The Best Essential Oils for 2020 (Expert Guide & Reviews)
Are they a cure for anxiety, depression, infection, or even common skin-related issues such as acne? In short, maybe. One thing is certain—altogether, essential oils work wonders for a person’s mental and physical health. Since we’ve already discussed the benefits of the leading essential oils and how to use them in another article, we won’t go into extensive detail here. Rather, we’ll provide reviews of the best essential oils from highly recommended, reputable companies.
In this detailed guide, we’ll cover the best products on the market and give you some helpful tips on how to select a high-quality product suitable for your needs. You can also read about some of the basic info you need to consider when using essential oils for the first time.
The Top 15 Best Essential Oils and Companies
First-Rate Essential Oil Product Reviews
1. Plant Therapy’s Organic Lavender Review
We will start this list with our favorite essential oil brand, Plant Therapy, known for its wide assortment of oils, ranging from inexpensive starter kits to fully organic ones. All of their products are high quality and third-party tested, which you can check out on the Plant Therapy website.
Our personal fave is their Organic Lavender essential oil, suitable for individuals who suffer from anxiety and sleep disorders. The product’s country of origin is Bulgaria. It can also be added to a carrier oil like jojoba oil as a way to treat acne, scars, or wrinkles. As Plant Therapy’s best lavender essential oil, it’s created through the steam distillation method. On the website, they claim that it’s child-friendly and 100% pure USDA certified.
Plant Therapy also has an organic lavender essential oil called Organic Lavender Fine, which is also steam distilled, but during the process, the whole flower is used and not only the tops. As a result, this product has a stronger, more complex scent than the standard organic version.
Plant Therapy offers some of the best essential oils to diffuse, including lemon essential oil, peppermint, bergamot, black pepper, blood orange, camphor, Buddha wood, catnip, and many others. You can also purchase these in diffuser sets or kid-safe sets. The kid-safe essential oils are USDA certified organic and are meant for calming the child, boosting their immune system during flu season, and promoting a good night’s sleep. We highly recommend you take a look at Plant Therapy’s website—you can thank us later!
- 100% pure USDA certified
- Third-party testing
- 90-day money-back guarantee
- Reasonable price
- Because the company doesn’t own its own farms, it doesn’t generate its own oils
2. Rocky Mountain Oils’ Bergamot Review
For folks having trouble sleeping, this one will save them from dreaded insomnia. Our second favorite essential oil brand is Rocky Mountain Oils, and we selected its Bergamot FCF essential oil as our top pick. This brand is known for its 100% natural and pure essential oils, as well as its high-quality nutritional products and blends. Rocky Mountain Oils provides GC/MS testing as well as its exclusive S.A.A.F.E. Promise (Satisfaction, Authentic, Analysis, Free of Adulterants, Effective and Pure).
Rocky Mountain Oils has appeared on many lists featuring the best essential oils and brands in 2019, and it’s easy to see why. We picked the Bergamot FCF essential oil, which has been extracted from the almost-ripe fruit of bergamot. It’s known for its distinctive citrusy-yet-sweet aroma, perfect for a good night’s sleep.
This product can be used in perfumes, body lotions, and potpourri, as well as with a wide range of diffusers. Rocky Mountain Oils uses the cold-pressed extraction method with its best essential oils, and this one’s country of origin is Italy. On the website, the company claims that its Bergamot FCF essential oil product blends perfectly with pink grapefruit oil, lemon, cinnamon bark, and sandalwood oil.
You can also check out Rocky Mountain’s other essential oils known for their sleep-inducing effects. These include ylang ylang essential oil, jasmine essential oil, the Tranquility essential oil blend, or the chamomile Roman essential oil.
- GC/MS tested
- 100% organic
- 90-day money-back guarantee
- Shipping overseas may be very difficult
- Fairly expensive
3. GuruNanda’s Breathe Easy Blend Review
If you’re a big fan of essential oil diffusers, then the best choice for you is checking out GuruNanda. The company uses ultrasonic technology for its diffusers, and these devices come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. However, what we were really interested in was its extensive line of 100% natural and pure therapeutic-grade essential oil products, which are GMO-free and GC/MS tested.
