NOW oils are part of a well-known health and wellness company, NOW Foods. In this NOW essential oils review, I discuss questions about their essential oil products, including quality and purity testing practices. I also examine the company history, their product assortment, and price points for the consumer.
Essential oils are a wonderful way to enjoy the fragrances from some of today’s most sought after extracts. Aromatherapy oils are genuine reflections of the botanical from which they’re derived from. When diffusing these natural extracts are into the air of a room, they can inspire, energize, soothe, and encourage wellness and peace of mind.
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Today, pure essential oils are used in therapeutic settings to help achieve a positive mood and bring about relaxation.
Why Choose NOW Oils?(4.2 / 5)
- Pure quality at affordable prices. NOW essential oils are on the cheaper side of essential oils pricing. I am not completely surprised by that, as they are a huge company that probably buys huge amounts of raw materials at the same time.
- Widely available on Amazon from their official seller’s page, so you know you’re buying the real product from the real company, even though it’s distributed through Amazon shipping and marketplace.
- 50+ years in business and still family owned!
- The company contributes to charitable organizations and causes as part of their core business mission.
- With a wide product selection that covers many of the things you’ll need, you can stock up your essential oils library all in one shop. From popular lavender oil to empty spray bottles for DIY recipes, NOW oils has got you covered.
- Free shipping for orders over $50 within the contiguous 48 states. $5.95 flat fee shipping for orders to Alaska and Hawaii. No international shipping is available at this time.
- Excellent customer service available via toll-free phone number (call 1-800-283-3500) or internet contact form submission.
A Brief Company History
The NOW essential oils company is officially called NOW Foods. I’ll be using the terms NOW Foods, NOW, and NOW Essential Oils interchangeably. Please don’t get confused, it’s all the same thing.
For over 50 years, NOW Foods has manufactured and distributed natural wellness products. Their assortment includes natural foods, dietary supplements, sports nutrition, and personal care products. Related aromatherapy products include essential oil diffusers, essential oil blends, and a selection of organic oils. In total, I found over 1,400 products listed!
In 1948, entrepreneur Paul Richard purchased a small Chicago-based manufacturing company that made grain and legume-based products. His son Elwood Richard founded NOW Foods two decades later, in 1968. This marked the beginning of a decade-long family company legacy. To this day, NOW Foods is still a family-owned company. It has grown to one of the natural product industry’s most recognizable brands.
NOW Foods was founded on the belief that good health is not a luxury available only to the wealthy. This translates into manufacturing high-quality, affordable nutrition products.
NOW essential oils are produced with loving attention to detail from start to finish. Quality has always been a cornerstone of their company. They source the best raw botanicals available, process them with gentle extraction methods, and commit to producing industry-leading pure essential oils.
One of the most important steps in assuring a quality oil is the process of extracting essential oils from their botanical origin. NOW brand uses only the best available practices:
- Steam Distillation: With steam distillation, essential oils are converted into vapor and then condensed into liquid form where they can be bottled for your enjoyment. It is a popular, natural and precise way to gently extract essential oils while leaving behind any undesirable components.
- Cold Press Extraction: Cold press extraction is another natural extraction method used primarily for citrus extracts, such as Orange, Lemon, Lime, Bergamot and Tangerine. It involves carefully applying a cold “press” to the botanical to extract the highest concentration of beneficial oils.
- Solvent Extraction: Plants that are too delicate or costly for distillation are often extracted efficiently using safe solvents such as ethanol. Examples of solvent-extracted oils include Rose and Jasmine.
- CO2 Extraction: CO2 Extraction is used to remove the oils or essence from the plant matter without using heat or leaving any solvent residue behind.
Poor extraction methods can compromise the potency, aroma and effectiveness of the resulting oil, making it imperative to pay attention to any essential oil brand’s process of manufacturing.
NOW Foods shows great care and stewardship for extracting the best essence of the essential oils you find in the bottles available for sale. This is why I continue to feature them on my popular list of top 10 best essential oil brands.
Essential oils are only a good as their active components. NOW continues to invest in the in-house laboratories, analytical instrumentation, and scientific staff necessary to ensure outstanding product quality.
NOW Foods uses their own team of quality control experts to conduct quality tests and ensure that each oil matches their standard. NOW’s team conducts a series of essential oil tests to ensure that each oil is of the highest possible quality.
All NOW Essential Oils are GC/FTIR verified, which is an aromatherapy industry-standard testing qualification. GC stands for Gas Chromatography and FTIR for Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. Not that these technical details really matter to the average consumer, but it’s good to know that this is not only a company-internal testing process labeled with some smart marketing name to confuse consumers. doTerra also uses GC and FTIR testing to ensure the quality of their essential oils (read it on doTerra’s blog here).
Food Grade and Therapeutic Grade
NOW Foods published one of the best and most honest things you can read about food grade and therapeutic grade essential oils. Find it in full, on NOW Food’s essential oils FAQ section, “Are Essential Oils Food Grade?“. I promise it will be worth your time! In summary, it says that:
- “Therapeutic grade” is a marketing made up by industry leaders. It cannot be chemically measured, and there is no authoritative body or organization behind the term that could verify its use.
- NOW foods does not sell “therapeutic grade oils”. They choose to label them as 100% pure.
- Claiming an oil to be “Food grade” (i.e., edible) would require that brand to display a Nutrition Facts panel on their label as required by law.
- The FDA has a classification named GRAS (generally regarded as safe), and a list of essential oils falls under that classification. Still, it is the explicit choice of NOW essential oils company to not market ingestion of essential oils.
