Essential Oil Brands

NOW Essential Oils Reviews – Cheap But Any Good

Now Essential Oils Reviews

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Can’t say there are a lot of NOW essential oil reviews floating around the internet as in-depth as the one you are about to read.

now reviewsNOW is a very popular company that sells their essential oils, carrier oils, diffusers, etc. in a lot of different whole food stores, health stores, etc.  I discovered them one day while at GNC looking for essential oils.  The first thing I noticed about NOW essential oils is that their price-tag is very low.  From other companies, I have reviewed like Green Health I have found that cheaper isn’t always better, though.

I will tell you a little about the company NOW.  The name of the company is NOW Solutions, but I will refer to them as NOW, throughout this review.

NOW was founded in 1948.   Paul Richard who was an entrepreneur purchased the company which was a manufacturing company which made legume-based products and grain.  NOW is a family-owned company that has survived 6 decades of business.  They are a Chicago-based company that sells natural food, sports nutrition, personal care products, supplements, and essential oils.  In total NOW has over 1,400 different products that they sell.

“A helping hand since 1968” is stamped on a lot of there different products.  They believe that good health isn’t just for the rich, but can be obtained with their products at a reduced price tag.

I’ve been testing out NOW essential oil for several months and will let you know about my experience with them in this full NOW review.  At the end of this review, I will either recommend them or point you to another company.

NOW Pros

  • Been in business for over 50 years.
  • Sold in a lot of whole food stores.
  • Low-priced essential oils.
  • Pure essential oils.
  • Organic essential oils.

NOW Cons

  • Some oils listed as diluted or contain carrier oils which are stated on the bottle.
  • Essential oils are not third-party tested.
  • Questions on the purity of their essential oils.

NOW Essential Oil Bottle

The bottle of NOW essential oil will be labeled the following ways:

For my example, I am using a bottle of lavender that I bought to describe what content will be printed on a bottle of essential oil from NOW.

  • First, you will see the logo and picture of the plant. Under the picture of the flower “100% pure lavender” is printed on the bottle.
  • Next, you will see the Latin name for lavender which is Lavandula angustifolia.
  • Then, 2 fl. oz (59 ml) is printed under that.
  • On the side of the bottle, the aroma is labeled as “floral”. Lavenders attributes are soothing, normalizing, and balancing.
  • Then, there is a “head ease blend”, which states you should add 3 drops lavender, peppermint, and chamomile to clear your head.
  • The extraction method is steam distilled and lavender is extracted from the flowering tops.
  • Next, “purity tested/quality assured” is printed on the bottle.

You will see a mailing address on the bottle which is:
NOW Foods
Bloomingdale, IL 60108, USA.
nowfoods.com/nowsolutions

On the other side of the bottle, you will see the suggested use. It states that you should dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil like jojoba, grapeseed, olive, or almond.

It states that you should consult a doctor prior to using this essential oil and there is a warning label that states you should keep out of the reach of children, avoid eye contact, and don’t use this product if your pregnant or nursing. Also, it’s not intended for internal use.

NOW Purity Test

Essential oils need to be pure in order to have any therapeutic benefits.  Otherwise, you are just paying for a fragrance that doesn’t actually have any healing properties.  There are a lot of companies that actually don’t care about the industry.  They will sell their essential oils knowing that they have been adulterated.

NOW Testing At A Glance

Furthermore, NOW does test their bottles using a test called a GC/FTIR.  This is the industry standard that established essential oil companies use.  It stands for gas chromatography and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy.  Basically, this means that these test will show all the chemical components that are in the tested essential oil.

However, NOW does have their own quality control team that does these test.  It’s recommended to send them to a third-party laboratory where they can test the essential oils there.  It’s a good quality control measure to follow.  I have learned this important tidbit from Plant Therapy which does use a third-party laboratory to test their essential oils.

My NOW GC/MS Testing Findings

A lot of companies will allow you to view the GC/MS test of their essential oils on their website. However, I looked everywhere on their website and couldn’t find any reports proving the purity of their essential oils.

