Founded | 1994
Headquarters | Lehi, UT
Mary Young, CEO
Ben Riley, President
Products | Health and Wellness
Young Living’s endless passion for nature and people leads to global advances in science and philanthropy.
Raised in a one-room cabin in the mountains of Idaho, D. Gary Young was an explorer and outdoorsman from the start. Always curious, he began studying the healing properties of flowers, herbs, trees and plants at an early age. Gary was in a terrible logging accident at age 24, which took him away from his life in the mountains. That accident is what led him to discover natural ways of healing his body and essential oils. His fascination with nature eventually took him to far-flung corners of the earth, where Gary began focusing his interest on enhanced wellness via essential oil solutions, as he believed nature intended.
Through his research, Gary concluded that the right ingredients, the proper distillation techniques and the finest quality essential oils held the power to connect people back to nature in life-changing ways.
It was this conviction that inspired Gary to launch Young Living in 1994. Gary’s wife, Mary, shared his love of nature while possessing a keen business sense. Leveraging their complementary passions and talents, together they pioneered the modern essential oils movement, with Young Living becoming the standard for the highest-quality essential oils and oil-infused products available.
“Gary made it his life’s work to discover everything he could about essential oils,” Young recalled. “Over the years, he studied with scientists, aromatherapists, perfumiers, historians and farmers. Gary loved to learn and channel that learning into innovation, which created an enormous emphasis on science within our business.”
From his early studies, Gary created a rigorous set of quality standards to ensure authenticity and potency in essential oils, which was later adapted as Young Living’s famous “Seed to Seal®” quality commitment, a five-step process that ensures premium products by maintaining all possible benefits through each step of the distillation process. These strict standards—representative of Gary’s focus on science as a pillar of the business—were implemented with the intent of creating products that would enhance lives around the world.
“Gary and I shared a love of nature and a love of people,” Young explained. “With Young Living, we brought these passions together to bring the joy and benefits of the plant kingdom to humanity. We envisioned pure essential oils in every home in order to achieve our mission of empowering wellness, purpose and abundance for communities around the world.”
“Thanks to the Youngs, science is the cornerstone of Young Living. It’s the biggest differentiator of our brand, and it fuels our vision and mission,” stated Mark Bartlett, Executive Vice President of Science and Development. “We are farmers and families—creators, distillers and dreamers—who harness the power of nature’s living energy to enrich humanity. That’s the purpose of Young Living. So, we’ve invested unprecedented time and resources to ensure that we do just that. In everything we do, we strive to honor our connection to the land and stewardship of the earth.”
All essential oil and oil-infused products originate from Young Living’s private farms or other “Seed to Seal” suppliers, guaranteeing that botanicals are produced with strict environmental ethics, including earth-friendly agriculture and low-impact production. Through the guiding principles of their proprietary “Seed to Seal” quality commitment, Young Living demonstrates their promise to produce superior essential oils and oil-infused products while also protecting the planet. And “Seed to Seal” is truly representative of the journey each Young Living ingredient embarks upon to pass muster.
First, the Young Living team works with botanists, agronomists and scientists to ensure that the seeds they plant are the right cultivar and of the highest quality, safeguarding authenticity before they even go into the ground. Next, they cultivate healthy plants by enriching the soil through composting, the use of natural fertilizers, crop rotation, watering with rain and/or irrigation and monitoring the effects of daily weather conditions. Through unique steam distillation, cold pressing and hydro-distillation methods, the team measures data points (such as plant volume and curing time) to make sure they are delivering the most powerful essential oils possible.
“Our highly trained scientists use our own in-house, state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, as well as independent laboratories, to ensure that our oils meet our stringent quality requirements,” Bartlett noted. From there, the Young Living team batches every essential oil with a number and retests for quality control before releasing each variant for production. Oils are then used to produce Young Living’s blends, supplements, home products and more.
“This process allows us to deliver premium and sustainable ingredients to help our customers achieve optimum health,” Bartlett shared. “We are constantly seeking innovative methods of improving our products, which opens the doors to clinical studies. To date, Young Living has participated in over 50 clinical studies that demonstrate the impact our products can have to improve overall health and wellness.”
Conducted by the Franklin Health Research Center, Young Living’s latest clinical study found that consuming two ounces of NingXia Red® daily significantly boosts health in areas such as sleep, cognitive wellbeing, physical function and immune health. Bartlett credits Young Living’s dedication to scientific research as the reason the company holds more essential oil production patents than any other network marketing company in the world.
“Young Living has been issued 17 patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and we hope to continue to grow that number through our ongoing research and development,” he shared. “Our commitment to science and product innovation is what allows us to remain the industry leader while creating wellness solutions and healthy lifestyles for millions of customers.”
A Global Mission
While their product sustainability efforts are impressive, Young Living is equally committed to advancements in social sustainability via their D. Gary Young, Young Living Foundation. Through their three focus pillars of nurture potential, rescue the harmed and protect the earth, the Foundation seeks to promote a healthy world where individuals are free to dream and create. Focusing their projects in markets where Young Living has a large customer base to help strengthen philanthropic efforts on the ground, the D. Gary Young, Young Living Foundation partners with ambitious organizations and social entrepreneurs to help take their mission to the world.
One such partnership involves supporting female-led artisan groups across the globe in the quest for financial independence. By selling their handcrafted items though Young Living’s online marketplace, these artists gain access to new opportunities and fair wages. “Since our start in 2020, we have connected with over 15 groups, including those that support women who have experienced extreme poverty, disability, displacement, trauma or violence,” said Young Living President Ben Riley. “Helping these women build strong and sustainable enterprises will lead to more income-generating opportunities. With fair and consistent pay, our partner artisans are better able to support the needs of themselves and their families, as well as develop new skills, making a lifelong impact.”
In 2022, the Foundation also committed to expanding Young Living Academy, a school in Chongón, Ecuador, which provides a quality education for children who are at high risk of dropping out of or never attending school. “When we first opened the Young Living Academy’s doors to 67 students back in 2009, we believed that the best way to eradicate poverty and to make lasting change in this local community was to ensure children had access to a quality education,” Riley explained.
Over the years, the Academy has grown to accommodate 350 pre-K through 12th-grade students annually, but the school is now at capacity and can only admit about 10 percent of applicants annually. Over the next few years, the school plans to expand its capacity to accommodate 1,000 students.
Most recently, the Foundation has partnered with Hope for Justice, a global non-profit organization that aims to end human trafficking. “We collaborated to launch a free e-learning course to help families keep their children safe while navigating the challenges of today’s digital landscape,” Riley said. “With more children—and child-predators—spending more time online than ever, the course equips parents, caregivers and educators with the knowledge and practical tools to protect children from online exploitation. Our goal is to help youth minimize risky online interactions and safely navigate social and gaming sites.”
With a passion for preserving nature and empowering people at the root of Young Living, the Youngs pushed the envelope of science and sustainability to create a vehicle for their dream. Their advances in the development and production of essential oils inspired their brand vision, mission and purpose. These ideals fueled a breadth and depth of global philanthropy that truly brings D. Gary and Mary Young’s purpose for Young Living full circle.
“From science to philanthropy, everything we do presents an opportunity to lead, love and collaborate on issues that affect our communities and the world we live in,” said Young. “Young Living encourages other businesses to use their unique positions to affect positive change in product and social sustainability as well. We know that collectively, we can be the change we want to see in the world.”
From the December 2022 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.