Bend Soap's array of natural skincare products photographed together to show the full product offering

A Comprehensive Checklist to Find Essential Oils You Can Trust

Finding safe, high-quality products isn’t a passive process; it’s just the opposite. These days, sourcing clean products you can trust requires putting on a detective hat and breaking out the magnifying glass, and the truth can be even more elusive when it comes to finding top-quality essential oils. 

We may inherently trust a product that lists “essential oils” on the label because our first instinct tells us they’re natural, but even within the essential oils industry, there are plenty of factors that determine which oils are toxin-free, pure, and safe for use. 

We get customers asking us what essential oil brands we'd recommend for them to use. Our vendor is a wholesaler, and you wouldn't be able to purchase from them (unless you're looking to order a couple of gallons of Bergamot essential oil from Italy 😉). Instead of recommending one brand to buy from, we're sharing with you the process we use to find and vet our essential oil suppliers. We’ve evaluated each of our sources and have opted for the companies that produce the highest quality products, regardless of location. We’ve put together this blog as a resource for you to use to find the highest caliber essential oils to meet your and your family’s personal needs. 

Rather than offer up a list of the best essential oil brands, we’re sharing the way we evaluate essential oil brands to determine whether they’re a good fit for our natural products and customers. 

We’re committed to finding the safest and most natural ingredients for our product lines, and we’ve come up with our tried-and-true guidelines for vetting our essential oils sources. Feel free to use our tips yourself as you search for essential oils and related products to fit your non-toxic lifestyle!

1. Purity

We recommend looking for oils that are proudly advertised as 100% pure, but don’t stop there! More importantly, make sure to double-check that there are no additives, additional fillers, or synthetic ingredients. Items listed as pure essential oil or 100% essential oil are a good indication that the true natural oil has not been diluted. 

2. Botanical

It turns out your high school Latin class may come in handy after all! Each essential oil should be labeled with its botanical (Latin) name to ensure you’re getting the correct plant species. This helps avoid confusion between similar oils, which is helpful if you’re looking to reap the benefits of specific therapeutic properties.

3. Extraction Method

The way an essential oil is extracted from its source can directly impact the quality and potency of the oil. Steam-distilled and cold-pressed extraction are considered the best and safest extraction methods as they typically preserve the integrity and key characteristics of the essential oils. We advise customers to be wary of solvent extraction methods as they require synthetic chemicals to extract essential oils, rendering the final product inorganic.


4. Quality Standards

Companies that are committed to offering top-quality products will often take the extra step of earning certification status as a way to set themselves apart in the toxic-free product market. Look for essential oils that are certified organic or adhere to specific quality standards such as those set by organizations like the USDA.

5. Source

If you’re tired of low-quality, diluted essential oils, make sure to examine the origin source of your oils before you buy. Oils derived from plants grown in their native region will generally boast a higher potency and overall quality compared with those produced artificially or outside their natural environment. Obtaining the highest quality oils from their native origin means we gather oils from around the world, depending on where substances grow and thrive best. We source essential oils from a range of different regions from France to Italy, Siberia, Mexico and more.

6. Transparency

Companies with nothing to hide will be more forthcoming with their sources, ingredients, production, and testing methods. Typically these types of companies will lead with transparency, providing details in easy-to-find locations on labels and websites instead of making customers deep dive to find answers. 

7. Third-party Testing

Undergoing third-party testing is another token of trustworthy essential oils. Make sure the essential oils you’re buying have been subject to third-party testing by independent labs to verify their purity and potency. Certificates of Analysis (COA) should be available upon request; it’s a good practice to be wary of any companies that hide these details.  

8. Packaging

The best essential oil brands on the market are packaged in dark glass bottles. The dark glass helps to protect them from any chemical changes or degradation caused by light exposure. Additionally, airtight seals and proper labels on top-quality essential oils are necessary to maintain freshness and potency. 

9. Price

Price isn’t the only indicator of quality, but when it comes to excessively cheap oils, you can expect sub-par quality essential oils that have been diluted or cut with additives. It’s true that top-dollar essential oils brands don’t guarantee superior quality, but we’ve had better experiences with essential oils at higher-end price points. Essential oils from more reputable sources may have a higher price point, but they are typically more potent, and a little goes a long way, which allows us to offer our clients the highest quality skincare products at affordable prices. 

10. Customer Reviews

The list of clean and non-toxic lifestyle products can’t compare in number to the enormous list of toxic products on store shelves, but we’ve got an edge over their market in a big way: our community. Consumers who are looking for truly clean products are much more vocal about their experiences with clean brands. From social media to forums and e-commerce websites, the clean living community makes its voice heard. Customer reviews are the only factor we consider, but we highly value our customers’ opinions - and those of the toxin-free living community - so much that we take them into consideration. 

Don’t let the long checklist of tips deter you; like anything worthwhile, the benefits far outweigh the effort. Read more about the benefits of essential oils and how we use them in a range of our products here before you start your own hunt for essential oils (equipped with our handy buying guide!)

Got a different way to assess an essential oil brand? Let us know in the comments!  

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1 comment

I just wanted to encourage you as a family. My husband & I will be married 44 years on June 14. Mom of 19, and Mamaw to almost 24. Seeing your family picture, helped me so much! Do not become weary in well-doing! Time, truly is marching on! My baby is now 22. God Is Always Working And Moving! If you are ever in the Sarasota, FL area, give us a shout! God Bless Your Entire Household!!!

Debra Bryant

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