Is Young Living a Scam? THE REAL TRUTH EXPOSED!

Should you join Young Living? I’m assuming that’s why you’re here, looking for ways to make money on the side. Is Young Living a scam? Well, I’m here to expose the real truth to you today.

Did you know this company has over 6 million members? Quite impressive don’t you think? So why the interest?

According to Fortune Business Insights, in 2018, the market in essential oils globally was valued to be over 7 billion dollars and by the end of 2026, it will be over 14 billion. 

So guess what? Young Living is right smack into this essential oil business. 

In this review, I’ll reveal to you everything you need to know of making an informed decision to join them or not.

First, let me say, I’m not here to sell you Young Living products. I do however have knowledge of how MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) businesses work having been involved in that business model as a sales rep promoting candles, health and wellness, and skincare products.

I also want to commend you for doing your research here because it’s truly the only way to find legitimate income opportunities.

Should you join Young Living? Let’s find out…

Young Living Review Summary

Product Name: Young Living

Founder: Donald Gary Young and Mary Young in 1993

Product Type: Multi-Level Marketing company selling essential oils

Price: Starter Kits from $35 to $165 USD

Best For: Anyone who is comfortable selling face to face, and enjoys recruiting people

Summary: Young Living is a legitimate MLM company and has over 6 million members worldwide. A huge number of members and their customers are enjoying the benefits of their essential oils however, there are massive amounts of customer service and support complaints. The company also has a history of legal battles.

My Rating: 45/100

Is Young Living Recommended? No

==> Check out my #1 Recommendation here – It’s FREE to start!

What is Young Living?

Founded in 1993 by Donald Gary Young, Young Living is a health and wellness MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) company located in Lehi, Utah, USA. 

Young Living's Headquarters in Utah

Young Living’s product line is based on their 100% pure essential oils with a variety of other related products which they sell to their independent distributors.  

The late Donald Gary Young who is the founder was an author and speaker on the benefits of essential oils and often referred to as the “father of modern-day essential oils”.

BUT Donald himself has a bit of a dark history having been prosecuted in 1983 for practising medicine without a proper license. Hey, none of us are perfect human beings. We all make mistakes and one of our purposes is to learn from them, right?  But do we? More on this later…

Donald’s current wife, Mary is now CEO.

Today, the company has farms located globally where they are able to grow, harvest plants and distill their essential oils. They also have offices in Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, and Singapore. 

In July 2019, Young Living purchased Nature’s Ultra which included 1500 acres of hemp farms located in Colorado. It continues to operate as an independent company producing legal CBD (Cannabidiol) products. In my opinion, Nature’s Ultra site is more like a landing page that takes you directly into the Young Living site when you want to shop for CBD products which are quite limited.

Young Living made $1.90 billion in 2019 and is ranked among the top MLM companies in 2020. 

Like all MLM companies, Young Living offers you a business opportunity to be their independent distributor part-time or full-time so you can take a piece of their pie. The idea is to purchase their products at wholesale prices and resell them at retail prices to your clients. If you want to make your real untold fortunes with this company you must recruit people. 

Inside Young Living – The Products

I was amazed to read that Young Living has over 600 health and wellness products and apparently they have the largest range of different essential oils in the world. 

It’s no wonder they were awarded the Utah Genius Award (2015) for the top 10 Utah companies as having branded the most new products and services.

Young Living's product categories

Their product categories are:

  • Essential Oils – Singles, blends, massage oils, and dietary oils that can used in foods
  • At Home – Natural cleaning products and essential oils for animals and children
  • Healthy and Fit – Essential oils, supplements, and naturally nutritious food products
  • Diffusers and Accessories – Diffusers with LED lights and ultrasonics for the benefits of aromatherapy and built-in sounds
  • Personal Care – Skin care, dental care, body care, beauty and moisturizers and lotion products, along with some mens care products
  • Natures Ultra – Pure CBD products like muscle rub, oils and roll-ons

However, having said the above, Young Living’s flagship products are really their individual essential oils, blenders, and diffusers. 

