There are no industry standards that test the quality and purity of essential oils. The only standard that exists is that there has to be 10% of the actual oil in the bottle to be labeled 100% pure and it can be very misleading.
There are four types of categories of essential oils:
- Synthetic Oil: the largest group of oils that are mostly found in perfumes and fragrances found in shampoos, soaps, deodorants, etc.
- Food Grade Oils: this type of oil are FDA approved for the consumption of oils such as lemon oil, rose oil, etc.
- Therapeutic Grade: Usually found in dollar stores, health stores, and pharmacies. They tend to go through a testing process that’s called the Gas Chromatography which ensures that the oil has the correct compound, but it doesn’t determine if it contains any impurity, pesticides, or other chemicals.
- Certified Pure Essential Oil: These are the highest standard of Essential Oil in the market.
Adulteration means that the creators of the oils are adding things that shouldn’t be there. It can be a carrier oil like almond or vegetable oil, synthetic compounds that mimic the natural oil, residues of the plant, pesticides, and toxins.
About 75% of the oils that are on the market are adulterated. These oils can have a placebo effect and can be labeled as 100% pure when in reality only 10-20% of the product is the actual oil.
Most of these adulterated oils will go rancid after a couple of months or years, while certified, pure essential oils will last a lifetime. In order to find certified essential oils, make sure that they have been 3rd party tested and, of course, stay away from the cheap oils you find at stores!
Of course, I decided to put this knowledge to the test and purchased Eucalyptus Oil at a local pharmacy. First of all, the ingredients aren’t on the bottle and it says “for external use only” when 100% essential oils can be consumed (diluted in water, of course), and also when it’s compared to the 100% pure essential oil, it smells really…fake. I checked their site, but they don’t present the ingredients.
The other essential oil I got was from Marshalls. The ingredient’s list says the following: 100% Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil (naturally contains Citronellol, Limonele, Linalool). I decided to check out those three ingredients and these substances shouldn’t be on essential oils.
Comment below what essential oil brands do you use and if you’ve ever checked ou their ingredients.