doTERRA is a heavy hitter in both the essential oils and direct sales industries. If you are familiar with either, you have undoubtedly heard about them. They are a direct sales behemoth flirting with reaching the lofty heights of legends such as Mary Kay and Avon. The company was founded in 2008 and by 2012 they were regularly doing more than $1 million is sales each day. Today that number has increased to multiple millions per day.
Here at Product Review Hero, we love reviewing direct sales companies, but we generally like to review start-ups. Companies that are new, small, and exciting. Companies with big dreams and small budgets. That being said, doTERRA piqued our interest. What caused this kind of explosive growth? What is their secret to success? And what are these essential oils all about anyway?
So we dove in head first, joined the company, tested the products, and wrote this review. Now, we’d like to share what we learned with you. By the end, you’ll understand why doTERRA has been so successful, and you’ll get a darn good essential oil education along the way. If all that reading isn’t for you, use our handy table of contents to skip to the section that interests you. Thanks for reading.
As I mentioned, doTERRA was founded in 2008 by a group of healthcare and business professionals. From the beginning, their goal was to bring about a healthier and more natural way of living by introducing the general public to the healing powers that the earth has to offer. That’s why they chose to name their company doTERRA, meaning, “gift of the earth”.
They had seen the incredible benefits of using essential oils, both in their practices and their personal lives. They new that if they could get this healing natural resource into the public eye that it had the potential to change lives.
Essential oils weren’t unheard of in 2008, but they weren’t widely popular either, and there wasn’t any type of quality control or oversight to regulate what was being sold to people.
doTERRA set strict guidelines for their business regarding the quality and sourcing of their oils. This led to the creation of the industry’s first standard of quality, CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®.
This commitment to selling only the purest oils, and making sure that every bottle is absolutely up to par is one of the key factors that has helped doTERRA become a leader in the manufacture and distribution of essential oils.
I decided to include this “Welcome to doTERRA” video in the review because I feel like it gives some insight into what the company is all about. Plus, I just really like the song…enjoy.
These days doTERRA operates out of their corporate headquarters in Pleasant Grove, Utah. The company employs nearly 2,000 people in order to be able to support the more than 3 million independent distributors around the world. Their products are sold in 18 different countries around the world and they are still growing and expanding.
In 2010 doTERRA created the Healing Hands Foundation. This is a non-profit whose mission is to bring hope and healing to the world, by teaching impoverished cultures to be self reliant, thereby freeing themselves from poverty.
Over the years Healing Hands has been involved in many different projects including:
I was happy to see that doTERRA has chosen to share their time and resources with the communities around the world that need it most. Maybe it’s not a key to their success, but it does kinda give you the warm and fuzzies. You can learn more about doTerra and about the Healing Hands Foundation by visiting their website.
Essential oils are naturally occurring aromatic compounds. They are found in many different species of plants, hidden away in roots, seeds, fruits, bark, leaves, and flowers.
In nature they serve several purposes such as assisting in pollination, protecting plants from environmental and animal hazards, and giving flowers their unique scents.
If you are like me, you are probably wondering how they get the oils out of the plants and into those cute little bottles. Good question! This process is known as extraction, and there are actually a few ways to do it. The first way, and the way that doTERRA does it, is through distillation.
In the distillation method, steam is passed through the plant material. This causes the oils to be released from the plant and they are collected and cooled along with the steam. After cooling, the oil and water separate, and the oil is collected. This is the most expensive way to extract oil, but it is also the purest and most natural way, which is why doTERRA uses it.
The second way to extract oils is by using some sort of mechanical method to squeeze them out, such as a cold press. This is cheaper than distillation, but ends up mixing solids, juices, and oils all together. The oil must be separated from this mixture and it can be harder to get a truly pure product.
It is also possible to extract essential oils through chemical processes, but this taints the end product. These cannot be considered pure essential oils and should be avoided.
If you do choose to purchase oils from a company other than doTERRA, it is important to know which extraction method they use.
Essential Oils are a natural alternative to todays chemical laden synthetic products.
While the widespread use of oils is relatively new in the United States, essential oils have been used medicinally by ancient civilizations for centuries. As they become increasingly popular here, more studies are being done, and there is more and more scientific evidence for their safety and effectiveness.
Today, essential oils are commonly used for:
Before using any essential oil you should know it’s uses and benefits, and make sure it is safe for the application you are using it for. For instance, some oils are great for using in a diffuser, but should not be added to your drinking water. Just make sure you read the labels.
