Several months ago I had an independent distributor from doTerra introduce me to their product line. I’ve been doing some research and reading ever since. I was intrigued, at Pure Home and Body I want to offer you the best and purest in health, wellness and of course, essential oils. I had not known of any other company than Young Living that sold essential oils labeled as food grade supplements.
It appears there might be another option.
I have found some very interesting details and facts about this company (doTerra), of which I want to remain as objective as possible. What I first discovered is that the Young Living vs. doTerra topic is a hot one. I’ve read quite a few blogs highlighting the debate from both sides, some with good details and others with more subjective, emotional content, (some saying they used one line for a while, then switched to the other and it was amazing, such a difference). Sadly, it reminds me too much of companies like TOMS copied by a company called Bobs who has modeled their marketing, brand and product too close for comfort to the original TOMS. It’s unfortunate that the American Dream has become to some more a sheep in wolves clothing just to make a dollar. All that said, I don’t want to add to the drama even though doTerra has “started it” simply by the way they structured their business. Copycat behavior in business is likely to draw out emotions in everyone involved, especially when it’s in competing forces.I found comments on such articles bringing out a good deal of passion from readers, some of it far from constructive. So, before I even begin my analysis of these two companies’ products, I want to make it clear this article will be filled with as many concrete examples as possible, including the comparison of specific oils, production and their qualities which I’ll cover later. If I appear to be more confident in the Young Living products, it’s simply because I’ve used them longer and am more familiar with the line. I welcome any comments below that will help give readers facts.
I am doing this to educate consumers, not bash companies. This article will have all the details you’ve wanted. I will not sugar coat things or gloss over important details and in the process I’m sure I will offend someone, which is not my intent. The essential oil industry is growing, but it is also one riddled with inconsistencies, little regulation and known for diluting, altering and synthesizing products to extend supplies and profit (common industry lingo includes “preparing the sauce” as a term for adding chemical fillers to essential oils just before shipping)I believe that fair competition can only make our marketplace better, in quality, pricing and availability. Because consumers have access to the internet it is even more important for companies to practice business with integrity, providing accurate information, and in the natural living industry, their products must be pure without a doubt. Greenwashing is prevalent in every industry, especially the Essential Oil industry where many want to get a share of profits. Knowledge is power. So grab a cup of tea, fresh juice or smoothie and get ready to discover more about the essential oil world.
Young Living was founded by Gary Young after he healed himself from a major accident. His doctors told him he would never walk again after injuring his spinal cord, but he did. Out of his recovery came a passion for holistic healing, and a love of essential oils. This passion is what created the Young Living company. Since it’s beginning, Young Living has formulated many products including 10 exclusive single essential oils they distill and over 75 essential oil blends targeted to specific needs.
So, here’s my own little commentary that I was super excited to learn about all these targeted blends. My first aromatherapy book was full of essential oil recipes which required purchasing 5-10+ single essential oils to create one blend….major moola just to try something natural. Here, Young Living has done the research and blending for you so you can get an oil blend that contains some expensive, rare oils without buying them all separately. I had also previously been experimenting with essential oils with little success, buying my oils from the health food store. Since there is little regulation in the essential oil industry, I discovered that truth in labeling does not apply to essential oils. A company can label their oils as 100% even if there is a synthetic oil in the bottle that smells like the real deal. Synthetic reproductions of essential oils are only designed to smell like an oil and do not perform the same as true plant oils distilled from the living plant material. You can read more about Therapeutic Grade essential oils and what makes a quality oil. Pure, quality essential oils with no chemical fillers is what produces results when you use them.
Integrity What I discovered by experience and looking back to my original aromatherapy books and training in aromatherapy is Young Living is committed to purity and empowering consumers to take responsibility for their health. Since the average consumer has little experience with essential oils, the only way to verify purity is to trust the company you buy from or trust your nose (of which a pure essential oil will last years as long as it is stored in a cool, dry location. An essential oil that has synthetics or fillers will break down over time, similar to cosmetics that suddenly have a change in odor which is the added chemicals breaking down). Young Living has had many years to refine their products, determine the best chemical structure in purity and their efforts pay off when products continue to stand the test of time.
Science Blending essential oils is another mastery and an art that takes time and experience to develop, not unlike creating wines. Young Living continues to research and maximize that research to create better products that produce results. The Young Living essential oils do everything the books say they should. This is evidence from first hand experience.
