dōTERRA and NOW are popular wellness brands with high customer satisfaction.
Determining which brand produces better essential oils depends on the variety of oils you’re looking for. It also depends on whether or not company structure is a motivating factor for you.
Let’s dive into these companies to help you determine which one best meets your needs.
dōTERRA vs NOW: Introductory Essential Oil Kits
For this comparison, we’ll be looking at the differences between base kits offered by each company. One thing you’ll notice right away is a huge price differential.
Since I believe that both companies produce excellent oils, I’ll place more emphasis on the oils included to help you decide between the two.
dōTERRA Family Essentials Kit
dōTERRA has an international flock of Wellness Advocates who sell their products to customers, and then earn a commission in return. It’s a controversial business model, but there are millions of people who swear by dōTERRA products.
For this collection, dōTERRA chose oils that “parents need on a daily basis to care for their families.” In this combination of essential oil singles and blends, you’ll receive 0.17 oz (5 mL) bottles of the following oils:
6 Essential Oil Singles
Single essential oils can be used alone or blended with one another for your own scent experience or personal care usage.
- An unmistakable resinous fragrance that generates warmth, frankincense smells wonderful when diffused. It offers anti-inflammatory benefits when diluted and applied to the skin.
- Calming herbaceous fragrance that can reduce tension and perform as a sleeping aid. Lavender blends well with citrus, woodsy, and spicy oils.
- Like most citrus oils, lemon can offer an emotional boost if you’re feeling down throughout the day. It’s also a great addition to DIY home cleaning solutions.
Melaleuca (Tea Tree)
- Tea tree oil is infinitely useful. When diluted, it helps cleanse wounds and skin irritations. You can also purify the air by adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your diffuser.
- This is a highly potent herbaceous fragrance that should be used sparingly. Oregano oil is antiviral and antibacterial. It’s been shown to be effective when treating plantar warts as part of some home remedies.
- dōTERRA reports that their peppermint essential oil has a higher menthol content than other brands. When diffused, it can help clear up nasal congestion. Peppermint can also help improve your mood.
4 Essential Oil Blends
Blends combine just the right amount of multiple oils to give you a unique fragrance and healing experience.
- If you or a family member are congested, dōTERRA Breathe can help clear airways and protect you from seasonal allergies. It’s a combination of laurel leaf, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, lemon peel, cardamom seed, ravintsara, and ravensara oils.
- This soothing blend was created with deep tissue massages in mind. It’s a combination of cooling oils that can soothe achy muscles. It combines wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, ylang ylang, helichrysum, blue tansy, blue chamomile, and osmanthus oils.
- In addition to being used as a home fragrance or body rub (when diluted), dōTERRA suggests that you can add DigestZen to teas or water to aid in digestion and prevent or address flatulence.
- Expect a sweet, spicy, and minty blend of peppermint, coriander, ginger, caraway, cardamom, fennel and anise.
- A warm, camphorous, woody blend of essential oils to help support the immune system.This invigorating aroma is a blend of wild orange peel, clove bud, cinnamon leaf, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus leaf, and rosemary leaf and flower essential oils.
- Add it to your DIY cleaning solutions to sanitize surfaces within your home.
This is only a portion of how each oil can be of benefit to you. But this set includes a quick usage guide that explains proper use and advantage of each oil.
dōTERRA also suggests that adding drops of these oils to your food or beverages will help support a healthy immune system. This may or may not be true, so it’s always important to consult with a medical doctor prior to using any of these oils internally.
- Nice introduction to the brand
- Includes singles and blends
- Interesting combination of oils
- Great gift idea for an EO beginner
- Small bottles for the price
- You’ll have to quickly replenish these small bottles
NOW Essential Oils Sampler
NOW is a family-owned company, founded in 1968, that’s a leader in the health foods industry. They sustainably source plant matter and rigorously test their essential oils for purity and safety.
Their sampler set includes a range of camphorous, floral, citrus, and minty essential oils that have a multitude of uses. Each bottle is 1 oz (30 mL), so you get to try a significant amount of oil, unlike some other sampler packs.
This set of ten essential oils includes:
- Distilled from citronella grass, this essential oil is pungent, citrusy, and musk-like. Sweet and lemony, citronella repels insects. It can also be used to make scented candles and bath soaps.
- Sharp but warm, NOW’s clove essential oil is steam distilled from buds, stems, and leaves, making it even more potent.