GuruNanda has been featured in many reviews, and it even made the list of best essential oils and brands in 2018. Even though its line of high-quality oils is truly impressive, including oils like frankincense, peppermint, patchouli, and lemon, we wanted to focus on a product called Breathe Easy.
This product is a blend of five pure essential oils: eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, rosemary, and basil. If you were wondering, eucalyptus oil does wonders for the respiratory system, peppermint oil is the best essential oil for congestion, and basil has been shown to protect against infection.
Furthermore, GuruNanda offers starter sets for individuals just getting into the world of pure essential oils. Their starter set includes Breathe Easy, Thrive, Relaxation, Calming Sleep, Harmony, and Tranquility. Check out their website to learn more.
- GC/MS tested
- The diffusers do not hold enough water
4. Amoils Warts Formula Review
This company is a true expert in the world of essential oils: Believe it or not, they have been serving the all-natural health industry for more than 15 years! Amoils, also known as Healing Natural Oils is a popular San Diego-based company worthy of a spot on our list, and here’s why.
What sets Amoils apart from other top essential oil brands is that they provide customers with not only quality single essential oils, but also specific products that target health concerns directly. These include acne, scars, skin tags, varicose veins, eczema, nail fungus, wrinkles, age spots, warts, and many more.
Firstly, we believe Amoils’s formulas created from 100% pure extracts from plants are an excellent alternative for harsh over-the-counter remedies. Indeed, all of their products are made from the very best organic ingredients, void of pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic chemicals. Furthermore, you will be happy to know that the company is animal-cruelty free.
We chose to highlight their wart healing formulas—H-Warts, H-Skin Tags, H-Moles, and H-Molluscum, as they are very effective in eliminating skin growths naturally. Plus, we also loved the fact that the products from this best essential oil company are safe to use on any body part, they do not cause irritations, and that plenty of users report results within two weeks.
Of course, there were some things we didn’t love about the products, namely, the price range. Naturally, since we are dealing with a top-range company, their products will be on the more costly side. However, we believe that the prices are indeed a bit too high considering the size of the oil bottles. We were also skeptical about fast results these top essential oils claim to have, as we believe warts take some time to disappear. Just make sure to be patient, as the products need to be applied to the area consistently until the tag or the wart finally disappears.
- 100% pure plant-derived extracts
- 4 different wart healing formulas
- 90 day money back guarantee
5. Edens Garden’s Ylang Ylang Review
Next, we have an all-female-owned company that started in California nearly a decade ago, Edens Garden. Off the bat, we liked the fact that this company rotates its stock every 14 days, making sure that the batches are fresh. Furthermore, all of its essential oil products have the signature E.D.E.N.S. pledge (Effective, Dedicated, Educated, Natural, Safe).
In our opinion, the best essential oil from this brand is the Ylang Ylang Complete essential oil, which could be a life-saver for women suffering from reproductive health issues, such as PMS or a low libido. Did you know that in different areas in Indonesia, ylang ylang flowers are spread on the bedsheets of newlyweds to enhance romance, fertility, and everlasting love? Now you do.
Edens Garden is one of the most popular brands offering some of the best essential oils on Amazon. It utilizes steam distillation when making this essential oil product, which originates from Madagascar. On its website, it claims that Ylang Ylang Complete goes well with florals like rose and citrus aromas. Even though it isn’t entirely clear whether the company utilizes fully certified ingredients, it sources the raw ingredients itself and prefers highly sustainable practices.
- E.D.E.N.S. pledge
- GC/MS tested
- 30-day refund policy
6. Plant Guru’s Tea Tree Review
An interesting fact about the next brand on our list, Plant Guru, is that it began online. It provides completely pure and natural therapeutic grade essential oils, especially fit for individuals with skin-related issues. All of its products are USDA certified and third-party tested. Another thing we liked is that it avoids chemicals and pesticides at all costs, making its products GMO-free.
We picked the Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil as the company’s best essential oil mainly because we believe it’s the most suitable for people suffering from skin redness, acne scars, eczema, and infections. On its website, Plant Guru claims that its Organic Tea Tree Essential Oil product is 100% pure certified USDA organic and that it uses the steam distilled method when creating it. Furthermore, it’s packaged in America and is free of toxins, preservatives, and additives.
