If you’re anything like me, you’re obsessed with collecting all the bottles of essential oils (and keeping all the bottles of essential oils, even the empty ones, forever). Have you ever discovered a bottle purchased a year ago pushed to the back of a drawer and wondered whether it was still okay to use? Well, today’s post brings you that answer along with other helpful storage tips!
The long and short of it is that most essential oils will last approximately two years (or more) after opening if properly stored. But then what, you ask, is the proper way to store those precious bottles that we hoard like chipmunks shoveling nuts into their cheeks? First, let us take you behind the scenes and tell you a bit about how we bottle and package our essential oils.
We bottle all of our products in small batches, which means that we have nothing on our shelves for longer than three months. This ensures that the end consumer (YOU!) gets the freshest product possible. We chose cobalt blue glass bottles not just because they’re pretty but because the dark glass keeps the harmful sunlight out. Exposure to sunlight causes essential oils to deteriorate faster, so using dark glass bottles helps protect the oils and keep them fresher longer.
After bottling we seal the caps and store the finished product in a temperature-controlled space. Exposure to heat can hasten oxidation of the oil, and so making sure essential oils are stored in a cool environment is important to preserve their freshness.
While two years from the date of opening is a good rule of thumb, there are a few exceptions. Citrus essential oils like Lemon and Orange can start to oxidize after as little as a year after opening. Robert Tisserand, a leading aromatherapy expert, suggests keeping citrus essential oils in a refrigerator to extend their effective lifespan. On the flip side, the aroma of some oils like Sandalwood and Vetiver only gets better with age. It’s important to note, however, that while the aroma improves over time the oil itself is still being oxidized and thus its therapeutic properties may decrease.
What’s the takeaway? To maximize the useful life of your essential oils, make sure the cap is always tightly sealed after use and store them in a cool, dark place out of the reach of children and pets.