Some of Young Living's essential oils and diffuser

There are 60 (15ml) different individual Essential Oils. While the fragrances are certainly your preferences, it seems the most popular oils are:

  • Cedarwood  – A sweet and woodsy fragrance and can be used in your hair conditioner
  • Frankincense – Balsamic and woodsy fragrance and can be added to your face mask ingredient, and into men’s beard oil ingredient
  • Lavender Essential – Great for bug bites and for your sleep
  • Lemon – Add this oil to your night cream, freshen your smelly garbage, also great for getting rid of sticky residue from stickers
  • Peppermint – Use this for your head tension, head oil, and add some with your Epsom salts in your bath
  • Thieves – Use this to refresh your musty towels if you like

There are 74 (5 ml) Essential Oil Blends. The most popular oil blends are Peace & Calming, Joy, R.C., Purification, and PanAway.

You might have noticed Young Living has essential oils you can also ingest that perk up your taste buds. There are 47 different Vitality Dietary essential oils ranging in 4 categories, spices, herbs, citrus, and supplements.

Put some Vitality Essential Oils into your food

Spices – Black pepper, cinnamon, clove, and ginger to name a few.

Herbs – Basil, lemongrass, oregano, etc.

Citrus – Grapefruit, lime, lemon, jade lemon, etc. 

Supplements – Longevity, JuvaCleanse, etc. 

Do Young Living Products Work?

The first place I went to was Amazon. There are a lot of great reviews on Young Living’s essential oils. Many of the purchasers said they would buy them again. 

User testimonial the dog loves Young Living's scents
Customer loves Young Living's Lemon and Peppermint oils

There were a few complaints on the smell either being unpleasant, too strong, or not strong enough… guess this depends on how strong your sense of smell is. Some issues on the dropper not functioning properly. 

User testimonial on Young Living's products

The average purchaser ratings ranges from 4.5 to 4.8. That’s amazing!

I also took a peek in Young Living’s Facebook and the comments are all quite positive and members are ranting and raving about how much they enjoy using the products 

I can’t prove the validity of the testimonials as to whether they’re real or fakes so let’s take them as a grain of salt!

How to Make Money with Young Living?

Of course, typical of MLM businesses, with Young Living should you join their business opportunity, you simply do the following. 

  1. Sell their products at retail prices. 
  2. Recruit, recruit, and keep recruiting other people to join your sales team by becoming sales representatives. 

How to Get Started With Young Living?  

If you want to enjoy a 24% discount off Young Living’s product retail prices, you need to  become a member by purchasing one of their Starter Kits.

Young Living's Starter Kits

Basic Starter Kit ($35.00) 

You’ll get very little for this kit. Just a couple of sample products, some sample business cards, oil bottle samples, membership, and a product guide that explains everything you need to know about the company to use as your selling features, i.e. farms and products, etc.

If you’re serious about making big money and want to showcase your products, then the Premium Starter Kit is the best way to go. 

Premium Starter Kits ($165+)

You get everything that’s in the Basic Starter Kit PLUS 12 popular essential oils 

In addition, you’ll be offered Young Living’s option to take advantage of their automatic monthly shipment (Essential Rewards Program – ERP) and get discounted shipping charges and Rewards points. 

Young Living’s Compensation Plan

Like other MLM companies, I can tell you Young Living’s Compensation Plan is complex even though it uses the Unilevel model which typically is supposed to be easy to follow.

MLM Unilevel Plan

There are lots of different ways you can earn money with Young Living but whether you can earn a lot is questionable. It really depends on your sales skills. So how good are you on social media and do you enjoy having home parties demonstrating your products?

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t like social media and I don’t like doing MLM home parties, and I also have no desire to chase after people trying to recruit them. 

If you’re like me and want a better offer, consider a better business opportunity!

Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Marketing for Beginners
Your Complete Guide to Affiliate Marketing – NO RECRUITING PEOPLE!

Each of Young Living’s wholesale prices on products is assigned a value called PV (Personal Volume). It becomes the monthly total of your personally purchased products in addition to the sales of your downline.

The greater your total monthly PV is, the higher you rank, (as long as you follow the rules). You can earn more free bonuses and increase your commissions. 

Fortunately for you, most of Young Living’s wholesale prices match the PV points which should hopefully help you from overspending.

The individual diffusers on the other hand seem to have a higher wholesale price than the PV.

The moment you’ve been waiting for… here are some of the ways you can make money with Young Living’s Compensation Plan…

1) Sell at Retail Price. You purchase your products at wholesale prices and earn the difference (24%) when you resell them at retail prices.

