Exploring the Vast World of Aromatherapy? Here are the 10 Best Cruelty-Free Essential Oil Brands

According to a 2020 study published in the 'Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine,' essential oils have exhibited "antimicrobial, antiviral, antioxidant, [and] anti-inflammatory properties."

Bianca Piazza - Author

Mar. 5 2024, Updated 10:50 a.m. ET

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It may have crossed your radar that "essential oils" have become two dirty words in recent years. While holistic trends and pseudoscience may have muddied the essential oil reputation, a 2020 study published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine shows that essential oils can help reduce anxiety and depression and aid with sleep.

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Still, essential oils — which are mixtures of volatile organic compounds extracted from plants — should be used with caution, as certain oils may contain endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which "appear to have enhanced breast growth in prepubertal children," as per the study.

Using essential oils in place of prescribed medications or treatments isn't advisable, and we always recommend talking to your physician before making any changes. That said, we've compiled a list of the best cruelty-free essential oil brands.

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The best cruelty-free essential oil brands for believers in the power of botanicals.

When used responsibly, essential oils can be wonderful for aromatherapy, holistic skin treatments, or even as eco-friendly mosquito repellents. If you're looking to finally fill that oil diffuser you received as a white elephant gift, check out our picks for the best cruelty-free essential oil brands.

Rocky Mountain Oils Attention Assist Essential Oil Blend

TikTok creator and holistic wellness devotee Amalia May uses Rocky Mountain Oils. The company verifies its oil purity via Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry tests and provides batch codes for transparency. RMO also works with sustainable small farms and is switching to 100 percent recycled packaging.

With an aim to stay focused and calm anxiety, Amalia May reaches for RMO's Attention Assist blend, which includes vetiver, frankincense, lavender, and cedarwood essential oils in fractionated coconut oil.

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SheaMoisture 100% Pure Essential Peppermint Oil

Known for its "no-compromise" organic shea butter and virgin coconut oil products and working directly with women-led cooperatives in West Africa, SheaMoisture also offers essential oils. The brand's 100% pure peppermint essential oil claims to be "energizing and invigorating," as the National Center For Complementary and Alternative Medicine detailed that its use in aromatherapy is associated with aiding mental function and stress reduction.

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Plant Therapy Clary Sage Essential Oil 100% Pure

Vogue noted that clary sage essential oil is ideal for targeting anxiety. More specifically, Plant Therapy's clary sage is advertised to soothe discomfort associated with menstrual cycle symptoms when applied topically to the abdomen.

Plant Therapy verifies oil purity through GC/MS tests and gives back via partnerships with organizations like the Africa Heartwood Project and The Trevor Project.

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Alo Sleep + Downshift Essential Oil Blend

Alo Yoga's line of essential oils offers fabulous blends. Including neroli, ylang-ylang, Roman chamomile, petitgrain, lavender, and seet orange​, the Sleep + Downshift Essential Oil Blend can be put in a diffuser, added to a bath, or diluted and rubbed behind the ears or on the wrists to calm a racing mind.

According to Alo, its essential oils are considered conflict-free, as they "come from conscientiously cultivated lands that do not degrade natural resources or deplete biodiversity."

Shop Now — $18

Gya Labs Pure Helichrysum Oil

Vogue also suggested products by Gya Labs, which sources its ingredients "from ethical farms and certified producers across the globe." The helichrysum essential oil may help reduce muscle and joint inflammation when applied to sore areas, as per Healthline. Gya Labs specifically relayed it's "effective for bumpy-looking skin" as well as bruises and dark marks when diluted and massaged into affected areas.

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Vitruvi Essential Oil Kit

Despite its steep price tag, The Spruce loves the Vitruvi Essential Oil Kit for the classy aesthetic and UV-protected bottles, which preserve the quality of the potent oils. Plus, the natural home fragrance company's bottles feature plant-based ink and are stuffed in biodegradable packaging.

Vitruvi's kit includes the brand's four most popular pure oils: Grapefruit, lavender, spruce, and eucalyptus oil.

Shop Now — $54.99

Aura Cacia Essential Oil Discovery Kit

The World of Vegan blog recommends Aura Cacia, as it's an ethical company dedicated to giving back. According to the Aura Cacia site, the company puts 5 percent of its annual profit toward "socially responsible spending." You can learn more about its various initiatives, which focus on issues like food insecurity and fair economic mobility, here!

The Essential Oil Discovery Kit includes lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree essential oils, not to mention an educational how-to and safety guide.

Shop Now — $18.28
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Bursera Focus Essential Oil Blend

As mentioned by Sustainably Chic, Bursera is all about giving back to Mother Earth. The company has partnered with One Percent for the Planet and Trees for the Future, planting a tree in Sub-Saharan Africa for every order. Additionally, Bursera is carbon-neutral, uses recycled, recyclable, and biodegradable packaging, and donates to the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

Bursera's Focus Essential Oil Blend combines peppermint, lemon, lavender, and bergamot oils to help you "get into the zone."

Shop Now — $19.99

GuruNanda Breathe Essential Oils

With a focus on Ayurvedic wellness, GuruNanda's products promote holistic living at an affordable price. The company has direct partnerships with global farmers (who don't use pesticides) to ensure ethical sourcing, and prioritizes GC/MS purity tests.

The GuruNanda Breathe Essential Oils pack features bottles of pure eucalyptus and peppermint oils as well as a "Breathe Easy" blend, which includes eucalyptus, peppermint, basil, tea tree, and rosemary essential oils for "clearing and opening."

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Garden of Life Essential Oils Starter Kit

The Spruce loves Garden of Life because it offers USDA organic-certified products, it's a carbon-neutral company, and it's a Certified B Corporation. The responsible vitamin, supplement, and wellness brand has a small selection of essential oils perfect for aromatherapy newbs. The Essential Oils Starter Kit includes lavender, tea tree, peppermint, and lemon essential oils, setting you up with holy grail basics.

Shop Now — $33.94
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