It has been quite a few years since I first investigated the different essential oil companies.  Things can change a lot in just a short time, and so I decided to go back and take a fresh look at what DoTerra and Young Living are doing right now, and how they currently compare.

I have friends in both companies, and while I personally use oils from one, I wanted to just share a factual comparison (complete with source links) between the two, without commentary, so that we can all see where they are now!

I’ll be comparing the companies in many different areas, and the source documentation for each point will be linked so you can verify the information and do additional research if you want to.

I want to be 100% honest and up front with you, even though I do have a definite personal preference between the two, I want you to be able to use this comparison to make the right decision for your family, no matter where that leads you.  

This is a lengthy comparison, so you can jump to specific sections by clicking on the links below:

doTerra vs Young Living

Business Details

How old is each company and who founded them?


DoTerra was founded in 2008 to sell essential oils and essential oil-infused supplements (SOURCE).  DoTerra was founded by David Stirling, Emily Wright, Gregory P. Cook, Dr. David K. Hill, D.C., Robert  J. Young, Mark A. Wolfert, and Corey B. Lindley (SOURCE).

Prior to founding DoTerra, David Stirling was employed as Chief Operating Officer at Young Living and Emily Wright as the personal secretary to Mary Young at Young Living.  Dr. Hill and Gregory Cook were also employed at Young Living, Dr. Hill as the Young Life Clinic director before moving to an educational position at the company, and Mr. Cook as Senior Director of International Development.

Young Living

Young Living was formed in 1993 and officially incorporated in 1994 by husband and wife team Gary and Mary Young (SOURCE).  Prior to forming Young Living, Gary Young ran a naturopathic clinic (1982-1989) where he specialized in herbs and later essential oils (SOURCE).

doTerra vs Young Living

Are DoTerra and Young Living MLMs?

Both DoTerra and Young Living are Multi-Level Marketing companies (MLMs) based out of Utah.

MLMs rely on making sales by personal referrals and reward individual members with commissions from sales that they make.  The details of each company’s specific structure are detailed toward the end of the post.

2015/2016 Corporate Earnings


Do Terra reported that they expected to achieve $325 Million in revenue in 2015 (SOURCE).  I will update with the exact figure once DoTerra releases their official year end figures.  I have not been able to find a 2016 revenue statement, although DoTerra did release a statement saying that they had reached 1 billion in lifetime (not yearly) sales (SOURCE).

Young Living

Young living reported actual revenue for 2015 of $1 Billion dollars in sales (SOURCE).  Young Living also reported actual revenues in 2016 of over $1 Billion in sales.

What do Third Parties Say?

The Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The Better Business Bureau is a third party business ethics organization and arbitrator.  The leader in business ethics and priding themselves in being an independent avenue for customers to get their problems corrected, the BBB has been bridging the gap between customers and companies since 1912.

In order to become an accredited member, companies undergo an extensive quality and customer satisfaction audit.  Accredited member companies must agree to a six-point code of ethics found HERE.


DoTerra joined the Better Business Bureau in May of 2017 and has a rating of A+ as of August 2017 (SOURCE).

Young Living

Young Living was a Better Business Bureau Accredited Member from July of 2015 through July 2017 and has a B business rating as of August 2017 (SOURCE).  I called YL customer service and’ asked why they were no longer BBB members, and was told that the costs of maintaining BBB membership were not justified by the benefits received, and that the documentation required by the BBB was not possible to provide due to the nature of the products they sell.  It would appear that there was some disagreement about the wording of product descriptions on the Young Living website that led to the withdrawal from the BBB.

The Direct Selling Association (DSA)

The Direct Selling Association was founded in 1910 as a way for Direct Selling and Multi-Level Marketing companies to self-police the industry and make sure that member companies were operating within a strict code of ethics.  The DSA exists to protect customers from predatory business practices and requires its members to adhere to a strict code of conduct (SOURCE). That code of conduct can be found HERE.


As of the time of the update to this article (July 2017), DoTerra is not a member of the Direct Selling Association.

