Best Emu Oils

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

31 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
236 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best emu oils

Last Updated November 2019

Is your hair damaged, brittle, or hard to manage? Is your skin irritated, dry, or wrinkled? Are your nails brittle or your cuticles torn? If so, emu oil may be the solution. Obtained from the nutrient-rich fat of the emu – the flightless, ostrich-like big bird native to Australia – emu oil penetrates deeply to moisturize and heal at the cellular level. Emu oil also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent homeopathic remedy for relieving muscle and joint pain.

Advocates for emu oil note that while it is not a cure-all, ongoing research and anecdotal evidence support claims that emu oil decreases inflammation, helps wounds heal faster, reduces nipple sensitivity, prevents skin aging, helps lower cholesterol, and encourages healthy hair growth.

For more on the diverse array of benefits that can come from using emu oil, our buying guide has all the details. When you are ready to purchase, you can find our five favorite emu oils in the matrix above.

Emu oil has been used by the Aboriginal people of Australia for thousands of years to treat the hair and skin and help relieve joint pain.

Key considerations

Naturally processed from the fat pockets of emus, emu oil provides a rich source of fatty acids that are known to have numerous health benefits. Emu oil is useful for a broad range of applications, from hair care to relieving joint pain.

However, the emu oil industry is not adequately regulated. Lack of regulation results in some companies selling low-quality emu oil that’s been diluted with other oils or contaminants. To choose the best emu oil, you’ll want to select a product with the highest amount of essential nutrients. Also, look for emu oils with a certified grade.

Consumers residing in the U.S. or Canada can rely on the American Emu Association (AEA) certification. The AEA is the only organization with specific quality controls to grade emu oils and certify that products meet or exceed worldwide industry standards.

DID YOU KNOW?

Emu oil is similar to human sebum, which makes it one of the best skin moisturizers available.

Features

Unrefined emu oils

There are two types of emu oil: unrefined and refined. Advocates of unrefined Australian emu oil claim it is superior to all other emu oils.

Unrefined, therapeutic-grade emu oil is quite different from more common refined emu oil. It’s a biologically active type of emu oil that’s obtained from a distinctive genotype of emus that are raised only on Australian soil. Australian law prevents these native birds from being exported.

High-quality unrefined emu oil is steam-distilled and polish-rendered, a process that retains the highest concentrations of omega fatty acids and vitamins A, D, E, and K while keeping the active biological components. Suitable for medical, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and cosmetic use, unrefined Australian emu oil is a pale golden yellow.

Pure and unadulterated, unrefined emu oil does not contain dyes, fillers, perfumes, or other oils. It smells fresh and pure. Because unrefined Australian emu oil is never boiled or dehydrated, the texture is rich, creamy, and soothing.

Refined emu oils

High-quality, grade-A refined emu oil is colorless, odorless, and bland to the taste. Brown, red, orange, or dark yellow oil indicates an inferior product. All refined emu oils are not the same. Some emu oil products on the market are diluted with other oils or contain contaminants. They also may not be free of bacteria.

The fatty acid content of any specific emu oil depends on the quality of the diet on which the bird was raised. Emus raised by organic farming methods only eat high-fiber, GMO-free feed with balanced protein.

Requiring expensive equipment, time, and patience, the sterilizing and refining method is the most exacting type of physical refining for emu oil. Some emu oil sellers refine their oil using a sub-standard process known as molecular distillation. Other producers attempt to filter their oil with cheesecloth. Both of these antiquated methods are ineffective for producing a bacteria-free, contaminant-free, consistent, and stable finished product. Emu oil must be 100% pure to be certified by the AEA.

Preserving freshness

Store emu oil in a cool, dark place. When refrigerated, emu oil will stay fresh and effective for up to two years. When frozen, the oil stays fresh even longer.

Unrefined emu oil, with its high concentration of omega fatty acids, does not spray easily. It is solid when cool and is best removed from the bottle with a small spatula or spoon. To preserve freshness and avoid contamination, do not use your fingers.

EXPERT TIP

Emu oil is ideal for very dry skin, but those with oily or acne-prone skin should not apply it to the face.


