Affordable Essential Oils and Where to Find Them

We’ve all thought this same thing at least at one point in our lives: if something is more expensive, it’s probably because it has better quality. That’s not necessarily true in all cases, and certainly not in the case of essential oils. Affordable essential oils can stand toe to toe with their more expensive counterparts -- that is, if you know where to look.

The purity and quality of essential oils can be difficult to ascertain before you purchase them. However, you can do your due diligence to ensure that you don’t spend too much, or that you don’t buy anything too cheap. By learning more about how brands price their essential oils, and what to watch out for, you’ll be able to get more bang for your buck.


Essential oils: The basics

Full essential oil collections

What exactly are essential oils, anyway? What are they for, and how do you use them? If you’re new to essential oils, you may wonder why people are willing to shell out a decent amount of money for a 15ml bottle. However, once you’ve tried using an essential oil or two for various purposes, you’ll likely find out why.

Essential oils are basically potent, highly concentrated, and aromatic oils extracted from various plants via steam distillation or mechanical pressure. These oils contain things like terpenes, alcohol, hydrocarbons, esters, ketones, and more, which contribute to the aroma and benefits of the oils.

Leaves, flowers, bark, or fruit peel produce these essential oils, which are contained in particular plant cells. It can take a lot of leaves, flowers, bark, or peel to produce just a bit of essential oil. For example, a total of 220 pounds of lavender flowers can produce only up to a pound of lavender essential oil. This is why essential oils are so concentrated.

This also means that when it comes to essential oils, a little can go a long way. A 15ml bottle may not seem like much, but that single bottle can last for a long time. People also often dilute pure essential oils in things such as carrier oil to make them safer to use. Thus, a single bottle is indeed well worth the purchase.

However, some might find that some essential oils cost too much, even with all its benefits. There are affordable essential oils out there that work just as well and smell just as good as their more expensive counterparts. They’re also easy to find, and all you’ll have to do is look.


Influences of essential oil prices

First, let’s talk about price tags. Why do essential oils fetch quite the amount of money, anyway?

The production of essential oils works much like the production of any other thing we can buy. Essential oil prices depend on how much money went into procuring plant sources and equipment, how much time went into production, how much employees get paid, and other factors.

Sometimes, factors like trade laws or the status of a particular essential oil-producing plant species can affect the price as well. With that in mind, consumers should also take care to make sure that they are not buying essential oils produced by endangered plant species, such as rosewood essential oil.

While the price can be a good indicator of a product’s quality, that’s not always the case. There are essential oils that are expensive not necessarily because they’re of a superior quality, but because of other factors. Conversely, there are also affordable essential oils that are pure and high-quality. These essential oils let their quality, not their price tags, speak for them.


Why are some essential oils expensive?

As mentioned above, a high price may indicate superior quality. However, this isn’t always true, as there are other things that can drive up product’s price. Take Young Living as an example. Young Living is perhaps one of the best-known essential oil brands in the country. However, they also offer some of the most expensive essential oils.

The biggest question here is why Young Living’s essential oils are so expensive. What are they doing differently from other essential oil brands that don’t charge as much for their products? More importantly, are those high prices justified?

Young Living’s high prices probably have something to do with the fact that they’re more well-known than other essential oil brands. However, it’s also possible that they get their oils from suppliers or middlemen that charge premium prices.

Of course, this is just speculation, but it’s possible. Young Living gets their oils from middlemen, who buy oils from farmers and add their own markup. It follows, therefore, that Young Living might be passing on the expense to their customers.

Essential oil prices

It’s thus possible that you’re paying more because the brand you’re buying from spent more to procure those oils. Luckily, you can easily find affordable essential oils that may not come from brands like Young Living, but are guaranteed to be high-quality as well.

You’ll notice that different oil brands charge different prices for the same types of oil. For example, a 15ml bottle of lavender essential oil from Young Living retails at $31.91. The retail price for the same type and amount of oil from DoTERRA, another well-known essential oil brand, is $28. Another brand, Aura Cacia, also sells a 15ml bottle of lavender essential oil for $13.15.