But, I can’t recommend something without researching it and testing. For instance, other companies I have tested out were ArtNaturals (see review) and Radha Beauty (see review). I found out that those essential oils were adulterated.

So, I searched and was able to find a few GC/MS testing on NOW essential oils. I was a little shocked by what I found though.

For instance, on Dr. Robert Pappas (AKA Dr. P) site (https://essentialoilanalysis.com) it showed conflicting testing reports. What do I mean by conflicting test reports? I will explain down below:

Lavender was tested. Here is a screenshot of the findings:

NOW lavender essential oil GC/MS Testing

What I don’t like about what I found was “lavender has been adulterated with significant amount of lavandin oil as indicated by the elevated levels of 1,8-cineole, camphor, and boreal which should all be under 1% in true lavender”.

NOW adulterated comment

This really kind of made me rethink about the whole NOW brand of essential oils. But, wait there is more.

Tea Tree was also tested. You can see the screenshot down below which shows what they found:

NOW Tea Tree Oils Testing

Nothing was found as adulterated or synthetic is this tea tree essential oil.

Therefore, I have mixed feelings on NOW essential oils. One of the oils that were tested shows it was adulterated. The other one that was tested shows it’s pure.

NOW Crafting & Harvesting

NOW Building

Essential oils have to be extracted the proper way.  Meaning there are some methods that you shouldn’t use when extracting essential oils.  For instance, using heat for steam distillation is frowned on in the industry.  Poor extraction can negatively affect the quality of the chemical.  The following are ways in which NOW extracts their essential oils:

Steam Distillation

This method is used to convert the plant into vapor and then condensed into a liquid form.  They can then be bottled after they are steam distilled. It’s a perfect way to gently extract the oils while leaving behind any impurities that are in the plant.

Cold Press Extraction

Cold press extraction is used in a lot of different citrus essential oils.  For instance, Lemon, Orange, Tangerine, etc. are cold press extracted.  It’s a way to extract the botanical to get the most concentration out of the plant.

Solvent Extraction

Plants that are too delicate to be extracted will use a solvent to extract the oil.  For instance, jasmine and rose are extracted with solvent extraction.

CO2 Extraction

Is a way to extract the oils without heating the plant and doesn’t leave any kind of solvent residue behind.

Certified Organic

All of their essential oils are pure unless it’s labeled on the bottle.  For instance, jasmine is 7.5 % pure.  Their essential oils are free of synthetic compounds.  NOW does offer certified organic oils too.  These are free of pesticides, herbicidal residues, and synthetic fertilizers.  For instance here are a couple of their oils that are certified organic essential oils:

I should note that organic essential oils are a little higher priced than other essential oils that are not verified as organic.

NOW Smell Test

Some essential oils that I have tested from other companies can smell off.  Meaning, you can smell alcohol in them or some other foreign substance.  This was certainly not the case with the oils I tested from NOW.

I spent hundreds of dollars on their oils and have used them hundreds of times. It’ appears that the quality is the same when I smell them, though.

I like to diffuse my essential oils in my InnoGear 150 ML diffuser to see the quality of the essential oils.  You should be able to smell the scent from 6-10 feet away.  The essential oils that I tested in my diffuser smelled good and were pretty potent.

I have even made my own Thieves blend with their oils because their oils are much cheaper.  I was very happy with the way they came out, too.  Lastly, I have used them in my own homemade own Poo Pourri recipes.

NOW Products

One thing that is very different about NOW essential oils is you can’t buy oils in 5, 10, and 15 ml.  Instead, you need to purchase at least an ounce of the oils.  Therefore, if you have never used the essential oil you might want to test it out with Aura Cacia, Plant Guru, or Plant Therapy first before you buy a whole ounce of the essential oil.  However, NOW does sell starter sets and you can purchase the oils in 10 ml.  To the best of my knowledge you can’t buy 5, 10, and 15 ml essential oils individually from NOW.

Starter Kits

You can purchase gift sets with NOW.  They are great for birthday gifts, holidays, or if you’re new to aromatherapy and would rather purchase several oils at once.  It helps with the cost.  Here are some of the sets that NOW offers:

Put Some Pep In Your Step

Includes the following essential oils (10 ml each):

  • Grapefruit.
  • Orange.
  • Lemon.
  • Cheer Up Buttercup synergy.

