We have noticed a disturbing new trend in the online supplement market: counterfeit sea buckthorn oil products. There are several different brands selling counterfeit sea buckthorn oils on online stores. Our testing has confirmed that many of these oils have very little to no sea buckthorn oil content.
Why Are These Oils on The Market?
Finding a good source of pure sea buckthorn oil is harder than most people realize. Though sea buckthorn grows across Asia and Europe, it has not been a popular crop anywhere in the world. In recent years, the demand for sea buckthorn oil has increased. Many new companies want to use this amazing oil for its skin supporting properties. The best crops only grow in select areas and the oil is imported to the US. Not only is the oil hard to come by, it’s pricey.
Most people in North America have never seen or touched real sea buckthorn oil, since it is not native. Brands may be buying counterfeit oil due to simple lack of knowledge. They might not realize that they are buying bad quality or fake oils. These factors are causing an influx of low quality and counterfeit sea buckthorn oil.
If you don’t know what you are purchasing, you could be putting your health at risk. Online consumers encounter advertisements, claims and thousands of products online. Supplements are expensive and many consumers what to find something affordable. It makes sense that many people are falling for these fake oils.
Sea Buckthorn Experts
SeabuckWonders has been in the sea buckthorn business for over 20 years. We are the Original Sea Buckthorn Company in the United States. That means we know a thing or two about quality sea buckthorn oil. Sea buckthorn oils are distinctive. There aren’t many oils like it in the world. This guide will help you determine the major warning signs of a fake sea buckthorn oil product.
Appearance, Taste and Smell
True sea buckthorn oils are very saturated in color; they look bright and vibrant. Many of the counterfeit oils we have seen are dull and dingy. They are pale and do not look anything like real sea buckthorn oil.
Good quality sea buckthorn seed oil will be a very rich and bright shade of yellow. At its darkest, it can take a slight orange tinge but should be in the yellow color family. Sea buckthorn seed oil has a botanical smell that is different than sea buckthorn berry oil. It has a nutty flavor compared to the berry oil. True sea buckthorn seed oil will have 30% or more of Omega 3 content.
Sea buckthorn berry oil should be a very bright and darker orange to red color. True sea buckthorn oil should be in the dark orange color family. Sea buckthorn berry oil has a strong botanical smell. It isn’t floral exactly, but has a distinct “plant-like” odor. Real sea buckthorn oils have a strong smell.
Important Red Flags
•Warnings to not take oil internally on packaging. Real sea buckthorn oil is safe for internal use.
•Seed oil extracted by cold press. It's not possible to get seed oil from this method.
•Dull, dingy colors and neutral smell.
•Organic claims without official seals and labeling.
We do our best to keep our prices competitive. However, the fact is that high quality sea buckthorn oil simply costs more than many other oils. The best sea buckthorn oil comes from Tibet, which means that the oil must be imported. It's truly a rare and exotic fruit which can't be found just anywhere. We pay fair wages to our workers. We ensure that our oils are USDA Organic Certified and Non- GMO project verified. If you are getting over 1 ounce of oil for less than $20, it's not likely that the oil is pure sea buckthorn.
Good quality sea buckthorn oil is safe for both internal and external use. Many of the fake oils we found have warnings not to use the oils as nutritional supplements. Pure sea buckthorn oil products should have nutrition facts printed on the bottle. This will show you the nutrient content and if there are other oils added to the product. If the bottle you purchased has these warnings, it’s a good chance it’s not sea buckthorn oil at all.
If a brand claims organic, there should be some evidence to back it up. If you don't see and Organic Certified label, make sure that the company is able to show some evidence of certification. For example, the brand should be able to tell you what company certified their products.
What extraction method does the company use to make the product? Cold press methods cannot create Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil. Because the amount of oil in the seeds is so low, there is no way to get a viable oil product with cold press. We have seen some brands claiming to have made sea buckthorn seed oil with cold press methods. The fact is that it's not possible. Co2 extraction is the best method for creating top quality and safe sea buckthorn oils. If the brand doesn’t use this state of the art technology- this should be a red flag.
Powdered Omega 7 Products
Another product to be on the lookout for is powdered Omega 7 products. While it is possible to have a powdered fatty acid supplement, the brand we tested contained no Omega 7 at all.
Watch Out For Fakes
It's so important to do your research before you buy any herbal supplements online. These days, it's hard to tell what you are getting when you purchase from many online retailers. Stick to brands that have been certified and are transparent about their products.