Q.How Long Do Essential Oils Last?

How long do essential oils last? The shelf life of essential oils, carrier oils and massage oils varies tremendously, and their life expectancy can be influenced by many different external factors. Despite what you may have been told or read in books, the so-called ‘shelf life’ of natural products can be extremely difficult to predict with any certainty because there are so many variables.

How Long Do Essential Oils Last?

Essential oils are known to have a shelf life of up to five years. However, it depends on their contents. For example, oils with oxides and monoterpenes last between one and three years. Oils with phenols may last up to three years. Essential oils with esters, monoterpenols, and/or ketones usually last longer.

The truth is that ‘aromatherapy’ and essential oils are not the same as milk or bread, which follow a predictable and rapid path toward spoiling over a known period of time. The shelf life of a natural oil is governed by its chemical stability, and anything that interferes with this stability will cause the oil to start the slow, but inexorable process of deterioration.

Heat, sunlight and air can all have a detrimental effect on the chemistry of essential oils, carrier oils, and mixtures of both such as massage oil blends. In addition, the complex and varying chemistry of natural essential oils means that the rate of deterioration will be different for every individual botanical species of oil, even when kept under ideal conditions. This means that some oils will last far beyond what many books claim, whilst others may deteriorate earlier than stated.

To help you with all of this, these basic guidelines will show you how to extend the life expectancy of all of your essential oils, carrier oils and massage oils. You have invested your money in all your aromatherapy products, so it certainly makes sense to look after them properly thereby ensuring their therapeutic properties are not weakened or lost.