However, Aroma Foundry sells 15ml bottles of lavender essential oils as well at $10 each. As you can see, there are indeed affordable essential oils out there -- you just have to know where to look.


Comparison of essential oil prices

If you look at essential oil prices across brands, you’ll see significant differences. For our purposes, let’s continue looking at prices for a 15ml bottle of lavender essential oil.


Comparison of a 15ml bottle of lavender essential oil among 10 brands

(Amazon prices)

Brand Name

Price per 15m bottle

Young Living

$28.71

DoTERRA

$27.49

Rocky Mountain Oils (Lavender Bulgaria)

$20.90

GEO

$18.99

US Organic

$13.77

Piping Rock

$12.99

Aroma Foundry

$10

Simply Earth

$9.99

ArtNaturals

$8.95

Aura Cacia

$8.48


As you can see, Young Living and DoTERRA are at the top of the list, being the most expensive brands. Aroma Foundry, along with a handful of other brands, are in the bottom half of the group price-wise. This can show you that there are indeed affordable essential oils out there, and that you don’t have to resort to shelling out over $20 over a single bottle of essential oil.

Of course, you should also be leery of brands that sell essential oils at prices that seem too low. This may indicate that the oils have some extenders or additives, which means that they are not pure. You definitely want your essential oils to be as pure as possible, since this ensures their potency.


Are you buying from an MLM?

The two most expensive essential oil brands, Young Living and DoTERRA, are both actually multi-level marketing (MLM) companies. It’s not a coincidence that the two most expensive brands happen to be MLMs.

If you’re not familiar with the term “MLM,” here’s a short crash course. MLMs are very similar to pyramid schemes -- so much so that the only difference seems to be that MLMs are considered to be legal, while pyramid schemes are not.

Multi-level marketing works a lot like a pyramid scheme. There’s a person at the top, most likely the founder of the company. That person recruits two or more people to join the company, and those people recruit more people, who in turn recruit more people, and so on. Recruits become distributors, who must pay a fee to be able to join and begin selling products. Recruits are considered to be their recruiter’s “downlines,” and recruiters are called “uplines.”

Both pyramid schemes and MLMs use the money paid and earned by downlines to pay the uplines. While MLMs are legal, many people consider them to be controversial and even unethical.

MLMs are also notorious for selling overpriced products, likely because the products have gone through more markups than other non-MLM products.

Finding affordable essential oils

finding essential oilsFinding pure and high-quality essential oils online is easier than ever. Photo by John Schnobrich.

 

Finding essential oils is as easy as a Google search. Essential oils are easy to order online, especially if you look for them on Amazon. However, the prices of the oils aren’t the only things that you need to consider.

It’s best if you learn more about the brands that sell these essential oils. Go to their websites, look around, see the other products they sell, and read about their history and practices. You may also have to look at other sites to discover more information about the brands.

It’s also best if you question why the prices are the way they are. Why do certain brands charge more than others? Who build these brands, and why? What kind of experience do the founders of these brands have? What do they know about essential oils and how these oils are supposed to be used?

How cheap is too cheap?

While expensive doesn’t always mean good, cheap doesn’t always mean bad. However, there is such a thing as too cheap. In these cases, you’ll be getting what you pay for -- which, of course, is not much.

A good rule of thumb to follow is that if something sounds too good to be true, that’s probably because it is. If an essential oil seems to be too cheap, then it may not be all that good. So what can you expect from essential oils that seem to be too cheap?

Gifting ad

Essential oils are easy to dilute and pass off as pure. If you’re not that experienced with essential oils, or you’re looking for a new brand to try, it will likely be difficult for you to tell right away if the oil you bought isn’t actually pure. It’s near-impossible to be able to tell on sight, and you may only notice that something is amiss when it’s too late and you’ve already spent your money.

Some unscrupulous brands or middlemen may add things like vegetable oil to their essential oils. This brings down the price, but it also really brings down the quality. Thus, even at that cheap price, the essential oil won’t be worth the purchase. There are indeed affordable essential oils that are pure and high-quality, but if some seem too cheap, then they possibly are.

