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We Tested Other Brands: Exercise Caution When Buying Essential Oils

What to Know Before You Buy Online!

NOW Organic Essential Oils logo above three pictured NOW organic essential oil bottles of rosemary, lavender and peppermint, with text: We tested 18 essential oil samples purchased from an online retailer and 2/3 failed. Quality matters.

Have you ever purchased an essential oil online? Maybe because it was less expensive, had positive reviews, or was a best seller? Not all essential oils are created equal.

NOW® recently put a selection of essential oil brands to the test that we purchased from a major online retailer’s website. Included in the selection were nine lavender, four peppermint, three rosemary, one chamomile, and one frankincense. Surprisingly, 12 out of the 18 essential oils failed to meet the profile established for the species expected for each particular essential oil — that’s two out of every three!

The testing was conducted by our internal lab and at a third-party lab that specializes in essential oil profile testing. The testing performed was GC/FID/MS, which uses two different detectors to obtain accurate results.

What does that mean?

Most of the oils failed the essential oil profile testing because of adulteration, which means the oils are not pure. For example, eight of the nine lavender oils were either adulterated with synthetic materials or blended with less expensive oils ─ and some brands did both! One of the rosemary oils, the frankincense, and the chamomile oils were mixed with less expensive oils. In addition, one peppermint oil was diluted with vegetable oil.

Why should you care?

In these cases what is on the label is not what’s in the bottle, and these companies are misrepresenting what they are selling as pure essential oils.

You can protect yourself by buying essential oils, either online or in natural health food stores, from a reputable brand with dedicated quality control methods. NOW® is committed to offering pure essential oils at value prices. We go to great lengths and invest in state-of-the-art technology to ensure what’s on the label is in our bottles.

Read more about our NOW quality and safety.

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