- Researchers have discovered that clove has antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and insecticidal benefits. When diffused, it pairs well with orange and lemon essential oils for an emotional boost.
- The refreshing and aromatic scent of eucalyptus cannot be mistaken. Whether it’s used alone or paired with other essential oils, like peppermint, the result is invigorating and delightful.
- This oil is steam distilled from the branches and leaves of eucalyptus globulus species. It helps clear congestion and can soothe muscles when diluted and massaged into the skin.
- This is the only one out of the bunch that isn’t purely an essential oil. Jasmine is quite costly, so it is not commonly offered as an essential oil. NOW’s Jasmine fragrance oil smells true to the real thing, though. Synthetic fragrances have been added in, but Jasmine fragrance still has to meet quality standards.
- It’s a romantic and swell floral scent that blends well with other soft and floral scents, like vanilla or lavender essential oils. If used topically, it should be diluted in the same way that you dilute pure essential oils.
- This oil is distilled from the flowering tops of lavender herbs. It’s light, floral, and herbaceous. You can blend it with other essential oil fragrances, or use it alone to alleviate anxiety and invite relaxation. When added to carrier oils, lavender can alleviate skin irritation, like eczema.
- Cold pressed from orange peel, this oil is refreshing and spritely. Its unique sweetness is why I add sweet orange oil to my DIY body creams.
- If you’re feeling down or tired, add orange oil to your diffuser to help you get through the remainder of the day. While this is one of close to two dozen NOW oils considered generally safe for internal use, it’s best to only use it internally with an abundance of caution.
- NOW’s peppermint oil is also generally safe for consumption, but only in small quantities – like 1/16th of a spoon or less. This minty oil has a cooling effect that can help clear the nasal passage. It can also perk you up when diffused.
- A sharp fragrance that almost smells medicinal, rosemary essential oil blends well with peppermint and citrus oils to give your home a refreshing, cleansing aroma. Simply add a few drops each to your diffuser.
- More intense than sweet orange oil, tangerine essential oil is also sweet but more concentrated. And you can combine the two with vanilla oil to make your home smell like a creamsicle.
- One of my favorite purifying essential oils, diffusing tea tree oil can purify the air and help you feel cleansed and renewed. Add eucalyptus or lavender oil to intensify the effect.
Whether they’re mixed with a carrier oil and applied topically or dropped in a diffuser, there isn’t an oil on this list that most people wouldn’t find helpful for everyday use.
Beyond being an introduction to the company, this set is also a great option for replenishing your essential oil collection.
- Excellent oils at quality price
- Exceptional value for a set like this
- Most oils will be used often (less waste)
- Oils will last longer due to bottle size
- There might be one or two oils that you dislike
- Jasmine is a fragrance oil
Takeaway: Between the two, NOW’s large bottles of premier quality oils definitely gives you more value for the price, so I think it’s the winner. dōTERRA oils are of great quality, but you’re also contributing to their Wellness Advocates commissions payments.
So you may want to think about whether you prefer to purchase directly from the company or contribute to third-party payouts.
dōTERRA vs NOW: Ingredient Sourcing
Both dōTERRA and NOW state that they sustainably source all of their ingredients. They’re involved in the process of selecting farms to work with and ensuring that those farms meet or exceed quality standards.
dōTERRA Ingredient Sourcing
Through international sourcing partners, dōTERRA helps build farmer cooperatives, community initiatives, and create an income source for farmers in impoverished communities.
Their raw materials are obtained from over 45 nations.
To lessen their impact on the environment, their farming partners practice regenerative agriculture. This results in less water waste, shipping materials by sea to reduce their carbon footprint, and sourcing farming materials from other eco-friendly companies.
dōTERRA helps preserve native plant life, and adhere to international regulatory standards.
NOW Ingredient Sourcing
Like most essential oil companies, NOW sources its ingredients globally. There isn’t one country that produces higher quality ingredients than another. Crops can get ruined or tainted no matter where they’re located.
They screen and regularly audit their raw material providers. Before a supplier is added to their approved list, NOW validates the suppliers’ quality systems. And according to their CEO, Jim Emme, the company is developing direct relationships with suppliers in order to have one less barrier against low quality materials.
Once they’ve gathered the raw materials from an approved supplier, they again test for:
- Plant identity
- Potential presence of heavy metals
- Any pesticides or other agricultural chemicals
- Pharmaceuticals or other adulterants
NOW even tests plant roots for any sign of pesticide contamination. They’re able to detect even the smallest trace amounts.