Love At First Scent

Includes the following essential oils (10 ml each):

  • Cinnamon Cassia.
  • Rose.
  • Bergamot.
  • Naturally Lovable synergy.

Let There Be Peace and Quiet

 

Includes the following essential oils (10 ml each):

  • Lavender.
  • Peppermint.
  • Eucalyptus.
  • Peace Sleep synergy.

Seasonal Changes

 

Includes the following essential oils (10 ml each):

  • Tea Tree.
  • Eucalyptus raidata.
  • Nature’s Shield synergy.
  • Clean The Air synergy.

10-Oil Variety Pack Sampler

Includes the following essential oils (1 ounce each):

  • Jasmine (fragrance not really an essential oil).
  • Citronella.
  • Tangerine.
  • Lavender.
  • Peppermint.
  • Tea Tree.
  • Eucalyptus.
  • Orange.
  • Rosemary.
  • Clove.

Carrier Oils

 

Don’t get me wrong NOW does have a lot of different essential oils, but if you’re looking to use them topically you need to mix them with a carrier oil.

I really like how NOW has a 5-pack sampler which includes almond oil, avocado oil, vegetable glycerine, grapeseed oil, and apricot oil.

  • Grapeseed is good for premature aging and contains a lot of essential fatty acids.
  • Vegetable glycerine is a carrier oil that is found in a lot of cosmetics.  It absorbs quickly and is a soy based carrier oil.
  • Apricot Oil is good for sensitive skin and absorbs quickly into the skin.
  • Sweet almond is packed with Vitamin A, B, D, E, and also has Calcium and Zinc in it.  It doesn’t clog your pores and leaves your skin smooth and soft.  Also, it reduces inflammation.
  • Avocado oil has Vitamin A, B, D, and E.  It helps improve the elasticity of your skin.

NOW Customer Support

Customer support is always important in any aspect of a business.  Since essential oils are very potent you might have some questions about them.  There is a lot of information online that is actually incorrect regarding essential oils and aromatherapy.  If you have questions you can always ask NOW.  You can contact them through their website.   You need to go to their contact page at: https://www.nowfoods.com/now/about-now/contact-us

Here is an example response I got from NOW on a question I had on ingesting peppermint essential oil:

NOW Customer Support

 

You can always check out NOW’s FAQ section if you have any questions about essential oils at: https://www.nowfoods.com/now/nowledge/essential-oil-faqs

NOW Prices

Price is a factor you should always consider when purchasing essential oils.  You don’t want to overpay for essential oils.  However, you don’t want the price to be too good to be true because often times they are low-quality essential oils.  Here is how NOW stacks up price-wise with other companies:

NOW (1 oz)$7.77
Plant Therapy (1 oz)$10.95
Edens Garden (1 oz)$16.95
Aura Cacia (15ml)$5.49
doTERRA (15ml)$13.33
Young Living (15ml)$14.80

NOW Final Verdict

Do I recommend NOW?  Yes and no!

Their essential oils are on the lower end, price-wise.  But, the quality is sacrificed since their oils are cheap (I believe).  I tend to buy essential oils that I use a lot from NOW because you can get an ounce for fairly cheap.  I can then clean my old essential oil bottles and make my own synergies and always have a lot of essential oils on hand.

However, do make sure you read the bottle before purchasing.  Jasmine, for instance, is a “fragrance” and they do have a bottle that is listed as 7.5% pure.  They do have a 100% pure essential oil for jasmine, though.

The part I really don’t like about NOW essential oils is I have spent hundreds of dollars on their oils.  I personally, recommended them to people.  Now, I discovered that one of their essential oils lavender was actually adulterated.  Really, hurts to have to state that.

The price is what first got my interest with their essential oils.  Now, I see that cheaper doesn’t always mean better.  I still have questions about the quality of their essential oils.

I tend to purchase essential oils from NOW that I know I need a lot of.  For instance, I used a lot of peppermint and lavender.  I make shampoo, cleaning products, lotions, etc.  However, I can’t be 100% honest with you and tell you their essential oils are pure.

Really, I would like to hear from an employee of NOW to see what they have to say about this review.  

Do you have any experiences or questions about NOW?  Please leave a comment down below.

NOW Review
  • Product Quality
  • Price
  • Range of Products
  • Customer Support
  • Value For Money
3.7

Summary

Now essential oils are one of those companies I do have questions about.  In the past, I have recommended them to people, but I discovered they “could” be adulterated. I do still use them for cleaning products and shampoos, though.

29 thoughts on “NOW Essential Oils Reviews – Cheap But Any Good

  1. I loved reading this article about NOW, I actually purchased a blended oil from NOW a while back. I was not too sure how I would like it, but it’s a nice smelling oil. It’s their bedtime blend, I always wondered how good their products were.
    It was also interesting reading about the company and it’s story, have you used any other products from NOW?

    1. Hey Brianne,

      NOW does have a great bedtime blend. I have used it several times over the years. I have used a lot of different products by NOW. To many to name with their essential oil brand. They do sell diffusers, too. But, I do use their supplements, too.

  2. I use oils for my diffuser and really like the assortment NOW offers in there packs. I’ve use other oils from different companies, but I am differently curious about the NOW brand. My favorite scent is the Eucalyptus. Thank you for my first NOW introduction. What else does NOW offer?

  3. I use other NOW products. I didn’t realize they had their own line of Essential Oils. Thanks for sharing! Do you recommend any of them for type 2 diabetes care?

    1. Hey Karin,

      There are a lot of essential oils for diabetes. Some of the popular ones are:

      Coriander seed.
      Lemon balm.
      Clove bud.
      Black seed.
      Black pepper.
      Helichrysum.
      Grapefruit.
      Cinnamon.
      Lavender.

  4. I love essential oils and always buy ones without a carrier oil. I buy my own carrier oil and love to use fractionated coconut oil.
    I also use this on my skin as it is so nourishing. I was just wondering about NOW essential oils and sleep blends. Does NOW offer a sleep blend? I have been using Aura Cacia for sleep, but would be interested in checking out a sleep blend if NOW offers the same thing, too.

  5. I really enjoyed your review on NOW essential oils! I am pretty new to the world of essential oils so starting out with a low priced high quality product would be ideal! Thank you for the great information!

    1. Hey Kait,

      There is a lot to learn about essential oils. I would suggest testing out NOW essential oils for yourself as well as other companies to see which essential oil companies oils you like. I really like NOW because they are cheap and 100% pure.

  6. I have never used NOW oils, but I’m new to the essential oil game. I will check this brand out for sure, I especially like that they sell variety packs. Thanks for the great information!

    1. Hey Stephanie,

      Essential oils can really change your life. There is a lot to learn about them. Their variety packs are a great way to save money. I highly recommend you buy a sample pack and test them out for yourself.

  7. Great information on essential oils! I have seen many different brands and never knew how to pick out the best one. NOW oils seems to be a great product to try. Knowing its safe and a great product makes a big difference! Thanks for a detailed review on essential oils!

    1. Hey Franklin,

      There are a ton of essential oil companies to choose from. Sadly, a lot of them are not pure, though. They are just fragrances, which doesn’t really have any real health benefits. I was glad to see that NOW is a genuine company that keeps their prices low. Very happy to have discovered them!

  8. Interesting. I never heard of the “blot” test. I love pure essential oils. I also use them for healing and other things depending on which oil it is. I especially love tea tree oil because it’s so useful for a lot of skin ailments. I also used to make candles and soaps with essential oils. They smelled so good. Great review of NOW, by the way. 🙂

    1. Hey Wendy,

      A blot test is a simple way to check the purity of the essential oils. However, when a company is fully transparent about the testing of their oils that helps, too.

      I love tea tree for it’s skin healing properties, hair growth, and germ fighting properties. I use it in my hand soap and it helps boost my immunity.

