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evaluating essential oil quality


With the plethora of options available nowadays when it comes to essential oils, it can be a bit daunting for a beginner to identify if they are getting only genuinely pure and natural essential oils or synthetic fragrances. Moreover, since there is no international regulating body that sets the standards or “grades” for essential oils, it is possible for the term pure therapeutic grade essential oils or aromatherapy to be used quite loosely even if the actual content are synthetic fragrances or perhaps an adulterated version to reduce product costs.


As consumers, we ought to be careful because the use of synthetic fragrances have been linked to health risks by some studies especially for those with skin sensitivities and allergies and will completely result to the opposite of what we hoped for when we started this journey – which is to support our health and wellness.

evaluating purity and quality

One of the many useful things I have learned in my education as an aromatherapist is to be guided by the following questions in choosing where to buy essential oils:


  1. Is the company willing to provide Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) test reports for their essential oils?
  2. Are there certified aromatherapist in the company who understand, practice and can share safe and effective use of different essential oils?
  3. Can the company provide clear and complete information about their essential oils like scientific name, source, part of plant used, distillation process and safety precautions?
  4. Does the company seem to practice care and diligence in releasing information to its consumers that prioritizes safety and quality over making profit and sales?
  5. Is there consistent and positive feedback about the company online?

Along with availability of safety information, I personally find that the most important in the list above is the availability of GC/MS results because it is a reliable test of an essential oils purity since it can show all the components present within an essential oil (almost similar to an ingredients list) which is then analyzed by a chemist who knows the properties of essential oils and determines if it has the correct components and is free of any added or unexpected compounds or ingredients.