All through my journey with essential oils, I’ve done a lot of reading and comparing, and Aura Cacia was one of the companies I’ve used and researched.

Since the success of my first side-by-side oil company comparison, many of you have asked me to compare more companies.  So today I’m sharing a comparison of Aura Cacia Essential Oils and Young Living Essential Oils.

This is part of a larger series, and I’ll be linking up each new article on this master post.  That way you can have all of the comparisons in one place for future reference.

And, as always, I’m just sharing the factual information, side by side, complete with source links.  Understandably, I only have access to the information shared publicly by each company, but I tried to take care to fairly represent each party and keep personal commentary out of the equation.

So, no matter where the information may lead you, here is a side by side comparison of Aura Cacia and Young Living!

This is a very long comparison, so you can jump to a specific section by clicking below:

aura cacia vs. young living

Business Info

Company backgrounds

Aura Cacia

Aura Cacia was founded in 1982 and was bought by the Frontier Natural Products Co-Op in 1993 (their current parent company).  (SOURCE).

Young Living

Young Living was founded in 1989 and incorporated in 1994.


How to buy from each company

Aura Cacia

Aura Cacia is a traditional retail business and their products are found in local and chain health food stores, online health food stores, and some drug stores for retail purchase.  You may also buy their products directly from their website (SOURCE) or through online stores like Amazon.

Aura Cacia offers a 20% off your next order coupon for each friend you refer (via email) to buy from their website (SOURCE).

Young Living

Young Living is a network marketing company that relies on word of mouth referrals to market their products.

All Young Living products are available directly from the company either through a retail account or a wholesale membership account (neither account requires a person to sell or make referrals to use the account or get discounts).

A retail membership is free to set up (and lets the customer buy at full retail and a wholesale membership requires a 1 time membership cost starting at $45.  A wholesale membership allows the customer to purchase all Young Living products for a 24% discount on all orders.

Each month Young Living offers order freebies for orders that meet certain minimum amounts.  These freebies range between free full-sized products, points to be redeemed for free products, discount vouchers, and refunded order shipping (SOURCE-example).

Young Living also offers additional savings to wholesale members with the optional Essential Rewards program that rewards monthly orders with between 10-20% back in the form of points to be redeemed for free products, plus discounted shipping (SOURCE).

aura cacia vs young living

Product Selection

Essential Oil Selection

Aura Cacia

Aura Cacia offers 72 single essential oils for sale through their site (SOURCE) but not all oils are available in stores.  Aura Cacia offers 14 essential oil blends for individual purchase through their website, selection may vary in stores (SOURCE).  Aura Cacia does offer a selection of USDA Certified Organic Essential Oils (SOURCE).

Young Living

Young Living sells 90 single essential oils for individual sale. Young Living offers 132 unique essential oil blends. (SOURCE: YL 2015 Catalog)  Young Living does not offer USDA Certified Organic Essential Oils, but does advertise that they take “beyond organic” lengths to ensure quality essential oils (quote from member section of website below).

“Young Living prides itself on offering the purest and most effective essential oils possible, and we are often asked if our oils are certified organic. The organic certification, while important, is far from the only standard of quality by which to judge essential oils. Young Living practices a unique Seed to Seal® quality process that goes beyond the current organic standard in many ways. At Young Living, we don’t just rely on others to verify the purity of our oils. We work directly with our farms, growers, and distillers to ensure the quality, integrity, and authenticity of every product we produce. Our passion and commitment is to produce 100-percent pure, unadulterated essential oils that retain all of the natural constituents and therapeutic properties nature intended.Our Seed to Seal process ensures the purest therapeutic-grade essential oils through careful monitoring of every step of essential oil production—from the time a seed is sourced until the oil is sealed in the bottle. Every batch of our essential oils, whether cultivated on our own farms or by one of our carefully vetted partner growers, is rigorously tested and subjected to careful review through every step of production and meets or exceeds industry safety and purity standards.”–Young Living FAQs on member website 2/16/16

aura cacia vs Young Living

Other Products

Aura Cacia

Aura Cacia offers the following additional products (SOURCE, SOURCE, SOURCE, SOURCE, SOURCE, SOURCE, SOURCE):

  • Massage Creams
  • Massage Oils
  • Carrier Oils
  • Skincare Oils
  • Essential Oil Mists
  • Essential Oil RollOns
  • Essential Oil Chakra Roll-Ons
  • Body Care Products
  • Bath Products
  • Diffusers
  • Facial Care Oils
  • Products for Kids

Young Living

Young Living sells a variety of products from essential oils to essential oil infused lifestyle products (SOURCE).