What we also liked about this, practically the best brand of essential oils, is that it offers over 175 different high-quality oils, including lavender, cedarwood, patchouli, and lemon. If you’re interested in blends, then you should also check out Plant Guru, as it offers 14 different types of undiluted essential oil blends.
- GS/MS third-party tested
- Variety of products to choose from
- Only available online
- Oils may pour too fast from containers
7. DoTERRA Clary Sage Review
DoTERRA is a multi-level marketing brand that sources its quality ingredients from around the globe. Each batch of this brand’s essential oils is put through the CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade quality protocol, which guarantees purity, consistency, and potency. However, this protocol doesn’t encompass the industry, as it’s an exclusive, internal company process. All in all, it’s truly easy to see why DoTERRA’s products made it among the top 10 essential oils.
When mentioning the technical aspects, it’s important to note that this company uses a gentle distillation process involving cold extraction or low-heat steam distillation for the essential oil products. Furthermore, all of its products have been approved by GC/MS quality reports.
Even though essential oils can’t cure the cause of depression, they’re highly likely to help alleviate some of the symptoms. So if you’re experiencing anxiety, sadness, or despair, or you’re having difficulty concentrating or sleeping, DoTERRA’s clary sage essential oil may be of great help.
Interestingly, clary sage aromatherapy oil has been used since the Middle Ages, known for its calming and healing properties. On its website, DoTERRA claims that the mentioned essential oil is herbal, coniferous, and woody, and it’s suitable for internal and topical use, as well as use in a diffuser.
- CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade
- Third-party tested
- 100% pure
- Too expensive
8. Lagunamoon’s Cinnamon Review
Next up, we have a truly versatile brand, Lagunamoon, offering over 30 different types of excellent essential oils and more. On its website, the company explains from what part of the plant each essential oil was made, the distillation method, and the country of origin. If you’re interested in details, details, details, Lagunamoon will be the perfect match for you.
However, none of its quality essential oils are meant for internal use—instead, they’re suitable for diffusers or for topical use on the skin. On the positive side, Lagunamoon follows the Good Manufacturing Practices for Cosmetics, and all of its products have been thoroughly tested by a third party to be free of fillers.
Our top product pick from this company will make your house smell like a fresh batch of cinnamon swirl cookies—it’s their 100% pure cinnamon essential oil. Cinnamon oil is one of the best essential oils to have when struggling with dry skin, and it’s a great natural option for treating pains, stiffness in the joints and muscles, and acne.
Lagunamoon used the steam distillation method when creating this product, and the country of origin is Indonesia. On the website, Lagunamoon claims that cinnamon oil is also excellent when mixed with clove, ginger, bergamot, black pepper, frankincense, and even grapefruit.
- Good Manufacturing Practices for Cosmetics
- Third-party tested
- 100% pure essential oils
- Not for internal use
9. Art Naturals’ Lemon Review
Art Naturals is a cosmetics and beauty brand from Los Angeles that specializes in manufacturing health-conscious and eco-friendly essential oils, perfectly suitable for the body, hair, and skin. Art Naturals uses both steam distillation and cold extraction for its essential oil products, hence all of its extracts retain the plant’s potent aromatic components.
We loved the fact that this brand offers variety, and there are even different essential oil sets available. You can choose between some of the highest quality essential oils, such as eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, frankincense, and tea tree, or go for the Top 8 Set, which adds lemongrass and sweet orange to the mix. All these essential oils are 100% cruelty-free and vegan, as well as GC/MS tested.
Since mosquito season is slowly upon us, we recommend Art Naturals’ virgin, unrefined Lemon Oil. Not only is lemon essential oil excellent for removing toxins and restoring energy levels, but it’s also great for keeping mosquitos at bay and treating mosquito bites. Keep in mind that must-have essential oils like this one can only be used topically and aromatically, and they should not be ingested.
Art Naturals used the cold-pressed extraction method, and the lemon essential oil’s country of origin is Italy. What about the price? For only $13.99 for a 118 ml bottle, we have to admit we were left mind-blown. This one is definitely a bargain.