Young Living

At the time of the update to this article (August 2017), Young Living is a member of the Direct Selling Association (SOURCE).

doTerra vs Young Living

Product Quantity and Variety

Exclusive Single Essential Oils

For the purpose of this comparison, exclusive essential oils mean that the single essential oil is not offered by the other company.  Blends were not considered for this comparison.


  • Arborvitae (Thuja plicata)
  • Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum–from the leaves of the plant)
  • White Fir (Abies alba)

Young Living

  • Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea)
  • Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
  • Blue Cypress (Callitris intratropica)
  • Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)
  • Carrot Seed (Daucus carota)
  • Cistus (Cistus ladanifer)
  • Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus)
  • Copaiba (Copaifera officinalis)
  • Dill (Anethum graveolens)
  • Dorado Azul (Hyptis Suaveolens)
  • Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)
  • Eucalyptus Blue (Eucalyptus blue)
  • Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • Galbanum (Ferula gummosa)
  • German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
  • Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
  • Hinoki (Chamaecyparis obtusa)
  • Hong Kuia (Chameacyparis formosensis)
  • Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
  • Jade Lemon (Citrus limon eureka var. formosensis)
  • Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)
  • Lauris Nobilis (Laurus nobilis)
  • Ledum (Ledum groenlandicum)
  • Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora)
  • Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium )
  • Mastrante (Lippia alba)
  • Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia)
  • Mountain Savory (Satureja montana) 
  • Myrtle (Myrtus communis)
  • Neroli (Citrus aurantium)
  • Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
  • Ocotea (Ocotea Quixos)
  • Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini)
  • Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens)
  • Petitgrain (Citrus sinensis)
  • Pine (Pinus sylvestris)
  • Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora)
  • Rose (Rosa damascena)
  • Sacred Frankincense (Boswellia sacra)
  • Sage (Salvia officinalis)
  • Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)
  • Tangerine (Citrus reticulata)
  • Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
  • Tsuga (Tsuga canadensis)
  • Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
  • Xiang Mao (Cymbopogon citratus)

Essential Oil Blends available for individual purchase

The number of essential oil blends is calculated by simply counting the blends available for individual purchase as listed HERE and HERE.  There are additional blends available in kits from each company that are not included in this count.

  • DoTerra has 19 essential oil blends available for individual purchase.
  • Young Living has 86.

doTerra vs Young Living


Other Products Available

Products available from DoTerra: (in the order that they are listed on their website)

Products available from Young Living:

  • Household products
  • Oral care products
  • Sports muscle rubs
  • Throat lozenges
  • Digestive supplements
  • Skincare
  • Hair Care
  • Bath products
  • Essential oil-infused supplements
  • Essential oils, personal care, and supplements for kids
  • Animal care
  • Einkorn Wheat food products and healthy sweeteners
  • Weight management oils and shakes
  • Essential oil diffusers
  • Carrier and massage oils
  • Energy beverages and supplements
  • Healthy snacks
  • Mineral Makeup
  • Baby Care Products

Essential Oil Quality Assurances

How do they get their essential oils?

doTerra vs Young Living

DoTerra Co-Impact Sourcing:

  • Contracts with local growers around the world to grow the raw materials for some of their essential oils (SOURCE).
  • Rely on local growers for their expertise in growing, harvesting and distilling at the proper time (SOURCE).
  • They prefer to use, where possible, raw materials grown in their indigenous locations (SOURCE).
  • Essential oils distilled by third party distillers (SOURCE).
  • Essential oils tested following distillation, at the production facility, and then chemistry is reviewed at the time of packaging (SOURCE).
  • Not all oils are sourced through co-impact sourcing, some are purchased through third parties (SOURCE).
  • Uses the Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade branding (CPTG) as their seal of personal approval over the purity and potency of the essential oils they sell (SOURCE).

