The founders of the Young Living Essential Oils brand had started operations in 1993 as a small organic herb farming and distillation operation. Young Living was established in 1994 and the company developed farmland in Utah and Idaho and began cultivating different herbs, including lavender, peppermint, melissa and clary sage. They also designed and built a large, technologically advanced essential oil distillery in North America.
The company has its headquarters in Lehi, Utah (84043) and offices in Australia, Europe, Canada, Japan, and Singapore, as well as farms around the world.
Young Living Essential Oils uses the multi-level marketing model of direct selling to market its products and because of that business model they are one of the top essential oil brands.
Quality and Purity
Young Living Essential Oils has created a Seed to Seal® program for quality control. The program is based on “Source, Science and Standards.”
Pure ingredients are sourced from the company’s own and partner farms, and Seed to Seal® certified suppliers, who have to comply with rigorous standards and are subject to audit.
The supplies undergo extensive internal testing at the state-of-the-art testing and R&D labs of the company. Additionally, the company uses the services of independent third parties. The R&D function not only develops new products but also investigates harmful ingredients and ways to improve quality of products.
The Standards part of the program includes developing farming practices complying with legal, ethical and environmental standards, as well as rigorous quality control of the production processes meeting the highest standards.
Young Living Essential Oils sources oils from farms that follow specified standards for planting, growing, harvesting, distilling and producing essential oils. The sourcing standards are developed by working with a global expert on sustainable farming and sourcing.
The farms include their own farms, partner farms and Seed to Seal® certified suppliers, spread over all the six continents including North and South Americas.
The company partners only with farmers they trust. Even with trust, the company engages experts to validate that the agreed standards are being upheld. All supplies are tested before acceptance and those that fail the tests are either not purchased or are rejected.
The company encourages tours to their farms (on hold at the time of this writing owing to the coronavirus pandemic).
Extraction Methods and Distillation
Purest oils are obtained using steam distillation and cold press methods.
Young Living does not seem to reveal clearly how their products are extracted and distilled. Some product pages indicate that the relevant product was obtained using a specific method. Other product pages do not mention the extraction method.
The quality of all supplies received from farms and suppliers are tested at the company’s lab before being accepted for further processing. Young Living’s quality control team uses a battery of physical, chemical, and microbiological scientific tests to measure the exact components and properties of our essential oils
Each test is repeated numerous times during the quality process. Testing begins at our farms and continues all the way through the final stages prior to shipment to our customers. The tests include Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectroscopy (GC/MS) testing that can detect even tiny amounts of a substance in the tested sample.
The testing is not confined to in-house tests. Young Living also works with more than a dozen of the world’s leading, independent, and accredited labs with highly skilled and trained scientists who specialize in advanced product testing. The test results, however, do not seem freely available.
Grading and Certification
Young Living seems to depend on their internal Seed to Seal® certification that involves the entire cycle of quality assurance from sourcing through testing to adherence to standards, rather than on external certifications.
Essential Oil Singles
Pure oils are extracted from a plant or plant part such as seed, bark, fruit or flower. The oil is extracted from the botanical using different methods such as steam distillation, cold press and solvent extraction. The first two of these methods provide purest oils. Young living provides the name of the ingredient from which the oil is extracted on its product page.
The singles line of 88 oils includes Basil ($33.55 for 15ml), Clary Sage ($64.14 for 15ml), Frankincense ($99.34 for 15ml), Black Pepper ($25.33 for 5ml), Dorado Azul ($46.71 for 5ml), Mountain Savory ($33.55 for 5ml), Helichrysum ($115.13 for 5ml) and Blue Tansy ($124.67 for 5ml), among many more.
Essential Oil Blends
Different essential oils are blended to create unique aromas or special feelings. Essential oils can also be diluted with carrier oils as concentrated pure oils can cause skin irritation if applied in excess. The company provides the ingredients of each blend on the relevant product page.
The blends line of 77 oils (that seem to include some pure essential oils like Blue Tansy) includes Aroma Life™ ($64.80 for 15ml) that is a mix of Sesame, Cypress, Marjoram, Ylang ylang and Helichrysum oils; Awaken ($27.63 for 5ml) made by blending over 20 oils and essences; and Into the Future™ ($35.53 for 5ml) blended from several oils such as Sweet Almond, Clary, Ylang ylang, White fir and more.
Dietary Essential Oils
Dietary essential oils, with Vitality in their names, can be ingested.