That being said, essential oils are super easy to use and there are three main ways that this is typically done.
Of course, this is just a brief overview of the ways that you can use essential oils. In fact, there have been entire books written on the subject. If you are interested in learning more, doTERRA has a lot of detailed information on their website, and even some free e-books.
Over the years, doTERRA has expanded their product line from an initial offering of 35 products to the library of more than 150 different items that they offer today.
Because the line is so huge, I won’t be able to review each product individually in this article. Therefore, I will review the main product categories as doTERRA has defined them on their website.
This category is comprised of exactly what it sounds like. Pure distilled oil from a single plant. There is a huge selection and the prices vary widely based on the availability of specific plants and the difficulty of obtaining the oil. I was actually shocked at the huge difference in prices. They go from around $15 for a bottle of Lemongrass oil all the way up to $366 for the highly sought after Rose Oil (it takes 10,000 Damask Rose blossoms to produce one 5ml bottle of Rose oil).
The bottles come in different sizes as you can see in the pictures above. The small ones are 5ml and the larger ones are 15ml. Here again this is due to the rarity and expense of the oils. A handful of them are also available in 10ml roll-on bottles.
As I mentioned, there are tons of different oils to choose from, and it might seem overwhelming, except for the fact that doTERRA’s website is chock-full of useful information. Simply click on any oil and you are presented with a full page of information describing the oil and where it comes from, how it is collected, the benefits you can receive from it, the best methods for using it, and any cautions that you might want to watch out for. The thoroughness of the information is impressive.
I certainly haven’t tried all of these oils, but I do use certain ones regularly, and I use the Lemon oil on a daily basis to add flavor to my drinking water. Over the years I have come to expect consistent quality from doTERRA. Every bottle I have used is pure, concentrated, and powerful.
Unlike the single oils, these are specially derived blends of oils that doTERRA has formulated in order to meet specific needs. Some are meant to treat ailments, while others are designed to enhance your mood or increase your metabolism. With names like Cheer, Slim & Sassy, Hope, and Passion, you can almost guess what they are for.
doTERRA has designed these to be a healthy natural alternative to common medications. The selection is impressive and it seems like they have a blend for pretty much anything you might need. Like the single oils, each one has a really nice detail page that gives all kinds of information about it, including which oils it is comprised of. You can also download the info page as a PDF and either save it to your computer or print it.
The prices are decent for these proprietary blends. Certainly much cheaper than if you were to buy the oils separately and mix them yourself.
On Guard is one of doTERRA’s best selling products. As you can see from the images above it comes in several different forms including cough drops, toothpaste, hand soap, and even laundry detergent. Some of them are sold out at the time of this writing, most likely due to COVID.
On Guard is a proprietary blend of wild orange peel, clove bud, cinnamon leaf, eucalyptus leaf, and a few other oils. It is designed to boost your immune system and when mixed with water it also makes a good non-toxic cleaner.
I have used the On Guard oil in my diffuser and have also used the cough drops, which work well. One common use is to take the oil internally as a seasonal preventative, just like you would Airborne or Emergen-C.
This is another of doTERRA’s proprietary blends that has earned its own category due to its popularity and the number of products that are made from it.
Breathe is made from a mixture of oils including Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, and Melaleuca Leaf. It’s designed to help clear your airways so that you can breathe better, feel better, and sleep better.
You can purchase breathe as a roll-on bottle, vapor stick, respiratory drops, or just straight oil. If you have a cold it works great in a diffuser, especially in your bedroom while you sleep. Another common use is to rub it into your chest to act as a decongestant, much like you would with Vicks.
As an active person and an avid runner, Deep Blue is one of my favorite doTERRA products. I typically use the muscle rub, as it makes a great natural alternative to Icy Hot. It rubs in nicely, gives you a soothing warm, cool, tingly feeling, and it’s not greasy or oily.
Deep Blue also comes as oil, roller sticks, and even a Deep Blue polyphenol complex in pill form. They are all useful in treating sore, tired muscles. Got a whole sports team at home? You can even buy Deep Blue Rub by the liter.
DigestZen is a collection of 8 different products aimed at helping with digestion and solving common gastrointestinal problems such as gas and upset stomach.
Six of them are in pill form, each one targeting a different function. You can also buy DigestZen as a straight oil and rub it in or inhale it.
