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What is the Shelf Life of Essential Oil?

Posted on October 11, 2020 by Chad Pegura | 34 comments

 What is the Shelf Life of Essential Oil?

Most people are quite surprised to find out that essential oils have a shelf life. Some may have even been told otherwise simply to justify a higher price tag.

However, the truth is that essential oils have a shelf life no matter what brand you purchase from. This is due to the fact that essential oils are volatile and have the potential to oxidize. In chemical terms, a volatile substance, such as essential oils, can evaporate. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t be able to smell them in the first place.

How volatile an essential oil is will depend on its constituents. Those with lighter constituents are the most volatile and are likely to be the first to evaporate. Heavier constituents however, will be the last ones to go.

Estimated Shelf Life of a Few Popular Essential Oils

1 Year: Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange

2 Years: Frankincense, Tea Tree

3 Years: Oregano, Rosemary

4 Years: Cinnamon Bark, Chamomile, Lavender, Peppermint, Rose, Spearmint, Ylang Ylang

6+ Years: Cedarwood, Ginger, Patchouli, Sandalwood

What is the Shelf Life of Essential Oil?

What Makes An Essential Oil Go Bad?

Essential Oil Safety states that contaminants and degradation can all increase the toxicity of essential oils and can cause them to spoil. When it comes to degradation of essential oil, it typically occurs from three ways: heat, light, and oxygen.

Heat: As you can imagine, heat can cause the more volatile constituents of essential oils to evaporate or even transmute more quickly. If you do not have any children to worry about, you might want to keep your oils in the refrigerator to ensure it doesn’t get damaged by changes in temperature.

Light: Ultraviolet light can also damage your essential oil by promoting free radicals. Thankfully, amber colored bottles are great at keeping UV light from harming their quality. Still, you may want to ensure that your essential oils are always stored in darkness to stay on the safe side.

Oxygen: When oxygen gets into your essential oil bottle, it can cause a reaction with the constituents of the oil. This is known as oxidation and is perhaps the most common and rapid form of degradation of essential oils. This can cause the therapeutic properties of the essential oil to breakdown, change their chemical composition and increase your risk of sensitization. This is why you must always make sure your essential oils are sealed tightly and only exposed to air for short periods of time. In addition, only use essential oils in moderation.

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What is the Shelf Life of Essential Oil?

 

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25 Responses

Minda
Minda

October 20, 2020

Good to know…
Thanks for the info.
Very helpful.

iFRAGRANCE INDIA
iFRAGRANCE INDIA

October 19, 2020

Very Informative, Good Job. Keep it up!

Martyna Bellini
Martyna Bellini

October 19, 2020

I am new to the whole topic of aromatherapy and this post was really helpfull. I found quite little information on Youtube and I am glad that I came across this blog. I’ll check out other of your posts as well.

Greetings from Poland,
Martyna

Coline T.
Coline T.

October 19, 2020

Thank you, I will save money with these informations! :-)

Jurrien
Jurrien

October 19, 2020

Thanks. Aroma oil newbie here, good to know :)

Dianne
Dianne

October 19, 2020

Interesting, I would have thought the citrus oils would have lasted longer

Sue E
Sue E

October 19, 2020

I guess it only makes sense that oils expire or change it strength, etc. I have some oils. I’ve never bothered to look for an expiration date or at least the year it was made. Thank you for the chart. It is very useful. I did pin this. Thank you for sharing!!

Enri Garcia
Enri Garcia

October 19, 2020

Very good, thanks 🙏

Willie Coyote
Willie Coyote

October 15, 2020

Good to know. I did not know different scented oils had different shelf lives.

Manni
Manni

October 15, 2020

Thanks for this insight

Anna Sz.
Anna Sz.

October 15, 2020

Thanks for this informative article. It is good to know that the citrus essential oil has such short shelf life. I am looking forward to read more articles from your website. Very interesting!

Krista
Krista

October 15, 2020

Great information to have in a nice chart format.

Esco Garcia
Esco Garcia

October 15, 2020

Thank you, very informations

Blake Shermeto
Blake Shermeto

October 15, 2020

good to know i have a lot of oils

David Esca
David Esca

October 15, 2020

Thanks for info

Cody Pfoh
Cody Pfoh

October 15, 2020

tHANK YOU FOR ALWAYS PROVIDING SUCH USEFUL AND HELPFUL INFORMATION

Mercedes Saeta
Mercedes Saeta

October 15, 2020

I think it’s perfect that the essences last longer without degrading

Javier Vallejo
Javier Vallejo

October 15, 2020

I thought they had an unlimited useful life, thank you very much for the clarification.
The good thing is that the useful life of all is quite long, there is no evaporation problem in my case.

WL
WL

October 15, 2020

Appeciate the information. It is enlightening to know that there is a shelf life for essential oils. Also factors such as light, oxygen and heat are the viable causes that should be avoided.

Margaret Gallagher
Margaret Gallagher

October 15, 2020

Ooo thanks – wasnt aware of the shelf life date of oils – time to sort mine

patricia caradonna
patricia caradonna

October 15, 2020

One to six years depending on its constituents. Essential Oils are so wonderful and therapeutic.

Susanna Austin
Susanna Austin

October 15, 2020

I had no idea! Thank you!

wendy hutton
wendy hutton

October 15, 2020

wow I did not know that different oil have certain life shelf times

Kathleen
Kathleen

October 15, 2020

Not only was the topic relevant, the graphics are outstanding! Thanks.

Irena Matković
Irena Matković

October 15, 2020

Thank you for these informations!

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