Essential oils are natural chemicals. This means that it will interact with the environment. While nothing lasts forever, there are a few ways that we can keep our essential oils to potentially extend the shelf life. We will explore these ways to store our essential oils in this article.
Do keep in mind that the essential oils we are referring to, are as always pure and unadulterated. Essential oils that have fillers added to them may bring about another level of chemical reactions, potentially destabilising the mixture as time passes.
Storing Essential Oils
Chemicals may interact with their containers and essential oils are potent. Considering this, plastic is not suitable as it is rather reactive. Glass is relatively low on the scale of reactivity and hence we should always store essential oils in glass bottles to take advantage of this trait.
Sunlight And Essential Oils
Essential oils may interact with sunlight or even light. The chemical reactions may change the nature of the essential oils. Therefore we should ensure that essential oils are kept away from direct sunlight and stored in darken glass bottles.
Heat And Essential Oils
As of all chemicals, essential oils may interact with heat. Evaporation may also increase due to heat. To minimise this, keep the essential oil away from direct sunlight and other sources of heat. Ensure that the storage environment is cool.
Oxidation, Moisture And Essential Oils
When essential oils are exposed to the environment, it comes into contact with oxygen and moisture This may cause reactions such as oxidation. While this is inevitable over time, you can try to minimise the effects by keeping the exposure short. Uncap only when you are ready, extract the required amount and recap immediately. Avoiding damp environments such as the bathroom may help.
Time And Essential Oils
As time passes, the reactions discussed above will take its toil. In fact, for essential oils that are relatively more potent such as most citruses, you may find the essential oils evaporated after some time despite not opening the glass bottle.
- Do not store your essential oils in the car. The heat and sunlight may accelerate chemical reactions
- Keep the lids tight. Any allowance may increase the rate of reactions
- Do not use plastic, even when on the go. Go for darken glass bottles
- Avoid buying essential oils to store for an extended period of time. The volatile nature of it does not complement this
The Bottom Line
Pure unadulterated essential oils do not last forever. Its shelf life can possibly be extended when you store essential oils properly. Always practice the better be safe than sorry rule. If you notice anything off about the essential oil ( smell, colour, sentiments, cloudy, etc ), do not use and dispose of it.
Use essential oils responsibly, always use pure unadulterated essential oils / carrier oils and seek medical attention when necessary.