Fake essential oils are not only useless but they can also be harmful to your health. It is super important to learn how to spot fake essential oils. Identifying fake essential oils will help you figure out which are fake essential oil brands and which ones are the real deal.
Fake Essential Oil Brands
Essential oils are amazing! I’ve been using them for years and they’ve helped me eliminate so many toxic products from my home.
I use them everyday and they help me in so many different ways. But not all essential oil brands are created equal.
One thing you’ll hear me talk about over and over is the importance of using high quality, 100% pure essential oils.
Fake essential oils can do a lot more harm than good. So you have to be careful.
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I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your doctor before using essential oils on children under 5 or while pregnant or breastfeeding. Please do not ask me for medical advice. Click here to read my full disclaimer.
One of the main purposes for using essential oils is to replace the toxic products that you use on your body and through out your home. But when you use fake essential oils you’re completely defeating that purpose.
Many essential oils being sold on Amazon or at Walmart are synthetic. They contain little to no natural ingredients.
Your body processes synthetic essential oils as a toxin which works against your body rather than helping it.
Some essential oils may not contain synthetic ingredients but they may be diluted with carrier oil which makes the oil less potent and a whole lot less valuable and effective.
Essential oil companies can legally label their essential oils 100% pure even if additional ingredients have been added to it.
One quick search on Amazon for essential oils will yield around 200,000 results from hundreds of different brands.
So how do you know which essential oil brands are fake?
It doesn’t take a scientist to spot fake essential oils. Once you know what to look for it can be quite easy and obvious.
But before we dive into which essential oil brands you should avoid and how to spot fake essential oils, I want to be very clear that choosing essential oils shouldn’t only come down to whether the essential oil is pure or not.
Although, that should be the number one deciding factor.
It is also important to know where the plants are sourced, whether the plant is organic or not, how the essential oil is distilled, and many other factors.
How To Spot Fake Essential Oil Brands
If you’re interested in using essential oils it is super important to learn how to spot fake essential oils. Below are the easiest ways to find out whether an essential oil is fake or real.
When it comes to essential oils the packaging is very important. Essential oils should always be stored in glass containers.
Essential oils contain strong chemical compounds that can break down and react when coming in contact with plastic.
The bottle should also be a dark color. Essential oils can go bad if exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
So if an essential oil is being stored in a plastic and \ or clear container do not buy it. That is a very obvious sign the essential oil company doesn’t know very much about essential oils.
And I definitely wouldn’t trust that brand at all!
By simply examining an essential oil bottle label you can easily tell whether you should buy that essential oil or not.
A clear indication an essential oil is fake is it will only include the common name of the essential oil on the label instead of the Latin botanical name.
For example, the label will read “Lavender” instead of “Lavandula angustifolia”. Most reputable essential oil companies will include both names.
The label should also include safety information.
If the essential oil label only contains its common name and not much else, I don’t recommend purchasing it.
A higher price doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality. I had to learn that lesson the hard way.
I used to use very expensive oils until I did some research and discovered high quality oils at extremely affordable prices. More about that later!
But a too good to be true, low price tag is definitely a red flag when it comes to shopping for essential oils! More than likely it is fake or adulterated.
For example, if you see a large bottle of frankincense for $8 that’s a pretty obvious sign that it is in no way real, genuine, unadulterated frankincense.
There are many different factors that are involved in essential oil pricing. Some plants are more difficult/expensive to cultivate, harvest, extract etc. than others which drives the price of the oil up.
It is absolutely impossible for many of the oils on Amazon, for example, to be sold as cheap as they are and for the company to be making a profit if they are in fact pure essential oils.
So compare prices between reputable essential oil brands. You’ll notice a 15ml bottle of lavender is usually around $13-$14. If you see a 15ml bottle of lavender for $5 it’s more than likely too good to be true.
This one is a little harder to implement unless you already have some experience with essential oils.
Once you’ve smelled high quality, pure essential oils you can smell the difference when compared to cheap oils. If it has an artificial scent or smells like alcohol it’s more than likely fake.
There is a super simple test you can perform to see if an essential oil is fake or not. Take a blank white sheet of paper and pour one drop of oil on it.
Let it dry for a few hours. After the oil has completely dried there should be virtually no visible trace of the oil left on the paper.
If there is, it’s possible the oil is fake or a carrier oil has been added to it.
If your essential oil fails any of the above tests, I would honestly just throw them out. Not only are fake essential oils useless but they can also be harmful to your health.
What essential oils should you avoid
There are a ton of essential oil brands out there. It’s crazy. Every week I get asked to review a different essential oil company.
And as much as I would love to do individual reviews on each company, there is just not enough time. So hopefully the information above will equip you with the knowledge you need to figure out on your own which essential oils you should avoid.
