Shelf Life of Essential Oils

by FabulousFrannie

With few exceptions, all steam distilled essential oils have a shelf life of at least 2 years, and even longer when stored properly. Tea Tree, Pine and Fir oils are the above exceptions, and typically have a shelf life of around 12 to 18 months due to certain components in their natural chemical composition.

Cold pressed citrus oils have the shortest shelf life of all essential oils due to a high proportion of components called terpenes which are more prone to oxidization, therefore extra care should be taken to store them safely away from sources of heat. You can expect citrus oils to remain in good condition for 9 to 12 months, and even longer when cared for properly.

Due to their natural chemical makeup, essential oils don’t turn rancid like vegetable oils; they simply degrade gradually into a state where the therapeutic properties become diminished. Your nose will tell you that something is wrong long before the point when the oils become unsuitable for topical use.


*For informational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


Search our online catalog for essential oil products

You may also like


Joyce McCright August 15, 2015 - 4:23 am

This is really helpful information since I’m just beginning to use oils. Thanks

Amber Oliver August 16, 2015 - 3:05 am

Why is there no expiration date on the bottles if they do expire?

FabulousFrannie August 18, 2015 - 7:39 am

Amber, the expiration date or shelf life is determined by when the oil is opened and exposed to the elements. Essential oils do not spoil or rot like other products but rather over time you will likely start to notice a difference in the aroma and even texture of the oil. You may still use the oil, however, over time the aromatherapy healing properties will be diminished.

I would also recommend placing a sticker on each oil and writing the date you open it so you can easily keep track.


Leave a Comment