Young Living Review (2023): Legit Essential Oils MLM Or Scam?

Last Updated: September 12, 2023

By Hope


Welcome to my Young Living review. My goal is to answer common questions like: how much it costs, if it's a scam, & if you can actually make money with it. The end goal is to help you understand if it's a good fit for you personally, and if there are any better alternatives out there.
Young Living Review


This Young Living review has been thoroughly researched with information and testimonials that are available online to anyone in the public. Any conclusions drawn by myself are opinions.

Before we get into it... who am i?

Always good to put a name to a face, so firstly, my name is Hope!

Like you, I was stuck working 8-10 hour days building someone else’s dream.

I worked at one of those cool tech companies that has omelet stations for breakfast & craft beer on tap for after hours.

To a lot of people that’s a dream, but to me… something was missing.

All I really wanted, was to actually enjoy life – more vacations, less stress, buy myself nice things without worrying about the cost… but that was something my 9-5 couldn’t provide me.

That was until a few years ago when I discovered a way to make money online by actually helping real people. 

People in this case were local business owners across the US.

Me and My Puppy

The page above is an example of how I do it. That one-page site generates $1,500/mo and I haven’t even touched it since it was put up.

That’s an $18,000/year raise from just one page.

That’s why local lead generation is my #1 business recommendation for recurring, semi-passive income. If you want to learn about that business model, click here.

For Young Living

The page above is an example of how I do it. That one-page site generates $1,500/mo and I haven’t even touched it since it was put up.

That’s an $18,000/year raise from just one page.

That’s why local lead generation is my #1 business recommendation for recurring, semi-passive income. If you want to learn about that business model, click here.

They have no clue what it’s actually like to run the different types of businesses they write about.

I have absolutely no relationship with this program, so you can rest easy knowing I’m going to give you my honest opinion.

This review is written based on my own experiences with this business model.

All that being said, let’s jump into things.

Table Of Contents

MLMs are using the coronavirus to attract new distributors.

One multi-level marketing proponent claims,

“There has never been a more opportune moment.”

“If you want to avoid working in a crowded environment and are searching for a way to make money from home, I have a fantastic opportunity for you! Avoid the Corona Virus while still providing for your families in such a wonderful way.”

So claims a Facebook message on a Young Living Essential Oils community page.

This poster, and those like her, are promoting an opportunity to make money that does not require much social interaction.

That income opportunity is known as multi-level marketing or MLM.

In this latest review, I’m going to examine Young Living MLM to decide if it really is the best network marketing course out there.

I’ll talk about whether network marketing is right for you.

MLMs like Young Living are a bit of a mixed bag. They CAN be a legitimate way to make money, but some have a reputation for literally ruining people’s lives – so it’s important to know what you’re getting, since each one is unique.

Like most of my readers, you were probably introduced to this one via a friend or some influencer you trust online.

And it makes sense why so many people recommend them:

Making money outside of a 9-5 can be… life-changing, to say the least.

So in this article, I want to help you explore two things:

  1. If MLMs are actually a worthwhile business to pursue
  2. If Young Living is a worthwhile MLM

Before that, I want to clear the air on something.

There are A LOT of people out there who bash all MLMs in any form. However, I’m not one of those people.

Instead, I want to genuinely educate you about them so that you can make an informed decision on how to proceed.

If you’re unfamiliar with what MLMs actually do:

They’re businesses in which you pay money to a company for the ability to sell their products.

Sometimes the products are actually kind of decent (I still remember my mom throwing pampered-chef parties when I was younger).

Other times the products are really poorly made and come with a high price tag.

Typically, the only way to really make money is to get people (mostly friends & family) to sign up with you for a recurring subscription.

If the product is 100% legitimate & valuable, it’s entirely possible to get people to sign-up and continue paying you.

If the product is subpar, you’ll usually burn those bridges kinda quickly and end up with $0 coming in each month.

The biggest issue I’ve seen is that this puts significant stress on your personal relationships, as you’re reliant on selling to your “network.”

Think about it: if you KNEW that every time your friend Sally called, she’d be trying to sell you on one of her products… you’d eventually stop answering Sally’s calls.

