When you’re using essential oils, safety has to come first. That holds true whether you’re a professional aromatherapist making therapeutic blends for clients, or you’re first learning how to diffuse essential oils in your home. Making sure your essential oils are 100% pure is a key aspect of safety.

We love essential oils because they offer a natural way to support health and well-being. But if your oils aren’t pure, they can have the opposite effect. Impure oils can cause issues like sensitization, irritation, and even allergies. Unfortunately, it's common for people to “cut” or dilute their oils with synthetic ingredients. (This is called “adulterating” the oils.) That’s why buying from essential oil companies that practice 100% transparency is . . . well . . . essential!

3 Signs an essential oil company is transparent & their oils are pure

1. They lab test their essential oils & share the results with you

As much as you might want to believe you can tell if your essential oils are pure based on the aroma or the energy, it’s impossible to know if your essential oils are pure without lab testing. The most reliable laboratory test is called GC/MS which stands for “Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry.”

Here’s how it works:

A GC/MS test isolates every component that’s present in an essential oil. The report is like an “ingredient list” for what’s in the oil. Someone who’s practiced in reading GC/MS reports and essential oil chemistry can clearly see if there are any “ingredients” that don’t belong.

For the typical consumer, it’s not practical to GC/MS test all of your essential oils. The tests can be expensive. But for an aromatherapy company dealing with bulk quantities of essential oil, a single test can be done for an entire batch. That’s very practical (and responsible)! Providing the GC/MS report to their customers is as easy as uploading it to their website or providing a slip of paper. There’s no reason not to do it.

Ask for the GC/MS report to know if your essential oils are pure.

What if you don’t know how to read a GC/MS report?

That’s okay—just the knowledge that a company tests their oils and provides the reports is reassuring. If you really feel uncertain, you can find a certified aromatherapist and ask them to help you read the report.

2. The company works directly with essential oil distillers & practices sustainability

what is aromatherapy

Since there’s no way to know if your essential oils are pure without lab testing . . . And since adulteration is common . . . It’s important for any company selling essential oils to know EXACTLY what happens during the production process.

They should be able to answer questions like . . .

  • How are the plants grown and harvested?
  • Are the plants certified organic?
  • If it’s not possible for the land to be certified as organic, are organic practices used . . . and if so, what are those practices?
  • Are the plants wildcrafted and harvested by hand?
  • Who is the farmer?
  • Who is the distiller?
  • How long have they been farming and distilling?
  • What is their reputation?
  • Can you go and visit the farm or the still . . . or both?

Knowing these answers is excellent, but the best way for a company to really rely on their farmers and distillers is to work with them over time, developing relationships based on shared values and trust.

3. The essential oil company goes out of its way to share information with you

They want to be sure you know about their production practices, including information like:

  • GC/MS reports
  • Where the essential oil was produced
  • When the oil was produced
  • What the oil’s shelf life is
  • Cautions and contraindications
  • Their sustainability standards

A reliable company should also educate its customers with information about safety and how to use essential oils effectively, based on the latest research and evidence. Making sure customers understand issues like safety, dilution ratios, and safe methods of use keeps both the company and their customers safe. If you have a question about your product or if your essential oils are pure, the company should be ready, willing, and able to answer it.

ConsumersAdvocate.org did an in-depth review of popular essential oil companies.

They said . . .

“We learned that quality and testing go hand in hand, and that adulterations are a common practice in the essential oil industry. So we decided to test three oils from 11 brands by sending unlabeled samples to the Aromatic Plant Research Center in Utah to test them for any adulteration.”

Aromatics International was rated as a top company that ConsumersAdvocate.org reviewed

They found our essential oils to be 100% pure!

We would like to thank our friends and partners around the world, especially the distillers we work so closely with, who take such pride in producing quality products.

We couldn’t do it without them!

The full ConsumersAdvocate.org review shares more details about essential oil testing and company transparency. (Is your favorite company reviewed in the article?)

We’d also like to thank YOU. Thank you for using essential oils safely, and for educating yourself about what that means.

August 10, 2020 — Karen Williams