- Cruelty-free and vegan
- Third-party tested
- Essential oil comes out of the bottle too quickly
10. Jade Bloom’s Cardamom Review
Next up, we have a family-owned brand, Jade Bloom, from Utah. What sets Jade Bloom apart from the other essential oil companies is that it prides itself on its essential oils university (which is also free of charge!). Those interested can attend the lessons and learn more about precious essential oils.
Right off the bat, Jade Bloom’s essential oil products are very easy to identify among other essential oil companies, as all of its oil products are packaged in an exclusive green glass bottle. The bottle guarantees the quality of its top–rated essential oils, as it prevents light from disrupting the oil’s individual properties and integrity. Furthermore, all of its essential oils are 100% natural and pure, as well as third-party tested.
As the junk food industry is on the rise, it seems like everyone is trying to lose some weight. Even though proper diet and exercise are key for healthy weight loss, cardamom oil can also be beneficial. According to experts, it’s an excellent diuretic, and it boosts metabolism, making fat burning easier. Hence, our product of choice from Jade Bloom is one of their best selling essential oils, the Cardamom 100% Pure Essential Oil.
The brand uses the steam distillation method, and the product’s place of origin is India. On the website, Jade Bloom claims that the Cardamom 100% Pure Essential Oil is highly potent with a scent that’s a mix of balsamic and sweet. We liked the fact that the product comes in four different sizes: a sample size (1 ml), standard (10 ml), large (60 ml), and extra large (120 ml).
- 100% pure oils
- Third-party tested
- Offers free university
- Newer than other companies
11. NOW Foods’ Bug Ban Blend Review
If you’re a health freak and have an impressive collection of all-natural supplements at home, then you’ve already heard of NOW Foods. Even though it’s most famous for its quality supplementation line, its essential oils are excellent as well. In fact, its essential oils are tested both by a third party and in house. Furthermore, a number of these essential oils are USDA certified organic.
When it comes to quality standards and control of their top–rated essential oils, it’s important to realize that this brand operates an in-house full-facility lab and uses third-party testing only when it’s really needed. All of the essential oils are completely pure, and some in the assortment have received a USDA certification.
If you’re looking for a potent product that will ward off any bugs, then NOW Foods’ Bug Ban will be your cup of tea. It’s one of the best essential oil blends—the website notes that the ingredients are 33.3% citronella oil, 33.3% lemongrass oil, 16.7% rosemary oil, and 16.7% thyme oil. However, keep in mind that this essential oil product has not received registration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. And finally, this product was obtained through the steam distillation method, and it’s completely GMO-free.
- 100% certified organic
- GC/FTIR verified
- Affordable and easily found in whole food stores
- Some oils may be diluted or contain a carrier oil
12. Mountain Rose Herbs’ Geranium Review
Next up we have Mountain Rose Herbs, a company that’s been in the industry since 1987, selling a wide array of top-quality herbs, teas, spices, and supplies for DIY projects. When it comes to aromatherapy, this company offers an impressive selection of herbal incense, natural candles, roll-ons, aroma sprays, and essential oils. We would like to give a special shout-out for their Amyris Essential Oil, Benzoin Resin Oil, Bay Laurel Essential Oil, and Armoise Essential Oil—how much more unique can they get?
Since we were interested in Mountain Rose’s top selling essential oils, we found out that all of its products are quality controlled by a third party and tested independently. Not only are the products GMO-free, but they’re all certified organic. It’s also important to note that this company has received awards for being environmentally conscious and creating zero waste.
If you’re looking for the perfect essential oil for your candles, then Mountain Rose Herbs’ Certified Organic Geranium Essential Oil is your product of choice. According to the essential oil info, Geranium is known for its stress-relieving properties, and it may be beneficial for sadness, tension, and even insomnia. The brand utilizes the steam distillation method when creating this product, and its country of origin is Egypt.
On its website, the company claims that the aroma of this USDA organic essential oil is heavy, yet sweet and floral, and the note classification is middle. If you want to make this the best essential oil, reviews mention that the Geranium Essential Oil goes perfectly with chamomile, clary sage, bergamot, ginger, and jasmine and comes in five different sizes of packaging.