Now, this doesn’t mean MLMs are outright bad… it means you need to know what type of MLM you’re getting yourself into before you sign up.

Again, some MLMs provide real value to people, but MOST don’t – and so in this article, I’m going to explore what the case is with Young Living.

But before that, I want to ask you a question: what if there was a way to build actual recurring, semi-passive income?

Income that:

  • Doesn’t have inventory
  • Doesn’t make you sell to your friends & family
  • Doesn’t force you to recruit people onto your “team”

Something that you could make anywhere from $2,000 – $10,000 with consistently, month after month?

A stream of income that you can build as high (or low) as you feel like building it?

If that sounds interesting, you might want to consider becoming a Digital Landlord.

If you wanna see what Young Living looks like on the inside, keep reading.

What Is Young Living? Is Young Living A Bad Company?

What Is Young Living

Multilevel marketing company Young Living claims that essential oils may heal many ailments, from the common cold to Ebola.

Despite the abundance of data supporting such claims, essential oils have yet to be demonstrated to “cure” any ailments, as stated in a few class lawsuits involving the company.

Nevertheless, Young Living makes some bold statements about the health benefits of their essential oils.

Many Young Living reps are known to make facts up when marketing their products.

That isn’t to say Young Living as a whole is bad.

And, if it’s because of overzealous members fabricating stories or because of the multi-level marketing company’s authenticity, they have quite a profitable income.

They’re a 1.5 billion-dollar industry.

Who Is Gary Young? Who Owns Young Living Company?

Gary Young Founder Of Young Living

From his home in Riverton, Utah, Gary Young established Young Living in 1993.

In 1993, Gary imported lavender seeds from Provence, France, to plant on the 200 acres that today make up the beautiful St Maries Lavender Farm.

In 1996, Young bought a second farm in Mona, Utah.

In 2006,  Young founded his first international farm in Ecuador.

Donald Gary Young became interested in alternative medicine after sustaining a back injury in the early 1970s, according to Mary Young.

They became the “first major commercial distillery” of frankincense essential oils in 2010, and their Highland Flats distillery “became the first automated, large-capacity, computerized steam distilling facility for essential oils in 2014.

Around 1996, Young Living forecasted product sales of $8 to $10 million and posted annual sales of more than $1 billion from 2015 to 2017.

Gary founded the Young Life Research Clinic in Springville, Utah, in 2000.

The clinic was closed after a lawsuit was settled in 2005, and he opened a clinic in Ecuador, where he practiced medicine and surgery, despite objections from Young Living‘s COO, David Stirling.

After being fired from Young Living in 2008, former employee David Stirling founded the rival company doTerra with the help of other ex-executive from Young Living.

DoTerra wanted to offer essential oils to a broader customer base than Young Living, and they saw rapid market success as well.

Young Living filed a lawsuit against this rival for stealing trade secrets in August 2013. The claim was that the company had secretly reproduced its manufacturing operation.

The allegations against doTerra were dismissed by the Fourth District Court in October 2014.

The companies settled lawsuits involving faked lab tests, false advertising, and theft of trade secrets and dropped their derogatory claims about the purity of each other’s goods.

Young Living lost the lawsuit in 2017, and a court decision ordered it to pay $1.8 million in legal fees to doTerra in 2018.

In 2015, Young stepped down as CEO, and his third wife, Mary Young, took over.

Young Living relocated its corporate offices to Lehi, Utah, in 2014, taking advantage of tax cuts to expand its operations, and began construction on its new corporate headquarters in 2017.

Gary passed away in 2018.

Are Young Living Essential Oils Safe?

Are Young Living Essential Oils Safe

According to a YL staffer, Young Living oils are safe as long as they are used appropriately and follow aromatherapy standards.

You can do a few things to keep yourself safe, but you should always conduct your research before putting anything on or inside your body.

