How to know if essential oils are pure
Did you buy fake essential oils? Learn how to test your essential oils to know if your essential oils are fake or the real deal. These 6 unmistakable signs will help you buy essential oils that are pure and high quality, without risking being duped!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, but you will not be charged a penny extra! And mama, I never recommend products I don’t love or believe in.
6 Unmistakable Signs of Fake Essential Oils
When it comes to buying essential oils, it can be hard to know if you’re getting a quality essential oil or something, well, fake.
Essential oils are a big deal right now, and almost everyone I know owns a diffuser.
But are those essential oils your mother-in-law bought you for Christmas worth using?
Essential oils are used for their powerful ability to fight bacteria, viruses, and even heal skin issues.
Purchasing an oil of bad quality may lead you to believe that that essential oil is ineffective. Perhaps the fake essential oil didn’t help you. But perhaps a real, high quality one can.
Here are some reasons you don’t want to use just any essential oil you can find:
- Some “essential oils” are made with fillers, like a cheaper additional oil, diluting the essential oil. This not only can cause allergic reactions, but can also clog up your diffuser (which is a nightmare to clean or death to your diffuser).
- Some “essential oils” use synthetic fragrances to make their scent consistent. Synthetic fragrance can cause things like hormonal disruption, respiratory irritation, and cancer.
- Some “essential oils” aren’t effective because they were not distilled or stored correctly. Which defeats the whole purpose.
So, here are the signs you need to look for so you can buy essential oils and be confident in their quality and ability to actually help you.
6 signs to tell if it’s pure essential oil:
1. The bottle
If your essential oil is in a plastic bottle, toss it. Essential oils should be kept in glass bottles, as their powerful properties can break down the plastic over time, which then gets into the essential oil.
Is the glass bottle clear? That’s another no-no. The glass should be colored, like cobalt or amber, to protect the essential oil from UV rays. UV rays deteriorate the essential oil quickly so they lose potency faster.
2. Therapeutic grade
Make sure your bottle of essential oil not only states that it’s 100% pure, but that it is also therapeutic grade.
This means there are no artificial fillers and the oil is not contaminated with pesticides. Plus, most companies that produce this level of essential oil have strict quality control. Yes, yes, that’s what we want!
2. Speak Latin
You don’t have to speak Latin, but your bottle should! Essential oils of good quality will use both the Latin name (known as the botanical name) and the English name.
For example, on a bottle of wild orange essential oil, you should also see citrus sinensis.
3. No other ingredients listed
Unless you’re buying a blend on purpose, essential oils ought to be pure and not contain any carrier oils.
On listed ingredients, only the essential oil should be listed (with the Latin name, too).
4. It shouldn’t be consistent
You read that write. It’s not a typo. Your essential oils’ scent and color should vary slightly from bottle to bottle.
Quality oils are made from plants–real live plants that have various soil, sunlight, rain, and fertilizer (they also go through seasons, and the same plant harvested at different times of the year will vary slightly).
All of these things play into the color and smell of the plant.
So slight variation from bottle to bottle is actually good!
If every single bottle of, say, cinnamon essential oil you buy smells exactly the same, there’s a chance they’re using synthetic ingredients to manufacture that.
4. Brand website states it’s GC/MS tested
Testing, testing, testing. Every batch of essential oils ought to be tested for quality and purity.
And it should be done by a third party, not by the company themselves (who might have the inclination to bend the results slightly…maybe…not that they would ;)).
The bottle won’t often state if it’s GC/MS tested, but it should be clearly stated on the website that they have GC/MS testing.
If you can’t find this information, try e-mailing or calling. But most likely it’s not there because…it’s not happening.
5. Paper test for filler oils
To test if your oils have a filler oil in them, take a plain white piece of copier paper and put a single drop of essential oil on it. Wait until it’s fully dry.
A pure high quality essential oil won’t leave a dark ring of oil behind.
Now, before you try this and start writing nasty reviews or emails, there are exceptions to this rule!
Some essential oils do leave a darker ring based on their make-up. Some exceptions to this test are: patchouli, vetiver, German chamomile, and sandalwood.
6. Is the cost too good to be true?
If the essential oil you’re buying costs waaaaaay less than all the other same therapeutic grade essential oils, chances are it’s a fake. It probably is too good to be true.
This does not mean that if an essential oil is more expensive it’s automatically higher quality.
Some essential oils cost a lot more because they’re part of an MLM. They don’t cost more because they’re necessarily the best quality.
But be wary of essential oils that are the lowest price.
Make sure they hit all the other right points on this list before deciding they’re a good deal.
I like to buy organic essential oils when I can. Especially when it comes to oils that I use on my skin (like tea tree or lavender) or ones that I ingest (like orange and peppermint).
MLM essential oil brands
A handful of MLM brands are extremely popular. MLM (multi-level marketing) brands can produce quality essential oils, but they also have their set backs.
Mainly, the cost is higher, but not always because it’s actually the highest quality essential oil. Each bottle has to be more profitable since it’s also paying for someone to sell it.
If you can buy direct from a company, you can get quality essential oils without paying extra for the middle man (that’s how I remember MLM–MiddLeMan. Get it?)
Don’t pay more for an MLM oils when you can buy just as good of quality one somewhere else, for less.
If you have a membership to an MLM essential oil group and love their oils, it’s OK to stick with them! If you love a company and are able to pay those prices, it’s great to support them and their cause. I’m all for that.
Essential oils I recommend:
I’m not married to an essential oil brand. Company’s change. Some get sloppy. I go where there are quality essential oils being produced that meet all of the criteria on the list.
These are my favorite top two brands that meet these requirements and have provided pure quality essential oils from my own experience and testing:
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