Research In addition to the oil blends, Young Living has developed the Raindrop Therapy. This is a specific therapy for building up the immune system with 9 specific essential oils that are applied along the spine. Books are written about the Statistical Validation of the Raindrop Therapy for those with cancer, autoimmune disorders, colds & flu and many other chronic conditions. Young Living has been around over 20 years and continues to evolve to meet consumer needs. What I’ve seen is a broad reach of consumers, weighing heavily with massage therapist, skin aestheticians, nurses, doctors and even hospitals due to their strict methods of quality control. Their product base is pretty broad including vitamins, supplements, skin & personal care in addition to essential oils and diffusers. Their target market reaches a broad age range as well, from young families to older generations.
doTerra has been around for about 6 years, the company founded from some executives who left Young Living. They structured the network marketing company with products very similar to Young Living including a strong resemblance in personal care products, single essential oils and essential oil blends. DoTerra is an aggressive marketer targeting young families and active adults looking for natural options in health care. Their marketing materials are appealing and effective at drawing in your senses. The primary focus of doTerra is on building a network marketing company while the product (essential oils in this case) is the commodity, a vehicle to deliver the results of a residual income.
What is food grade and where did those oils come from? doTerra has labeled some of their products as food grade essential oils, certifying that their essential oils are pure, a step in the right direction for the essential oil industry as long as they are honest. There have been questions and apparent lawsuits into the purity of doTerra oils, especially their peppermint essential oil which may have ethyl vanillin added. Ethyl vanillin is a food flavoring synthetic. It gives a sweet vanilla aftertone. Adding anything to an essential oil would not only remove it’s therapeutic value, it’s deceptive business practice in an industry that has few regulations and standards. doTerra has created a copyright CPTG logo that can only be used by them, the logo is only that and according to doTerra, ICP’s should not be using it as marketing their oils as therapeutic value. It is only a set of words, the CPTG does not stand for any essential oil standards. Proof of their certified pure therapeutic grade standards will only show if the quality of their oils stand the test of time or they start to reveal some of their reports on quality. doTerra notes on their website that they “work with a global network of leading essential oil chemists and growers”, yet the sources of their specific oils are not listed anywhere I could find (product catalog, doTerra essential oil reference or online shopping). Do any doTerra reps or executives have suggestions for resources or more information on the certified grade of their essential oils?
What is the chemistry of those oils? In addition, several essential oils they use in their blends are not even listed individually in the essential oil desk reference to research what chemical components should be in these “therapeutic grade” essential oils. I would assume that if they indeed had all their essential oils tested for standards, those standards would be available for all oils used in their products. But I’ll write more about that in the next post…..
DoTerra has created some unique products, like their peppermint beadlets which deliver a drop of peppermint essential oil in an enclosed round capsule. The rest of doTerra’s product line, is quite similar to Young Living’s line packaged with different oils and names. DoTerra even created thir AromaTouch which is similar to the Raindrop Therapy, only using twice as many oils. I have yet to see research specifics regarding the use of all the doTerra oils (why all these oils are used and their purposes rather then a generic “anti-inflammatory and immune builder) and blends in the AromaTouch technique, but look forward to reading more if it comes available. If you know of resources, I invite you to list them in the comments below.
Intellectual Property doTerra has also created an essential oil blend (Immortelle) which they may or may not know is also the name of a line from La’Occitane, a French company which uses essential oils similar to those marketed in the DoTerra product with the same name. If doTerra wants to stay a long time player in the essential oil industry, they’ll have to be more innovative in creating products that stand out from competition, not create threats to patents, trademarks or intellectual property.
For the time being, Young Living continues to build a cache of research and results with their products. doTerra is on the defense and must prove themselves in this new game of aromatherapy by playing clean and growing their expertise reputation in the essential oil industry. Integrity and trust are built over time, especially in the essential oil industry where purity, consistency and truth in labeling is a must. If everyone focuses on creating the best products, everyone wins with fair pricing and enough business for everyone. This topic has hit a little too close to home in my business as you can read in Plagiarism and the Art of Aromatherapy. There are a lot of self-made “experts” on the internet, some very aggressive with marketing. The bottom line is you have to be an educated consumer, look past the hype, pay attention and ask the right questions if you want to invest in the right companies.
Essential oils are powerful substances and must be handled with care and respect, it is imperitive that you use oils that are pure, without a doubt for aromatherapy. The big difference between Young Living & doTerra? Young Living is investing in the soil of the earth by managing 9 farms in 5 different locations all over the world and teaching sustainable agriculture to the next generation. Yes, Young Living is a business, but the inspiration for doTerra mainly appears to be making network marketing and the essential oil industry is the commodity for now.
Is integrity important to you when you decide where to shop? How do you determine if a company is practicing with integrity? I invite you to leave your polite comments below. I also welcome any research and facts you have that will add value to this information.
After publishing this article, I had someone refer this article to me, another comparison of YL vs doTerra that would be worth reading.