The DigestZen product pages have tons of information so read about each product carefully to be sure that you choose the one that is right for you.
Like many companies, doTERRA has jumped into the arena of natural personal care products and developed a full line with tons of different options. They have everything from chap stick, to bar soap, to diaper rash creme. Of course they are all built on a foundation of essential oils.
The prices range from around $8 for their spa quality lip balm, to $275 for some of their bundle packages. As with all of their products, you can get significant discounts by being part of their Loyalty Rewards Program or by signing up as a Wellness Advocate.
I just ordered their natural deodorant and haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but will report back once I’ve tested it.
doTerra has a large selection of health supplements. Whether you are looking for meal replacement shakes, women’s health supplements, or just a daily multi-vitamin, you can find it here.
I personally use Mito2Max which is an energy and stamina complex. It works great when I need a boost of focused energy and it doesn’t make me jittery like other supplements that are high in sugar or caffeine.
The last product category I wanted to make you aware of is doTerra’s Diffusers. Sure, there are other diffusers out there, and if you already have one, it should work fine with your doTERRA oils. However, if you don’t have one, these are a great option. Some of them even come with oils.
I have been using a doTERRA diffuser for years and have never had any trouble with it. Most of them have optional light settings, auto-off timers, and can reach an average sized room. The Lumo will do larger rooms up to 540 sq feet, and there is also a kids version with colorful lights that is meant to be used in their bedroom.
One of the things I love about doTERRA is all of the information that they make available to their customers and Wellness Advocates. Their site contains tons of free e-books on topics like, “Essential Oils For Beginners”, “100 Uses for Essential Oils”, and “Essential Oils and Children”.
These e-books aren’t just selling tools or click bait either, they are actually well written and full of useful information. I’ve included a few of my favorites below. Feel free to click on them to read or download them for yourself.
In addition to e-books, doTERRA has lots of food recipes and instructions for do it yourself products on their website. They show you how to make anything from lip balm, body butter, and wood polish, to kale chips and fudgesicles.
After all this talk of oils and diffusers and supplements you may have forgotten that doTERRA is, at its heart, a direct sales company. They are in fact, quite a large direct sales company, with more than 3 million members or “Wellness Advocates”.
You might be wondering what prompted so many people to join doTERRA, and what the benefits of joining now are.
Just like every other direct sales company, the compensation plan can be confusing and full of tons of details, so I’m not going to pick it apart here. I will say that all of the direct sales companies I have researched for Product Review Hero are pretty comparable when it comes to pay, and doTERRA is right there with the best of them.
I just want to highlight a few of the main reasons I feel like joining doTERRA makes sense, especially if essential oils are something that interest you.
doTERRA isn’t going anywhere. They have been around for 12 years now, and they have proven themselves in the marketplace. They are built on a firm foundation of honesty and providing quality products. The company leadership continues to innovate and come out with new things as the essential oil market grows and changes.
Yes, 3 million Wellness Advocates is a lot, but the market isn’t nearly saturated yet. The customer base for natural health products is continuously evolving, expanding, and changing. doTERRA has proven to be adept at meeting the needs of their customers and increasing their sales and market share.
I know I said that doTERRA’s commission package was comparable to other direct sales companies, but it’s actually a little better than most. They pay 25% of retail sales, where many companies I have researched lately are only paying 20%. You also have the opportunity to earn more by building a team, and of course there are bonuses and incentive trips and all that good stuff.
A lot of people join as Wellness Advocates just for this. doTERRA distributors get great product discounts. Anything you buy personally comes at wholesale (25% off). Plus, when you buy using the Loyalty Rewards Program, you earn points that can be redeemed for free products.
If you buy essential oils on a regular basis, this makes a lot of sense, even if you have no interest in selling.
When it comes to essential oils doTERRA is the company to beat. They have experienced massive success in the industry because of their unapologetic focus on quality and their unwavering attention to detail. They do things right and they provide a product to their customers that works and that is unmatched in the marketplace when it comes to quality.
I don’t mean to harp on the whole quality thing, but it is also a key factor in their growth as a direct sales company. Distributors like products that are easy to sell. That, and the fact that doTERRA treats their Advocates well and provides a fair compensation plan. True, there are millions of Wellness Advocates out there. This can make the competition seem high, but the market for essential oils is huge and it’s still growing.
As a company these guys really seem to have it all together. I feel that I can comfortably recommend both their products and their business opportunity to our readers.