5 Ways to Know if Your Essential Oils Are Fake
We have mentioned in our previous blog post on why we need Essential Oils as a solution to toxin-free living. The quality of the Essential Oils we use is very vital for our wellness as it doesn’t make sense to get off chemicals but use an Essential Oil that is loaded with chemical yuck and are fake. So how do you know if the Essential Oils you buy are the REAL Therapeutic Grade ones?
*Disclaimer: This blog post is made solely to educate people on how to differentiate if their Essential Oils are Therapeutic Grade or not. It is not meant to shame any other brands/companies.
#1: Real Essential Oils Don’t Have Expiry Dates
Essential Oils are basically the lifeblood of the plant – that is the substance that sustains the life of a plant. Hence if they are stored in cool, dry places away from sunlight, they can basically last for forever!
It is frustrating that the labeling of the oils can be confusing because many companies label their oils as “100% Pure” and some even have the “Therapeutic Grade” printed on them.
Do note that FDA only requires 5% of pure Essential Oil in a bottle in order for you to label it as “Pure” or “Therapeutic Grade” – the other 95% can be carrier oils, solvents like alcohol, hexane, preservatives and chemical yuck – the Majestic Pure Lawsuit is a great case study for misleading labeling of Essential Oils.
Young Living Essential Oils do not contain any Expiry Date on their labels.
#2: Check Out the Label
Although we mentioned that labeling of Essential Oils can be misleading, there are still some warning signs we can look out for to see if our Essential Oils are the Real Therapeutic Grade ones.
The typical Essential Oils you purchase from Health Food Store contains a “Caution” portion to state that the oils are not suitable for internal use/ for external use only or to avoid contact with the skin. Some oils even have “For Aromatic Use Only” or “For Aromatherapy Use” printed on their labels. So these are the points you need to watch out for when determining whether your oils are of Therapeutic Grade.
Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils are pure and unadulterated. Hence they are ideally safe for internal use – just like consuming herbs / Traditional Chinese Medicine to support your wellness.
Young Living Essential Oils are certified by the FDA to be safe for consumption as an oral Supplement.
Real Therapeutic Grade essential oils should be stored in a good quality Amber Glass Bottle to prevent sunlight from getting into the oils and affecting the quality. Essential Oils are extremely potent and hence they deteriorate when stored in plastic receptacles.
Glass is the recommended packaging option because Essential Oils cannot be damaged by the inert nature of the glass. For Essential Oils infused products such as lotions/skincare (diluted) etc, PET containers are a great alternative.
#4: Pricing – Pay Peanuts, Get Monkeys
Most people buy their Essential Oils from Health Food Stores because they come in huge bottles e.g. 30ml or even 100ml and cost only $20 – $30ish for all sorts of oils including Rose and Frankincense.
Sometimes they get what they paid for because many companies cut corners and compromised the oil quality in order to produce more oils at a cheaper cost.
For Young Living, their oils can range between $19 (for citrusy oils) to $300+ for Rose. Why? Different plants require different extraction methods.
Citrus oils like Orange are extracted by cold-pressing the rinds which are cheaper to produce whereas it takes a lot of effort to distill 22 pounds of Rose petals in order to produce a 5ml bottle of Rose Essential Oil – imagine receiving a bouquet of 99 Roses (or more) on Valentine’s Day!
For instance, it normally takes at least 12 hours to distill Frankincense Essential Oil from the resins. Hence it is extremely expensive unless they are processed with other chemical solvents such as Hexane. So when you distill Frankincense using Hexane, the time taken can be reduced to as short as 1 hour.
Some companies use solvents (i.e. Hexane / Alcohol) in their distillation process (their plants might be organically grown without pesticides etc) and Hexane is shown to be linked to cancer. This explains why some Essential Oils have a weird alcohol smell to it.
Ethyl Alcohol (regular drinking alcohol) is commonly used to extend and dilute Essential Oils. So if you smell alcohol and get a headache everytime you smell the oils, they are most probably not the real therapeutic grade ones and are better off tossed into the trash because they might irritate the skin when applied and can be detrimental to your health.
In addition to the above, pure essential oils are extracted from plants and we all know that not all plants are the same. Hence the smell might differ from different batch/harvest. If the essential oils smell the same all the time, there are high chances that they might be synthetically produced in the lab – just think about your Chanel No. 5 or Hugo Boss fragrances!
#5: Not Greasy To Touch
Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils are highly volatile and gets absorbed into your skin within seconds without leaving any traces of greasiness.
The most common way to extend an essential oil is to add a carrier oil to it (e.g. vegetable oil). Hence some oils will feel greasy on the skin. You may test this out by rubbing a drop of essential oil between your thumb and index finger – the essential oil should be absorbed into your skin without leaving any greasy residue behind. However, do note that some Essential Oils such as Myrrh are thicker and will feel silky on the skin initially.
Are Your Essential Oils Real?
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