  • Inhalation   –   Since you’re breathing the oils in, this is probably the safest method. However, certain oils, such as eucalyptus or tea tree, can be very potent, so start slowly. If you’re using an ultrasonic diffuser, start with a few drops to get the right scent that’s not too powerful.
  • Topical   –   This is also very popular. However, owing to phototoxicity, certain oils can cause harm after exposure to the sun. These oils include lemon, lime, and bergamot, to name a few. Wait twelve hours after applying the product before sunbathing.
  • More specifically, applying pure oils to the skin is never a good idea. Before massaging them in, make sure they’re properly diluted.
  • Flammable   –   Since these are pure volatile compounds, some are flammable as well.
  • This isn’t to say that they’ll spontaneously combust in their dark bottles.
  • It just means that you should keep them away from open flames while using or storing them.
  • Pregnancy / Breastfeeding   –   There are a number of scents that are harmful to pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.
  • Learn which essential oil products are safe to use during pregnancy and talk with the doctor before using them.
  • Babies and Kids   –   There are a few oils that can be toxic to babies and young children, just as they can be to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
  • You should be aware of which oils you should use around them.

Are Young Living Oils Legit?

Is it Legit

Because of a lack of clinical proof, the BBB’s National Advertising Division has advised that Young Living stop stating that their oils are “therapeutic grade” in 2020.

The corporation argued and stated it would file an appeal but then vowed to cease making several health and wellness claims for its goods and substances.

Is Young Living Oils A MLM Or A Pyramid Scheme?

Is It An MLM

Young Living is a multi-level marketing company that recruits thousands of members who may sell directly to customers and earn commissions on sales from other recruits via a hierarchical system known as downlines.

While direct sales can be profitable for members, commissions on sales made from recruits (downlines) are significantly higher.

Young Living classifies its distributors into different categories based on their sales volume.

The lowest rank with the least sales is simply referred to as “Distributors,” while the highest rank with the most sales is referred to as “Royal Crown Diamonds.”

Young Living requires dealers to make $100 in purchases per month to qualify for a commission, claims The New Yorker in 2017.

According to a public income statement, about 94 percent of Young Living’s active distributors earned less than a dollar ($1) in 2016, while less than one-tenth of one percent (roughly 1,000 Royal Crown Diamond distributors) earned more than a million dollars.

According to Business Insider’s review of the multi-level marketing company’s 2018 income disclosure statement, 89 percent of all Young Living’s members are on the bottom tier, receiving an average of $4 each year.

Others on the top three levels, accounting for 98.7% of active members, earned between $4 and $1,551 per year, not including monthly expenses, to qualify as active status in the company.

Is Young Living A Pyramid Scheme?

Is It A Pyramid Scheme

A pyramid scheme would be evident without consumer products, but we must notice that many pyramid schemes conceal themselves behind a commodity.

Detecting a cloaked unlawful pyramid scheme may be as simple as determining whether or not a profit can be made from the items.

Given that you’d have to buy these essential oils on a monthly basis, it’d be difficult even to break even, let alone make a profit.

If we want to call a spade a spade and ignore the corporate jargon, the real income opportunity is in recruiting people into the company.

Whether you only want to sell products or recruit new members to the opportunity, you will have to spend on starter kits which will cost you between $45 and $160.

Below are their prices and inclusions:

Basic Starter Kit ($25)


  • Stress Away 5ml
  • Thieves Mints
  • Discover Your Young Living Lifestyle booklet
  • AromaGlide Roller Fitment
  • 2 NingXia Red 2-oz samples
  • 10 Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier Sachets  – 0.1 oz each
  • Essential Oils At A Glance

Premium Starter Kit ($165)


  • Desert Mist Diffuser
  • Peppermint Oil 5ml
  • Frankincense Oil 5ml
  • DiGize 5ml
  • Valor 5ml
  • 10 Thieves Waterless Hand Purifier Sachets – 0.1 oz each 
  • Product Guide and Product Price List
  • Member Resources
  • Premium Essential Oils Collection
  • Lemon 5ml
  • Thieves 5ml
  • PanAway 5ml
  • Thieves Spray
  • Essential Oils Magazine
  • Lavender 5ml
  • Citrus Fresh 5ml
  • Raven 5ml
  • Stress Away 5ml
  • 2 AromaGlide Roller Fitments
  • 2 NingXia Red 2-oz samples
  • Essential Edge News

Following a starter kit, you must purchase an Essential Rewards (ER) kit.

