Young Living has been offering 100% pure essential oils for decades…
And they’ve gained a huge following as a result.
But do they live up to the hype?
Young Living is a health and wellness MLM company that sells essential oils and other wellness products.
Founder Gary Young was onto the power of essential oils decades before they became everyone’s favorite natural remedy, home cleaning base, and fragrance substitute.
Today, he’s called the father of the modern-day essential oils movement.
But should you get involved? Keep reading to find out.
1. What does Young Living sell? Young Living sells essential oils that are genuine, free of synthetic chemicals, and pure. They also sell home care products and cleaners, supplements and nutritional products, personal care products, and diffusers.
2. What are Young Living’s most popular products? Their essential oils—lavender, orange, and peppermint—are their flagship product and remain their most popular. But for true believers, essential oils should be used in cleaning products, skin care, and nutritional health. So Young Living is giving people what they want: natural, trustworthy products that replace chemical-laden alternatives.
3. How much does it cost to join Young Living? You can join as an Independent Distributor as Customer if you purchase at least $50 a year. Or you can join as an Independent Distributor as Business if you enroll in the Essential Rewards program and order $100/month. For either option, you’ll need a starter kit, which costs $45 to $260, depending on the diffuser you choose.
4. Is Young Living a scam? No, Young Living is a legit company with legit products. You do need to be a smart consumer and do your own due diligence. We love essential oils as much as the next person, but you shouldn’t believe claims that they can heal medical conditions or replace drugs. You should also be aware that claims about purity are often exaggerated.
5. What is Young Living’s BBB rating? A
6. How long has Young Living been in business? Since 1993
7. What is Young Living’s revenue? $1.52 billion
8. How many Young Living distributors are there? 1.5 million
9. What lawsuits have been filed? In 2018, Young Living was ordered to pay competitor doTERRA $1.8 million in legal fees and other costs related to a long-running lawsuit that Young Living lost in 2017. In the case, Young Living alleged that doTERRA founders violated their employment contracts and stole trade secrets. The judge ruled that Young Living pursued the lawsuit in bad faith.  In 2017, Young Living was sentenced for the Lacey Act and Endangered Species Act violations and paid $760,000 in fines, forfeiture, and community service.  Also in 2017, Truth in Advertising called them out for making misleading income claims. Most of the instances listed appear to be fixed.  In 2015, the Environmental Research Center filed a complaint claiming some of Young Living products contain lead.  In 2014, Young Living was slapped by the FDA for promoting some of their products as drugs. 
So should you get involved?
Product-wise this company might be legit, but if you’re just interested in the business opportunity, there are better options out there…
Either way, here are 16 surprising facts you should know about Young Living essential oils.
#16. The world’s “leading essential oil company”
Chances are you’ve seen someone with their products at some point, if you don’t own them yourself.
And now, their sales for 2017 surpassed $1.52 billion, making them the largest essential oils company. They’re kind of a big deal.
#15. Huge market growth for essential oils
The market for essential oils has grown tremendously, and it’s only going to continue. Given that they’ve established themselves as market leaders, I don’t see this company losing ground anytime soon. 
#14. Global expansion
From a small Washington state farm to farms in Utah, France, the Middle East, and Ecuador, and they have offices in Australia, Europe, Canada, Japan, and Singapore. Young Living now sells in over 100 countries. 
They also have a farm in British Columbia where they grow black spruce trees for various oils, called the “Northern Lights Farm,” for public visitation. 
They’ve also been doing some pretty rapid expansion of their executive team. 
#13. Replaced their entire executive team in 2013
Well, they call it expansion. It’s more like replacement.
In 2013 they wiped their entire executive team clean and started from scratch, claiming that not everyone had the same interest in the company or shared vision as Gary.
It sounds a little shady and makes you wonder about stability, but after they replaced the team they experienced a huge uptick in growth, over 27% in 2013.
#12. Pretty much one of two empires
The other big player in this game is doTERRA, who has experienced a similar growth pattern but at almost double the rate. Young Living might not be the essential oils giant for long.
DoTERRA is newer, (founded in only 2008), so they have the advantage of being able to take over the hotspot without having to reinvent themselves. But can they hold their own against the OG, or are they just a trend?
The two rivals have butted heads on more than one occasion, with both having filed lawsuits against one another for false advertising and false lab tests as well as imitation. The courts did decide that the two oils have different compositions and dropped the case. 
