Essential Oil Storage Safety

storage bottles with flowerYour essential oils are a valuable investment and should be cared for properly. In this lesson, we will discuss essential oil storage safety.

Because essential oils contain no fatty acids, they are not susceptible to rancidity like vegetable oils – but you will want to protect them from the degenerative effects of heat, light and air. Store them in tightly sealed, dark glass bottles away from any heat source. Properly stored oils can maintain their quality for years. (Citrus oils are less stable and should not be stored longer than six months after opening.)

Essential Oil Storage Tips:

  • Keep oils tightly closed and out of reach of children.
  • Always read and follow all label warnings and cautions.
  • Do not purchase essential oils with rubber glass dropper tops. Essential oils are highly concentrated and will turn the rubber to a gum, thus ruining the oil.
  • Make note of when the bottle of essential oil was opened and its shelf life.
  • Many essential oils will remove the furniture’s finish. Use care when handling open bottles.
  • Keep essential oil vials and clear glass bottles in a box or another dark place for storing.
  • Be selective of where you purchase your essential oils. The quality of essential oil varies widely from company to company. Additionally, some companies may falsely claim their oils are undiluted and pure when they are not.

Essential Oil Safety

poisonIn general, essential oils are safe to use for aromatherapy and therapeutic purposes. Nonetheless, safety must be exercised due to their potency and high concentration.  Please read and follow these guidelines to obtain the maximum effectiveness and benefits.

• Avoid sunbathing, tanning booths, or a using a sauna immediately after using essential oils.

• Be careful to avoid getting essential oils in the eyes.  If you do splash a drop or two of essential oil in the eyes, use a small amount of olive oil (or another carrier oil) to dilute the essential oil and absorb with a wash cloth.  If serious, seek medical attention immediately.

• Take extra precaution when using oils with children. Never use undiluted essential oils on babies and always store your essential oils out of the reach of children.

• Never take essential oils internally, unless advised by your medical practitioner or another qualified health professional.

• If a dangerous quantity of essential oil has been ingested immediately drink olive oil and induce vomiting.  The olive oil will help in slowing down its absorption and dilute the essential oil.  Do not drink water—this will speed up the absorption of the essential oil.

• Most essential oils should be diluted before applying topically.  Pay attention to safety guidelines—certain essential oils, such as Cinnamon and Clove Bud, may cause skin irritation for those with sensitive skin.  If you experience slight redness or itchiness, put olive oil (or any carrier oil) on the affected area and cover with a soft cloth.  The olive oil acts as an absorbent fat and binds to the oil diluting its strength and allowing it to be immediately removed.  Aloe Vera gel also works well as an alternative to olive oil.  Never use water to dilute essential oil—this will cause it to spread and enlarge the affected area.  Redness or irritation may last 20 minutes to an hour.

• Never use oils undiluted on your skin. Always dilute with a carrier oil. If redness, burning, itching, or irritation occurs, stop using oil immediately. Be sure to wash hands after handling pure, undiluted essential oils.

• For sensitive skin or when using a new oil perform a “Skin Patch Test.”  If irritation occurs, discontinue use of such oil or blend. See section, Skin Patch Test.

• If you are pregnant, lactating, suffer from epilepsy or high blood pressure, have cancer, liver damage, or another medical condition, use essential oils under the care and supervision of a qualified Aromatherapist or medical practitioner.

• If taking prescription drugs, check for interaction between medicine and essential oils (if any) to avoid interference with certain prescription medications.

• To avoid contact sensitization (redness or irritation of skin due to repeated use of same individual oil) rotate and use different oils.