  • Massage Oils/Carrier Oil
  • Essential Oil Roll Ons
  • Essential Oil Infused Supplements
  • Essential Oil Infused Skincare
  • Household Cleaning Products
  • Adult and Children’s Personal Care Products
  • Adult and Children’s Dental Care Products
  • Healthy Food Options
  • NingXia Wolfberry Supplements and Products
  • Atheletic Performance and Support Products
  • Kid’s Essential Oil Blends
  • Animal Care Products
  • EO blends for Animals
  • Diffusers

aura cacia vs Young Living

Quality Control

Aura Cacia:  “Source to shelf strategy” (SOURCE)

Oil Sourcing

Growing Practices: An  Aura Cacia representative visits with oil growers and distillers to inspect plants, growing conditions and make sure of correct harvest times (SOURCE).

Distilling: After the oils have been distilled, Aura Cacia requests a sample of the oil from the distiller and has it tested (with the same tests described below) to see if it meets their requirements before they agree to buy it.  If the oil passes the tests it is packaged into drums and shipped to the Aura Cacia facility in Urbana, Iowa (SOURCE).

Aura Cacia shares the following sources on their website (SOURCE):

  • Madagascar (vetiver and ylang ylang)
  • Western Sumatra (patchouli)
  • Washington, USA (peppermint)
  • Brazil (lemon eucalyptus)

No other sourcing information is publicly available.

Oil Testing

Aura Cacia does the following tests on their oils (SOURCE):

  • Organoleptics/sensory evaluation
  • Specific Gravity
  • Optical Rotation
  • Refractive Index
  • Gas Chromotography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)


Young Living:  “Seed to Seal Quality Promise” (SOURCE)

Oil Sourcing

Young Living has a three-pronged sourcing program:

Owned Farms:

  • Young Living owns farms in (SOURCE):
    • Mona, Utah, USA
    • Salalah, Oman
    • St. Maries, Idaho, USA
    • Simiane-la-Rotande, France
    • Guayaquil, Ecuador
    • Highland Flats, Idaho, USA
    • British Columbia, Canada
    • Split Croatia
  • Farming practices:  Young Living owned and co-op farms use organic farming practices including proper seed selection, organic cultivation, hand pulling weeds, and using essential oils for pest control
  • Distilling:  Young Living owned and co-op owned farms distill (and test) essential oils on location.
  • Transparency:  Young Living allows the public to visit their farms and see the growing and distilling process first-hand.

Co-operatively owned farms:

  • Young Living co-operatively owns farms in (SOURCE):
    • Taiwan
    • Israel
    • Dubai
    • Somaliland
    • Australia
  • Young Living co-op farms are required to grow and distill using the same standard that Young Living uses for their own farms.  Young Living regularly audits the quality and practices on these farms (SOURCE).

Select third parties:

  • Young Living sources from third-party growers/distillers (SOURCE, p. 277).
    • Young Living only purchases from third-party growers/distillers that grow and distill up to Young Living standards.   All third-party source oils are thoroughly tested before they are accepted and tested again before they are bottled and sold.

aura cacia vs Young Living

Oil Testing

Young Living personally tests (SOURCE) each oil they sell and sends oils out to third-party labs for testing (SOURCE).

Young Living does the following tests on their oils (SOURCE, SOURCE, SOURCE):

  • Organoleptic testing (smell test)
  • Optical rotation/chirality
  • Gas chromatography
  • Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy/Near Infrared (FTIR/NIR)
  • UPLC: Ultra performance liquid chromatography
  • Flash point
  • Flash point and combustability
  • Peroxide testing
  • Specific gravity
  • Refractive index

Return to the essential oil company comparison index.

What companies would YOU like to see compared?

What information is the most important to you as an essential oil user?  Please comment, I’d love to hear!



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