#11. Started as a brick and mortar with humble beginnings
Young Living was once just a tiny brick and mortar on a street corner with one small organic farm and distillery. The owner tapped into his own farmland in Utah and Idaho when he discovered a budding interest in natural living.
#10. Always reinventing themselves
To keep up with the competition, Young Living just announced 15 new and rebranded products as well as their first ever over the counter products – plant-based cough drops and pain relief cream. 
As long as they do more than rely on what has brought them success in the past, they should be able to hold onto their market share.
#9. Mostly woman run
A lot of MLMs market themselves toward women and stay-at-home-moms, but they don’t all practice what they preach.
This MLM is one of the largest women-run businesses in Utah. Mary Young, the founder’s wife, is still an executive within the business, and about 90% of active sellers are women. Almost half the company’s C-level management team are women as well.
A spokesperson claims, “We’re role modeling women in executive-level positions. I think Utah County can ultimately lead out in shattering the glass ceiling.” 
#8. Developed their own standard for oils
Not all oils are created equal. In fact, most of the oils on the market are synthetic, especially if they’re cheap.
Young Living oils are so pure, they’ve even developed their own purity standard called the Young Living therapeutic-grade standard. They’re marketed as the purest oils on the market, never synthetic or diluted, 100% “seed to seal.” The company advocates often for industry purity.
#7. Founder is very passionate about the product
Founder Gary Young was in a nearly fatal accident that left him in a wheelchair and, tired of medications, he began to explore alternative medicine and healing. From that time, he developed products and advocated in the field of essential oils, even before most people knew what essential oils were.
May 12, 2018, Gary died following a stroke and other health problems.  Now, his legacy is being continued by a team as passionate about natural health as he was.
#6. Involved in sketchy dealings in the past
But it’s not all unicorns and rainbows with Gary Young.
He’s been involved in some questionable businesses in the past, including a Tijuana, Mexico, clinic in the 80s that ran cheap blood tests for Americans. One investigative journalist sent the clinic cat’s blood instead of human, and the scientists couldn’t tell the difference. 
#5. Huge variety of products blended with oils
From their original oils, such as lavender, orange, and peppermint, they’ve blended together an array of products from home living to nutritional supplements that include…
- Natural cleaning products
- Healthy Cooking
- Pet products
- Family Health
- Weight Management
- Joint & Mobility Assistance
- Energy & Stamina
- Antioxidant Support
- Age-Based Nutrition
Because of this, they have a product for just about anyone. If you have a problem you’re dealing with, a Young Living rep will almost definitely whip out a product they claim will help.
#4. Basic starter kit is relatively cheap
It’ll run you about $45, which is pretty cheap, and it includes a variety of samples. More expensive kits include full product.
#3. Member support is not always free
Most of the conferences, workshops, training kits, etc cost money, and representatives have complained that there is not a lot of online media and support offered up for free.
#2. Complicated compensation plan
There are a bunch of different ways to earn money. Whether or not you can earn a lot of money, though, is up in the air. Aside from profit on personal sales, you get…
- Downline commission. You get 8% of the sales off your first level, 5% off your second, and 4% on the next three levels.
- Fast start bonus. 25% commission for the first 3 months on every new recruit’s purchases.
- Member starter kit bonus. $25 for each new distributor you sign up who buys the Premium Member Starter Kit.
- Generation commission. If you hit “Silver”, you get an extra 2% on specific sales from your team, and when team members hit “Silver” themselves, you get 3%.
- Diamond profit sharing pool. If you hit “Diamond”, you get shares of 0.5% of Young Living’s commissionable sales.
#1. There is evidence that some of their products are synthetic
There have been many claims as well as a good amount of evidence (a lot of it buried by Young Living) that suggest their oils aren’t 100% pure and that many of them are, in fact, adulterated. 
During lawsuits between Young Living and DoTERRA, Dr. Robert Papas of Purdue University found that both had oils that use synthetic materials.  The lawsuits were therefore dropped by the courts. 
It’s no secret that essential oils are hot right now, just look at the Google Trends. But is there really an income opportunity here?
Sure, you might have a few friends you could sell oils to. But after those warm leads expire, how will you continue to sell?
Look, I’ve been involved with network marketing for over ten years so I know what to look for when you consider a new opportunity.
After reviewing 200+ business opportunities and systems out there, here is the one I would recommend: