Young Living is a Lehi, Utah based company which uses multi-level marketing to sell essential oils and other related products.
Our In-Depth Review
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YoungLiving is a multi-level marketing (MLM) essential oils company that has been in business since 1993. Though the company offers a thoroughly wide selection of essential oils along with other products, their oils are very expensive. Does what they produce match up to the high standards discussed on their website? Read on to find out more…
Owns Their Own Farms but Doesn’t Give Specifics on Product Testing
As mentioned, YoungLiving is a company that has been around for quite some time, and they have a very large product arsenal, with possibly the widest selection of different essential oils. They offer staple essential oils like lavender and peppermint, along with a wide variety of proprietary oil blends. They also offer many other items including oil accessories and products for the home, personal care, pets, fitness and more.
For the purpose of this review, we analyzed their Lavender Oil. In order to keep all of the reviews on our site fair, we chose this scent for each brand because lavender is an extremely popular essential oil.
Here is what we found for the YoungLiving Lavender Oil:
Name of Product: Lavender Oil
Latin name of product (exact genus and species): Lavandula angustifolia
Country of Origin: Not specified (they own farms in the US and France that grow lavender but they also partner with other farms)
Part of Plant Processed: Not specified
Type of Extraction: Not specified
Lab test performed to assure the oil’s quality: Not specified
Despite the fact that YoungLiving has been a leader in the essential oil market for many years and they even have their own farms, they fail to provide specifics about their essential oils. In addition, they also partner with other farms, but don’t provide details on those farms (or where each oil comes from).
Although we think it’s great that YoungLiving does have its own farms where they can implement sustainable practices and oversee them, we still think they should be more transparent and make it known specifically where each oil originates from. In addition, why do they not share other details about the oils, such as the part of the plant used, the type of extraction method performed, and what specific lab tests are done to ensure purity and quality?
In general, we wish that YoungLiving would be more straightforward and authentic about their oils and not provide vague information instead of concrete details.
Pure Essential Oils – But Invented Standards with No Regulating Body
We send each oil that we review out for thorough lab testing and examine the results. The test that was performed to decide product quality is called the Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis, which identifies compounds within each oil and allows for quantitative analysis.
We matched the results of the test done on YoungLiving’s lavender oil with the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO’s) product standards for essential oils. The ISO develops and publishes international standards to ensure that products and services hold up to their stated purpose and are able to perform as described.
The results of YoungLiving Lavender Oil using the GC-MS analysis was: PURE (matches with ISO 3515:2002). No adulterants, contaminants or diluents detected.
However, we would like to address the fact that YoungLiving, in the same way that doTerra does, uses their own standard of quality to state that their oils are somehow superior, or “therapeutic grade” – but this standard is not recognized or governed by any party.
Although we did find YoungLiving Lavender Oil to be pure and unadulterated based on the GC-MS test, as mentioned earlier, YoungLiving is vague about their testing details – instead citing a made up level of standard they call Seed to Seal®.
Though in theory this Seed to Seal process (which they call “Standards Beyond the Standard”) appears to be all encompassing and talks about everything from sourcing to testing to compliance standards, there are absolutely NO concrete details provided at all. It is all very good insight about the best possible way to create essential oils, but with absolutely no evidence that it’s actually being done. In our opinion, the Seed to Seal page reads more like a set of company goals than an in-depth description of their processes.
Along with that, if it is being implemented, it is not being governed by anyone. Because the truth is that there is no governing body that determines the standard for essential oils – that’s what the individual tests are for. So the bottom line is that based on our own analysis, YoungLiving oils are not somehow “special” or better in terms of quality or purity.
Create an Account to Purchase / Potential Downsides of an MLM
As mentioned earlier, YoungLiving is a multi-level marketing company (MLM). What does that mean?
For YoungLiving, it means that to make a purchase you first have to create an online account, giving all of your information. You can choose to either buy as a retail customer, or you can become a member, which means you will get 24% off retail pricing but be required to place a certain amount of sales each year. As a member, you can then become a “seller” of their oils.
So why don’t we favor essential oil MLM companies?
Typically with an MLM, things are not as convenient or readily available. You have to go through a seller, or become a wholesale member yourself, paying certain dues. With YoungLiving, it’s a little different because you actually still can purchase oils online as a retailer at the regular price (after creating the online account and login info).
But the main thing that we question is the key motive behind the MLM sales model, which may be to find sellers and create sales first, and produce awesome products second. Although we cannot say with certainty that this is the case behind every MLM, it is something to think about when companies go in this direction.
High Price and Complex Return Policy
YoungLiving oils are some of the most (probably the most) expensive oils on the market. Just look below to see how they compare with two other essential oil brands.
*In the chart below, the first amount listed is the Autoship price for when you put your oil on a monthly subscription service. The second amount is the price for a one time purchase of that oil.
If it’s after 30 days and up to 90 days, you can get a credit for any opened or unopened products.In addition, YoungLiving does provide a return policy but there is not a money back guarantee. You can return unopened products within 30 days after shipment for a full refund, but if you open the product, you will only get a credit for up to 30 days.
In conclusion, YoungLiving is an essential oil company that has made its mark in the field and has been around for decades, however, we definitely question some things about this company regarding how transparent they are about details on their website, and also the very high price of their oils.
This is an MLM company – which we definitely don’t prefer since it leads us to question whether the main motive of the company is to increase the amount of sellers or produce the highest quality products. However, unlike many MLMs, you actually can stay as a retail buyer and make your own purchases from their website (after filling out an account form).
Definitely a plus is the wide array of essential oils and essential oil blends that YoungLiving offers, and dealing with their customer service was easy and efficient.
If you are interested in purchasing products from YoungLiving, we recommend that you first read the other essential oil brand reviews on this site and compare them. Also, check out our blog and Facebook community for more information on essential oils and how to get the most out of them in your daily life.
Reviews from Real People
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1Price per bottle retrieved from https://www.youngliving.com/en_US/products/lavender-essential-oil. Accessed 7/1/17. Purity, Origin Disclosure, and Ease of Purchase ratings determined from independent research.