2) Fast Start Bonus. Earn 25% (up to $200) on every one of your new distributors’ total purchases in their 1st 3 calendar months. 

3) Starter Kit Bonus. Earn $25 when each of your new distributors purchase a Premium Starter Kit in the same calendar month they joined. 

4) ER (Essential Rewards) Enrollment Bonus. This is the automated monthly shipment program meaning you commit to purchase products to meet your required PV points. It’s optional BUT if you really want to earn “big” commissions, you’ll want to enroll. 

By the way, just so you know, this is where Young Living makes their fortune and your sponsor is going to strongly encourage you to enrol in the monthly shipment program. BEWARE… this is how members end up with excess inventory if they’re not able to sell them within the same month.

Along with your discounted shipping here, you’ll also get the following:

  • You can earn $15 each time your downline distributor meets their monthly 100 PV purchase order.
  • Get free oils (Loyalty Gifts) when you purchase products equivalent to 50 PVs (around $50.00) for 12 months and receive free oils every 3 consecutive months

5) Downline Commissions. On your 1st level, you can earn 8% of the sales. 5% from the 2nd level, and 4% from the next 3 levels. There are a total of 5 levels.

6) Generation Leadership Bonus. If you make it to this.. You can earn an additional 2.5% commission on certain sales based on your team’s effort if you rank as a Silver. If any of the members on your team also becomes a Silver up to the 3rd generation you will earn 3%,

7) Diamond Leader Bonus. Should you make it to this.. You can earn Young Living’s shares of 0.5% based on their monthly commissionable sales.

I’m not going to get into further details here on the plan as that will take too long. Here’s an excellent video to watch if you’re interested (about ¾ of the way into the video) on how Young Living’s Unilevel plan works…

Coming up next is Young Living’s Compensation Plan diagram…

Young Living's Compensation Plan

As per their compensation plan, there are 3 levels. Within each of the 3 levels, there are more levels… yup!

Level 1 – Creating a Foundation

  • Member
  • Star
  • Senior Star
  • Executive

Level 2 – Building Your Business

  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum

Level 3 – Developing Leader

  • Diamond
  • Crown Diamond
  • Royal Crown Diamond

Here’s the PDF if you want to read more on their Compensation Plan. 

The Pros – The Good Parts

✔️ Over 25 years – Huge Following

The company has been around for over 25 years with a following of over 6 millions members/independent representatives.  If it was a pyramid scheme, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) would have shut it down. 

Donald Young was a true pioneer in the essential oils industry. 

✔️ Very Little Product Complaints 

If you look on Amazon, the reviews on the products ranked well anywhere on average from 4.5 to 4.8 on a scale of 5. 

If you look on SiteJabber, the only major complaints are on Young Living’s services and support. The users are happy using the oils and consider them “quality”. 

✔️ Involvement in Charities 

The company’s Young Living Foundation funds charities like Cities Without Hunger (Brazil), Hope for Justice (an organization to end modern day slavery), Goals for Girls (involving women in soccer teaching them how to be leaders, etc. 

✔️ High Quality Products From Farms They Own

100% pure essential oils (from the farms and distilleries they own) go through their Seed to Seal’s highest quality standards meeting their strict specifications of compliance.

✔️ Reasonable Start-Up Cost

The basic Starter Kit, although you really won’t get much is only $35.00 USD.

The Cons – The Ugly Truths

Cult-Like Organization

Check out YouTube and you’ll find ex-members say they feel Young Living is like a cult. Here’s one example…

YouTube image of cult claim on Young Living

Founder Convicted

Donald Gary Young was convicted for practicing medicine without a license. 

False Claims to Heal Medical Conditions

Some Young Living members are seemingly making false claims that their essential oils can heal medical conditions and even replace drugs. They say they have cures to cure Ebola, other viruses, cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, and many other illnesses/diseases with the oil. 

FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) Issues Warning

It seems the FDA did some serious research and found Young Living non-compliant to the many rules and regulations regarding improper labelling, false medical claims by the company’s members who are not medical practitioners.

There is also further discussion about Young Living’s dietary essential oils.

