Avoiding Fake Essential Oils
Have you just recently bought your new collection of essential oils? Have you ever considered what is actually in those bottles? What if the ingredients are not authentic? So what if the components are real? Are they of a minimum standard?
Most of you belong to the big group who use essential oils to alleviate headaches, calm ourselves for our meditation session, or just to liven up your day by smelling your favorite scent in the room. But what if the essential oil we have just bought is harmful or of bad quality? To help you differentiate the bad from the good, we have compiled a list of items you should know about essential oils before you make your purchase. You can also check out these affordable essential oils.
How do fake essential oils end up in retail shops for sale?
There is a portion of essential oils on retail shelves that are not made with genuine or refined materials. These essential oils are not controlled by the FDA. As a consumer purchasing essential oils, the onus is on you to ensure that you are not making a harmful decision with your essential oils.
Having said that, essential oils have been around for at least a few millenniums. However, with the recent spike in interest in wellness, almost every individual is able to get essential oils as and when they deem fit.
Unfortunately, this is being exploited by businesses who simply want to make big bucks by injecting low-quality, fake components known as fillers or extenders, or even just fragrance oils. Artificial fragrance oils do not have the crucial part of live plants.
However, if we are looking at a real essential oil in the container, its standard is dependent on the following considerations:
- Flora. The standard can be affected by the climate, its growth environment, or the presence of pesticides and chemicals.
- The care that is given to the preparation process. How sanitized are the facilities? Some essential oils may contain higher levels of water on purpose, and it can be difficult to spot them, even if you are familiar with essential oils.
- Packaging. How are the essential oils managed and stocked? This can affect the duration of its effectiveness. Even if you have produced the essential oil of the best quality, its effectiveness can be jeopardized if it is not packaged appropriately in a vacuumed opaque glass container.
How do you interpret “therapeutic grade”?
There are actually no international standards for classifying essential oils. Hence, purchasing essential oils is essentially like purchasing diamonds in terms of having to source decent sellers, but even so, you cannot be sure that you are getting the real deal.
However, the only main difference between them is that essential oils do not have grades. If you were to ever observe a certain form of grading on the container of the essential oil, you should know that the grading is not significant enough to represent anything.
How to differentiate the better ones from the rest?
One of the proven ways is to literally sniff the better essential oils out. You can do so by working on your sense of smell.
You can consider going for lessons on aromatherapy or take some time a day to analyze different essential oils and note their differences seriously with an expert. This can be time-consuming – the professionals use their entire life to perfect their sense of smell. However, there are three ways professionals use to check the quality of the essential oil:
1. Check the container
A decent manufacturer will secure the essential oil in airtight opaque glass containers. These containers normally weigh around 4 ounces, with the most common dimensions around half an ounce.
For most containers, they come with an orifice reducer, while some come with an eyedropper cap.
Light and high temperatures can destroy essential oils, which explains why the containers have to be dark. The unstable chemical components in essential oils might react with plastic material, so glass bottles must be used. If you were to see any essential oil contained in a plastic bottle, do not even consider purchasing it.
2. Understand the label
The label should have listed down the common and Latin names of the flora, and the parts used to make this product. On top of that, the method of extraction and the growth conditions of plants should be given.
The label should explicitly state all the components used in the formula. If you are looking for pure essential oil, the label should only have one component.
3. Validate the producer
The label should have stated the country of production or “lot#”, which you can then look up to validate the producer. If you are purchasing online, the product details should contain the country of origin.
Typical ways to know an essential oil is bogus
Oftentimes, it can be relatively easier to spot counterfeits, while it may be tough at other times. However, you can look for these three main factors first.
- The term “fragrance”
If the product mentions “fragrance” anywhere and there is no Latin name provided, it is not a genuine essential oil.
Some flora is not able to produce essential oil such as violets. If you have seen “violet oil”, it is fake because there is no violet essential oil from the plant. They are too tiny and dainty to retrieve essential oil from normal ways.
- There is no Latin name
The product’s common name and Latin name should be printed on the label. If either of both is missing, do not buy as it is probably a combination with fake scented “fragrance oil”. Although it might actually have some essential oil mixed in it, who can verify that?
- Compare the prices
Be cautious when the essential oil is very cheap. However, the most expensive one on the shelf might not be the best too. Over time, the essential oil industry has become profit-driven, with firms charging a premium for their products. For the consumers, you are essentially paying for the brand.
If you are doubtful, it is always wise to seek advice from your healthcare provider or certified aromatherapist on which essential oils are the best for your usage.