Young Living Seed to Seal Process (SOURCE):

  • Young Living owns farms to grow raw materials in:
  • Young Living has exclusive cooperative growing operations in (SOURCE):
    • Taiwan
    • Israel
    • Dubai
    • Somaliland
    • Australia
  • Not all oils are personally grown, or from co-op/partner farms, some are sourced from vendors, but are still held to the Seed to Seal standard (SOURCE, p 277).
  • Young Living distills oils on their owned and partner farms.
  • Partner farms are subject to the same quality/growing/distilling standards as owned farms.
  • They use the Seed to Seal branding to represent their seal of personal approval over the purity and potency of the essential oils they sell.


Lab Quality Testing

Doterra orders the following tests (SOURCE):

  • Organoleptic testing (the smell test)
  • Microbial testing
  • Gas chromatography
  • Mass spectroscopy
  • Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Chirality testing
  • Isotopic analysis
  • Heavy metal testing

DoTerra’s lab testing is done by Dr. Robert Pappas and other analysts (SOURCE).

Young Living orders the following tests (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
  • Flashpoint
  • Flashpoint and combustibility
  • Peroxide testing
  • Specific gravity
  • Refractive index

Young Living does internal testing at their labs on their farms (including their farms in Utah, Oman, Ecuador, and Idaho (SOURCE).  Young Living also orders third party testing from third party labs (SOURCE).

doTerra vs Young Living

Charitable Efforts

DoTerra Helping Hands Foundation

DoTerra is heavily involved in both local and international charitable activities.  Their Healing Hands Foundation partners with charitable organizations such as Choice Humanitarian, Days for Girls, and Mentors International (SOURCE).

DoTerra covers all the overhead costs involved in running the Healing Hands foundation, allowing all donations to go directly to charitable outreach (SOURCE).

DoTerra’s Co-Impact sourcing model allows them to provide income opportunities for local growers and distillers in low-income and impoverished areas of the world (SOURCE).

DoTerra Cares is a community service program with opportunities for local community service in Utah (SOURCE).  This gives members local to the DoTerra Headquarters opportunities for charitable service.

The Young Living Foundation

Young Living operates the Young Living Foundation to do charitable work internationally.  Young Living covers all overhead and administrative costs associated with running the Foundation (SOURCE).

The Young Living Foundation runs five major projects worldwide including The Young Living Academy in Ecuador, the Maestral Orphanage in Croatia, Sole Hope, African Hearts Community Organization, and Healing Faith Uganda (SOURCE).

Young Living provides jobs for workers at their personally owned and partner farms, bringing opportunity to communities around the world.

doTerra vs Young Living

Company Membership Options and Details

Membership Options and Costs (US options)

DoTerra Membership Options/Costs:

  • Retail Customer (SOURCE)
    • No enrollment fee.
    • Purchase directly through a Wellness Advocate’s website.
    • Pay retail price.
  • Preferred Customer Membership (SOURCE)
    • $25 one time enrollment fee
    • 20% discount off retail prices
    • No required monthly purchases
    • May participate in the Loyalty Rewards Program
    • May earn free products and participate in free product promotions
    • May not build a business
    • Technically considered a retail customer (see p. 2)
    • No annual renewal fee
    • Can be upgraded to a Wellness Advocate account at any time by paying $35 to upgrade.
  • Wellness Advocate Wholesale Membership (SOURCE)
    • $35 one time enrollment fee
    • $25 annual membership fee on each anniversary of your enrollment (you receive a complimentary peppermint oil with your renewal).
    • Up to 25% discount off retail prices
    • Enrolling with a membership kit qualifies you for Loyalty Rewards points that can be spent on products 60 days after enrollment.  Membership kits start at $150 and range up to $2,500 (SOURCE).
    • No required monthly purchases.
    • May participate in the Loyalty Rewards Program.
    • May build a business and recruit new members, but not a requirement.

