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Why The Hippie Homesteader just says NO to MLM Oils

I get this question all of the time - "Are your products made with Young Living oils?". My answer, "No" and most of the time that is the end of the conversation as the customer walks away with no further questions. While I can appreciate brand loyalty it leaves me a little bewildered. There are a vast number of essential oil companies in the world. There are many great products out there and there are many low quality or downright fakes. I totally understand the need for due diligence when it comes to these products, however, don't let good marketing impede your judgment of good quality.

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When The Hippie Homesteader began, choosing suppliers for our ingredients and packaging was probably the biggest decision we faced. From labels, to glass bottles, to cardboard shipping boxes. I wanted to make sure a supplier could fulfill what we needed, had high quality products, and were an ethical partner that we felt good about doing business with. By far the most important of these suppliers was the ones who would be supplying us with our oils and other raw ingredients. Young Living was considered, and quickly dismissed. With so many believing that YL sells the best oils in the world that may come as a shock, but here are the reasons why.

  1. Young Living doesn't sell in a volume that is large enough to suit our needs. Their bottles are typically 5ml (.017 oz). We frequently buy in quantities of 16 oz and up. Could you imagine the thousands of tiny bottles that we would have floating around our workshop?
  1. YL doesn't offer true wholesale. While they may advertise a wholesale price, that is just the price minus the sales person's commission. Basically they offer 24% off if you sign up for a 'wholesale' account. You are expected to resell the individual bottles and products (not necessarily create new products with them) at the retail price and you get to keep the 24% as your cut. That platform does not work for a producer of products.
  1. Many of our blends and products would be in direct competition with theirs. They have several blended oils, roll-ons, and skin care products. While I am sure they put out a fine product, it is undoubtedly mass produced and contain ingredients we would never use. Here at The Hippie Homesteader, we handcraft every bottle, bar, and jar that goes out our door. Every blend was created, perfected, and tested by us so that our customers receive the best possible experience when using our oils.

And then there are the much more disturbing reasons...

  1. We do not find YL's marketing practices to be honest. YL along with doTERRA make wild claims about their products. The FDA sent both companies letters warning them to stop making false medical claims. YL often claims only their oils are FDA approved, when in reality there are a list of oils that the FDA claims are GRAS (generally recognized as safe). The FDA does not favor one brand of oils over another.
  1. We feel YL is unethical. YL was recently fined for importing oils made from illegally harvested woods. Many essential oils are made from rare and endangered plants. Over harvesting is a real problem which is only made worse due to the growing demand for these oils. Furthermore, several independent testings have found that oils produced by YL that have been adulterated. Now this is not to say that YL purposefully adulterated the oils, but it does throw out a bit of their credibility when they claim the "Seed to Seal" promise.
  1. YL promotes irresponsible use of essential oils. Out of all the reasons, this was the biggest factor in why YL is not used in The Hippie Homesteader products. While I appreciate the fact that this company has brought essential oils out of the shadows and into so many people's homes, their blatant promotion of essential oil misuse makes me cringe and so very fearful for their customer's safety.

YL promotes the use of neat oils (undiluted). While there are a few oils that can be used undiluted the majority should always be blended in a carrier oil. This is not a question of purity or quality but a matter of potency. These oils are extremely concentrated, and many can burn you if used incorrectly. A few years back a lady used an undiluted citrus oil and then used a tanning bed. The images of her burns were horrific! So please, please, please, always dilute your oils no matter what YL says. Also, if you have an allergic reaction, stop using the oils. I have heard YL representative claim this is a detoxifying effect and to keep using the oil because it is working. No, this is an allergic reaction, and not something that should be ignored.

YL promotes the internal use of oil. Again, this is terribly irresponsible. Even just drop of oil is highly potent. As an example, one drop of chamomile essential oil is equivalent to 35 cups of chamomile tea. Many herbalist cautions against taking any essential oils internally, or at the very least do so under the close supervision of a highly qualified aromatherapist. I have seen YL promotions saying to use black pepper essential oil to liven up your mac and cheese, or add lime essential oil to your next batch of salsa for an extra zing! Essential oils are not flavoring and should NEVER be used that way.

YL promotes unsafe use in infants. Just as an example, their KidScents SniffleEase contains both eucalyptus and peppermint. These oils should not be used in children under 10 years of age but here they are being promoted for use in children. A few months ago, I happened upon an instagram post from a YL distributor talking about essential oils for babies. It was recommending the use of undiluted eucalyptus oil on the bottom of infants’ feet. I commented as nicely as I could about how this was unsafe, but my comment was quickly deleted and I was blocked from their page. This kind of disregard for safety in order to make a buck is very disturbing to me.

I am not trying to disparage a company or their thousands of independent representatives. I know that they love their products, and most are very passionate about wellness. What I do want is to bring more education and awareness and encourage all users of essential oils to do your own research and learn as much as you can about the products you are bring into your home and using on your family.

Have questions or want to voice your opinion? I love to chat all things wellness so any questions or discussions you would like to have please don't hesitate to contact me. It's not just my business, it's my passion.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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