They’ve been our families favorite for years, so of course everyone wants to know why I quit Young Living. Read on for the whole story.
I’ve been incredibly reluctant to write about my “break up” with Young Living for many reasons. Mostly, because I still have a lot of friends with the company who I love and respect. And also, because I know a lot of people trusted my advice and came to me for help. Publicly changing your mind about anything is a hard pill to swallow. I’m sure you all know what I mean.
I want to preface this entire article by saying I still believe Young Living has some amazing quality products. My family has used them for years with such good results. The oils literally changed my life.
But, I will no longer consider myself a partner with them and will no longer be recommending them on this blog, so I wanted to clear the air on why that is. I owe you that much.
I’m incredibly passionate about essential oils. If you’ve spent even 3 minutes on my blog or social media, you probably already know this, but if you’re coming from an internet search, welcome! I’m Angie, and I love essential oils.
My family turns to essential oils daily. We diffuse them, apply them topically for emotional support and focus, and I love making DIYs with them. (I’ll link to some of my more popular essential oil DIYs at the bottom of this post, so check it out!)
So, why did I quit Young Living if I love essential oils so much? Don’t worry. I’ll do my best to spill all the details below. Just know that this is only one blog post, though, so I may not go into too much detail.
How I Got Started with Young Living Essential Oils
I’ve been using essential oils for the better part of a decade, but for years, I was just grabbing whatever I could find off the shelves in the stores.
Mostly, I used them in cleaning, but I started seeing people talk about diffusers and carrier oils, and I was intrigued. What was I missing? Could I really use these essential oils for more than just homemade cleaners?
I’d tried several different brands of oils at that time, but the one name that kept popping up over and over was Young Living. (I now know that is because of the business structure that pays distributors to share and sell their kits, but I didn’t at the time).
I held off buying for a long time, because let’s face it. Their oils come with a much higher price tag, especially compared to the $3 lavender I’d been buying from the grocery store.
But one day a friend ordered their starter kit and invited me over to check it out. So, I went over and we chatted oils with her and a couple of other friends. I got to check out her diffuser (something I’d never used), smell all the oils that she had bought, and even put a few directly on my skin.
It was clear that the quality was way better than what I had been using. You could tell just by smelling them! Plus, I really liked how they had their “seed to seal” promise that guaranteed the quality of their oils, and a foundation that did so many good things around the world. It’s worth paying a bit more for those things, right?
By the end of that visit, I’d purchased my own kit and started anxiously awaiting it’s arrival.
I hadn’t planned on buying the whole kit, truthfully, but I added up the cost of what I wanted, and realized that the kit was actually the best deal. Honestly, it was the only way I’d be able to afford the oils long term, because it gave me special pricing (aka “wholesale”).
That was about 6 years ago now, and it’s the day I became a loyal Young Living customer.
Why I Decided to Become a Young Living Distributor
I actually refused to pursue the business end of Young Living after buying my first starter kit. In fact, I distinctly remember telling the girl I bought from that I was only interested in the oils. I’d never do the business.
I’d been part of another network marketing business back in college and lost a lot of money, so I had no interest in another one. Plus, I already had a business, and didn’t want to dedicate time to something new.
It wasn’t until I started this blog years later and wanted to share some of my favorite DIYs that I started considering the business side of this oily adventure.
I was already an affiliate for a few other companies, and knew that adding links to my posts were a great way to fund my blog and earn a little extra income. So, I contacted my upline (that’s MLM speak for the person above me in the business) and learned how to grab my link.
I quickly learned, though, that being part of the business side of Young Living was a lot more than I’d bargained for.
Why I Quit Young Living
This post contains affiliate links. That means I could earn a small commission based off of your purchases. To learn more, see my full disclosure here.
I guess I should have taken a closer look at the compensation plan before I started, because when I first joined, I thought all of these distributors were making money based on product sales. That’s something I knew I could easily do through my blog, and so I went for it.
Within a few days of joining, I’d realized this business wasn’t about selling oils.
It was about signing people up for an account. In laymens terms, that means sell them a starter kit and get them ordering regularly. It’s the only real way to make money. And don’t get me wrong. That option truly does get you the best price for Young Living oils.
