DoTERRA vs. Young Living

The number one question I get asked about essential oils isn’t about essential oils at all; it’s about the company I chose–why DoTERRA vs. Young Living? And this post is to tell you exactly why I chose DoTERRA over Young Living.

I tried a lot of oils before settling on one brand. I was actually given DoTERRA oils over five years ago as a gift, but after I ran out I didn’t want to pay for them, so I started buying oils from other companies and off of Amazon. I actually ended up paying more for the same essential oils because I was buying such poor quality; they weren’t working, so I would buy from another company, and when that wouldn’t work I’d buy another cheap version, and the cycle continued for years.

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Eventually I learned that just like there are fake olive oils in the world, there are fake essential oils; and by “fake” I mean “synthetic”, “artificially made”, with additives, etc. and finally decided “fine, I”ll pay for DoTERRA’s oils”, and here I am.

You should know that a lot of thinking happened before I chose DoTERRA. I knew I wanted to share the oils with others and have the potential to earn an income, and I will totally be honest, I almost went with Young Living because, as silly as it sounds, their labels are way more photogenic…and aside from that, they had more products. However, after a LOT of research I ended up choosing DoTERRA for a few reasons:


I knew I would have the support I needed to learn about the oils and the support I needed to grow my business. When you join doTERRA you’re not just buying oils from some company–you’re supporting small business owners (like me!), and joining a community that helps you when you need it. I founded Love Wild Tribe for our members to learn more about oils, but also to simply connect with other like-minded people and I’ve loved seeing our wild ones reach out and lift each other up.

Co-Impact Sourcing + Sustainability

I’ve talked about this before, so if you already know about it you can scroll down to read about the drama between DoTERRA and Young Living (spoiler alert: Young Living just recently plead guilty to illegal sourcing of two of their oils). But I LOVE DoTerra’s “Co-Impact Sourcing” model;

  • Plants are grown in their native habitat and harvested at the best time to get all of the oil. Fun fact: Wintergreen grows in a lot of places, but it grows best in Nepal, so that is where DoTerra sources their oils. You can see how it is sourced here.

  • The oils are ethically sourced. DoTerra sources their oils all over the world (because some plants grow better in other places than the United States, obvs), and two-thirds of our sourcing is done in developing countries. Instead of going in and taking over, DoTerra partners with them, allowing them to grow and better their life without taking everything away from them or letting another corporation buy them out. DoTerra makes sure the growers get fair and on-time payments and also offers profit-sharing programs to the people they work with. Oh, and DoTerra helps to teach their partners to create cooperatives and preserve farmlands for the future generations. Which leads to the next point:

  • They love the earth! For me, this is huge. I mean, I’m not great at reducing my carbon footprint or recycling, but I planted 50 blackberry bushes this year, and over 50 trees on our property, so I’ve got that going for me. And fun fact: DoTerra’s name essentially means, “gift of the earth” and not only do they value their employees, they value the way the plants and oils are treated.

I love that DoTERRA not only has the best interests of the people involved, but they’re also looking out for the earth. They recently discontinued their white fir essential oil because it can no longer be harvested sustainably and instead have sourced a new oil with similar qualities; Siberian fir. They also sent in experts to Somalia to teach the harvesters how to treat their trees better in order to keep them alive and healthy longer teaching them that minimal cuts, rotational management of the trees, and a single harvest per season will ensure that their trees, and their livelihood, continues to thrive.

DoTERRA vs. Young Living

First, I want you to know that I love and respect anyone who chooses a company other than doTERRA. This is not  meant to bash my friends and family who use Young Living, nor bash the company itself, but to present you with facts along with my fun opinion. 

Quick facts:

  • DoTERRA founders were former employers of Young Living (Dave Stirling-fired and Emily Wright-quit)

  • While at Young Living Emily Wright was paid less than her male co-workers (screaming gender pay-gap) Dave Stirling fought to get her equal pay and was unsuccessful

  • Both were dissatisfied with the diminishing quality of Young Living’s oils

  • Both were pressured to lie about how much product came from Young Living farms to validate their “Seed to Seal” sourcing method

  • Less than 1% of Young Living’s oils are sourced from the farms they own, and the rest are sourced by “brokers” or middle-men, meaning the growers get less money and the middle-man profits

  • Both Dave Stirling and Emily Wright were accused of stealing trade secrets and employees. They were found not-guilty via trial.

  • Young Living plead guilty to illegal sourcing of two of their oils just this month (rosewood and spikenard) Young Living also stated that they are the ones that turned themselves in.

  • UPDATE added 8/13/2018; the Judge ruled that Young Living acted in “bad faith” in bringing the lawsuit against doTERRA. And in legal terms, “bad faith” means “intentional dishonest act by not fulfilling legal or contractual obligations, misleading another, entering into an agreement without the intention or means to fulfill it, or violating basic standards of honesty in dealing with others. ” (source). Basically, Young Living was just mad that doTERRA was doing well and ‘stole’ their ideas. This reporter said it best: “Young Living’s lawsuit was not seeking justice, but rather was used as a public relations vehicle by Young Living’s founder, Gary Young…” (see more here)

So many people tell me that even though they are familiar with Young Living, they feel a gut-pull towards doTERRA. The above reasons are probably why ♥

If you’re new to the world of DoTERRA and Young Living you may or may not know that once upon a time the founders of DoTERRA actually used to work at Young Living, but they didn’t agree with the way the company was doing things (such as gender-based pay, and cutting corners on the Young Living sourcing model). So they left the company to start their own (DOTERRA). This obviously didn’t sit well with Young Living, and they accused DoTERRA of stealing trade secrets and employees; and you guys, this lawsuit (technically I think two lawsuits), have been going on for the past five years and DoTERRA was found not guilty (source).

So basically, it seems that there is a natural “feud” vibe between DoTERRA and Young Living…mostly from Young Living, because I mean, they’re pissed off right, because they feel like DoTERRA stole their business (again, DoTERRA was found not-guilty), so it’s just like this wound festering in Young Living’s side.

I used to tell people, “They’re both great companies”, but after learning more and more about Young Living I can’t say that anymore. I think there are great people who work for Young Living, and like I said, you can choose whatever company you want, but now when people ask me “DoTERRA or Young Living?” I will 100% back DoTERRA.

Alisha Galbraith