Synthetics: The Modern Challenge

What exactly does it mean.? And to what extent, synthetic oils in disguise as pure, have flooded our markets. How it has become, increasingly difficult for us, to escape them in today's world, with ultra-modern techniques used by spurious manufacturers to hide the synthetic nature of the oils and to claim as natural.
This article is attempted to discuss these concerns. Further, it highlights the undeniable significance of pure essential oils. Whether you are an aromatherapy practitioner, holder of a cosmetic business, or simply cherish essential oils at home, it is optimal to use fine quality oils that are pure, natural, unadulterated, undiluted, tested and safe to use. 

Adulteration for profits or survival..?

“This Could be Both”

Essential oils adulteration by some unscrupulous manufacturers may involve the addition of vegetable oils, synthetic extenders, or even using untrue label claims to increase margins. Adulteration is quite hard to merely spot at home, this can even trick the most experienced eyes. And unfortunately, it is relatively hard to escape in today’s world of hyper-competition, where price war has become the norm.

Role of marketing campaigns

Essential oils predominantly are concentrated botanical extracts, that are typically derived from plant parts, through cold extraction or steam distillation. Today’s marketing campaigns for these potent oils are often made devious by stimulating terms such as ‘100 % authentic’, ‘100% pure’, ‘100% natural’, ‘clinical grade’, ‘complete and pure’, ‘therapeutic grade’, and other similar types of labels.

Advertising, claims aside, makes it difficult for users to get a factual grasp on what essential oil purity truly is and how it adjusts within other quality indicators. The only way left is, to simply put your trust in the purity statement printed on the label of the bottle. 

Practices by spurious manufacturers to hide the synthetic nature

No matter the industry, all stakeholders of essential oils are driven by a need to seek the purity of essential oils at economical prices. Unfortunately, to cater to this necessity of the market, few companies, and suppliers, rely on spurious practices that might include, selling contaminated, or adulterated oils in the name of pure or authentic oils.

Following are a few methods adapted to conceal synthetic oils. These are done, in a much smarter way than ever before, and their sophistication will only increase in the coming days.

Diluting with carrier oils – Involves adding minerals or vegetable oils to “buck up” the volume of essential oil. The subtlety of this way is such that even expert evaluators may sometimes fail to detect it.

Diluting with other essential oils – To evade natural purity detection, other lower and similar essential oils may be added.

Mixing with synthetic constituents – Compatible synthetic constituents having similar chemical makeup are mixed to pass some quality controls or to enhance the aroma of essential oils.

Adding Non-Organic oils to Organic essential oils – Few manufacturers, have been suspected of doing this unethical practice, in an attempt to penetrate deeper into the cost-sensitive markets, with super low-cost oil offerings, and increase their profits.

Fraudulently labeling oil blends – This severe type of adulteration by suppliers is characterized by labeling blends, or cheaper oils, as more expensive.

Hence, this article suggests that sourcing high-grade or pure essential oils entirely lies on the accountability or ethics of your manufacturer. Always buy from trusted sources, who are ready to share the lab reports of their essential oils critical parameters like GCMS, from third party labs. Check for info about : origin of herbs, it’s scientific name, plant part used to extract the oil – be it flowers, leaves, stem or roots. And the extraction method used to produce it. Also look for batch number, manufacturing date and its expiry. Availability of all these information ensures, that the producer is serious about the quality of oil it produces. So, what’s left on your part before purchase, is to consider these critical parameters, the company’s transparency and purity statement. Thus, these factors can provide you with a peace of mind with regards to the purity of essential oils you purchase.

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