an EO company there seems to be an idea that a high level person should not get high pay. But one difference between Young Living and Microsoft is that they give every person an opportunity to benefit from the company sales and reach any level they wish depending on how much time and effort they are willing and able to work at it, which is not true of Microsoft. (Not that I would want to put the amount of time and effort it takes to reach the top levels – those people make great sacrifices of their time and effort to get to that level.)

    Anyway, I would like to compliment you on the job you do here. I have not read one thing that I thought was unfair or unthoughtful.

    • Thanks much for commenting. I think much of what you said is accurate. I do wonder about some of the monies those “high ups” make – I just saw a blogger talking about a ranking she just made with doTERRA and on another site it said the average pay for that level is $490,000 or something like that. That is crazy!!!!

  19. Hi, thank you so much for putting together the information about essential oils company. It helps me greatly to realize what I have been wondering about these company might be true. I started to question about my orders and how the business is run by YL. Also how they charge credit card before receiving items (especially at YL events) and not receiving items in 2 weeks while others already have received their event order items. I will probably end up with disputing credit card charges. The oils they sell seems to be good but I disagree with how the business is run, MLM with their commission especially thus closing my account soon.

    Please keep your post coming because I don’t think you are attacking anybody. It is your opinion and people should respect your research and sharing the info!

  20. You mentioned that Young Living tests their own oils. They do, but they ALSO send them elsewhere to be tested on a regular basis. According to Dr. Herve Casabianca (Ph.D.), Chairman of the International Standards Organization (ISO) Committee on Essential Oil Standards (a European agency whose acronym is AFNOR), Young Living is the only North American company that sends samples on a steady basis to the AFNOR laboratory in France for testing against the international standards for therapeutic quality. In Dr. Casabianca’s own words, “Young Living oils are the only therapeutic grade oils, of which I am aware, produced and/or marketed by an American company.”

    • Hi Rebecca. I think it is possible that you are mistaken. This is from the Young Living blog at this URL: http://www.dgaryyoung.com/blog/2010/part-9-finding-pure-essential-oils/

      This is the information on AFNOR- that Young Living does not send their oils out to be tested, but they apparently calibrated their instruments to match the AFNOR testing.

      Our instruments are the only ones in the world that are matched and calibrated to the instruments used in the Central Service Laboratory in France by Dr. Hervé Casabianca, who was on the directing committee that wrote the AFNOR Standards, which are accepted worldwide as the average essential oil standards. With Dr. Casabianca’s help, Young Living is raising the bar for the standards of essential oils.

      I hope that helps!

      • According to their site and the source I stated above they do. Here is what they say on their site: “To guarantee consistent quality, our oils are tested in Young Living’s own internal labs, as well as in third-party facilities, to ensure that they meet stringent specifications, exceed international standards, and contain the optimal levels of natural bioactive compounds.”

        • Hi Rebecca. I don’t see anything in the source that I linked to stating that they use a 3rd party for testing, but I do see it in the link you sent now. So perhaps they do. As a side note, all of the GC/MS tests that NAN/RMO does are 3rd party tested by certified labs. If you have any other questions or concerns I will do my best to address them. Thanks!

          • I don’t have any more for this post, thank you! I was hoping to get a response for the long comment I left in Young Living vs. DoTERRA, but I see you have not had the opportunity to moderate it yet. 😀

    • Hi again. I just found out (might have known it before) that NAN and RMO use AFNOR as one of the standards for their oil testing so I hope that helps :).

  21. Update about doTERRA. As of May 1, 2015, doTERRA will no longer be requiring SS# of new distributers.

  22. Hi Adrienne! I just read through this whole series. Thanks so much for doing this! I read to your final recommendation and am excited to potentially try it myself. I was wondering, though: do you have any other thoughts on Be Young in regard to quality or the company specifically, aside from potential MCM concerns? I ask because it sounds like it’s a good option from this post, and I’ve never tried any essential oils company personally. Thanks! I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    • Hi there. Thanks for your kind words! I did look at Be Young and had several concerns. I can’t really share them here due to a number of factors – the whole industry is really dicey about things. I got a cryptic threatening email regarding negative comments about a company that were posted in the comment section. I personally wouldn’t go in that direction, but of course you are free to do so. Hope to see you around again :).

  23. Danielle Hannibal says:

    I really enjoyed reading this blog/article about the essential oils and the companies. I commend you on all your research and studies. You were very informative and honest. I have a friend that joined with DoTerra and she introduced the oils to me. I decided before I join I wanted to do some research and comparison on my own and in doing so I came across this blog that has ruffled a few feathers (hahaha) The truth and opinions are never welcome in the world we live in.
    Thanks again for a very interesting and informative article continue to educate your readers.

  24. I am a DoTerra rep, and I think you did a fine job. It’s up to people to do their own research, but I appreciate the work you’ve done and your opinion. If you really believe in your product, it’s the “why” that drives you to share.

  25. You can buy oils direct from Mountain Rose Herbs and save a lot of $$ as compared to MLM companies.

  26. Jessica says:

    Can you please clarify the difference in why you explain not choosing YL, DT, and other EO companies but in the comments only say you “can not comment” why not going with other EO companies that your readers have asked you about. I am really just curious as it confused me a bit. Also, Do you find NAN oils safe to ingest? I have read where you said you used to ingest but now are re-thinking it.

