Are doTERRA oils worth it?
So are doTERRA essential oils worth it or are they overpriced?
Nobody really argues that doTERRA essential oils are amazing high quality oils. Some do however say, but there are lots of other oils that are just as good and that doTERRA oils are overpriced.
I don’t buy this and I will tell you why.
1. Independent testing labs don’t think there are lots of other brands with pure oils.
APRC is an independent testing lab which assessed over 50 brands from different markets and found that 95% of essential oils are adulterated. Only 3 companies had consistently pure oils and doTERRA is one of them.
Of all the oils tested from the companies - 80% of them had some form of adulteration. (some of them up to 100% and these were large ‘reputable’ companies. What this means is that the adulteration is systematic and not ‘ an accidental’ thing.
So what does adulteration mean?
Examples of common adulteration
• Inclusion of carrier oils to extend (without labelling)
• Mislabeled species (ie. selling Cinnamon Leaf as Cinnamon Bark or selling a cheaper form of “Lavender” or “ Frankincense
• Inclusion of Aroma chemicals
• Synthetic fragrances and chemicals added
• Some oils are 95% to 100% complete fabrications - made by trained perfumist to smell pure
The issue is sometimes the adulteration can cause great harm. For example in the case of Frankincense, 90% of Frankincense tested was adulterated and instead of being a neurotonic, it was a neurotoxin. This really upsets me because not only are people being ripped off, the product they are buying to try and help themselves with a health issue is actually causing them more harm.
It is totally unthinkable that people would do it.
2. Independent Consumer watch dogs don’t think there are lots of other brands with pure oils.
In Spring 2019 Consumer Advocate had a team that spent over 600 hours of research; ordered, tested, and analyzed 33 essential oils; and collaborated with a group of experts who have dedicated their careers to researching and writing about essential oils.
In relation to doTERRA they noted that “we found their oils were among the few on our list that came back without markers for adulteration.” Many of the other brands included had some of the oils tested showing markers for adulteration consistent with the APRC study.
3. doTERRA has exclusive sourcing with over 96% of their supply chain doTERRA source essential oils where they can find the highest therapeutic grade.
They will test the various sourcing options and the actual chemistry in the oil and seek the sourcing location which can provide the highest therapeutic outcomes. They also consider not only where they can get the best oils but where they can make the most impact. doTERRA then develops direct relationships with farmers and communities and take 100% of their output for 96% of their global sourcing. This means there are no other brands who are sourcing from the same locations. No-one has the same oils.
4. Many of the oils are comparably priced to other reputable brands with some worthy exceptions.
I actually did a price comparison with some reputable UK brands and when comparing 15ml bottles at doTERRA wholesale prices they were comparable. Some single oils, doTERRA was cheaper, some it was slightly more expensive.
However there were some worthy exceptions. Frankincense for example was considerably more expensive. Initially I was a little embarrassed how much doTERRA Frankincense is, but now I actually think it is expensive because it is actually Frankincense and Frankincense should be expensive.
Frankincense has been acknowledged as a rare and precious essential oil since biblical times. It comes from Somalia from a remote area where the resin is harvested from trees which have been handed down to the communities for thousands of years. If the trees are over harvested the quality reduces and they eventually can die removing the only source of income there is for the
families in those areas. doTERRA pay these farmers to rest the trees.
doTERRA have removed the middle men/brokers so that they are being paid 10 x what they used to get from the brokers. doTERRA have set up a cooperative and there are jobs now for the women to sort the Frankincense into the 7 grades of Frankincense. Only the top grade goes into doTERRA Frankincense and the rest is taken to the port city for other brands to purchase.
doTERRA work with an NGO who educates the community on the sustainable management and care of the Frankincense trees. doTERRA are building a full blown 5 million USD hospital in the remote area so there is healthcare. Before these communities needed to travel 3 days by foot to reach medical
care. Can you imagine?
Anyway, doTERRA care and so do I.
I care that I am getting the best Frankincense and I care that the communities are cared for and the trees are being managedsustainably.
5. There are options to get 55 % off retail, so doing a price comparison with retail prices doesn’t make sense.
Most customers of doTERRA do not pay retail prices. They set up a wholesale account and automatically get 25% off retail.
There is the option to receive an additional 10-30% off by ordering regularly through the Loyalty Rewards Programme.
This is optional but makes sense for those wanting to up level their wellness/ low fox their lifestyle to slowly build up your collection and to try other things from the range which include supplements, cleaning products, personal care, skincare, hair care, dental care products you would anyway spend money on.
So how does doTERRA ensure quality?
1. It has a zero tolerance attitude to adulteration. The independent testing lab contacted them about a batch of Bergamot which was 96% pure and asked if it was ok. DoTERRA said ‘no,send it back’. Only 100% pure is ok and they would rather go out of stock than sell something that was only 96% pure.
2. doTERRA cuts out the brokers and works directly with the growers/ farmers.
Farmers and growers don’t adulterate their essential oils. It will largely be the brokers. So just by cutting out the brokers, even if you didn’t have any testing you would be significantly decreasing your risk of adulteration.
3. There are 54 different tests on every single batch of oil at multiple stages in the supply chain.
You can see the test results on www.sourcetoyou.com as well as information on the types of tests. This is an amazing degree of transparency.
4. They don’t just want to source the best but they want to help the most.
I love what they do with their sourcing. I worked for nearly 20 years in ethical/ sustainable sourcing and these projects are truly making a real difference. They transform supply chains not just ‘audit’ them. Please take some time to read more here:
Kenya Rising video
Pink Pepper sourcing