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Keeping Essential Oils Safely

Posted by Andrew Irvine on

Essential oils are useful tools that can really aid your health and beauty regimes. However, for them to remain effective when opened it is vital that they are appropriately stored. It is good to know more about the lifecycle of an opened oil, so we have put together this useful guide for you.

Storing Oils

Have you ever wondered why essential oils are sold in dark coloured bottles? There is a good reason for this, and if you ever come across oils packaged in clear glass bottles we would advise you to steer clear, as they will not last as long, and generally, all quality retailers use dark bottles. The reason we package them in dark bottles - cobalt blue or amber being the most commonly used is to ensure they last longer. Sunlight is one thing that can damage oils so, the darker glass protects the oil from daylight. Once you have purchased the oil try and ensure it remains stored in glass. It is tempting when making skin creams or sprays to use plastic bottles, but this can cause the plastic to leach chemicals as the oil destroys the bottles. It also helps if you can store the bottles in a closed box, as this further protects them. Essential oils should also be kept own a cool place, so popping them next to the radiator is a big no.

One Drop At a Time

As we know, essential oils are generally used sparingly, so it is critical to be able to easily decant one or two drops at a time. Some bottles try and over come this by using a dropper with a bulb. However, this again should not really be encouraged. Over time the oils will eat the rubber. Instead, you may have seen a bottle with a small plastic insert that means when you tip the bottle only a drop comes out. This is a particular kind of material and will not be damaged by the oil. It also will not spoil the oil in any way and should be the preferred method.

Oil Lifecycle

The first thing to know is essential oils when handled and stored correctly actually have a very long shelf life. Generally, they are not in danger of moulding or becoming rancid, but they can lose their efficacy over time. In particular, it is worth noting that citrus oils are one range of essential oils that do oxidise over time, which in some cases can be within six months - although that said if you are regularly using oils this still gives you a reasonable amount of time to use them up before they deteriorate. Some oils, much like alcohol, mature over time and become more efficient, with sandalwood and patchouli being two examples.

Keep Away From Children

It is very dangerous for oils to be ingested internally, so it is also advised that oils are stored somewhere where small children cannot get to them. Bottles do not have childproof lids, so you need to make sure they are not able to get their hands on them. It would most definitely be an emergency hospital trip if this happened.