How Long Do Essential Oils Last (And Why)?

How Long Do Essential Oils Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 15 years

Essential oils have a variety of health benefits, according to a study. You must be aware of some of its advantages. Alternative medicine, for example, has been a popular healthcare choice in recent years. With it comes the application of essential oils.

These oils can be used for a variety of purposes, including aromatherapy and sickness prevention.

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How Long Do Essential Oils Last? 

ReplacementAfter 4 Years
Total Shelf-Life15 Years

Since all oils have diverse chemical compositions, the answer is different for each one. Unless they contain one of the unstable carrier oils discussed previously, most will endure at least two years before degrading. 

Some can even last up to 15 years before losing their effectiveness. To be safe, many experts recommend replenishing essential oils every three years. Patchouli, ylang-ylang, vetiver, and sandalwood are the exceptions since they improve with age. 

However, for several other requirements, three years is on the short end of the lifespan curve. The key to extending the shelf life of essential oils, regardless of the type, is to store them properly. Thankfully, if you know how and where to store your oils, it’s pretty simple to keep them in good shape.

When it comes to the bottle, dark-coloured glass bottles should be used to keep UV rays from infiltrating the container. The majority of essential oils sold in stores come in amber-coloured glass bottles that reflect UV radiation. 

Because essential oils can decay in plastic bottles, you should always pour your prepared oils into a glass container. To avoid corrosion and biochemical evaporation, keep the bottles tightly closed and stored carefully. Always follow safety precautions while using essential oils, such as keeping them away from heat and flames.

Of course, if you have children in the house, keep the oils out of their reach! Heat-caused oxidation can be avoided by keeping the bottles refrigerated. Although some oils, such as aniseed, fennel, and rose otto, may harden in freezing temperatures, they are unaffected. 

Remove the essential oils from the fridge 12 hours before you plan to use them. Give the bottle a good shake if any waxy particles are floating around. The majority of these rules are likewise followed by pure essential oil makers.

Why Do Essential Oils Last For That Long? 

Now the question that comes to one’s mind is why do these oils last. Well, a process known as oxidation occurs as soon as you open a new bottle or container of essential oils and expose it to oxygen. 

The process of oxidation entails the conversion of oxygen bonds between cells to carbon bonds. When oil comes into touch with oxygen, light, or heat, it begins to change its composition. It begins to lose its strength and effectiveness over time. 

The darker glass provides better protection against ultraviolet light, which is why most essential oils are sold in amber-coloured bottles. Essential oils, unlike food, do not deteriorate, although they do change with time. Because it’s difficult to tell what the oils have turned into, it’s also difficult to say whether they’re safe to use.

The basic message is that you should not inhale or apply expired essential oils to your skin. But how can you tell if your essential oils are past their expiration date?  Some citrus oils, particularly those containing limonene, such as lemon and grapefruit, will have an unpleasant odour.

The fragrance of oxidation, on the other hand, can be subtle in most oils. There are various tricks to see if oxygen has affected the shelf life of your essential oil in this scenario. Others, such as peppermint and chamomile, will change colour, while others may have a viscosity shift.


If you’re unsure whether or not your essential oil has turned bad, go to your aromatherapist, who can show you the telltale indications to look for.

And the best way to verify you’re getting the best essential oils is to get them from a trustworthy source like Public Goods, which takes excellent care in creating, bottling, and storing each bottle of essential oil it sells, assuring optimal health benefits and long shelf life.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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