- Oils that are not food grade will have the statement “Not for Internal Use” in the caution box on the label.
- If you recognize the source of these oils as food (i.e. basil, oregano, cinnamon bark), then natural extraction methods such as steam distillation and cold pressing do nothing to change this quality, and these methods do not make the oil toxic.
Certified Organic Essential Oils
All NOW oils are pure, natural, concentrated and free of synthetic compounds. A selection of NOW brand essential oils are also classified as Certified Organic. But not all NOW Foods essential oils are organic products – only the ones labeled as such.
To qualify for USDA organic certification, the raw materials have to be sourced from certified organic ingredients. grown in soil that is free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizer and herbicidal residues. There is a definite demand for organic products in the market of health and wellness shoppers today.
All essential oils from NOW Foods are subject to the same internal testing process as the “Certified Organic” ones. They just don’t all qualify for displaying the USDA label.
NOW Essential Oils vs Young Living
Many readers always wonder how NOW oils compare to the Young Living brand. Here are the main major differences:
- Young Living is an MLM brand, meaning Multi Level Marketing. This means there are always “middlemen” involved in you buying any bottle of oil. This jacks up the price unnecessarily.
- NOW oils are sold direct to the consumer, without intermediaries.
- Shopping with Young Living offers the benefit of that salesperson whom you can ask questions or personal recommendations. However, these independent distributors are not always qualified to give you the best advice. They take monetary compensation and definitely have an interest in selling you some product.
- Both YL and NOW test their oils with company-internal procedures. They do not offer 3rd party test results to the public. Thus, what you think in regards to their quality promise depends entirely on how the brand’s trustworthiness is perceived.
- Young Living owns some of its own farms for gathering plant materials. NOW works with partnering farms to buy their raw materials at the best quality possible. Personally, I don’t think owning your own farms has anything to do with increased quality. It is a great strategy for saving costs and controlling the process. But I absolutely trust that other farmers around the world can do just as good of a job of growing, harvesting, and distilling quality oils for sale.
As a large company, NOW oils offers a wide variety of essential oil products. You’ll find single essential oils and popular essential oil blends. You can also choose from one of their 11 ultrasonic diffusers, and a handful of essential oil supplies such as empty amber glass bottles or bottle sprayers.
The NOW oils gift case is a favorite aromatherapy gift including a mini diffuser, 4 bottles of oil, and a handy carrying case to keep it all neatly tucked together.
NOW oils distributes a fine selection or starter sets or gift kits, making it easy to dive into using essential oils without having to decide which single oils to order to begin with. Here are my three favorites:
- Put Some Pep In Your Step: Uplifting essential oils. Includes 3 singles (Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon), and 1 blend (Cheer Up Buttercup), 10 ml each.
- Let There Be Peace and Quiet: Relaxing essential oils kit. Includes 3 singles (Lavender, Peppermint, Eucalyptus), and 1 blend (Peaceful Sleep), 10 ml each.
- Seasonal Changes: Balancing essential oils kit. Includes 2 singles (Tea Tree, Eucalyptus radiata), and 2 blends (Nature’s Shield, Clean the Air).
With any of these starter kit options, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying essential oils!
Now Foods Carrier Oils
If you’ve come to love and trust the NOW essential oils brand, you might like to stock your cabinet with their carrier oils, too! You can get many popular carrier oils, including almond oil, avocado oil, grape seed oil or apricot oil. Prices range from about $5 for 4 oz of Apricot Kernel oil, to ca. $25 for 16 oz of Jojoba. These prices are extremely fair for the types of base oils sold.
Carrier oils are used to dilute an essential oil before applying it to our skin. There are many different types available to choose from, but this list includes some great favorites!
Some amazing properties of these carrier base oils are:
- Avocado oil is rich in vitamin A, D & E and can help you improve skin elasticity.
- Sweet Almond oil contains vitamins A, E , B, & D, and also Zinc and Calcium. This oil gets absorbed without blocking pores. It is lightweight and odorless, and calms skin inflammation, making your skin soft and smooth.
- Apricot oil is a great natural oil for use with sensitive skin. It easily blends with essential oils and absorbs quickly into the skin.
- Grape seed oil is a great source of essential fatty acids and prevents premature aging.
- Rosehip seed oil is rich in antioxidants, supports a healthy immune system and may fight skin aging and wrinkles.
As an essential oils beginner, the question is always how to use the oils.
Roller bottles are the easiest way to start enjoying your essential oils through topical application. The essential oils are pre-diluted to a safe ratio for use on the skin, and are used for external application only. Always make sure to avoid contact with eyes!
Apply it to the chest, wrists, or other desired pulse points for an energizing and cleansing aroma. Reapply as desired throughout the day.
NOW Solutions offers a combination of pure quality oils at affordable prices. They have built lasting relationships with their suppliers and vendors. This allows the company to buy large quantities of raw materials at large discounts. This gets passed on to us customers in the form of everyday low prices.
Please do not make the mistake of associating a low price with low quality. Some brands are simply more established, further along in their manufacturing processes or infrastructures, and can simply offer a better price to the consumer, without compromising quality or oil purity.
NOW oils could also be a good choice of brand for you if you need to shop in bulk quantities. Many of their essential oils are available in larger, 4 fl oz bottles, offering a great price point for a good oil.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my Now Foods essential oils review. I feel comfortable recommending NOW essential oils to you. I like their thorough scientific testing and declaration of information.
NOW oils are always attainable at a reasonable price. This, I think, is a big plus for their company on all levels.