If you have a collection of essential oils, you’ve probably found yourself wondering, “Can essential oils expire? Do essential oils go bad? When should you throw away essential oils?”
Read on to learn the answers to all of these questions and more, so you can keep your essential oil collection up to date.
Do essential oils expire?
Not really! Essential oils don’t expire in the same way you’d think of food or other items ”going bad,” but they do go through a process of oxidization that begins as soon as the bottle is opened and the oil is exposed to oxygen in the air. Light and heat also increase oxidation.
Essential oils and oxidization
What is oxidization?
When an oil comes into contact with oxygen, ultraviolet light, and heat, its composition begins to change. The oxygen bonds between molecules are transformed into carbon bonds. Over time, the essential oil starts to lose its strength and effectiveness as its chemical composition is broken down by oxidation. This is why most essential oils are sold in amber-colored bottles; the darker glass provides better protection against ultraviolet light.
How does oxidization apply to essential oils?