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5 Signs That Your Essential Oil Is Fake/Low Quality

Essential oils are big business, and it is not hard to see why. As we progress in the world today, more and more people are turning to natural remedies to deal with the stresses of daily life in a more efficient way. Research on aromatherapy has brought interesting results, and sites such as help you get all the therapy oils you need in a more accessible way.

However, the increasing availability of essential oils poses a problem – fake products. You may have seen it before – you want to buy a jar of essential oil, but you have no idea whether it is actually legitimate. With the rise of counterfeit products, the last thing you want is buying a product that risks your health in the long term or does not work for you because of contamination, making you regret you ever spent money on it in the first place.

For this reason, it is important to educate yourself on the signs you need to look out for, and ensure you are getting your money’s worth. Here are some signs of fake essential oils to check the next time you go shopping.

What kind of container does it come in?

This is the first clue you should look at before even spending money on that oil. The main criteria here – is the bottle that stores it made of glass or plastic?

If you are dealing with a legitimate vendor, then the oil itself must come in a glass bottle, in amounts of four ounces or smaller (this is the case for most vendors, since essential oils are very expensive). The bottle must always be in a dark color, such as amber or cobalt blue, and there must be an eyedropper bulb for easy retrieval of the liquid.

The reason for the glass container is due to the nature of essential oils. They are highly concentrated liquids which are similar to acids, and can easily react with very many containers and cause cracks or eat through the surface. The oils contain very strong chemical compounds, which break down and react with plastic. The dark color of the bottle is due to the oil compounds experiencing degradation when exposed to UV light from the sun, and the dark color prevents this exposure.

If you are buying the essential oils in person, you need to ensure the bottles are correct, and they are located in a cool part of the store, since heat exposure will degrade the chemical compounds in the oil.

The oil’s name

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These days, very many people are shopping online for everything, including essential oils. If you are in such a situation, you should check whether the store has indicated the full scientific name and common name of the oil, as well as the chemo type (where it originates from).

The Latin name is actually the most important aspect of its identity. If you notice the name is not there, then chances are it is merely a non-essential oil, which the seller has adulterated with fragrance to give the scent.

The price

If you are searching for quality essential oils, it will not be difficult to notice that they are all expensive – it is all thanks to the extensive production process and sourcing of raw materials. You do not want to buy something cheap, but you should also remember that just because it is the most expensive, does not make it valid. It takes a great amount of plant matter to produce one drop of the oils, so that is why you cannot get them at cheap prices.

The type of oil will determine whether you get a high quantity or not. There will always be oils that are more difficult to source than others, such as jasmine or rose oil, while others will be easier to get, such as lavender. That does not make them cheap though – if you think the deal is too good to be true, like a discount sale, then avoid it.

The harvesting and production process

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Plant matter will end up making essential oils, so you need to consider the levels of pesticide contamination. It is difficult to say whether an oil is 100% pure, because purity itself is hard to establish, but you can see whether the oils are organic or not.

In particular, make sure the oils have a ‘wild-crafted’ label, which shows they were produced organically. This means it was harvested in the wild, which also indicates that it was not sprayed with chemicals. In fact, this criterion becomes greatly important when considering citrus oils, since scientific research shows they tend to contain the greatest amounts of chemicals.

How does the oil smell?

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If you are a first-time buyer, you might find it difficult to know. However, if you are repeat buyer, then you need to examine the smell of the oils you purchase from your vendor.

If the oils smell differently from the other oils you buy from a vendor, then that is good because it shows there is no interference from the vendor in terms of product quality. However, if the smell is exactly the same even if you buy it after some months or years, chances are there is adulteration going on, using synthetic chemicals, in order to get the same smell profile.

Even though the constituents of the oil are the same, the ratio changes. This is because it depends on several external factors, which include the soil conditions the plant grew in, the rainfall it got, the length of the growing season, the air temperatures and climatic conditions, the exact region of the world the plant originates from, and so on. This also applies to other plant extractive materials such as wine – even if you have the same variety of grapes, the quality and taste will always differ according to the region it comes from, the soil conditions, climate, and so on.

Final thoughts

This article goes to show that you need to be careful when purchasing essential oils, as there are many counterfeits in the market you may be unaware of.

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from and other Amazon websites.

Written by Nathaniel Fried

Co-founder of Fupping. Busy churning out content and building an empire.

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