These Essential Rewards kits contain the actual essential oil products you’ll be selling.

A Young Living member may buy them at wholesale prices (a 24% discount off retail) and then get paid a percentage of any product sales you make in addition to a cash bonus.

I believe it’s much easier to sell the income opportunity rather than just the products.

To join in the opportunity, one must first purchase a product anyway.

As a result, selling the opportunity also entails selling products.

However, keep in mind that there is still a high risk of failure in either case, but I believe that the income opportunity, or, I say, recruiting, is the more logical way to go if you want to make money with this company.

And for this reason, my friends, I believe Young Living Essential Oils is a pyramid scheme in disguise as multi-level marketing.

What Will Happen To The Company If Recruiting Stops?

What If Recruitment Stops

The Young Living products are of excellent quality.

However, it’s understandable that so few people would be willing to spend $13 on pancake mix when a similar one costs just $2.

Most customers of Young Living essential oils are those who wish to join the company’s earning opportunity, and if recruitment stops, the company’s income potential will collapse.

Last year, two Young Living members, Julie O’Shaughnessy of Texas and Lindsay Penhall of California, filed a class-action lawsuit, alleging that the multilevel marketing business is nothing more than an illegal pyramid scheme.

Julie O’Shaughnessy and Lindsay Penhall filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that the company misleads its customers and the general public.

Although the company advertises that members will benefit from their participation, most members spend money when paying monthly membership dues.

According to recent news reports, the Young Living controversy is becoming much bigger than the lawsuit, with the company trying to mislead people by making false health claims about the nature of the products.

According to new allegations, the company may have advertised its products as having the ability to boost the immune system and prevent sickness.

On the other hand, Young Living has issued statements distancing itself from all possible coronavirus claims and the controversy.

The company issued this statement:

“Since January 2020, Young Living has successfully looked for and deleted more than 1,500 improper COVID-related product or income opportunity statements made individually by members through social media and other platforms, including freezing member accounts and terminating members to compel member compliance”.

You can certainly make money with direct selling, but if you’re gonna put in the amount of grueling work to become a direct seller (which, trust me, isn’t easy), you might as well bring in some REAL money.

The program that helped skyrocket my online business to $40,000+ per month teaches some of the same direct selling skills but shows you how to monetize them in a much more profitable way.

It is entirely possible to build a profitable, successful MLM business.

My #1 pick proves this.

And unlike Young Living Essential Oils, it actually provides real proof of real success from real people as recently as a few days ago.

Can You Really Make Money With Young Living?

Digital Landlord Better Than Young Living

There’s a lot that comes along with Young Living that many people struggle with.

In fact, check out my Top 5 Reason Why Most Network Marketers Fail.

Now, don’t get me wrong…

You can certainly make money with MLM, but if you’re gonna put in the amount of grueling work to do this business (which, trust me, isn’t easy), you might as well bring in some REAL money while you’re learning the ropes.

The program that helped skyrocket my online business to $40,000+ per month is so simple that making money really does become second nature.

Are There Alternatives To Young Living?

Other MLM Companies To Choose From

Yes, there are plenty of MLM companies to choose from if you want to pursue this business model.  Here are just a few:

Is Young Living A Scam?

Is It A Scam

So, time for the $1,000,000 question: is Young Living a scam?

No, not technically. They aren’t going to run off with your money and not give you what you paid for. It’s 100% possible to make money with this program.

That being said, it’s not nearly as simple as they want you to think it is.

There’s A LOT of work to be done upfront and no guarantee that you’ll be successful. The commissions are also fairly small.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for doing hard work now, so that I can reap the benefits later.

But if you’re going to work really hard for 3 months, and your reward is a $100 check… it’s not really a great opportunity.

If I’m gonna do that, I want the rewards to be HIGH and virtually guaranteed.

I’d rather put in that same 3 months of work (in my spare time) & build a handful of Digital Rental Properties that each produce $500-$2,000 checks every single month afterward (AKA recurring income).

