< Back to blog
huiles essentielles et plantes

How long does an essential oil last?

Did you know that your essential oils can be preserved at least 5 years? Citrus essences are more fragile therefore they are given a shorter lifespan d'about 2 years, and for essential oils obtained from the needles of conifers, such as Scots pine or balsam fir or black spruce, they can be preserved about 3 years.

Essential oils contain, among other things, alcohols. It is therefore impossible for bacteria to develop in pure essential oils. They will not become dangerous when used externally, in a bath or when applied topically.

However, the quality of an essential oil gradually declines with the oxidation process, therefore the aging process of an oil. Their characteristic odor gradually declines, as do their benefits.


All essential oils expire

Since now, essential oils are more and more known to the general public, their clinical applications based on scientific evidence have proven themselves and the different daily or therapeutic applications are multiplying, it is rather rare to see someone one, let alone a wellness professional, throw away essential oils or massage oils because they are no longer good.


For massage oils, the addition of cloves as a natural preservative greatly extends the life of a massage oil since they are composed of more than 15% essential oil and 70 to 90% eugenol. , an antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal compound.

The multiplication of applications in care or in daily life is increasing the use of essential oils. Their 15 milliliter format also limits losses.


There are many factors that affect the shelf life of an essential oil, just like massage oils

  • The quality of the original plant.
  • Conditions of certain batches (sunshine, rain, etc.) meant that the essential oils did not reach Olympic yields in the chromatogram, but minimum yields. This will influence the lifespan, but also the active ingredients.
  • Harvest conditions can influence.
  • Distillation (for essential oils)
  • The traffic jam must follow certain protocols.
  • Handling of the oil by the client, the therapist or even the company which packaged the essential oils.
  • Oxygen: When oils are exposed to air, they gradually oxidize and their volatile components evaporate, as does their odor. This is often due to the fact that the oil bottle remains open during treatment, for example. It is therefore important that the bottles remain tightly closed when essential oils are not in use.
  • The light : When essential oils are stored in sunny places, they deteriorate. This is why essential oils are sold in dark colored bottles, usually smoked glass. The latter prevents UV rays from penetrating the bottle and altering the quality of the oil.
  • Exposure to heat : Due to their flammable nature, essential oils should never be stored near open flames or any source of heat or fire. Being exposed to heat accelerates the deterioration of an oil.

Where to keep your essential and massage oils to protect them?

We should keep our essential and massage oils in dry, cool and dark places, preferably.

Places like the bathroom, near a stove or on a window sill are totally not recommended. Temperature variations cause our essential oils and massage oils to age prematurely by oxidizing them.

When you buy your essential oils and massage oils, different formats are offered to you. Buying large formats allows you to save money.

Purchasing small formats allows you to better manage your inventories of products that you do not use often. It’s worth stopping there!


How to recognize expired massage oil?

The main characteristic of expired vegetable massage oil is that it loses effectiveness with oxidation and that it risk of becoming comedogenic. Oxidation can also cause the texture to vary. The fatty substance protects them from the air and prevents certain microorganisms from breathing and developing.

The oil becomes sticky to the touch and often the client has to work extra hard to remove all the oil from their skin after the massage.

The rancid smell of expired vegetable oil is very significant and a motivator to stop using it. Moreover, this smell is very recognizable in certain massage clinics whose towels have been encrusted with massage oil for a long time.


To avoid this unpleasant odor in the towels and massage sheets as well as the heavy appearance of the latter, it is important to add to the washing loads, a professional degreaser at the height, combined with laundry soap or precisely the Pro-textile + organic which combines the two functions.

Another most important element is the wash water temperature.

It should be remembered that washing towels and sheets in cold water promotes the fixation of oil in the fiber of the fabric. The fat therefore accumulates from one wash to the next and makes the fabric heavier. This is why the choice of washing in warm or hot water is required.


Now let's talk about drying

Dry hot towels or sheets in which the fibers of the fabric have stored oil over time is fire hazardous.


You therefore have two major reasons to properly maintain your supplies.

Of good storage conditions, a proper handling as well as specific maintenance as described above are important for conservation, efficiency and safety.