doterra mlm

doTERRA MLM – The mother of all essential oil companies is not as pure as it claims to be

We’re living in a world where natural, organic and holistic practices are highly sought after.

Could it be lockdown that has opened our eyes to the importance of our mental and physical wellbeing?

Or, could it be the real damage caused by air, ocean and land pollution?


Whatever the reason, there’s a steady shift towards everything natural that puts us in harmony with ourselves and the world around us. This can be achieved through things like yoga, meditation and – you guessed it – essential oils. 

doTerra is an essential oils MLM in a storm of lawsuits with dodgy certifications of quality

If you’ve searched the market a bit, you’ve probably heard of doTERRA MLM, the global leader of essential oils.

But is this essential oil MLM company as pure as the products it sells?

Let’s find out…

Product Name: doTERRA

Price: $35+ per year

Founders: David Stirling, Emily Wright, David Hill, Corey B. Lindley, Gregory P. Cook, Robert J. Young, and Mark A. Wolfert

Product type: MLM (essential oils)

Overall Ranking: 4-5 / 10

The founders of doTERRA

In 2008, a group of health, wellness and business individuals set out to create doTERRA, a multi-level marketing company with the mission to create essential oils of the highest quality.

Their sales model and marketing strategy was a success, and in 2017, the company was valued at $5.1 billion. According to Verify Markets, doTERRA will be worth a staggering $25 billion by 2024!

Just so you know: doTERRA is a Latin-derived name meaning “Gift of the Earth”.

But you don’t reach such dizzying heights of success without making a few enemies along the way. And who should that be if not Young Living – another essential oils MLM company.

Why? Because the founders of doTERRA are former executives of Young Living!

A Billion Dollar doTerra Lawsuit

So it’s no surprise that Young Living accused doTERRA of breaking their contract and stealing their trade secrets. However, when Young Living filed a $1.5 billion lawsuit against doTERRA in 2013, the judge dismissed the case ruling that Young Living had misled the court.

doTerra MLM deep blue essential oil

But there have been other lawsuits as well.

The most recent was a doterra lawsuit 2021, when a 33-year-old real estate agent from Utah alleges in a lawsuit that the doTerra product contained more than 23 times the safe amount of bergamot oil — the same substance used to make Earl Gray tea — that can make a person hypersensitive to UV rays when applied to the skin.

There was also a recall of 1.3 million of the Deep Blue, Past Tense and Deep Blue Touch essential oils in April 2021 for failing to meet packaging requirements set by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Even though the product contained methyl salicylate, it was not in child-resistant packaging.

So there has been some serious doTerra criticism over the years.

doTERRA MLM is the worlds biggest essential oil company and, part of its success (and credibility), is its “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” (CPTG).

This refers to their testing process and it certifies the quality of their essential oils – which is a bit misleading.

CPTG, in fact, is not a third-party certification body. It’s an internal grading that doTERRA has managed to cleverly market and pass off as an industry standard!

So it’s not surprising that there’s a bit of controversy around this therapeutic-grade label, which does not mean anything, per se.

Plus, no matter how much the smell of essential oil can trick us into thinking that it’s having a positive effect on our body and overall wellbeing, at the end of the day, there’s no scientific evidence whatsoever to back it up.

doTERRA’s misleading claims that essential oils can prevent and cure diseases like COVID-19, autism and even cancer got a few letters of warning from the FDA.

Since then, doTERRA quickly made the appropriate changes to make sure that customers are well-informed about the (real) benefits of using their products.

If you think this sounds deceiving, read what some of these bad MLM companies are up to!

What does doTERRA sell exactly?

doTERRA MLM essential oils and hair care products.
Not exactly in everyone’s price range.

As mentioned so far, doTERRA’s main product line is essential oils. These are sold as single oils, propriety blends and many other doTERRA trademarked products.

Fittingly, they also sell essential oil accessories, like diffusers and travel pouches.

And as the company has expanded over the years, their products now also include, among other things, dietary supplements, training programs, books and hair care products.

In case you’re wondering, doTERRA MLM products are not cheap. Their essential oils cost twice, thrice or more than similar products you’d find in your local supermarket.

The doTERRA membership

doTERRA has two memberships: a Wholesale Customer and a Wellness Advocate. The first is for people who love essential oils and anything related to them, and the second one is for self-starters who want to make some money by selling doTERRA products.

  • Wholesale Customer: $35/year membership fee ($25/year renewal fee) that gives 25% off their products.
  • doTERRA Wellness Advocate: starter kits are priced at $105 and above.

doTERRA’s compensation plan

Like most MLMs, you make a 25% commission on any sales you make. You also earn bonuses by sales made through your downline.

Check doTERRA’s compensation plan for yourself.

But you have to make $100 in sales/per month to receive your commission. Unless you move in a circle of people who are happy to spend anything between $25 and $100+ for a tiny bottle of essential oil, it’s hard to imagine reaching $100 in sales – per month.

Is doTERRA MLM a legit company?

Although it operates a multi-level marketing model, doTERRA is – by all means – a legit company with many positive customers’ reviews.

The only reason I’m giving this company a low(ish) rating is because of its misleading “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” certification and its borderline false health benefits claims.

Plus, you can’t really make money as a Wellness Advocate (but you knew that already, right?).

Call me a fool, but I think that every company should be honest and transparent, especially with products that concern personal care.

From jet lag to stress, skin irritation and anxiety, people have many reasons to turn to essential oils, and I don’t think it’s fair to tap into people’s emotions through misleading marketing claims.

And if we can’t trust the biggest essential oil producer, who should we listen to?

The only reason you should think of joining the doTERRA MLM scheme is if you like their products and want a wholesale discount.

Otherwise, if you’re hoping to get rich by joining their MLM offer, you’re better off looking somewhere else.

Rating: 4-5/10

If you liked this article, you’ll love this one about the top-7 worst MLM companies.

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