Mountain Rose Herbs warns buyers against using any undiluted essential oils on the skin, as it may cause irritation. On the website, the brand suggests always performing a patch test on the inner forearm. If there’s zero irritation after 48 hours, it’s safe for your skin type.
- 2013 Best Green Businesses to Work for in Oregon Award
- Good variety
- Poor customer service complaints by some
- Very expensive
13. Aura Cacia’s Anise Review
Aura Cacia is a reliable brand of essential oils, roll-ons, diffusers, body care, and bath products easily found in drugstores, pharmacies, and online stores like Walmart.com or Amazon. All of its essential oils are 100% pure and third-party tested.
At first glance, Aura Cacia’s essential oils got a positive point from us for packaging their quality products in amber bottles made from glass. As a result, the oil’s individual properties and integrity remain intact. According to many essential oil reviews, because these essential oils are 100% pure, they don’t contain any additives, fillers, or bases. However, not all of these essential oils are certified organic, so keep an eye out for these products.
Individuals suffering from a nasty cough can inhale anise essential oil. Not only is it beneficial for this condition, but it’s also traditionally used for intestinal gas, a runny nose, and even appetite stimulation. This essential oil review can’t help but rave about Aura Cacia’s Anise Essential Oil, a quality product free of synthetic fragrances and stabilizers. Not only that, but it’s paraben-free and vegan-friendly.
On the company’s website, it says that the product originated from Spain and that it provides a sweet aroma, resembling licorice. Keep in mind that this essential oil needs to be diluted properly, as anise oil naturally contains a substance that may form white crystals.
Finally, what would an essential oil review be without mentioning the price and availability of the product? Thankfully, the price is very affordable, at least when compared to other companies in the market. However, you need to be aware that there’s a membership program you need to sign up for when coming to Aura Cacia for the first time. Even though you’re required to pay a $10 fee, you get 10% off on their website.
- 100% pure
- Some are certified organic
- 100% money-back guarantee
- Users can’t check the essential oil’s purity with a GC/MS test on the website
14. Fabulous Frannie’s Angelica Root Review
Fabulous Frannie is a truly fabulous company that sells completely natural, high-quality products that have been hand crafted. The company offers bath and body care products, men’s products, melties and candles from soy, and a wide array of essential oils (more than 100 different types!).
That’s all cool, but what about the quality testing and quality control of these products? Rest assured that all of these high-quality essential oils have been tested by a third party, and for each of the essential oils, Fabulous Frannie offers a certificate of analysis. Hence, all of the essential oils are 100% natural and pure. Furthermore, the company claims that the products are free of additives, carriers, bases, and fillers, and their essential oils are unadulterated.
If you’re suffering from muscle or joint pain and you feel like nothing is helping, then try out Fabulous Frannie’s Angelica Root Pure Essential Oil. On the website, which features some of the best quality essential oils, it says that Angelica Root has been traditionally used in European countries (mostly in Scandinavia) for centuries as a way to ward off negative feelings and alleviate body aches. The company uses the steam distillation method when creating this product, and the country of origin is France.
Fabulous Frannie’s website claims that Angelica Root can be blended with frankincense, sandalwood, or cedarwood and that it offers a peppery, woody, yet fresh aroma, making it one of their best-smelling essential oils. However, keep in mind that Angelica Root essential oil is photo-toxic, meaning that you should stay away from direct sun exposure for a minimum of 12 hours when using it on the skin.
We also recommend trying out other Fabulous Frannie oils, such as Protect, a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary oil, and carrot seed oil—which is perfect for making your own sunscreen.
- 100% pure essential oils
- Wide selection of essential oils
- Excellent customer service
- Only accepting returns in 7 days for dissatisfaction
- Drop mechanism needs improvement
15. Young Living’s Ginger Review
Young Living is a famous American essential oil company that also offers a diverse range of diffusers, accessories, personal care products, scents for kids and animals, and even products for healthy cooking. Its essential oils are therapeutic grade, and all of them go through an exclusive Seed to Seal production process.
Not only do all of the essential oils created by this brand guarantee a Young Living Therapeutic Grade standard, but it cultivates, harvests, and distills a large portion of its essential oils straight on their own farms all over the globe. Thus, Young Living can verify the quality control and standards of its best aromatherapy oils throughout the production process. This brand receives another plus point for utilizing a gentle method of steam extraction for the distillation process. Check out its website to learn more.
If you’re wondering what the greatest essential oil for inflammation and the elimination of toxins is, then the answer is ginger essential oil. Young Living’s 100% Pure Ginger Essential Oil is created through the steam distillation method, and it can be used in a USB Diffuser, applied topically, or used as a scent for your home. On the website, Young Living claims that you should avoid UV rays or sunlight at least 12 hours after applying even the best-rated essential oils to your skin.
Another essential oil product from Young Living that we highly recommend is its best-seller, the 15 ml Lavender essential oil. According to the brand, you can add it to lotions or even shampoos. As we’ve previously mentioned, lavender essential oil can be used for different conditions, such as anxiety, restlessness, or insomnia, as well as during meditation.
- 100% pure essential oils
- Impressive selection of products
- 4%–8% compensation plan
- EarthKosher Certified
16. Healing Solutions’ Sandalwood Review
Last but certainly not least, we have Healing Solutions, a popular company offering a wide selection of single essential oils, sets, blends, bundles, and even diffusers. What we really like about this brand is that it’s very transparent with its quality checks and techniques, and it has recently launched a line of oils that are USDA Certified Organic.
Not only are these aromatherapy essential oils tested by a third party, but Healing Solutions’ distillation facility is certified kosher, FDA-registered, and approved by the rigid ISO 9001 standards.
The most expensive essential oil product on this list is Healing Solutions’ Sandalwood Essential Oil from Nepal. Sandalwood is known as a luxurious spice in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, lauded for its effects in treating mental and physical disorders, such as diarrhea, hypertension, insomnia, anxiety, and low libido. Individuals looking for an excellent essential oil for curing a persistent sore throat should definitely give this one a go.
This brand, which provides best-selling essential oils, offers its 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Sandalwood Essential Oil. It contains 70% jojoba oil and 30% Nepalese sandalwood oil. It comes in a 10 ml amber bottle made from glass, and the European dropper cap is included. Furthermore, it’s GC/MS tested and is free of adulterants. Be cautious, as this product must only be used externally. Even though the price is extremely high, this isn’t a shocker: sandalwood oil is one of the most expensive oils you can find.
However, some controversy is tied to this best essential oil brand. According to the Fakespot website, many of the online reviews dealing with Healing Solutions proved to be unreliable. As a matter of fact, Amazon altered and even removed a large portion of the reviews. Hence, those who intend to purchase from this brand need to be careful when selecting a product.
- 100% pure essential oil
- USDA Certified Organic oils available
- Transparent practices
- Controversial company
- Very expensive
How We Reviewed and Ranked All Essential Oils on the List
Our Ranking Methodology
One of the most important methods we used to rank the top 15 essential oil products on our list is quality, making sure that every product is created from certified organic ingredients. Why is it beneficial to only use certified organic essential oil products?
For brands to have total permission to continue selling their organic-labeled essential oil products, they must undergo supervision and investigation to earn certification. The most common eco-friendly methods used by the top essential oil companies include the encouragement of wildlife diversity, crop rotation, and environmental conservation.
There are three main kinds of organic seals on essential oils: Certified Organic or USDA Organic, 100% Organic, and Made with Organic.
Certified Organic or USDA Organic
Essential oils with this label have to display all of the ingredients on their packaging, and they must contain 95% organically produced ingredients. Furthermore, these essential aromatherapy oils have to be free of pesticides, synthetic preservatives, petrochemicals, ionizing radiation, and chemical fertilizers. In addition, these essential oils are typically GMO-free. The easiest way to spot a certified organic essential oil product is by checking the package for a USDA seal.
Essential oils with this label claim that they contain completely organically created ingredients (besides salt and water). Not only does the USDA seal appear on the product’s packaging, but this is the only type of certification label that verifies the essential oil is completely GMO-free and organic.
Made with Organic
Some of the best essential oils are labeled “made with organic.” In this case, they must contain a minimum of 70% of organic ingredients, and the remaining 30% is not allowed to be listed as foods. Furthermore, these non-organic ingredients should not be processed with banned practices. Also, Made with Organic essential oils do not have the USDA seal on the package.
Another important factor when choosing the highest quality essential oil products is GC/MS testing. Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry methods of testing can identify whether the aromatherapy oils tested have gone through any adulteration. In order for essential oil products to be able to provide therapeutic effects, they must be derived from pure herbal extracts. If we’re dealing with perfume oils or adulterated oils, these may not offer any therapeutic effects—only headaches, chemical sensitivities, and allergies.
There are four common extraction methods used today when it comes to essential oils, and these are the cold-pressed extraction method, steam distillation, solvent extraction, and CO2 extraction.
We’ve previously written a similar article focusing on essential oils 101 (it’s perfect for beginners), where we explain the most popular extraction methods. Even though we won’t go into depth with all of the methods in this review, we’ll explain the two extraction methods that yield the highest quality aromatherapy products you should be looking out for. These two are the steam distillation method and the cold-pressed method. Companies will typically use one or the other depending on the different types of essential oils.
Hands down, the most popular method of essential oil extraction is steam distillation. During this method, the botanicals are put into a still and pressurized hot steam is forced through, making the plant release its aromatics. When the procedure is done, the essential oil floats to the top of the water, and this is when it’s separated and collected.
The Cold-Pressed Method
This popular method is most commonly used with citrus fruits, as their oils are unsuitable for steam extraction. This method got its name because no heat is used during the extraction process, so it retains all of the essential oil properties. During the cold-pressed method, precious oil is extracted via high mechanical pressure.
Price and Customer Service Quality
The price point of a specific essential oil product is a good indicator of whether the product is of high quality or not. Remember that organic, high-quality essential oil products are not cheap, but you shouldn’t feel bad for splurging a bit. Luckily, we’ve provided prices with our recommended essential oils, so you’ll have a chance to compare products based on value and possibly save some cash.
Furthermore, companies that offer high-quality customer service get a bonus point from us, as this is an important factor when choosing the most suitable product for your needs. Some companies’ customer care services can be easily contacted via phone or live chat, and you can even return your product if you aren’t satisfied with it.
How to Choose the Best Essential Oils for Your Needs
Which Oils Are Essential Oils?
In brief, essential oils are aromatic compounds that have been extracted from different plants. There are many unique aromatic compounds that give each essential oil its signature essence. The most popular oils include lavender, peppermint, lemon, and frankincense essential oil. If you’re interested in a more in-depth article on essential oils, check out our previous article on the same topic.
What Essential Oils Are Good for What Things?
- Angelica root – For psoriasis, fatigue, gout, sinus infections, and nicotine addiction
- Anise – For muscle aches, flatulence, flu, colds, and bronchitis
- Atlas cedarwood – For acne, dermatitis, stress, cystitis, and dandruff
- Basil – For sinuses, insect bites (as an insect repellent), muscle aches, and rheumatism
- Bay laurel – For amenorrhea, colds, flu, tonsillitis, and loss of appetite
- Black spruce – For tendonitis, cellulite, over-exercised muscles, sinus congestion, and catarrh
- Cajeput – One of the best essential oils for colds, oily skin, asthma, sore throat, spots, and bronchitis
- Catnip – For congestion, also works as an antiseptic and a mosquito repellent
- Cistus – As an antiseptic, anti-microbial, sedative, and vulnerary
- Coriander – As an analgesic or carminative, and helps with digestion
- Frankincense – For PMS, menstrual cramping, and mood swings
- Geranium – For menstrual cramps, infertility, endometriosis, hemorrhoids, neuralgia, depression, fatigue, and PMS
- Hemp – As an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial
- Jasmine absolute – One of the best essential oils for face care, dry skin, depression, labor pains, and sensitive skin
- Lavender – For headaches, nausea, chills, vomiting, and anxiety
- Lemon – For anxiety, depression, and infections
- Lemongrass – For high blood sugar, gastric ulcers, diarrhea, and inflammation
- Mandarin – For scars, spots, stress, wrinkles, and insomnia
- Manuka – For catarrh, contusions, cuts, wounds, athlete’s foot, parasitic infection, and ringworm
- Melissa – For fungal infections, nausea, herpes, stress, sleep disorders, and candida
- Myrtle – For colds, exhaustion, hemorrhoids, urinary tract infections, and boils
- Opoponax – As an antiseptic, antispasmodic, expectorant, and fragrance fixative
- Palo Santo – For arthritis, anxiety, panic, headaches, and allergies
- Patchouli – One of the best essential oils for hair care, dermatitis, mature skin, oily skin, stress, and chapped skin
- Petitgrain – For fatigue, acne, perspiration, stress, and insomnia
- Pink peppercorn – For circulation, sprains, and arthritis, and also works as a stimulant or an antiviral
- Rose – For digestion, sore joints or muscles, and congested nasal passages
- Spearmint – For nausea, vertigo, fever, asthma, and headaches
- Spikenard – For muscular spasms, menstrual problems, aging skin, sciatica, and neuralgia
- Sweet orange – For depression, acne, and digestion
Side Effects and Warnings
Even though essential oils come with heaps of benefits, they may also be dangerous if used incorrectly. Keep in mind that herbal products and plants contain numerous bioactive compounds that can be harmful for humans and animals. Of course, when essential oils for aromatherapy are combined with a base oil or inhaled, the majority are safe to use. However, children, pregnant women, and pet owners need to be extra cautious.