    • Hi there. It all comes down to the risks I feel I can take and the reasons for doing so. In the case of these other companies, I would have to write only things that I could prove and that is very hard. I would have to, for instance, take screenshots of their sites showing that they don’t have disclosure of source countries, and their pricing, to prove what I was saying. Otherwise, you can get in legal trouble. I am not willing to do that. I did have emails to prove what doTERRA said and the Young Living issues that I wrote about were mainly opinion so that is a different issues. NAN says you can take them internally with caution. This post should help – thanks! http://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/how-to-use-essential-oils/

  27. Adrienne, I am so glad I found this site. Thank you for the research. I fall into MLM all the time and don’t make money at all. I do have questions in my heart as to why YL test their own oils? Who is accountable then?

  28. Thank you for all of your attention to detail! I recently jumped the gun and bought a HUGE bundle of doTERRA products without researching them first. I will continue to use the remainder of those, and later switch to a brand more aligned with my ethics.

  29. Christine says:

    That you so much for your research! I am a Young Living rep and massage therapist and it dose help to know what others think or a product and their competitor. You stated that you can be wrong and it’s only your own assessment many times. You’ve also put out your own money for this which didn’t need to be done. I appreciate you doing this and it’s sad that people are attacking you. It gives MLM’s a bad name. Hope all is well!

  30. Thank you so much for all your hard work your time and effort into very much appreciate it
    God Bless

  31. Cindi Griffin says:

    I will read your other reports, but am disappointed in this review. You didn’t go into any detail on the science of the purification ratings and then you recommend buying ones with no ratings and cheaper. First you pay for what you get, it costs to do the science and rating each batch, also I don’t want to take or give any of my
    family something that is full of chemicals that some use to extract the oils. That is one of the main reason
    to go with one that is pure. You do no detailed comparison, yet you jumped to they are not worth it.

    Do you have a science degree or any thing that makes your claims something I really want to follow? Drugs have so many side affects and has even killed. I want something better for my family and someone with
    credentials to guide me in the right direction.

    • Hi again, Cindi. Sorry you feel that way. I don’t know what science of purification ratings you are interested in talking about. I assume you are talking about doTERRA but not sure. NAN and RMO do have ratings and they are going to be publishing them soon. I will be updating everyone on that when it happens. I think I made it pretty clear what I think were problems with the MLM oils companies and I did not just “jump” to it. I agonized over this for months and didn’t get the answers I wanted. I am doing the same thing now w/ another company on my blog. The company wasn’t getting me answers that I needed. I need to have information and good customer service, or I need to go elsewhere. It’s not easy to make such changes but I am doing it again now.

      Tell me specifically what you are interested in seeing / knowing and I will see what I can do.

      I do not have a science degree, but I was pre med at a top university in the US and was in the top 2% of my class there. Of course, I can still be wrong about many things, just like many of my physicians, as well as PhDs whom I know, have been wrong too.
      Let me know if I can be of more assistance. Thanks.

  32. Thank you for your wonderful and dedicated research on essential oils. I found it very informative and (quite contrary to some people’s belief) very unbiased. You cover negatives and positives of each company, which is essential to finding the actual “best essential oils”. I like how you break it down into the elements of Customer Service, Price, Distillation Practices, etc… By the way, I think you were right on about the company that wasn’t easy to contact. If a company can’t clearly convey their contact info on their website and if they don’t respond promptly to emails, it makes the customer’s experience less than satisfactory. A conscientious company would welcome that kind of feedback to better their company for future growth and better customer experience. Rather than getting angry, they would probably take it as constructive criticism and fix the issue. I wish your overly critical readers would bear that in mind. As far as the nasty comments on Part 4… don’t listen to hate mongers. You are telling truths about these companies and I’m sorry to say… THAT is the reason people have lashed out at you. People, in general, hate the truth if it makes them wrong. (Especially if it makes them wrong AND they lose money/sales) I once sold It Works body wraps (for a very brief period). My experience with the company was HORRIBLE! And it seemed the more I questioned, the more I tried to expose the problems to higher ups, the angrier they got. Before it was over, my up-line and other reps just hated that I was right. I stopped selling the wraps and would NEVER sell them again. (The wraps were awesome! The company was terrible, though. It’s just another example of the fact that companies aren’t just selling PRODUCTS. They are selling experiences. The whole package needs to add up to an awesome experience for consumers….oh… and their reps). (Another note: I have recently found that I can wrap with essential oils and castor oil with the same results… less $$$. Win/win! Bite me, It Works! LOL) Anyway, you just keep up the good work. Your honesty is very much appreciated. I use essential oils and have personally never invested the big bucks for the MLM brands. I have always wondered if I was wasting my time and money on crap oils. You have given me a lot to think about. I can’t wait to start trying some of the companies you mentioned in your blog.

    • No way – essential oils and castor oil? Wow. What oils do you use? I don’t know that I would do the wrap, but I do currently do a castor oil pack on my liver sometimes. Hope you enjoy the oils when you try them!!

  33. Just getting into the world of essential oils much later then this blog. I’ve been using doterra and it’s great to hear your perspective on all the companies Ive heard of! Thanks for doing the research, I’m still very happy with doterra but it’s great to have more information!

  34. julie zehendner says:

    Ido know one thing, YL has the seed to seal promise, has been in business for 20 yrs, you can go visit their farms, doesnt come from a third party company,the only company I trust.

  35. Susan, I know I emailed you about this, but could you share for our community whatever documentation, or lack thereof, that you have regarding this situation? Thank you. I don’t wish to have incorrect wrong information spread around about others.

  36. Thanks much. Disconcerting. I appreciate your reaching out.

  37. Thanks for the further clarification.

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