This line of 48 products includes Basil $14.47 for 5ml) that can be added as a seasoning to food items or diluted with a carrier oil and ingested; Cardamom ($34.21 for 5ml) a powerful anti-oxidant can be added to sweet and savory dishes and hot drinks; Carrot Seed ($29.28 for 5ml) can be added to savory dishes; and Cinnamon Bark ($32.57 for 5ml) that can be added to dishes and can also be used as a dietary supplement.
Roll-ons have an applicator at the top of the bottle that makes it easy to apply it topically in small quantities. This can eliminate the skin irritation from applying a bit too much of a concentrated oil on the skin, in addition to conserving the expensive oil.
The roll-ons line of eight products includes Breathe Again ($34.87 for 10ml) that can be applied on your chest or under your nose, or even to massage fatigued muscles; Peace & Calming ($57.57 for 10ml) that can be applied to wrists, back of neck and shoulders in stressful situations; and Thieves ($39.14 for 10ml) containing oils of clove buds, lemon peel, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus and more to cleanse the air in stuffy spaces.
Massage oils can tone and nourish skin, make you smell great and relax your muscles.
Massage oils are a line of eight products that include Cel-Lite ($43.09 for 8oz.), Dragon Time ($47.04 for 8oz.), Ortho Ease ($47.04 for 8oz,) and Sensation ($47.04 for 8oz.) that creates a feeling of youthfulness and romance.
Collections like the Active & Fit Kit for athletes and other active people include a number of products tailored to meet common needs of specific user groups.
The line of 18 collections includes Active & fit Kit ($115.13) with 3.4 oz. of Cool Azul Sports Gel, and 5ml bottles of Deep Relief, RC, Thieves, Copaiba and Peppermint Vitality; Everyday Oils Kit ($182.57) with five Singles and five Blends suitable for regular use; and Vitality Culinary Kit ($111.51) with six Vitality oils that can be added to food and a set of branded kitchen utensils and tools.
Young Living offers several more lines of products, including:
- Diffusers that spread the aroma around your space and accessories that include essential oil showcases and carry bags
- Cleaning and personal care products under the Thieves line and Over the Counter natural wellness products
- Products that aid a healthy living style including nutritional supplements
A price comparison chart prepared by EssentialOilHaven comparing the prices of some representative essential oils, Lavender, Frankincense and Peppermint, reveals that Youg Living prices are highest in most cases. For example, Lavender costs $32.73 at Young Living compared to $23.10 at doTerra and $11.23 at Plant Therapy.
The company offers wholesale prices that are significantly lower. Though these prices are primarily meant for sales representatives, consumers who buy in bulk might also be able to buy at these prices.
Young Living Reviews
AromEssential has the following comments (among others) about Young Living:
- Young Living uses MLM marketing under which representatives have to buy their products and sell these (or recruit other agents) before getting paid.
- The company also had some run-ins with FDA in the past for claims that their products can cure disease conditions like MS
- Young Living cannot have survived so many warnings and hiccups without best quality product to stand behind. The founder of the company actually used to cultivate lavender, peppermint, sage and other herbs and distill them himself! So needless to say, the company has an imbued culture that revolves around a deep commitment to quality.
- Lavender Single, Black Pepper, Angelica and Kunzea, and the Thieves Blend are among the reviewer’s favorites
- Young Living sits at the pricier end and you have to pay for premium quality
Better Business Bureau Review Of
Young Living Essential Oils, LC is not BBB accredited. The BBB page reports 86 complaints against the company during the last 36 months.
Young Living has a wide variety of products, and has an extensive quality assurance program. The prices charged for the products tend to be high compared to other companies. If you don’t mind paying high prices for quality products, you can buy, probably from a representative known to you. You might also get some products not available from others.
- Young Living was started as a small operation in 1993 by Gary Young and his wife, who was a direct marketer
- It has grown in a major way with offices in Australia, Europe, Canada, Japan, and Singapore, as well as farms around the world
- The company has established advanced production, development and testing facilities
- It sources oils from around the world through its own farms, partner farms and Seed to Seal® accredited suppliers
- The Seed to Seal® program is an internal quality assurance program that focuses on sourcing, science and standards as described by the company
- Both supplies and products go through extensive internal testing and are also subjected to external testing according to the company
- The company uses MLM model of marketing that involves sales representatives buying the products and selling directly to consumers and also recruiting other representatives
- Young Living prices are at the higher end