The most common side effects of essential oil usage include rashes, headaches, allergic reactions, and asthma attacks. Peppermint, ylang-ylang, lavender, and tea tree are the most common essential oils that have caused a great number of adverse effects.
Even some of the best essential oils for aromatherapy, such as cinnamon, contain phenols, compounds that are known for causing irritation on the skin. Furthermore, oils such as lemon may worsen a skin reaction to sunlight and make it more prone to sunburn. Above all, swallowing any type of essential oil may be hazardous and in some instances, fatal.
Helpful Ways to Verify Quality
Essential Oil Storage
The best pure essential oils should be stored in dark glass bottles. One of the easiest signs to look for when searching for a reliable supplier is how the essential oil products are stored. The best quality oils must always be sold in containers that are dark colored, like dark blue or amber.
The reason for this is that dark containers protect the essential oils from exposure to ultraviolet rays, which may cause degradation over time. Remember that any essential oil products that are stored in containers made from plastic aren’t considered pure essential oils.
The Essential Oil’s Texture
Another helpful way to determine whether you’ve spotted fake or pure aromatherapy oils is by doing the “greasiness” test. Try rubbing a small amount of the essential oil between your fingers. If it’s greasy or oily, it most likely contains a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil. Quite simply, pure essential oils absorb into your skin quickly, and they don’t leave an oily residue.
The Paper Residue Test
Do great essential oils leave residue on paper? Due to their volatile nature, quality pure essential oils shouldn’t leave any traces of residue on white paper when dried. Hence, an easy way to spot a fake “pure” essential oil product from the real thing is by conducting a simple test on white paper. If there’s any residue on the paper after you let the essential oil dry, most likely you’re dealing with a product that has been diluted with some type of carrier oil.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best carrier oil to mix with essential oils?
First, it’s important to know that carrier oils are typically extracted from seeds, kernels of plants, or even nuts. Since they’re neutral, carrier oils are a great way to dilute essential oils for hair and skin products, as well as scrubs or balms.
The number-one carrier oil is virgin coconut oil, which is full of antioxidants and is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Light olive oil is another great option, as well as jojoba oil and sweet almond oil. You can also try out argan oil, avocado oil, and even moringa oil.
What are the top 5 essential oils?
Our personal top five most-recommended essential oils are peppermint, lemon, lavender, rosemary, and frankincense. Peppermint is our top choice since it has a wide array of uses and benefits, such as relieving an upset stomach or alleviating soreness in the body. Also, if you struggle with bad breath, you can swish it around your mouth for a couple of seconds.
Did you know that many claim that frankincense is the king of essential oils? According to some, it’s extremely helpful in uplifting your overall mood, as well as supporting optimal brain functions.
To Sum Up
Hopefully, this review of the 15 best essential oils on the market will be of great help when searching for the highest quality product for you. All in all, we cannot recommend each of these products on our list enough, so we suggest you pick the one you like best. Also, have you already tried an essential oil product before? Which one do you recommend and why? Feel free to let us know in the comment section below.