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The Essential Oil Debate

End the essential oils debate. Which MLM company is better? | End the debate at

There are a lot of essential oils companies out there. And with that, there has been a lot of arguing and debating over which company has the purest, and highest quality essential oil. The co-op brands seem to stay out of the fray pretty well, but doTERRA and Young Living are two multilevel marketing companies who are in the thick of it.

Today I want to give you my opinion on the doTERRA vs Young Living debate.

Some Background

Young Living has been around since 1993 when Gary Young discovered there was power in essential oils but had a difficult time finding consistent results within the existing essential oil products. He began growing plants, distilling oils, and bringing a consistent quality product to the market.

In 2008, doTERRA came on scene. A handful of executives from Young Living decided they wanted to make their business differently, and left to create doTERRA.

Both companies have branched outside of essential oils and now offer nutritional supplements, beauty products, and various items for your home and general health. Both companies rely on people working from home to market and distribute their products.

The doTERRA vs Young Living Debate

Depending on what side of the tracks you’re on, there is a lot of mudslinging going on about these two companies. “doTERRA executives left and stole proprietary information from Young Living.” “Young Living falsified reports to say that doTERRA’s oils aren’t pure.”

There’s a lot of hearsay and “he said, she said” going on, and I really don’t want to get into that. I did some research before joining doTERRA to see if I really thought their oils were better than Young Living’s. I read articles, blog posts, and personal testimonies. Adrienne from Whole New Mom wrote a whole series on “Which Essential Oil Company is Best?” I read it. I was so torn.

My Inner Debate

Whose oils are more pure? Which company is most ethical? Who can I feel good representing?

  • I like that Young Living has control over their growing process “from seed to seal”. I like that they are involved in every step.
  • I like that doTERRA sources their plants from their indigenous areas, where the plant naturally grows.
  • I like that Young Living tests it’s oils and has a “Young Living Therapeutic Grade” certification for them.
  • I like that doTERRA tests it’s oils and has a “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” certification for them.
  • The FDA doesn’t regulate essential oils so both Young Living and doTERRA’s purity certifications are self-regulated and self-imposed.

My Revelation

It felt like both companies were trying to provide a high quality product for their customers.  Finally, after researching both companies and having no solid reason to recommend one over the other, I came across a post by Lindsey Leigh Bentley that gave me peace. She said,

You know what it reminds me of?  High School…no, worse. Junior High School.

I don’t want to be a part of it because I honestly believe that both companies make really, really, wonderful oils.  And really this ridiculous feuding only causes stress which we know isn’t healthy – hello counter-productivity!!  Let’s tell both sides to inhale some lavender and chill out a bit shall we?  I am sure both sides feel completely justified, and probably have valid points.  But I don’t want to play and I refuse to bad-mouth another company in order to promote mine.

And suddenly the stars aligned and I felt like maybe my gut was right. Maybe both companies are passionate about what they do, and maybe they’re both doing their best to provide health changing products to the market. Maybe the founders of doTERRA didn’t like a couple things and wanted to do things differently. Maybe there was no malice, no fraud, just hurt feelings.

A Common Goal

I think the old saying, “it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other” fits perfectly here.

If you are using Young Living products and seeing improvements in your health, I rejoice with you. (And will you please tell me about it in the comments? I love hearing people’s success stories.) My mom is a Young Living wholesale member.

If you are using Mountain Rose Herbs oils and getting results, I rejoice with you! (And I’d love to hear your story too.)

As for me, I chose doTERRA. I’d like to say it is because I agree with the business model more than another company’s, or that I believe their oils are far superior. In the end though, it came down to people. I have the opportunity to work with a long time friend, Sarah DeGroff from Well Rounded Birth Prep. Sarah and I have been friends since 2005 when we were both pregnant. We have kept in touch and remained friends these past 9 (!!!) years, and Sarah had an opening on her team. I am completely thrilled to have this opportunity to work with Sarah and I really hope to be an asset to her team.

In the end of this whole debate, regardless of who did what to who, I think it’s important to remember that we’re all in this for the same thing: health. Let’s keep our mudslinging to ourselves and not give essential oil skeptics reason to question us all. Let’s be the face of health, of unity, of partnership. 

For me this means doTERRA, but if you’re faithful to another brand, I hope we can still be friends.

Do you use essential oils? Which oil would you never want to live without?

Enroll with DoTERRA | Virginia George


  1. Very well said, Virginia. I came to a similar conclusion and in the end for me it came down to timing and people, but I think that both companies do a fine job and I think any kind of high quality pure essential oils are fantastic! Frankincense has always been my favorite but I’m discovering that blends are fun too.

  2. Deb Laursen says:

    Both companies offer a lot of the same oils and also they have different offerings. I say hear hear to using both. As your mother and selling Young Living you have some things that I will purchase from you. Who likes Coke and who likes Pepsi? They are great companies and promote a healthy life style.

  3. My inner battle was very similar to yours. In the end, I felt that the plants growing in their indigenous areas was most important to me. I completely understand if “seed to seal” is more important to others. Now, would you take on the whole issue with ingesting oils? I’m currently undergoing that inner battle… ;)

  4. I use Heritage Essential Oils. I was involved with one of the MLM companies, but the lies they were pushing to get more sales turned me off of any MLM oil company. Heritage is family owned and the owner is so helpful with any questions and does everything she can to keep the oils affordable for everyone.

    • I just noticed my reply to you never posted, Lynette! I’m so glad you have found a company you believe in. I have heard good things about Heritage Essential Oils, so I’m pleased to know you are having good results with them. Glad we’re still friends. :)

  5. I’m thankful to have you on my team, Virginia. One thing I’ve heard from multiple sources in business training, is that people buy from people they know, like, and trust. That’s what it always boils down to, regardless of the industry. I’ve heard this in my doTERRA training, and my hubby has heard the same in his mortgage lending training. That gets one’s foot in the door, and after that, it’s up to us to earn continued trust, follow up, and have exceptional customer service.

  6. I use Edens garden. The prices were much better and they claim their oils are 100%pure, therapeutic grad.

    • I don’t know that I’ve heard of Eden’s Garden! Most essential oils are going to say they are therapeutic grade (vs food grade). I used Aura Cacia, Wyndmere, and NOW Foods until I started with doTERRA. As long as you are comfortable with their farming, processing, testing standards, and are getting consistent results, hooray!

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