If an essential oil isn’t properly bottled, properly labeled, priced accurately and fairly, than I would absolutely avoid it.
There are way too many amazing essential oil brands that you can be using instead, rather than taking your chances with brands that can’t even bottle there oils properly.
If it IS properly bottled and labeled and it IS priced fairly and accurately then I would recommend smelling it if possible and trying the paper test as well.
If it smells pure and it passes the paper test than more than likely it is a pure, high-quality essential oil.
To be honest, I think the majority of essential oil brands on Amazon are garbage. There are very few high quality, pure essential oils available on Amazon.
It’s really unfortunate because so many people don’t know that. And when you’re first starting out with essential oils you have no idea what to look for and how to tell if an essential oil brand is fake.
Many times people will buy these fake, synthetic brands on Amazon or at Walmart – the oils won’t work (because they’re fake) and they end up giving up on essential oils all together.
And that makes me really sad because essential oils are amazing. They do work and they can really improve your health and the health of your family.
So I can’t stress enough the importance of making sure the oils you buy and use are of the highest quality!
What essential oils are fake
After doing a quick search on Amazon, I was easily able to spot several fake essential oil brands.
Sun Essential Oils – This brand is selling a 4 ounce bottle (118ml!!) of frankincense for less than $7. The price is a very obvious red flag. But the bottle is also plastic and it has terrible labeling.
So that’s really all you need to know to figure out this is a brand you should avoid.
Artizen Essential Oils – This brand is selling a 1oz bottle of frankincense for less than $9. Also, the bottle is clear. Both very obvious red flags.
Ola Prima Essential Oils – This brand has plastic bottles, terrible labeling, and way too good to be true prices. I would definitely not recommend this brand.
Dr. Robert Pappas, the president/technical director at Essential Oil University, actually did GC/MS testing on several very popular essential oil brands on Amazon.
Unfortunately, the results were not good.
Some of these brands even have carcinogens in their oils. That is scary! Especially because these are some of the best selling essential oil brands on Amazon.
Which brand of essential oils are the purest
The good news is there are actually many great essential oil brands that sell high quality essential oils. But it’s hard to say which brand of essential oils are the purest.
I don’t think there is one essential oil brand that is purer than all the others.
In addition to bottling, labeling, smell, price and the paper test, GC/MS testing is also an important factor when identifying fake essential oil brands.
GC/MS (gas chromatography with mass spectrometry ) testing is a common test used to identify natural product adulteration. You can click here to learn more about it.
Most (if not all) reputable essential oil brands do batch GC/MS testing and provide the test results on their essential oil product pages for their customers to review.
GC/MS testing is the only way to to truly tell if an essential oil is 100% pure and unadulterated.
Although, I must admit I do not entirely know how to read or understand the test reports, the fact that a company is willing to do the tests as well as make the reports available to their customers, makes that company more trustworthy in my opinion.
I have tried a lot of essential oil brands but I have not tried them all. The essential oil brands below have a very good reputation and are considered safe, trusted brands.
With that being said, I have not tried all of these brands and so I cannot recommend every single one of them. There are several brands that I highly recommend that I will get to soon.
But these are brands I would recommend researching and trying. They all practice proper bottling and labeling techniques and their prices are all pretty accurate and fair.
They also do batch GC/MS batch testing and provide the reports on each individual product page on their websites.
- Revive Essential Oils | I have never tried this brand but they do properly bottle and label their oils. Their oils are priced fairly and accurately as well. And their oils are batch tested and analyzed by Dr. Robert Pappas and the reports are available on their product pages.
Brands I’m Unsure Of
Mountain Rose | Although, I have tried and really like Mountain Rose Herbs essential oils and they do claim to do GC/MS testing, the reports are not available on their product pages.
Aura Cacia | I’ve heard a lot of good things about this brand but as far as I could tell they do not provide GC/MS testing reports to their customers.
MLM Essential Oil Brands
I’m not a very big fan of DoTerra or Young Living. Not only are their oils insanely expensive but they do not provide their customers with GC/MS testing reports.
If small essential oil brands like Simply Earth or Eden’s Garden can provide them, why can’t they? That’s a little weird to me.
Worst Essential Oil brands
I personally would never purchase an essential oil from Walmart, Target, or my local grocery store. I recommend purchasing only from company websites and sometimes Amazon but only for a few brands.
You should always do as much research as possible before buying from a specific essential oil brand.
Best Essential Oil brands
The essential oil brands below are the best essential oil brands in my opinion. These are brands that I have thoroughly researched as well as used for years.
Whichever essential oil brand you decide to use just make sure to do your homework. It doesn’t take very long to recognize shady essential oil brands.
Once you know what to look for it’s actually very easy. But I hope this information is helpful to you. Essential oils do work. You just have to make sure you are using a good, high quality brand.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions! I would love to help anyway that I can!