The Shelf Life of Essential Oils and How You Can Extend It

All essential oils have a shelf life. Not all bottles indicate an expiry or "best before" date, though, so if you cannot find it, check with the manufacturer.


Here are some general rules you can follow to determine whether your essential oil is still fine for use, or whether you should throw it away.


Expiry Dates


Some essential oil manufacturers print the expiration date on their bottles. This gives you a clear indicator of how long you can use your oil. If you are buying essential oils from the store, look on the bottle to see when it expires, and choose the bottle with the furthest future expiry date if you don’t plan on using it quickly. Ask the individuals in the store if there is a way to find the date if it is not clearly marked.


Keep in mind that the oils you buy were not created on the day you bought them, so try to purchase your oils from a store or supplier that keeps their product moving regularly. In this way, you aren’t purchasing an essential oil that is already far along on the way to expiration.


If there is no expiry date on the bottle, keep a list of all your essential oils and when they were purchased. This will allow you to quickly check how long you have had an oil before using it each time.


General Shelf Life of Popular Oils


Each essential oil has a given amount of time before it expires. There is a range between about 1 to 6 years depending upon the type of oil. Some of the more popular oils and their general shelf life are listed here.


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