Young Living Membership Options/Costs:

  • Retail Membership (SOURCE)
    • No enrollment fee.
    • Purchases at full retail price.
    • No required monthly purchases.
    • May not participate in the Essential Rewards (Loyalty Rewards program).
    • No annual fee.
    • May not build a business.
    • May qualify for product promos and special purchase deals.
    • Can be upgraded to a wholesale membership by purchasing a starter kit or paying a one-time $45 membership fee.
  • Wholesale Membership (SOURCE)
    • Basic Starter Kit ($45) or Premium Starter Kit (options starting at $160 and ending at $260) required to open an account.
    • No annual membership fee.
    • 24% discount off the regular retail price.
    • A purchase of 50PV (approx $50) or more per year keeps the account active for 12 more months.
    • Eligible to join the Essential Rewards (loyalty rewards) program and earn points toward free products.
    • May qualify for product promos and free products.
    • Eligible to build a business, but not required to.
    • No monthly purchase required.

doterra vs young living

Loyalty/Monthly Ordering Programs

DoTerra Loyalty Rewards Program (SOURCE)

  • Members and Preferred Customers may enroll in the Loyalty Rewards program at the time they sign up for a DoTerra account.
  • Purchasing a special enrollment kit earns Loyalty Rewards product credit that can be spent after 60 days.
  • Loyalty Rewards requires a monthly order of 50PV or more.
  • Loyalty Rewards members are eligible to get the PV equivalent of their shipping costs (or some portion of them) back in spendable Loyalty Rewards points.
  • Loyalty Rewards orders of 125PV or more that are scheduled to ship on or before the 15th of the month receive a free product of the month.
  • Product credits are earned at 10% (months 1-3), 15% (months 4-6), 20% (months 7-9), 25% (months 10-12) or 30% (months 13+).
  • Product credits expire 12 months after they are earned, and can be redeemed only on products where PV is equal to the member price.
  • Redeeming Loyalty Rewards product credits is subject to a $3 fee per 100 product credits redeemed, and shipping is not covered by reward product credits.
  • Monthly order products and order date can be changed every month if desired.

Young Living Essential Rewards Program (SOURCE)

  • Wholesale members only are eligible to join the Young Living Essential Rewards program.
  • Essential Rewards Membership requires a minimum monthly order of 50PV.
  • Essential Rewards orders (and regular orders) qualify for special free product promotions (or additional rewards points) at the 190PV, 250PV, 300 PV, and 400PV order levels.
  • Essential Rewards orders receive discounted shipping rates.
  • Rewards points are earned at 10% (months 1-6), 20% (months 7-12), and 25% (months 13+).
  • Members receive special gifts on their 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, and 1 year anniversary of uninterupted Essential Rewards orders.
  • Product credits expire 12 months after they are earned, and can be redeemed only on products where PV is equal to the member price.
  • Business building members are eligible for special compensation plan bonuses when they are an Essential Rewards member.
  • There is no fee to redeem reward points, but shipping is not covered by rewards points.
  • Monthly order products and order date can be changed every month if desired.

doTerra vs Young Living

Earning Potential


Wellness Advocate members are eligible to recruit new members and new preferred members, but are not required to sign up members or “do the business.”  Members with  downline team members and customers are required (when they are Manager level and above) to place a 100PV order to qualify for commission (SOURCE).

Because the details of the DoTerra Compensation Plan is more detailed that I can cover in this comparison, you can view the details HERE.

View the DoTerra 2014 Income Disclosure HERE.

Young Living

Wholesale members are eligible to recruit new members and retail customers, but are not required to sign up new members or “do the business.”  In order to receive commission, members must place a 100PV order in the month the commission was earned (some bonuses are eligible with as low as a 50PV order) (SOURCE).

The Young Living Compensation Plan is more complicated than I can cover in this comparison, but you can view the details HERE.

View the Young Living 2013 Income Disclosure HERE.

So there you have it!

Just the details you’re looking for with the links to do more investigation!  I am super glad that you are interested in essential oils, and I sincerely hope that you find what you are looking for!

Read my original DoTerra Review

Read my original Young Living Review

Did I cover the topics you were wondering about?  Did I miss a critical piece of information?  Share your thoughts (kindly) in the comments!


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