And the cool part is that you can do it in a lot less time than 3-months (I personally did it in my first 2 weeks of being a Digital Landlord).

Unlike with MLMs, you can do it from anywhere in the world, so it’s a genuine “laptop-lifestyle” business.

All you need is an internet connection.

Some of my friends are Digital Landlords that run their 6-figure businesses from:

  • Camping trips at national parks
  • Beachfront in Hawaii
  • On the road in a camper van (with a pet pig!)

They focus on living an enjoyable life first, and focus on income second. All thanks to this program

They can take weeks or months off, and money keeps rolling in.

Living happily is the top priority.

If the thought of living perpetually at your dream vacation spot interests you, being a Digital Landlord might be for you!

What Is My Top Recommendation For Making Money Online In 2022?

Make Money Online With Digital Landlord

I’ve personally tried all of the major online business models:

  • I’ve sold fidget spinners through Amazon FBA
  • I’ve dropshipped a toilet bowl putting green on Shopify
  • I’ve sold women’s health supplements via Clickbank affiliate marketing

And I made money with all of them, so trust me when I say: there is no “perfect” business model.

I’ve also been on the other side of old friends trying to sell me their fancy new MLM products.

That being said, my #1 recommendation for making real money online is, hands-down: being a Digital Landlord.

Whether you’re a complete newbie or you’ve been around the block before but have never had that “big win” to propel you forward, becoming a Digital Landlord is for you.


Time: If you’ve got a spare hour or two each day, you can do this. If you want to drop everything and go all-in, you can do this. More time obviously means faster results, but even putting in a few hours per day is enough to see real success.

And because of that flexibility, you don’t need to trade your time for money. Once the income starts, it’s recurring.

That means you can take a month off, travel the country, pursue a passion project, chill on the beach, or charter a boat across the world.

But you can only do that once you’ve created an income stream that doesn’t require YOU to be there all day, every day.

Ownership & Control: With MLMs, you don’t really “own” anything – everything belongs to the MLM.

If you read the contracts, they can kick you out or change your commission at any time (it’s happened in a few high-profile MLM cases recently).

Why pour your soul into a business that could be taken away from you at the drop of a dime?

When you’re a Digital Landlord, you literally own all of the assets, which means you have ultimate control.

Big Margins: With MLMs, you’re often going to have really slim margins. That means you need to have a VERY large network to make serious money. This usually entails spending A LOT of money on ads and other methods for recruiting members.

Being a Digital Landlord, your profit margin is nearly 100%. Watch here to learn how.

Just a reminder: these Digital Rental Properties are worth (at a minimum) $500/mo in semi-passive income. And each time you create another one, your income increases, and the effort put into creating the next property decreases.

Best-case scenario, you have properties bringing in over $3,000+/mo on auto-pilot.

It’s Effectively Copy-Paste: Here’s my favorite part: once you have your first Digital Rental Property up, you can literally copy-paste another version of it and find another willing “renter” in a few days. DOUBLING your income doesn’t get much easier than that…

If you wanted to double your income with an MLM, you would need to sell twice as much inventory. And I can guarantee you that’s a lot harder than a few clicks & a phone call.

You’re Helping REAL People: My biggest gripe with MLMs is that you’re likely going to ruin your personal relationships.

The MLM may have convinced you that you’re helping people, but it’s often not true.

But when you’re a Digital Landlord, you’re helping solve REAL problems that people are ASKING for help with:

Small local businesses around the world need one thing: customers. Without them, their business would fall apart. If you can provide those customers, they’re going to be really happy – and they’re going to pay you for it.

You’re helping a struggling mother or father put food on the table for their families, put their kids through college, or simply live life a little bit more comfortably.

Having this type of impact on the world is what will help you sleep soundly at night.

So, the rest is up to you. You could keep looking at other MLM programs like Young Living, which might make you money 12 months from now.

You could keep researching and researching for the next few months (or few years), never making a concrete decision.

OR, you can look deep inside, think about those dreams, hopes, & desires, and make the decision to ACTUALLY make it happen, just like it has for thousands of other students before you.

Making a fortune while actually helping real people that need it.

If this sounds like you, click here to see how it all works.