Storage Tips for Aromatherapy Essential Oils
Essential oils for aromatherapy can be very expensive. The raw plant materials required to produce these oils are often found in limited supply and can be slow-growing and costly even prior to the extraction process. The extraction process itself, depending on the oil, can be very expensive, in both equipment and labor, and the extracted volumes can be minute.
Because of this, certain rare oils in their concentrated state can cost up to hundreds of dollars per vial. Before retail sale and ultimate use these concentrates are generally diluted with a carrier such as a vegetable oil.
If you purchase aromatherapy essential oils, they must be stored correctly to protect your investment. Their volatile nature means they are subject to degradation if not cared for. In a degraded state they will not perform their expected function properly and you may have wasted your money.
Keep Them in the Dark
Storing aromatherapy essential oils in dark, glass bottles is the perfect way to help them last as long as possible. Dark will not suffice. Do not use plastic bottles or clear glass bottles for storing essential oils unless you plan to use the oils up quite quickly and are sure you will be finishing your supply in a relatively short amount of time.
You may come across great deals on discounted aromatherapy oils because they are stored in plastic bottles. You may like to take advantage of these bargains, if you can be assured that these oils have not been in the plastic container for an extended amount of time.
It is best to have some extra dark glass bottles on hand so that you can transfer the oils as soon as you get home from the store.
It is always a good idea to have a few spare bottles on hand anyway, especially if you plan on custom blending aromatherapy essential oils. The best glass bottles to choose from are those that are tinted jade green, dark brown, black or indigo.
Protect Essential Oils from Light and Heat
Putting your precious oils in dark glass bottles does not provide a magic force field to protect them, it simply keeps damaging light from the product. The other big enemy is heat. It is important to keep oils stored away from both direct heat and light.
Ideally, the best place to store your aromatherapy oils is in a dry, dark room with a temperature slightly below twenty degrees Celsius.
When correctly stored, your oils can stay in good condition for up to 2 or 3 years. There are some oils that are known to successfully last up to 5 years. If you are not expecting to use much of a particular oil, only buy what you think you will use in the near future, and buy more as needed.
Aromatherapy works best if you really like the smell, so before purchasing a variety of oils, experiment with them first. Visit some local shops and see what you enjoy or dislike first hand. Many health food stores and bath and body shops carry a variety of pure essential oils that you can smell before you buy.
Try some of the testers as smell is a very individual thing. Once you invest, protect your investment with the right storage methods.