Updated: Jul 29
Just like food, essential oils have an expiration date. Of course, how long your oil lasts depends on the oil itself. However, most essential oils last about three years if stored properly.
Do essential oils expire?
Yes. Essential oils are organic compounds and are subject to oxidation (deterioration)
The shelf life of an oil will depend on its chemical composition, the conditions in which it is stored, and how much care is taken when handling it. Oils with a high concentration of monoterpenes, such as citrus oils, tend to oxidize more quickly than those with a higher concentration of sesquiterpenes, such as vetiver and patchouli.
The most common sign of oxidation is the formation of a sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
This sediment is usually made up of scraps from the plant material used in the distillation or other impurities that have precipitated out over time. Although the use of this sediment is not harmful, it can lead to rancidity and other side effects when oxidized oils are applied topically or used aromatically.
The best way to prolong the shelf life of your essential oils is to store them out of direct sunlight in alloy (Aluminum) bottles with tight-fitting lids.
Be sure not to expose your essential oils to excessive hot or cold temperatures. When essential oils are exposed to extreme temperatures, they can turn cloudy at room temperature or even solidify and turn into a gel.
How to know if they're expired?
The expiration date is usually printed on the oil label, but it can be hard to find. If you have oil that's been sitting around for years and you're not sure if it's expired or not, there are a couple ways to check.
First, look at the month and year on the label. If the date is more than a year old, it is probably expired. Then open the bottle and smell it. If it has an unpleasant musty smell, that means it has most likely gone bad. If any of the tests indicate that your oil has gone bad, don't use it! You may experience skin irritation or other negative side effects from using an expired essential oil. Also remember that some oils (such as citrus oils) can go bad even before the printed expiration date!
There are many companies that will put an expiration date of two or three years on their essential oil bottles, but that does not mean that the oils have gone bad. It means that the company is using additives to retain quality and aroma for as long as possible within that time frame, but they are not doing anything detrimental to the health of the product.
All I can really say is that some essential oils last longer than others. Some essential oil blends last around two years, and others only last six months to a year.
That is why it is important to buy your oils with a reputable company as GR SCENTS