Staff  | BestReviews

Emu oil prices

When shopping for emu oil, you’re sure to notice the wide price range between products. The price depends on the country of origin and how the oil was processed. Emu oils can be unrefined, refined, double-refined, or triple-refined. Refining is an expensive process, and refining more than once substantially increases the amount of healthy fatty acids contained in the oil. However, it also increases the cost of the product.

The quality and purity of an emu oil determines its aroma, color, and therapeutic value. The higher the quality, the higher the price. Keep in mind that emu oils obtained from birds raised by organic farming methods that meet AEA standards for certification tend to cost more than emu oils obtained from birds raised in non-organic conditions.

Emu oil is sold in dark glass or plastic bottles that range from four to 16 ounces. Bulk emu oil is available in gallon jugs or packaged by the pound. If the product you’re considering is packaged in plastic, be sure to check that it is BPA-free and made of PET plastic.

So how much should you expect to pay? You can find a four-ounce bottle of low-quality emu oil for less than $8. Just remember that low-quality emu oil is inappropriate for consumption and should only be used topically.

For refined emu oil with an AEA certification, expect to pay $15 to $30 for a small four-ounce bottle. Unrefined Australian emu oil, the traditional Aboriginal remedy, is pure and unadulterated, meaning nothing is taken out or added. When purchasing unrefined emu oil, expect to pay $50 or more for a four-ounce bottle.

CAUTION

While many companies claim their emu oil is pure and natural, without AEA certification there is no guarantee of purity.

Tips

  • The fatty acid content of any specific emu oil depends on the quality of the diet on which the bird was raised. Emus raised by organic farming methods produce the highest-quality emu oil.

  • Naturally processed from the thick fat pockets of the emu bird, emu oil provides a rich source of fatty acids known to have numerous health benefits. Emu oil contains essential omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. These fatty acids help ease muscular and arthritic joint pain and reduce inflammation. Fatty acids can also help reverse signs of aging by nourishing skin cells.

  • An AEA certification ensures that the emu oil is a safe product that has been properly analyzed, standardized, and graded.

  • Refined emu oil that is not biologically active is ineffective as a pain remedy or medicinal product.

  • Emu oils from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are typically the highest quality. It is best to be wary of emu oil produced in India or China. Producers in these countries may not adhere to strict quality standards or raise and harvest the birds in a humane manner.

Other products we considered

Always fresh, the H&B Oils Center Co. Australian Organic Emu Oil is 100% pure and natural, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic. It’s triple-refined to mirror our skin’s natural lipids. This powerful moisturizing oil penetrates deeply to soothe, smooth, and regenerate dry, irritated skin. The Bella Terra Oils Organic Refined Emu Oil is fully refined and 100% pure, organic, and undiluted. This Australian emu oil is ideal for repairing damaged hair and cuticles and may even prevent stretch marks in pregnant women.

Emu oil is a natural, calming, and effective treatment for itchy and painfully dry skin.

FAQ

Q. Who discovered the health benefits of emu oil?

A. The emu, the world’s second-largest bird, is native to Australia. An integral part of Aboriginal culture, the emu provides lean and highly nutritious red meat and fatty oil that indigenous Australians have used topically for thousands of years. The Aboriginals were the first to discover that emu oil can prevent sunburn when applied to the skin. However, the SPF of emu oil is very low, and it should never be used as an alternative to sunscreen.

Q. What medical conditions can emu oil help treat?

A. Emu oil is a traditional remedy for several conditions, including irritated skin, sore muscles, inflamed stiff joints, wounds, hair loss, and high cholesterol. However, emu oil is not FDA-approved, and although there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence, there is no scientific evidence to support these uses.

Q. What does certification by the American Emu Association mean?

A. The AEA establishes and oversees the guidelines for the production, refining, and distribution of emu oil. An AEA certification seal indicates that the emu oil has passed rigorous purity and quality testing and that the producer’s facility undergoes regular cleanliness inspections.

The team that worked on this review
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Marlene
    Marlene
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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