  9. This was good to read, we use a lot of NOW products and I am happy that their oils are of good quality and that they have been around for quite a while. We are in Indiana, might have to jet over to Chicago and tour the NOW facility for ourselves. I too have found that their oils are offered at a much more reasonable price range and we have gotten a lot of uses from them. I imagine that we will be using many more NOW products after having read this article. Thank you!

    1. Hey,

      Good to see that you are have used their essential oils and are happy with them. You should certainly fly over to their facility and get a tour. I would be interested to see it myself.

  10. I actually use NOW a lot.  They were the first essential oils I purchased.  I got started using essential oils a few years back when I was looking for something to use for my migraines.  And I found NOW on Amazon.  They have a wide variety of oils they sell and I’ve really enjoyed them.  Even though I’ve gone to other companies for certain oils, there are some that I just really enjoy the way that NOW makes them.  Thank you for the information on the blot test.  I didn’t know you could do that with the oils.  So, I’ll be using that from now on.  

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Hey Kaeyoes,

      Thanks for your feedback on NOW essential oils. I’m glad that you are happy with them.

      They do offer a ton of essential oils, don’t they!

      Actually, a blot test isn’t a very good way to check the quality of essential oils. I have removed that from my website and feel much more confident testing them out in with laboratory testing. It’s more an exact science.

  11. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review on the NOW Essential oil range! It’s nice to be introduced to an organic and pure essential oil range that is not so pricey!  Thanks for all the experiments, it really helps to build confidence in a product if I can see real people’s experiences with a product! Well written review, thank you so much!

  12. I’ve really been intrigued lately with the possibility of using an essential oil diffuser. I like that NOW offers those starter packs of a few different oils. For one, they put them into nice little packages with the contents right in the label (such as put some pep in your step – you know that those oils are for energizing). I would like to try the package for relaxation and sleep. Sometimes my daughter has a hard time getting to sleep and am wondering if this might help her out a bit. I love the 10 oil sampler pack too! You get to try whole bunch of different ones that are pre-selected for you – which is nice when you don’t know a lot about essential oils and which ones you might want. Thanks for the great post and great ideas and information!

  13. It would be stupid to not believe in this company when it has been in business for so many years. My sister is using their products and she is very satisfied. Anyone can afford to buy this essential oils because they are not expensive at all. You have done a great job by reviewing this company. They are great.

    I actually bought one of their bottles of essential oils at GNC the other day.  I got the essential oil “Peaceful Sleep”.

  14. This is a really fantastic article and review on NOW essential oils.  

    I like how you explained what carrier oils were. I have heard about these oils before and how you need to mix them when you use essential oils topically, but I was unsure of what they were exactly.  I have heard that you can use olive oil as a carrier oil.  Is that true?

    Also, wow they’ll pretty cheap too. I’ve heard of essential oils being more on the expensive side, but NOW seems reasonably cheap.  Do you know if they ship to Canada?

  15. I’m not well-versed in essential oils, have not heard about NOW until now. But I’m surprised at how old the company is, it actually started in 1948, that’s a long way back! So their quality must have been the primary reason that allowed them to survive that long in this highly competitive market. The  testing you have provided is so simple and fool-proof, I really like it. Thanks for bringing this to us, essential oils can be cheap especially with a quality brand like NOW Foods. So this is a great option that budget tight people like me can try out. 

  16. I have used NOW Food essential oils in the past.  I have to say I have been very happy with them.  I understand that there are a lot of fake essential oil companies out there.  But, when I started using NOW Foods I was skeptical.  You just confirmed that they are good, which allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief.

    I typically get them from whole foods stores or GNC because they carry them.  Thanks a lot for your honest NOW Food’s essential oil review.

    1. Hey Ronald,

      Happy to see that you are happy with NOW’s essential oils. I know what you are talking about they are easily available at whole food stores. I have 2 within walking distance here.

  17. I have used NOW essential oils for a long time and I’ve been very happy with them. I actually burned myself on the oven. Applied the Lavender and within a day you couldn’t even see the burn nor did I have any pain. That was my moment of clarification regarding the Now brand. Love them!!

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