Warning: In this piece, we are going to deviate somewhat from our usual emphasis on the virtues of essential oils. Today, we will take a step back and address another one of our core beliefs at ProEssentials – that the way we conduct the mission of connecting healing back to nature matters just as much as the products we create to do so.
Today, we pose a serious question – are the purity, goodness, and value of essential oils being contaminated by the very industry trying to expand their use?
It is no secret that the essential oils market is dominated by two main players. Driven by these two companies, there are two “givens” that everyone seems to accept without question:
- Oils are bought in non-diluted and therefore tiny quantities at high prices
- Oils are primarily accessible via a multi-level marketing model, or MLM
Let’s examine number 1: Oils are bought in non-diluted and therefore tiny quantities at high prices
Most oils are sold individually (not blended) in 5ml bottles, in undiluted form.
That's small, y'all.
This allows the companies to justify very high prices by emphasizing the purity and concentration of their product.
This also puts the responsibility of knowing usage and safety information completely on the user. Win-win…for the company.
Now let’s have a look at number 2: Oils are primarily accessible via a multi-level marketing model, or MLM
Most people know the basic idea of the MLM model – the parent company creates a product, but instead of selling it directly to users, they create a hierarchical sales force that they do not directly pay to do the work of selling. In fact, in a very real way the sales force pays the parent company for the right or privilege of selling the product, only qualifying for real compensation when they reach astronomical sales numbers. Wow. Sounds pretty genius…if you’re the parent company.
To be fair – there are certainly distributors who have and are having great financial success and whose lives have changed for the better as a result of participating in an MLM. If that’s you, then we sincerely applaud you. You keep right on doing you.
The reality is, the vast majority of people who join MLMs do not find entrepreneurial bliss and success. Researchers find that in the first year, an average of more than 50% of MLM distributors will drop out, and by year 5, 90% have quit. Read more here.
Young Living itself acknowledges that 92% of its distributors make a monthly income of $1. They explain this by stating that this huge majority “simply want[s] to enjoy wholesale access to superior products.”
Hm… the definition of “wholesale” is a large quantity sold at a discount in order to be resold. Let’s get real - an item that can be bought at a quantity of one 5ml bottle is not being sold at a “wholesale” price. Just because there is an even higher price marked “retail” does not mean that the “wholesale” price is actually discounted.
As for the reselling part, the company doesn’t mind if you resell what you buy. But they also don’t mind if you don’t.
What does all of this tell us? Here is the reality of how it’s done:
- produce product
set a price point – a high one, but then
- set an even higher price point. Call the first “wholesale” and the second “retail.”
sell product to an army of distributors along with promises and incentives that lead distributors to believe that they:
- are paying a discounted price, and
- can easily make a profit by selling the product to actual users
enjoy enormous profits from steps 1-3
- without regard for if/how the product reaches actual users, and
- without the cost of employing an in-house sales force.
We frankly find it sad that these oils, which are provided to us by our earth to nourish and heal us, are being peddled using these practices. From the concerns around safety and effective use, to the ethically-questionable practices that characterize the MLM model, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the way these pure and sacred products are being put into the world is decidedly impure and even toxic.
So where does this leave the average person wanting to use essential oils for healing and wellness without getting involved in all this?
That was our question.
Our answer is ProEssentials.
Our oils are 100% pure. Our oils are 100% natural. Our oils are carefully blended to deliver the full strength of the active components without compromising safety.
Our mission is to put these amazing oils directly into the hands of everyone wanting to experience them, in a form that is understandable and ready-to-use, at a price point that makes daily use affordable.
It’s as simple, pure, clean, and non-toxic as that.