March 13, 2018
Essential oils are volatile compounds. They are sensitive to heat and oxygen, and they can lose their potency if they are not cared for properly. Luckily, there is a way you can make sure that does not happen for a long time: making sure the oils are stored correctly.
Over time, oils that are regularly exposed to oxygen can become oxidized. This means that they no longer have the potency that they once had. If left exposed to air over the course of a few months, the overall chemistry of some oils can change, and the oil is can become unsafe to apply topically to the skin.
To avoid this risk, make sure to tightly cap all your oils when they are not in use and keep the orifice reducer in the bottle, ensuring that little air can sneak inside.
If you are using a larger bottle, make sure to transfer the oil into smaller bottles once more than half has been used. This will further ensure that the amount of air the oil comes into contact with is kept to a minimum.
You can also add Vitamin E to help extend the shelf life of DIY products that contain essential oils. Vitamin E contains Tocopherol, which acts as a natural antioxidant and keeps the products fresh longer.
The smell is off
It is a different color
The consistency has changed
The oil looks cloudy
The worst place for oils is on the bathroom counter or near a shower. The fluctuating heat will cause the shelf life of your oils to decrease significantly. We know you want to keep your bottles of oily goodness for as long as possible.
The best place to store your oils? Your refrigerator. If that is impossible in your household, cupboards and closets can work too. You want to make sure you store your oils in a cool, dark place in your house.
If you use a different bottle than the one the oils came in, you should store them in amber or cobalt glass. It is never a good idea to use plastic. The oils are corrosive, and they can destroy the container.
The shelf life of an essential oil varies depending on what it is. Here is a list of our general guidelines:
Some citrus oils: 1-2 years
Most essential oils: 4-8 years
Oils from wood/root family: 10+ years
Some oils such as Patchouli and Sandalwood can have increased potency over time! Properly storing your oils will ensure that your oils keep their potency and last longer!
Another important part of storing your oils are cases. They ensure the safety of your oils and also keep them away from direct light.
When you need to store your glorious collection here are some great options:
A favorite case of ours is the 32-hole wooden box. Not only is this box practical for storing your oils, but it also makes a cute addition to your home!