How to Care for your Essential Oils
The shelf life of essential oils is usually 2-3 years if cared for and stored properly. Despite the long shelf-life, improper storage and handling can cause your oils to go rancid and spoil very quickly, sometimes within weeks.
In order to make your essential oils last longer, use the following guidelines:
- While using essential oils in burner or diffusers, it is best to use distilled or spring water, add essential oils to it and then over the source of heat. This slows down the rate at which most volatile compounds disperse in the air and thereby making the effect of essential oils last longer
- Extremely cold temperatures do not damage the therapeutic properties of the essential oils. They may become waxy or semi-solid. If your essential oil gets cold, do not apply any heat to warm them up. However just keep the lid on and let them war
- Essential oil should be stored in dark coloured bottles or in specially lined metal containers or in hard plastic containers. Exposure to light causes essential oils to polymerize which means that the small molecules of essential oils bind together to become big molecules. Since it is the small molecular size which enables penetration of essential oils through skin or tissues as well as diffuse through the air, the creation of larger molecules makes the oil less therapeutic. A few minutes or hours will not substantially alter however exposure to light over days, weeks or months will destroy any essential oil
- Move up gradually to room temperature.
- When exposed to air for longer duration, the molecular structure and compounds of essential oils gets altered. Air causes maximum damage to the most volatile compounds of essential oils which is high notes. Therefore essential oils required for daily use should be stored in smaller bottles and lid should remain on the bottle as much as possible.
- Essential Oils should also be stored in a cool, dry environment since higher temperatures can cause the oil to start reacting with the air in the bottle and go rancid.
If the above guidelines are followed properly, the shelf life of your Essential Oils can definitely be extended and quality maintained for a long period of time.