NOW also sources organic raw materials. They’ve been certified by the United States Department of Agriculture and Quality Assurance International.
Suppliers of organic raw materials must also share their organic certifications with the company. Their certifications list exactly what materials they’ve been approved to grow organically and those are the only materials that NOW will use in their organic products.
As a family-owned business, NOW takes their role in being kind to the earth seriously.
Some of their efforts include:
- Green facilities (lighting, solar panels, water conservation, electric car hookups)
- Use of eco-friendly packaging
- Partnering with environmentally-friendly companies
NOW aims to sustainably source high quality ingredients with minimal impact on the environment while keeping product costs low for their customers. The lower price point makes health and wellness more easily accessible.
Takeaway: Great care is taken to source and preserve raw materials and their native environments. Both companies go to great lengths to build strong partnerships and give back to the community.
dōTERRA vs NOW: Product Quality & Safety
dōTERRA claims to offer the “purest, highest quality” essential oils out there, and it might be true, but there is no regulatory agency that can verify this claim. Let’s take a look at how each company approaches product quality and safety.
dōTERRA: Product Quality
It doesn’t sit well with me that dōTERRA “…decided to set the standard for purity in the essential oil industry.”
I admire their mission, but without an outside regulating agency (which currently doesn’t exist in the industry) there’s no way to fairly verify that any one essential oil company exceeds all other quality standards.
dōTERRA tests its oils for contaminants and synthetic substances. They created the Certified Pure Tested Grade protocol (CPTG), and it’s performed on all of their oils. To be fair, they also have a third-party company verify the results.
As with most reputable essential oil companies, part of dōTERRA’s CPTG protocol includes measuring gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC/MS). GC/MS is the most common test used to determine oil purity.
dōTERRA has more suggestions for determining whether the essential oil you use is pure.
- Does the company use high quality raw material suppliers?
- Do they prevent raw material spoilage?
- Do they refrain from adding unnecessary ingredients?
- Does the company test all essential oil batches?
- Are the oils stored properly once bottled?
I think that these are useful questions to consider when choosing an essential oil company. dōTERRA also tests for microbes, heavy metals, and more using their protocol, which is great. I just don’t think there’s any way to know if other companies conduct the same or similar tests, also resulting in pure essential oils.
dōTERRA: Product Safety
While dōTERRA does state that not all essential oils are fit for consumption, I feel that they are still a bit too loose in their guidelines about ingesting essential oils.
It is true that these oils are natural compounds, but it’s also true that some of them can interfere with the effectiveness of prescribed medications. It’s also possible to worsen an existing medical condition if you take in too much of these oils.
Reading labels is important, but if you want to use any essential oil internally, please consult with your physician first.
NOW: Product Quality
NOW uses natural ingredients, meaning there aren’t any artificial substances added nor do they over process raw materials.
This company has Good Manufacturing Processes certification, and they audit their suppliers to hold them to the same standards. In addition to high supplier standards, NOW tests their raw materials using the latest techniques and equipment in their on-site laboratory.
They make sure to properly store their raw materials to prevent spoilage. This includes protecting them from moisture, extreme temperatures, and light. NOW seems to tick all the items on dōTERRA’s list for signs of product purity.
NOW: Product Safety
Unfortunately, not all natural products are safe to use in all circumstances. I think NOW rightly avoids encouraging customers to ingest their essential oils.
Even oils made with exceptional quality should only be taken internally under the direction of a medical professional. Miniscule amounts of essential oils can be harmful if not used properly. Also, there are over a dozen essential oils that should never be ingested.
For your safety, always research oils you want to use internally. Speak to your physician first, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
Takeaway: Both companies seem to care about customer health, but I don’t think there’s a way to prove that dōTERRA offers the purest essential oils on the market. It seems that NOW is just as good and far more reasonably priced.
When it comes to choosing exceptional essential oils at a reasonable price, I lean towards NOW product offerings. They hold high supplier and company standards but keep the customer in mind.
Choose dōTERRA essential oils kit if:
- You are not price sensitive
- You plan to use your oils internally
- You need more immune boosting essential oil options
Choose NOW essential oils kit if:
- You need to replenish your essential oil supply
- You want your oils to last a while
- You want a more cost efficient option
I think there’s something to say about a company that wants everyone to have a chance at embracing a healthy lifestyle without having to overextend themselves financially. You can find NOW’s essential oil sampler here.