Choosing Aroma Foundry

Price-wise, Aroma Foundry is on the low end of the spectrum. However, when it comes to quality, it’s a different story. In terms of quality, Aroma Foundry can throw its lot in with any of the more expensive and better-known brands. Even so, however, it won’t make you break the bank.

If you’re just starting out with experimenting with essential oils, Aroma Foundry is an especially good choice. You can build a sizable collection at a more affordable price point. For example, an Aroma Foundry Six-Pack of essential oils costs only $49.

Also, Aroma Foundry is not an MLM (and we’re not just saying that). That means that our products don’t have exorbitant markups. You also don’t have to pay any fees other than the price of the oils. You don’t have to be a paying member of any sort in order to be eligible for wholesale purchases. You’re our customer, not a downline.


Important reminders

Essential oils can be a good thing that promote and help improve your health, but only if you use them properly. This doesn’t just mean learning about the particular properties of each essential oil, which is just part of the experience. This also means making sure that you use the oils the safest way possible.

There are some people who recommend orally ingesting undiluted drops of essential oil. However, this is inadvisable, and you should avoid ingesting essential oils. These oils have high concentrations of various substances, and this can be harmful. Don’t fall into the pit of believing that just because something is all-natural, it can’t harm you. After all, poison ivy is natural, and so is arsenic.

If you discover that you or someone in your household may be allergic to essential oils, it’s best to discontinue use. Some people can be extremely sensitive to scents, and let’s not forget that essential oils are aromatic. Thus, if your essential oils may be triggering adverse reactions, it’s best to stop using them until you know for sure that they are not harming anyone in your household.

You should also avoid using essential oils on very young children and pets. Peppermint essential oil, for example, can be too overpowering for young kids. Companion animals such as cats and dogs may also react to these oils differently than you. Birds are also especially sensitive to the strong scents of essential oils, since their respiratory tract is more delicate than ours.

Another thing you have to remember is to always dilute essential oils before you apply them directly on your skin. You can use carrier oils like jojoba oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and other types of substances.


Summary

Should we expect essential oils to be expensive? Certainly not. Good essential oils won’t be dirt cheap, but they also don’t have to be pricey. It’s possible to find affordable essential oils that come from great sources and are guaranteed to be high-quality.

Not only is finding these oils possible, it can also be easy. It’s all just a matter of doing your due diligence and looking into the brands you’re interested in.

Since you’re already here anyway, why not look into Aroma Foundry? Check out our process of making essential oils and see what our practices are like, from the acquisition of oils right to the sale. You can also check out essential oil prices to see what you can get for a fraction of the price of the most expensive essential oils.

References

  1. https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/lavender-essential-oil
  2. https://www.doterra.com/US/en/p/lavender-oil
  3. https://www.auracacia.com/aura-cacia-lavender-essential-oil-boxed-0-5-fl-oz/
  4. https://www.rockymountainoils.com/shoprmo/essential-oils/shop-singles/lavender-bulgaria.html
  5. https://www.rockymountainoils.com/shoprmo/essential-oils/shop-singles/lavender-greece.html
  6. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/essential-oils-company-sentenced-lacey-act-and-endangered-species-act-violations-pay-760000
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0025082/
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115001033
  9. https://www.cosyoil.com/20-best-essential-oil-brands-market/
  10. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-29323/the-best-affordable-aromatherapy-essential-oils.html
  11. https://www.theessentialfamily.com/cheap-essential-oils-work/
  12. http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/do-essential-oils-pose-a-risk-to-pets
  13. https://medium.com/@BoldAromathrapy/why-you-dont-always-get-what-you-pay-for-with-essential-oils-d5367f689404
  14. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/multi-level-marketing.asp
View all resources

 

Author Profile

Fagjun Santos is an avid reader who eventually decided to try her hand at writing her own stuff. After spending her teen years writing what can be considered to be Vogon poetry, she now writes things that aren't a pain to read. Her favorite Aroma Foundry scent is peppermint, with lavender coming in a close second.

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