Organic Vs. Non-Organic Essential Oils

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When it comes to buying essential oils, organic Vs., non-organic is a crucial question. Since essential oils are so concentrated, their effects can also be intense. In such a situation, you don’t want to dose your skin with a concentration of pesticides or other harmful chemicals. Read on to find out if organic really is better than non-organic.

Table of Contents

Organic Essential Oils

Essential oil is a natural oil obtained by distillation. They are a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile chemical compounds from plants. Essential oils feature the characteristic odor of the parent plant they come from. Certain parts of the plants, including leaves, barks, herbs, and rinds, are used for the oils.

Essential organic oils are, therefore, oils that are derived from organically grown plants. They are most commonly sold in the form of a naturally scented hydrophobic liquid. Not only are they protected from harmful chemicals during the growth stage, but they are also carefully manufactured while keeping chemical contaminants at a minimum. They are very concentrated and used as remedies, applied topically or through aromatherapy.

Non-Organic Essential Oils

In our day to day life, we use oils for many things.

Non-organic oils are derived from plants and produce grown with the help of synthetic chemicals. These include fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, and other such agricultural chemicals.
These oils are used for many things such as massages, aromatherapy, or for the treatment of skin conditions, etc.

Characteristics of Non-Organic Oils

Here are the characteristics of non-organic oils:

1. Polluted
2. Affordable
3. Quality
4. Production Method

  • Polluted – Non-Organic oils are derived from plants grown with the help of boosting chemicals such as fertilizers. Chemical pesticide and insecticide sprays are also used to protect crops. These chemicals pollute the soil the crop grows in and can be absorbed deep into the plant’s leaves, stems, and fruit. All of these contaminants can become part of the essential oils as well. Although, most commonly used essential oils such as Lavender and rosemary are highly bug repellant and are not sprayed with pesticide.
  • Affordable – Conventional oils, even essential oils are easily available in the market these days. You can find them at grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. For non-organic oils, the price is usually low and easily affordable. This is because of the easy growing techniques and large yield.
  • Quality – The therapeutic value of essential oils is measured from their quality. The chemical composition of the oil can make a big difference in the quality. Non-organic oils can sometimes feature a different composition that may change its color, scent, etc. These changes can also affect the healing or remedial properties associated with that oil.
  • Production Method – Essential oils are commonly derived from plants through a distillation, commonly steam distillation. Most pesticides cannot stand high heat and start to break down during this processing phase. Moreover, during steam distillation, only the smallest molecules can pass through via the steam, and pesticide sprays contain bigger molecules that steam simply cannot carry. However, if you buy Citrus essential oils, then non-organic may not be the best choice for you. Firstly, these plants are not pest repelling, so they are sprayed with pesticides. Secondly, citrus oils are derived through the cold-press method, which is more likely to allow pesticide molecules to pass through. For any other essential oils, non-organic can be as good as organic.

Features of Organic Oils

Here are the definition of organic oils:

1. Safer
2. Expensive
3. Quality
4. Production Method

  • Safer – Although organic plants are grown without synthetic chemicals, it does not mean that they are pesticide-free. Organically approved pesticide sprays are commonly used as a protective measure for crops. Therefore, organic plants can also sometimes contain some pesticide residue. However, after the processing and making of essential oils, most of the contaminants are left out of the oil, the same as their non-organic counterparts.
  • Expensive – Much like conventional essential oils, organic essential oils are easily available everywhere nowadays. However, they are usually accompanied by a hefty price tag. This is because of the unusual growing techniques and the attention to detail required for organic agriculture. Organic plants are usually grown in small amounts as they require more care than conventional crops. Similarly, the whole process of making them into essential oils needs to be regulated carefully to keep up with the strict guidelines for organic products.
  • Quality – It is commonly assumed that organic oils contain more healing qualities than their conventional counterparts. Although there is no solid proof for it, it is entirely possible. Organically grown fruits, vegetables, and crops contain more vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients than non-organic plants. This is partly due to the crop rotation technique, the organic fertilizer, and the usage of bees and other insects to pollinate the plant. The soil is richer, contaminants are kept at a minimum, and the crops flourish. Therefore, it is plausible that the concentrated oil derived from such plants is richer in nutrients.
  • Production Method – As said in the previous section, essential oils are derived through steam distillation. It is almost absolute for organic oils to be free of pesticide, even if it was sprayed with organic-approved pesticides while growing. It also guarantees that it is free of any chemicals and additives.


In conclusion, when it comes to choosing between organic and non-organic oils, it depends on your personal preference. Most essential oils contain a minimum amount of harmful chemicals, and some companies make clean oils without the organic label. Similarly, some small businesses may not be able to afford the organic label for their products. The quality of the product, the reputation, and reviews for the manufacturing factory are the biggest factors when it comes to choosing.

About the Author

Eliza Ward

Eliza Ward is a health enthusiast, nature lover, and full-time mother for 3 lovely kids in South Africa. She has always had a fetish for organic products and has the best product recommendations for all her friends and family. So she turned what she loved into her full-time job - by testing and recommending the best organic goods for our online readers. Read her reviews to know how detailed her observations are.