Industry on the Rise
Essential oils sales are soaring and the trend doesn’t look to be slowing down. The market is estimated to reach $11.67 billion by the year 2022, according to Grand View Research Inc. The uses of essential oils range from aromatherapy to topical use and the benefits of these products are no mystery to consumers.
The soap industry is no stranger to the use of essential oils. They are often used in the soap making process to provide quality, natural scents to their products. So, for a company focusing on quality and an emphasis on natural products, essential oils must also meet these high standards.
The essential oil industry poses an interesting dilemma for consumers, considering the lack of agreed-on standards and inspection agencies. Just as with any product, there are levels of quality among essential oils and there are numerous ways to spot the high-quality oils from those of a lower quality.
Essential oils can be “pure,” meaning there are no additives or diluents included in the product. There are also “synthetic” oils, which ultimately consist of a cheaper oil, such as vegetable oil, with a scent added to the base in order to give the impression of a “pure” oil. There are a few processes you can go through in order to make the distinction.
The first one of these processes is to look out for misleading or deceptive phrases. For example, the words “Nature Identicals” commonly show up on essential oil products. Really though, this term is basically a code word for synthetic! On the other end of the spectrum however, the term “therapeutic grade” usually implies a higher quality oil.
Pay attention to the packaging! Pure essential oils require packaging in glass containers to avoid the breakdown of plastics or other chemical reactions that might take place between the chemical compounds of the oils and the plastic itself. The glass should also be a dark color in order to avoid any adverse effects from UV rays. One simple test to perform when inquiring about the purity of essential oils is to place a few drops of the product in water. If the water appears cloudy upon application, then the change in opacity signifies an additive or diluent.
Recognize the Plant
Additionally, it’s not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with the Latin names of plants. Through this knowledge, the ingredient labels are better deciphered and allows you to determine what plants the oils actually originated from. On a similar note, know which portion of the plant was used in order to create the oils. For example, oil made from cinnamon bark is always of higher quality than that of oils generated from cinnamon leaf. The cinnamon leaf would also be at a cheaper point, which is another possible indication of its lower quality.
Know the Supplier
The most important aspect to consider when purchasing essential oils really boils down to knowing your supplier. You want to purchase from a supplier that is trusted and either distills their own products or works very closely with the distillers. When you can trust your supplier, you know you’re receiving a quality product. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Understand the supply chain and the origin of the plants your essential oils came from. These are a few of the reasons why people often purchase from larger companies such as doTerra, who have established their credibility.
Honestly, purchasing essential oils that meet the high standards of soap-makers presents a challenge, but finding a trustworthy supplier reduces some of the strain. Using these tips will help you distinguish quality essential oils.