Failure to Provide Support 

There are an astounding number of members who are discontented with Young Living’s lack of response and support. If you don’t believe me, just check out BBB (Better Business Bureau).

Better Business Bureau gives Young Living a poor rating
BBB (Better Business Bureau’s rating on Young Living

Here are what some of the customers/members are saying from BBB… these complaints are quite recent in 2020.

BBB testimonials about Young Living
From BBB customer service didn't seem to care

In total, there have been 106 complaints filed to BBB in the last 3 years and only 38 complaints were closed in the last 12 months. The shocking part is, there doesn’t seem to be a company representative response back. So much for their customer support. That’s a poor way to be doing business with their sales representatives.

Very Low Potential Income  

According to Young Living’s 2019 Income Disclosure, of all their active members, there were 89.6% who are at the lowest rank of  “DISTRIBUTOR”. Meaning there are 10.4% or 1 out of around 9 members who successfully achieved any kind of promotions in the business opportunity. 

In very fine print down at the bottom of the Income Disclosure, Young Living’s annual average commissions paid to all their active members was only $236. For that kind of income, it’s probably better to work for a local company.

Anyway,  let’s look at the Median (middle point statistically), the number shows $0. This means there were more than half of the members who earned absolutely no commissions in 2019. 

The other thing to remember is commissions are not your actual profit because you still have to take off what you spent on advertising, internet, telephone, travel costs, etc. 

Say you’re doing the monthly autoship program paying a minimum of $100 to earn your 100 PV, so you spent $1200 just to earn $236

With Young Living, like all MLM companies, you must pay to play!

Recruit, Recruit, Recruit

Contrary to affiliate marketing, Young Living’s MLM business opportunity requires consistent recruiting. 

One of the first things your sponsor will want you to do is invite your friends and family members and their friends over for a social or virtual party. If you’re like me, a non-socializer, please think twice before joining Young Living or any MLM company. 

Just be aware that you might find some of the people you are close with start to distance themselves from you. Trust me, I’ve been there, and done that…

Lots of Member Competition

Like I mentioned, Young Living has over 6 million members and that’s an impressive number.  I’m guessing you already have friends or run into someone that is already selling their oil products or maybe they’re customers of another member. 

Not only that, there are some members who are selling them on Amazon at even higher prices than Young Living’s retail prices. For instance:

Thieves Essential Oil Blend on is listed for $57.99 USD + shipping and the retail price on Young Living’s site is $47.70 USD + shipping. 

Is that integrity or what? Folks, if you’re going to purchase Young Living products on Amazon, it may not necessarily be such a good deal for you. Please check out the prices on Young Living’s site. 

Is Young Living a Scam?

Even though Young Living has been hit by FDA warnings, ex-members lawsuits and YouTube ex-members calling them a cult, the company is legit. The plus side is, members are enjoying using the essential oils and feel they are quality products.

An important factor to consider, should you join… there are a lot of members complaining about Young Living’s support, about how they’re not getting immediate responses, in many cases not at all. Not having support means you could potentially be losing some of your retail customers AND the people you worked so hard to recruit in your downline.

The other huge issue is a large number of the members are not making much money, in fact $0.

Should you decide to join Young Living, click here!

Want to See How I Make Money Online?

I’m sure by now, you know I’m not a fan of the MLM business model. I don’t like the costs involved and all their rules and restrictions. As for recruiting people, I’m horrible at that too and I prefer to keep my friends and family members dear to my heart. I mentioned to you earlier I was involved with 3 different MLM companies as their independent representative/distributor and quite honestly, you really are their salesperson.

My actual #1 recommendation, if you really want to be your own boss is to do affiliate marketing.


  • You don’t need to recruit anyone to make money
  • You won’t end up with inventory, shipping and handling costs
  • You can promote any product(s) and or services your heart desires from more than 1 company
  • It’s FREE to get started

If you haven’t read this yet, check out my Success Stories

If you want to hear more about what I do, click here!

Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Marketing

If you’re not afraid of hard work and not looking for that “shiny button”, I invite you to check out Wealthy Affiliate’s affiliate marketing training platform. It’s totally FREE to start!

If you’re a current member or ex-member of Young Living, I would like to hear from you.

Do you have any questions or comments? I will get back to you.

Thank you for reading my review! Until next time.. please take care and stay well,


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