If all someone wanted was a bottle of Lavender, I was instructed to just offer up my discount and add it to my own orders to enjoy the points I’d get. (Points to use towards more oils and products). That’s what I did for a long time, but when you look at it from a business perspective, it’s not really smart. My only profit from those “sales” was in the form of points to use for more oils.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t pay my bills in oils.
And the little bit of income I was earning from people who had signed up certainly wasn’t passive. No. I was constantly hustling.
In fact, the business groups were always full of people bragging about hustling from the car, or at their kids’ ball games, or on vacation.
On vacation, ya’ll! How is that “freedom??”
There were “post ratios” to adhere to, “hot words” to avoid using, and scripts written for you to send to your friends to get them signed up and “doing the biz.”
At the end of each month, members are given a list of ideas from those higher up in the company to help them “boost their numbers.”
Only, most of the ideas didn’t actually boost their paycheck. But…they boosted the paycheck of those above them.
This wasn’t what I’d signed up for at all.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big believer in good old fashioned hard work. I do it daily. But this?? This wasn’t the same thing.
Seriously. I just wanted to be able to sell a bottle of Lavender in a blog post when it was relevant. How did I turn into the girl who everyone thought was just out to make a buck? That wasn’t me! It broke my heart the day I told a friend about something I’d just bought, and she thought I was trying to sell her something. It was a huge eye opener for me. That’s how people saw me, despite my best intentions to break that stigma.
But I couldn’t quit, because as I’d been reminded over and over, success was right around the corner.
Except, it wasn’t. I went on this way for over a year, telling myself that I could make it work because I loved the product. (Which, I did). Finally, one day I realized my heart just wasn’t in it.
The MLM business structure is great for some people, but it just isn’t one that works for me, and I couldn’t do it any more.
That’s when I realized I wanted to quit Young Living.
Originally, I was only going to quit doing the business side, and continue using the products as I always had. I could earn the little bit of passive commission I’d built up and use it to support my purchases.
But within a month, I realized my commissions were no longer even supporting the minimum requirement set by Young Living to earn anything!
I got curious about some of the more sustainable options I’d heard about in the past, but really didn’t think anything would come of it.
It brought me down a bit of a rabbit hole, though, because I ended up spending months researching different sources for essential oil knowledge and comparing other companies and their usage guidelines.
Red Flags and Bad Advice
Let me be really clear. Young Living distributors don’t have to be certified aromatherapists. In fact, part of my business training included encouraging me not to pursue a certification. “It’s a waste of time,” they said. “Don’t get caught up in anything that won’t make you money,” they said.
But…I got into this because I really wanted to learn more about aromatherapy. And part of why I chose Young Living was so that I could get advice I could trust, instead of all the conflicting advice online.
I continued to further my education on the matter outside the Young Living influence, and the more I did, the more red flags I started to notice.
See, as distributors, we’re trained to not just give a straight answer to safety questions. We can say something like “well, this is what works for my family.” And that’s fine sometimes, when what you’re promoting doesn’t affect someone’s health.
But, a lot of times it did.
In one group, a poster asked for help because she had a hormonal imbalance, and every. single. response was for one product. But guess what…that product does the exact opposite of what she needed. It didn’t matter, though. It was a popular product and everyone swears by it. (That’s the thing…they swear by everything)
Another poster was struggling with the Young Living shampoo and conditioner. Much less serious than the hormone imbalance, sure. But when 50+ people were trying to tell her it was user error that was causing her to lose her hair, I had to leave that group. I wanted no part of it any more.
The longer I watched, the more uneasy I became. And the worst part is that nothing seemed to change over time. The bad advice wasn’t getting corrected. It just kept spreading like wildfire.
And, so…that’s why I quit Young Living. It was a hard decision to make, after years of being such a loyal customer. But it had to be done.
What to Look for in an Essential Oil Company
Of course, deciding to leave the company was only part of it. I still love using essential oils and needed a source I could trust.
I asked around to a lot of my essential oil gurus and fellow crunchy moms. I’m in a lot of Facebook groups for natural living, so I did searches in there, too.
It turns out that, surprise, surprise…the world of essential oils is very divided. And, everyone thinks their company is the best. So, there was a lot of information to weed through.
In the end, I decided to write up a list of what I wanted out of an essential oil company:
- Excellent quality control, from the farm lands to the final product.
- Transparency with their testing results and ingredients.
- A focus on quality education for their customers (vs the vague usage information I was receiving).
- Actual certified aromatherapists on staff giving advice.
- A good selection of blends and singles.
- Ease of purchase – I didn’t want another MLM with all their rules and business structures and sales gimmicks.
- It wasn’t a requirement, but I’d really hoped I could find a company with a philanthropic program similar to the YL Foundation, because I loved that my money went to support something bigger.
I wasn’t sure I’d actually find one single company that fit all of these requirements, but I was hopeful for at least most. If I could find a company that fit 5 out of 7 of my requirements without sacrificing quality, I’d be sold.
If not, I’d keep using what I was using as a customer.
I set out to research all the top companies I’d found by reaching out and searching my natural living communities. Over and over, I kept coming back to one company.
- Excellent quality control? Check. They even research the background and reputations of the distiller and farmer before partnering with them!
- Transparency with their testing results? Check. Right there on every single product, you can see the link to their third party testing results. You don’t even have to buy the product first!
- A focus on quality education from actual aromatherapists? Check and check. Plant Therapy has an extensive blog, videos, classes, recipes, and FAQ put together by their on staff certified aromatherapists. And you can even talk to them, too.
- A good selection of blends and singles? Check. While they may not have as many options as YL, one thing I realized is that I don’t actually use that many. Plant Therapy still has a huge selection, and an extensive KidSafe line. I’m having a blast checking out all their options!
- Ease of purchase? Check. I need an oil, go to the website, and add it to my cart. That’s it. No gimmicks. No required monthly orders. Plus, there’s free shipping in the US!
- Philanthropic Foundation? Check. Check out their Planting Kindness page to check out some of the things they do!
Want to know the best part? These oils are about a third of the price of Young Living’s, because they’re not paying all of their distributors. Because, yes. That’s why the oils were so expensive. It was a gut check to realize that.
At first, I thought it was too good to be true, so I put in a small purchase of our most-used oils to compare.
We did some comparisons straight from the bottle, in the diffuser, and topically (with proper dilution). Hands down I can tell you there’s not a difference in quality. Especially not such a difference that I’d want to pay three times the price.
I guess that’s another reason I quit Young Living, and I didn’t even realize it at the time. I always thought I was paying for the quality, and unfortunately, I wasn’t.
Needless to say, my family will be buying Plant Therapy essential oils for the foreseeable future.
Want to give them a try yourself?Get $5 Off Your $50+ purchase and FREE Shipping! Use code “5OFF”
Update September 2020: It’s been over a year since I left Young Living, and I haven’t regretted it once. In fact, I’ve recently made it my mission to learn about and review other top recommended essential oil companies to help you find the best fit for you! I love Plant Therapy, and feel like this post gives a pretty honest and thorough review of why I chose them, but if you want to learn about other companies, my first full review was on Simply Earth. You can learn about them here!
Final Thoughs on Why I Quit Young Living
Young Living does indeed make a quality product, at least from what I can tell. And I really do believe that their starter kits are a great deal to get you set up with a variety of oils to try from day one. Those two things are true.
But eventually I got sick of the sales gimmicks, bad advice, and overall business structure that put too much pressure on me.
I thought I was supporting one of the only truly high quality brands out there, but the more I watched, the more I realized it was all a marketing ploy. So much of what I was told was just a sales tactic.
We all just want what’s best for our families, and that includes finding brands we can trust. If that brand for your family is Young Living, then I 100% support that, and I hope it’s reciprocal now that you’ve read my experience.
But, if you’ve been considering breaking up with your favorite MLM brand, I hope seeing why I quit Young Living gave you some hope and some confidence. Because once you step back from that world, you’ll be able to see that there are so many companies offering safe, effective essential oils (with proof). So, have fun, shop around, and explore what’s really out there!
If you choose to give Plant Therapy a try, don’t forget you can get free shipping and $5 off a purchase of $50 with the code 5OFF!
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